A group of people in space suits sit in orange chairs. In the reflection of their space helmets is a planet

One Strange Rock VR

Framestore partnered with McCann NY to realise an immersive viewing experience supplementary to the release of National Geographic’s 10-part television series ‘One Strange Rock’. In another venture from the two shops that teamed up to create Lockheed Martin’s ‘Field Trip to Mars’, ‘One Strange Rock’ tells the extraordinary story of Earth, from the eyes of the only people who have ever left.

Effects Simulation
astronauts with nebula visuals in their helmets sitting in orange seats in a cinema

‘One Strange Rock’ is a thrilling exploration of planet Earth through the eyes of astronauts, hosted by American actor Will Smith with direction from award-winning filmmaker Darren Aronofsky. The show is a mind-bending journey that explores the fragility and wonder of the planet.

The immersive viewing experience parallels the concept of the series, imitating a view of Earth from the perspective of astronauts in space. National Geographic created the Space Projection Helmet to bring this unique vantage-point even closer to those on Earth. The limited-edition gear was exhibited during an event at the Whitby Hotel Theatre in New York City and will go on tour of schools and planetariums in select cities this spring.

cinema audience of people in space suits with nebula visuals on their helmets sitting in orange seats
astronauts in a cinema with nebula visuals on their helmets sitting in orange seats

In another example of cross-platform collaboration and cooperation among global departments, Framestore’s VR Studio in New York repurposed footage created for the show from Framestore’s Television Department in London. It was necessary to reimagine the footage for a curved projection screen to fit within the bespoke headsets which offer an exceptionally wide field of view that mimics the field of vision that an astronaut would have. Framestore’s skilled artists created a custom distortion map to allow the footage to display at the correct scale within the curved visors. The surface of each helmet is transmissive, allowing outsiders to see what the viewer is immersed in.


McCann NY
Director/Creative Director
David Estis
Executive Producer
Christine Cattano
Senior Producer
Pete Jones
PJ Stegall
CG Lead
Gabriel Portnof
Compositing Lead
Matt Pascuzzi, Steve Drew
Zavier Mojica
Nylon Studios
Sam Goetz, Jake Sadowsky
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