ISDC Space and Media Track: David Knight, Film Producer, “Journey of Endeavour”

By Candice Nunez, NSS ISDC Reporter, courtesy QGITS

For the first time, ISDC includes a track called Space & Media: the purpose of the track is to illuminate how media, in all of its forms, influences the public perception of space exploration, and in particular, manned spaceflight. The new track includes presenters drawn from film, television, news, social media, simulations, games and even music,  including Oscar-winning Visual Effects Artist Ben Grossman from the movie “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” Buzz Hays who until recently was Senior Vice President of 3D Production at Sony Pictures, and many others. Click here to view the track’s session schedule, which runs for the full four days of the conference.

NSS asked STEM supporter and documentary filmmaker David Knight to chair Space & Media: David is an entrepreneur primarily involved in computing and space technology. Most recently he became a film producer, heading a multi-year effort to document the final phases of the Space Shuttle program, culminating with the journey of Endeavour to Los Angeles. David is now building a technology company involving microsatellites and UAVs, and continues to invest in high-tech and entertainment related startups. He is among the original members of the XPRIZE, which saw SpaceShipOne achieve the first private spaceflight, and plans to fly on Virgin Galactic. With a background in applied physics, David is committed to bringing science education to youth of all ages. He is a Trustee of the California Science Center Foundation and various other STEM-focused non-profits.

David states: “With ISDC taking place this year in the world center of media, it was logical to highlight the people and activities that shape people’s perception of what we’re doing, and what we could be doing, in space. The stunning popularity of films like Gravity, Star Trek and others, coupled with private spaceflight companies such as Virgin Galactic and SpaceX, and the new generation of immersive technologies that can ‘take us there’ right from our living rooms, are building an excitement that hasn’t been there since the Apollo program.”

In fact, as David Knight points out, it was Walt Disney himself who worked with the Kennedy administration to build a series of promotional films that not only influenced the public via television airings, but were utilized in depicting the possibilities and advances that a moonshot program would bring, to Congress in order to obtain funding. “Often with each new technological wave comes a range of opportunities which we are all going to benefit from,” Knight said. “Ranging from personal spaceflights to individualized medications to ultra-rapid transcontinental travel, we’re only at the beginning of where this next wave will take us.”

Take a look and watch this incredible ‘mini-film’ documentary produced by David Knight chronicling Endeavour’s final journey three-day voyage to the California Science Center Museum with a cheering crowd of over 1.5 million who lined the route.

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