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Famous naturalist and nature enthusiast John Muir once said “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.” Nature is a wonderful unifier of people from all walks of life, because whether you climb a mountain or look up at the stars you are reminded of how big and beautiful the world is and how very unique you are in that big world.

A few weeks ago our nonprofit director and his assistant were able to experience this same feeling of awe and wonder when they were invited to attend a special reception and preview screening of the film entitled “National Parks Adventure 3D” at the IMAX theater in Los Angeles. The film itself highlights the vast wonders of 40 of our 400 amazing National Parks here in the United States.  Director Greg MacGillivray was there to explain some of the details and thoughts they had when making this amazing film. He and his staff chose to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the US National Park Service by documenting and filming spectacularly wild and beautiful places, such as Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Everglades, Redwoods, Arches National Park and many more. As they traveled across mountain peaks and scenic byways we met world renown peak climber and mountaineer, Conrad Anker and were able to adventure with photographer Max Lowe and artist Rachel Pohl. Not only were there incredible speakers including narration by Robert Redford, Academy Award winner and conservationist, but the unique 3D filming allowed the audience to be pulled into the story and the seasonal beauty of our National Parks. The amount of dedication to this film was incredible, decades in the making and hours of painstaking work filming using unique stabilizers on airplanes for 3D filming. The film which was used to create this nominated natural story only allows 3 minutes of filming and then the plane must return to the ground and the camera must be reloaded to film the next 3 minutes. So it is a long process to produce the film necessary to finalize 40 minutes of viewing.

And in order to truly depict the National Parks, the film team filmed during different seasons so that you get to view the winter wonderland of Pictured Rocks National Seashore in upper Michigan as well as see the bears in Alaska at Katmai National Park. Because the film is three-dimensional you feel as though you are experiencing being right there in the park or flying overhead in the airplane. In the end, you feel it is a soulful reflection of what the wilderness means to all of us. It is a film well worth taking time to see and realize what a wondrous treasure we have on our earth and why we must preserve it. The film itself is a reflection of the incredible work of nature all around us.

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