Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Go Inside the Heart of a Tornado in the Thrilling New IMAX(r) Film Tornado Alley, Opening April 1 at Fernbank Museum

Fernbank Museum places IMAX(r) audiences in the heart of a tornado in the new giant screen film Tornado Alley, opening on Fernbank's five-story IMAX(r) screen on April 1. An explosive giant-screen adventure, Tornado Alley takes viewers on a science-driven epic chase through the "severe weather capital of the world."

Narrated by Bill Paxton (Twister, Titanic), the film follows Storm Chasers star Sean Casey and the scientists of VORTEX2, the largest tornadoresearch project ever assembled, on separate missions to encounter one of Earth's most awe-inspiring events-the birth of a tornado. Whirling above the human drama are the storms themselves. These magnificent forces of nature are revealed in breathtaking detail through the magic of the giant screen.

Filmed across America's Plains states, where three quarters of the world's tornadoes occur, Tornado Alley follows veteran storm chasers on two unprecedented missions.

Carrying a ninety-two-pound IMAX(r) camera that belonged to his father, filmmaker Sean Casey and his crew race after storms in TIV-2, a seven-ton armored "tornado intercept vehicle" engineered and built by Casey to withstand the impact of the gale force winds at a tornado's core. The goal that drives Casey into relentless supercell storms is simple: to navigate the TIV-2 directly into the heart of a tornado and capture its beauty and destructive power on film at point blank range.

Leading researchers Joshua Wurman, Karen Kosiba and Don Burgess, along with the scientists of VORTEX2, are also on a quest to penetrate a tornado's inner workings.

But their methods-and their manpower-are different. The most ambitious scientific mission of its kind, VORTEX2 is comprised of over 100 severe-weather researchers from all over the world. No small feat, their challenge is to coordinate and position their fleet of radar trucks, mobile mesonet vehicles and the most sophisticated weather-measuring instruments ever created, so they literally surround tornadoes and the supercell storms that form them. Like Casey, the VORTEX2 team must
face nature's elemental power on their quest to collect data throughout a tornado's entire lifecycle. Ultimately, their hope is to better predict where and when tornadoes will strike, and provide warnings that give those at risk a few more minutes to protect themselves and their families.

Over the course of Tornado Alley, science begins to reveal the unseen architecture of nature's most elusive weather phenomenon, and viewers, for the first time in film history, are taken straight into the heart of an actual tornado. This unforgettable visual journey tracks the paths of a renegade filmmaker and team of dedicated researchers, two very different kinds of storm chasers whose ultimate goal is nonetheless the same: to unlock the mysteries of Earth's most violent storms.

Tornado Alley is a production of Giant Screen Films and Graphic Films. The film is directed by Sean Casey and co-written by Sean Casey and Paul Novros. Major funding has been provided by the National Science Foundation, with additional support from the Giant Dome Theater Consortium.

Tornado Alley shows daily in the IMAX(r) Theatre at Fernbank Museum of Natural History, from April -August 11, 2011. Fernbank Museum is located at 767 Clifton Road in Atlanta.

IMAX(r) film tickets are $13 for adults, $12 for students/seniors, $11 for children and $8 for museum members. (Visitors can add the Museum experience with a Value Pass ticket for only $23 for adults, $21 for students/seniors, and $19 for children-a $7.50 savings over tickets purchased separately.)

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