Original Website: Exhibitions, Expeditions, Books & Broadcasts
In April 1997, a historic exhibit opened at The Pyramid Arena on the banks of the Mississippi River in Memphis, Tennessee (USA). The Wonders Series Titanic Exhibition was the world’s first opportunity to see hundreds of Titanic artifacts that had lain submerged under two miles of ocean for nearly a century. Ordinary items–a leather suitcase with its contents of a man’s clothing still neatly folded and packed inside; a bottle of champagne still corked; a shirt once belonging to a ship’s steward with his name stitched inside the collar–were both chilling and heart-rending when seen in close proximity and in the context of the dramatic presentation.
The entire exhibition was provocatively designed and tastefully executed with the input from Titanic historians. Because CyberFlix had the most detailed animations of the ship ever created, the exhibit’s designers approached the company several months before the opening about using some of its images. Custom high-resolution sequences were rendered to complement the objects on display. The cinematic images were shown on television monitors in a highlighted area inside the exhibition hall.
More than half a million visitors saw the images during the six months that the exhibition was open. The artifacts, along with CyberFlix’s digital images, are now being displayed in St. Petersburg, Florida. The exhibition will eventually move on to the West Coast and Europe.
High Seas Expedition
In August 1996 while Titanic was still in production, an international research expedition was coordinated and launched under the leadership of ocean researcher George Tulloch and RMS Titanic Inc. The expedition assembled a multinational team of historians, curators, oceanographers, and documentary filmmakers whose aim was to recover objects–including a segment of the ship’s hull–from the ship’s final resting place on the ocean floor 400 miles off the coast of Newfoundland. An underlying goal was to learn new information about the specific causes of the disaster.
The Discovery Channel, which was filming the expedition for a documentary series, heard of CyberFlix’s digital recreation and approached the company about using some of its images to help build their “Titanic: Raising The Legend” website. CyberFlix agreed and later was invited by Discovery Channel to participate in the nautical expedition.
Titanic writer/producer Andrew Nelson joined the crew on the scientific vessel Nadir and conducted “virtual tours” of the digitally rebuilt ship for researchers who were exploring its remains via remote cameras two miles below the ocean surface.
Though the expedition failed to raise a large segment of the ship’s hull, numerous artifacts–including personal belongings of some of the ship’s passengers–were rescued and preserved. When Discovery Channel aired its documentary films several months later, computer-generated animation segments depicting the ship were actually excerpts taken from CyberFlix’s CD-ROM title.
Coffee Table Books/Titanic Images in Print
The Titanic: Adventure Out of Time CD-ROM game features some of the most stunning amd accurate 3D computer renderings of the Titanic available anywhere. A number of images from the game were even selected to be featured in Titanic-related books. You can read more about these books below.
In 1998, Scholastic Books and Madison Press published “882 1/2 Amazing Answers to Your Questions About Titanic”, an entertaining question-and-answer book containing some of the most sought after information and intriguing facts about the Titanic. What was on the menu of the first lunch on Titanic? How many life jackets did the ship carry? Did any men jump into the last lifeboat? The answers to these and 879 (and a half) other questions are contained in this fascinating new book that serves both as a useful reference tool and a moment-by-moment account of the complete Titanic story. The book references CyberFlix’s Titanic CD-ROM game in its list of recommended Titanic resources. Observant game enthusiasts will also recognize the porthole graphic used prominently in the book for its remarkable similarity to the key image seen on the front of the game’s retail software box.
A second book entitled “The Titanic: The Extraordinary Story of the ‘Unsinkable’ Ship” published by Readers Digest Books also features images from CyberFlix’s CD-ROM game. These images can be seen in a chapter in the book focusing on recent Titanic-related projects, among them the James Cameron film, the Tulloch expedition, the Broadway play, and the television miniseries.
Open the newly published and lavishly illustrated coffee table book “Titanic: Legacy of the World’s Greatest Ocean Liner”, and one of the first images you’ll see is a two-page spread with a detailed view of the bottom of the ship passing within yards of a submerged icy crag. This jarring 3D image is a CyberFlix computer rendering from one of the game’s key movie sequences. The new publication from Tehabi Books has been called “the most complete and definitive book [on Titanic] ever published” and is co-produced by Time Life Books and The Discovery Channel. It is also the only publication produced in cooperation with RMS Titanic, Inc. and the only book with the permission to include color photographs of the recently recovered artifacts. Alongside highly informative text, period photographs, and close-up photos of rescued objects, CyberFlix’s digital images show the ship as it once was in crystalline detail.
