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You have no doubt, by now already heard of the hit Discovery Channel program Storm Chasers. This series has been around since 2007 when it first made its television debut, prior to it’s release I had heard lots of talk about the show and having recorded previous severe weather shows religiously on VHS tape from the television this was going to be a dream come true for me.
Season 1 saw the Discovery Channel following the legendary, though at some times controversial Josh Wurman and IMAX film maker Sean Casey. The second season saw the addition of the Tornadovideos.net founders Reed Timmer and Joel Taylor along with Chris Chittick. The show began revolving around these three basic sets of characters with Josh Wurman focused on the scientific side, Sean Casey being on the film side and Reed and the TVN team being part of the more rogue chasers, though also dabbling in both the video side of it and the scientific side, though priorities changed as the seasons passed.
Sean Casey is anything but new to the world of film though – He has produced 4 IMAX films prior to the filming of the Tornado Alley, the name of the film he has been filming for almost a decade. Sean Casey had a vision to capture tornadoes on camera in a way that no one else had before, he wanted to get up close and personally without running away when the tornado approaches, this vision then lead him to develop a large Tornado Intercept Vehicle (TIV) a vehicle that could withstand the winds and debris of a weak tornado. He continued chasing in the TIV for a number of years until he eventually developed a second primary vehicle, the TIV 2 – The TIV 2 was designed to be faster, stronger and more secure, it uses hydraulic pieces that shift down and end up lowering the amount of wind that passes under the vehicle and in turn makes it more stable. Note: Storm Chasers series contains some drama in regards to the design of Sean’s vehicle and the then later developed TVN Dominator vehicle.
Much of the Storm Chasers series was based around Sean Casey trying to get ‘the shot’, without spoiling anything though – Casey finished up filming for his IMAX film Tornado Alley at the end of the 2010 season. Though rumors have it that he will still be on the show for the 2011 season, though I remain unsure of what duty he will have in the series after releasing his IMAX film.
The Tornado Alley IMAX film is set to debut at Discovery Place on Friday the 18th March 2011 and has been named one of the most anticipated IMAX releases ever, and I do not doubt this as it holds some true potential and after watching the Storm Chasers series you will be able to appreciate the years of hard work that went into making Tornado Alley. Unlike traditional tornado footage which is shot from a distance with telephoto lenses, Sean’s vision was to get up close and personal with a wide angle lens and give a new perspective on these beasts of nature.
There are public meetings with Sean Casey available on the 31 March 2011 at 11:30 am – 2:00 pm at the Discovery Place.
The film will run through to March 31 2012.
I highly suggest that you try see this film, I know I will be doing everything in my power to sit in awe of the Tornado Alley IMAX film.