Friday, August 22

Visit to South Downs Planetarium

Recently visited South Downs Planetarium in Chichester for one of their public shows. Unfortunately it wasn't impressive, I think the presentation was aimed at school kids and families, so was pretty basic.

Instead of a professionally designed recorded presentation, the narrative was conducted by (I assume) an amateur scientist or a teacher from the local school. He had a really loud and aggresive voice which was disconcerting.

As well as that issue, the images that were projected over the star field were poorly edited (with the exception of a photo of the moon that blended well with the background), in one case a photo of the earth was badly cropped so that the north and south poles were missing, in another example the edge of the film could be seen, complete with sprocket holes.

After about 10 minutes I was thinking I have to sit through another 50 minutes of this and I would have learned more by watching a Horizon documentary on BBC TV.

That's the point really, the planetarium is competing with HD TV and Imax cinemas, it basically can't compete if the presentations are poorly produced by SMEs (Subject Matter Experts), they just don't have the skills to put together an engaging narrative or the skills to produce the media.

If the Planetarium can't afford such presentations, then it needs to seek volunteer designers that can help. People that are happy to spend a little time to improve the quality of the presentations. Even small changes to the images projected would be a huge improvement.

They appear to be spending money on the building, but that seems to miss the point. People go there to be impressed by the presentations, that is the attraction, a better looking building isn't going get me to return.

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