Renewed Blue Planet Theater Opens

Today marks the official ribbon cutting ceremony for the new and improved Blue Planet Theater at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center (EHC). Nearly 20 years after the original film and theater were produced, Gwinnett County reached out to Cortina Productions and Mad Systems, who both worked on the original project, to update the film and AV hardware.

“It was an absolute pleasure working with the Environmental and Heritage Center (EHC) team on a new film for their Blue Planet Theater. Our company produced the original Blue Planet film for the EHC’s grand opening in 2006. We were thrilled when they came back to us 18 years later to create an updated version,” comments Jen Fetch, Senior Producer.

The new Blue Planet film is a 10-minute multi-screen cinematic story about one of Earth’s most precious resources: water. The film educates viewers on how water has been constantly cycling between liquid and vapor, land and sky, since it first formed on Earth. In an opening scene, viewers are transported back in time and see a dinosaur drinking from a water hole. This scene was inspired by a fact the client shared early in scripting; we are drinking the same water the dinosaurs drank millions of years ago. The story continues across two side screens, a central projection on a waterfall, and a projection mapped topographical surface that rises at a 45-degree angle out of a pool of water. Each surface connects the on-screen content to the film’s core message; water connects us all.

The film concludes with a tour of three locations in Gwinnett County that are pioneers in innovative water technology and environmental stewardship, including the EHC. On-screen visuals incorporate original locally-shot videos, 6K drone footage, original 2D animations, and 3D CGI animations. The audio is delivered in a 5.1 speaker system and the film is synchronized to lighting effects that were carefully coordinated to compliment the on-screen visuals.

“The challenge was to not only meet, but exceed, the standards of the original film, which was beloved by all. We rolled up our sleeves and worked hand-in-hand with the client through scripting, a three-day whirlwind shoot, and many iterations of CG environmental scenes. In the end, we knew we had succeeded when multiple people told us they got the chills after viewing the film,” states Fetch.

To learn more about the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center, please visit: