BLAST! Production Update - Filming in Antarctica

Posted by Paul Devlin:
Here’s a little behind the scenes action that shows some of my adventure in Antarctica shooting BLAST!.
This was originally produced for our Artist Share  fundraising campaign in which participants had a chance to share in our filmmaking process as it was happening.

BLAST! Trailer


Posted by Paul Devlin:
Exposition can be deadly to a story and set up in a movie is always a challenge. This is especially so when you’re trying to set up science for a general audience. It took a long time to get it right, but I think we did a decent job with set up in my movie BLAST!.
Of course it helps to have some good tools to work with. This clip has catchy music that establishes a lively pace, and it help to be able to use high-end NASA animations of space, and intriguing lines like “We want to look back in time...”  Best of luck with setting up your movies!

BLAST! Trailer

BLAST Production Update - Nick Fraser

Posted by Paul Devlin:
We kept our Artist Share Participants (who helped fund BLAST!) updated with these reports. Nick Fraser is the Executive Producer of BLAST! And, as the programmer of BBC’s Storyville, an important figure in the international documentary world. It was great to have his early support to get the project started, and his insight and wisdom to navigate the difficult edit. Without him, BLAST! would not exist.

And he’s fun to listen to. We were making a movie in Antarctica at the same time Werner Herzog was making Encounters at the End of the World.  It’s fascinating to hear Nick’s take on the two films.

BLAST! Trailer

BLAST! is High School Friendly!

We would love to see BLAST! get into high schools!  And we are very happy to announce that a High School DVD version for classroom use is now available!

We think BLAST! is a great teaching tool for high schools. Here's an article from Funderstanding explaining why:


Paul Devlin: Influencing a Generation of Future Scientists

When filmmaker Paul Devlin was invited to arctic Sweden with his brother, astrophysicist Mark Devlin, Ph.D., he didn’t realize he’d get a documentary out of the process.

Mark asked his brother to join him on the adventure of a lifetime—not only would they be traveling to Sweden, but Paul would be along for the ride as a team of talented scientists attempted to launch a sophisticated telescope above the Earth’s atmosphere.

The goal? Only to uncover the most powerful secrets of the universe.

No big deal, right?

What was initially intended as a one-week trip with his brother turned into an ambitious adventure, as Paul traveled with the team of scientists for six weeks in Sweden, and then for months as they went around the globe to discover new galaxies.

Paul, who earned accolades for documentary films such as Slam Nation, quickly saw the opportunity to tell the story of this team of scientists. The film later became known as Blast!

“We weren’t actually thinking about making a movie,” explained Paul. “While I was there I discovered what a fascinating project this was and what interesting lives the scientists had.”

Read the rest of the article here!

BLAST! - Antarctica Launch

Posted by Paul Devlin:

“I can’t think of anything that went wrong so far...”

Oh, the limitless hubris of humans. It’s spectacular scenes like this that are the dream of nonfiction filmmakers. I was already a year and a half into shooting BLAST, but only after reviewing this footage was I convinced that I actually had something worthwhile. Teasing a cliffhanger of the the end at the start of a movie is a tried and true technique and served BLAST! well.

This beginning has been touted by people like Jan Rofekamp of Films Transit International and the European Documentary Network, as a recent example to be emulated of a great way to open a nonfiction film.

BLAST! Trailer

BLAST's Christmas Launch!

Happy New Year, DPers!  We wish you all the best for 2013!  Also, a little bit of news we've been sitting on.... this Christmas, Mark Devlin, the star of our film BLAST! has launched the BLAST telescope from Antarctica for the 3rd time!  Check out the video of the launch here as well as the article below for additional information!


The telescope is still in the air! You can track BLAST’s progress here!  Follow the scientist’s blog here.

BLAST! - Wammo - "Give It Hell"

Posted by Paul Devlin:

Wammo is the multi-talented front man for one of America’s most distinctive bands, The Asylum Street Spankers.

Wammo was also featured in our film SlamNation.  He visits often when he's in New York City and offered to write a theme song for the movie, BLAST! while it was still in post-production.  The result is this charming, exclusive performance edited by Rina Svet in her early days with DevlinPix.

BLAST! Trailer

BLAST! - Mark Devlin on The Colbert Report

Posted by Paul Devlin:

Could we have ever guessed at the start of this project that it would culminate with my astrophysicist brother appearing on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report? My science adventure movie, BLAST! was very popular internationally. It screened on television all across Europe, Japan, Canada, even had a weekend of global broadcasts that reached 120 countries on BBC World News.

But the United States is the toughest market for independent filmmakers and BLAST! received a lot of resistance from both film festivals and broadcasters in the U.S. – even though the movie was a suspenseful story by an American filmmaker about an American scientist. Was it because of too much science? Too little science? Too much religious discussion? No “Voice-of-God” narrator? Too personal – breaking convention by examining scientist’s family sacrifices? Who knows? But the traditional gatekeepers kept BLAST! from a national broadcast in the U.S.

BLAST! - BBC Weekend World

Posted by Paul Devlin:

One of the amazing things about the shoestring movies made by independent filmmakers, is the disproportionally vast reach and impact they can have.

BBC World News is available in over 120 countries. Impossible to collect ratings information but based on surveys, they claim an overall viewership of 70 million per week across the planet.

After BBC World started acquiring independent films from BBC's Storyville strand, both Power Trip and BLAST! had what amounts to GLOBAL broadcasts on the channel, 4 screenings over a weekend.

When they also invited me to do this interview for the news program Weekend World I jumped at the chance to reach that many people.

BLAST! Trailer

BLAST! - World Premiere at Hot Docs

Posted by Rina Svet:

Thank you so much everyone for your recent support of BLAST! in our On Screen/In Person tour!  It was a fantastic run, and we'll have more updates for you soon!

In the meantime, a walk down memory lane... in this extra from BLAST! at our World Premiere... at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto in 2008!  BLAST! was shown twice during the festival, and we had an amazing time. Check out the video for all the details! 

The festival this year starts April 26th and runs through May 6th! They have some fantastic movies showing, so if you're in the area, make sure to drop by!

The group at opening night!

BLAST! Trailer

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