Skip Navigation

Inspiration The Filmmakers The Production See the Films FAQ Trailers

How Can I See the Films?

A Moment on Earth is available to watch and explore as a DVDBook via Satellite Films, Amazon and other high quality retailers. You can watch trailers for both films in the series here: Moment on Earth Trailers and expore the Image Gallery. To stay in touch and get occasional updates on the original and future moments, just use one of the newsletter fields on any page. In addition to learning more about the films and how they can be seen, joining our newsletter will insure that you hear about the next Moment before it happens.

How Long is a Moment?

This is debatable. In my view a real 100% bona fide 'moment' is around 5 seconds long, as in 'For a moment there I thought you were gonna kiss the girl.' That having been said, humans have really only been around for a 'brief moment in time, when considering the entire life span of the Earth.' In this case a 'moment' becomes thousands of years, so lets just say it's how we like it - open to interpretation. For the purpose of our films, each filmmaker was instructed to film for exactly 20 minutes. We chose this amount of time because while it remains just a blip in time, it is long enough for a story to develop within any given moment - if someone is skydiving, it is long enough for them to fly over their drop zone, jump and have their parachute open. If someone is waking up, it is long enough for them to shower, shave and tie a tie. In this way, not only do we see individual moments juxtaposed against one another in simultaneity, but we see a development within each of those moments.

How Did You Find All These People?

Over the years while working on other people's films we made a lot of contacts. We started with these and grew the base through extensions to these people's own friends in the filmmaking industry. In addition starting in January 2004 we spammed the world using the Internet, searching for potential shooters and sending hundreds of emails in every direction, trying to find interested people in far-flung places to participate with us. Some of the email exchanges are very entertaining culturally and otherwise and we will try to make them available later on as time permits. Almost everyone who heard about the project came back with a great deal of enthusiasm. This enthusiasm has helped push us through the tougher stretches, like scrounging for the money to make it happen.

To see the original site used to produce the films, click here. After about five different submarines surfaced claiming to be using the Periscope name I had been too cheap to trademark nationally back in 2002, we switched to our new name, Satellite Films. Little better perspective. My mom always taught me to buy protection, but as with most things I didn't listen to her in the beginning. Some things you learn the hard way. Like busting your head skateboarding will teach you to wear a helmet. It was a pain when it happened, but in retrospect it was a gift because as a result I didn't skip any steps when it came to protecting this project.

Has Something Like This Ever Been Done Before?

Back in the mid-1980's, phenomenal business-photographer duo Rick Smolan and David Cohen, organized A Day in the Life of America™ in which some 200 photographers took pictures across America on a single day. I actually think this was the third book they had done in a series, so the other ones must have been made back in the day, right about when I was born. This team has had incredible success capturing unique bits of life in a given time period. I don't know what similar projects were done prior to them as that was before my time.

Our inspiration for the film developed over a long period and you can read about that particular trip here. Interesting story as to how I learned about Rick and David's project - I was out searching for a Hero for my moment and frequently passed a very visually unique character named 'Robert' who was always at this same freeway off-ramp soliciting change. He had an amazingly striking face. One day I stopped and talked to him for a bit to see if there was any way I could track his whereabouts as our D-Day neared. In talking to him, to my surprise, he told me he had been in a 'project like that before.' I asked him what it was and he told me he was in this photo book called "24/7." We went to a bookstore (he couldn't go in because he'd been banned from the premises) and I found the book and that's when I read all about Rick Smolan and David Cohen. 24/7 is their latest photobook creation. Small world! Speaking of small worlds, if anyone knows those guys I'd love a quote for my movie poster from them. In light of 'Robert's' celebrity status, I decided to shoot a new Hero. 'Robert' is a great guy though, and I can see why he attracts a photographer's eye.

So What Makes Satellite Films' "A Moment on Earth" Unique?

Satellite Films' 'A Moment on Earth' is the first project of its kind to capture a single period of time in multiple locations throughout the world in a motion picture medium. Film as a medium has many unique attributes, such as the ability to immediately juxtapose one moment with another - like flipping from page 34 immediately to page 65 - racking the brain if you will. The juxtapositions are great and say what words cannot. The film represents a huge collaboration on the part of so many individuals each of whom had the freedom to choose what they wanted to focus on during the moment. "A Moment on Earth" is also unique because it was facilitated slowly, nearly entirely at night after work and with little cash. As a result, it has a raw and real-life-chaos-and-beauty feel that is hard to capture any other way. We hope you like it.

Why aren't there more women on the 'Moment' film team?

According to the book "Great Women of Film" by Helena Lumme, in the section "Women Working in Film Today," Martha M. Lauzen states that just 2% of cinematographers are women. This statistic was as of the year 2000, so it can't be too far off from the present. Since over 11% of Satellite Films' "Moment on Earth" team were women, in actuality we are beating the statistical average by more than 5x. Karin Victorin (Sweden), Alexandra Young (birth), Joanne Levitan (South Africa), Carolina Vila (Venezuela), Alison Hayes (Pacific Ocean), Fiona Summers (South Africa) and Theresa Baron (Skydive) all represented during A Moment on Earth.

Your questions are welcome. Ask them here.