In classic Dorling Kindersley style, “Titanic” (published by DK Publishing) is a superb volume that re-creates the building and voyage of the Titanic in all its glory and tragedy. Full-color photographs and highly informative text bring the great ship alive and the gorgeous art and historical photographs make this retelling a vivid and moving experience. Images from the Titanic: Adventure Out of Time CD-ROM game include the Parisian Cafe, the Grand Staircase, and more.
TV Broadcasts Featuring Titanic
Long before it was ever released, CyberFlix’s digital Titanic was attracting the attention of documentary film makers with its sweeping, cinematic images, and its adherence to historical detail. After Titanic producer Andrew Nelson participated in the 1996 research expedition led by George Tulloch, images from the game were used in Discovery Channel’s “Titanic: Anatomy of A Disaster” — a TV special which documented the recovery of artifacts from the ocean floor. Since its original release in 1996, not only has Titanic become one of the most successful computer entertainment titles in history (selling over 1 million copies to date), but it has also continued to gain notoriety outside the realm of the computer game industry. When researchers undertook a second research expedition at the wreck site, Discovery Channel’s film crews were there again, this time presenting live images gathered by remote cameras hovering just above the ocean floor. Once again, images from CyberFlix’s CD-ROM title were used to augment the footage.
In addition, The Arts and Entertainment Network (A&E) included a segment on CyberFlix’s Titanic in its thought-provoking documentary “Beyond Titanic”, a two-hour special detailing the impact of the Titanic disaster in 20th century popular culture. Finally, CBS News Productions also featured images from the Titanic CD-ROM game in two TV broadcasts, “Superliners” and “Disasters at Sea” on The History Channel.
A&E Beyond Titanic
On September 6, 1998 A&E, The Arts and Entertainment Network, aired the provocative television program “Beyond Titanic” which examined the Titanic myth as it has evolved through numerous incarnations over the course of the 20th century. The film is a comprehensive survey of the varied treatments of the Titanic story — in print, film, song, stage, and television — and it examines the unprecedented manner in which the story has become so strongly ingrained in the public psyche. The documentary spans from the era of silent films through the modern-day rediscovery of the ship, the multimillion-dollar James Cameron film, and the dawn of the virtual age in which “advances in technology help bring the ship alive for a new generation of voyagers.” Titanic producer Andrew Nelson is interviewed about the unique capabilities of computer-based technology in recreating a first-person perspective as users are able to “experience” firsthand what it was like to be on board the ship. This brief A&E segment offers one of the more incisive and accurate commentaries on the inspiration and intent that went into the making of CyberFlix’s Titanic.
Discovery Channel Titanic Live
Discovery Channel’s “Titanic Live”, which aired August 16, 1998, took viewers 12,000 feet below the ocean surface and deeper inside the remains of the Titanic than researchers’ robotic cameras had ever gone before. The program was the first live television broadcast from the site of the disaster and gave viewers access to the remarkable images as they were seen for the first time. CyberFlix’s detailed and realistic animations of the original ship were interspersed with the live images from the ocean floor, giving visual perspective as well as a realistic virtual representation of the ship as it once was. CyberFlix’s involvement in these documentaries, as well as its participation in the 1996 expedition, marked the first time that an interactive game company had been involved in a scientific venture of this type.
On the Friday before Discovery Channel’s “Titanic Live” aired, one of Knoxville’s (Tennessee USA) local news programs filmed a segment at CyberFlix’s development studios detailing CyberFlix’s involvement with the Discovery Channel project. The segment featured an interview with Michael Kennedy, one of the 3D artists responsible for creating the intricate 3D environments seen in the title as well as the Discovery Channel TV program.
CBS News Productions
Images from CyberFlix’s Titanic CD-ROM game were also featured in two CBS News Productions. The first was “Superliners” which originally aired in 1999 and the most recent is “Disasters at Sea” for “20th Century with Mike Wallace” on The History Channel.