The Making of "GPM: For Good Measure"
In October, 2012, the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission outreach team got together to create "For Good Measure", a hand-made short film that explains the importance of tracking and studying precipitation, and how the GPM mission will use satellites to achieve global coverage and provide scientists with accurate precipitation data from around the world.
The project was the brainchild of Ryan Fitzgibbons, GPM's resident video producer. In contrast to the usual NASA promotional videos, Ryan wanted to create a movie with a low-budget handmade feel. It would be filmed in a single take with no special effects or post-processing, similar to a stage play. He wanted to convey the science themes in a way that would be engaging and easy to understand, and to have some fun with it as well. After writing the script and building some hand-painted sets, Ryan sent out an open call to NASA Goddard employees to help film the movie...
...and the Goddard employees delivered! Bringing costumes, props, and themselves, over 20 volunteers gathered together on the morning of October 22nd, 2012, to help film the movie. The day began rainy, a fitting start to a film about measuring rain, but the weather soon cleared up and it turned into a beautiful morning to shoot the film. After setting up the various props and thoroughly reviewing the script and stage directions, the cast went through several dry runs to practice for filming. Since the goal was to produce a movie in a single take with no cuts or edits, every step of the film had to be meticulously planned, practiced and rehearsed. If even one mistake was made, the entire piece would have to be re-shot!
The team filmed the whole sequence 6 times to ensure they had a good take to work with. It took a while, but the results were well worth it. They ended up with a beautiful hand-made short film to teach the world about the importance of measuring precipitation and how GPM will provide global measurements from space. We hope you enjoy the film!