This film is the first of several random experiments I'll be making as I start coming down the home stretch. The effect itself was a rejected idea from a client project that I reclaimed and found a new excuse to use it. The excuse is the subject of a strange-but-plausible conspiracy theory claiming that, during the space race of the early 60s, Soviet cosmonauts were launched into outer space on test flights and didn't come back alive.
As the story goes, two amateur Italian radio operators recorded morse code and distress calls from the lost cosmonauts. In May of 1961, the brothers claimed that they recorded a female voice speaking in Russian, saying things like "it is very hot" and "I see flame". Moments before the signal is disconnected, she allegedly asks if the space shuttle was going to destroy itself. Poor lady :(
The Soviets denied any such shuttle launches or cosmonaut deaths. The theory suggests that the Soviet space program covered up the deaths to keep their foothold on the space race, since the resulting fallout would be disasterous.
For their interstellar radio piracy, the brothers won national fame in Italy and even won a prize to visit NASA.
Real or no, it's a pretty scary thought to be a guinea pig stuck in a shuttle on an unprecedented trip into outer space and knowing, with a good amount of certainty, that you're going to die alone out there.
This film is an attempt to illustrate this cosmonaut's audio distress signals in a visual format. What does audio that is being transmitted thousands of miles from a space shuttle to Earth actually look like?
Here's what I think it looks like: