Flight Premieres in Southern California to Large Crowd
On Saturday, September 29, the historic Plummer Auditorium in Fullerton was the site of the Southern California premiere of Illustra Media's latest documentary, Flight: The Genius of Birds.
Families with small children, elderly people with walkers, high school and college students, members of the Audubon Society, and some aeronautical engineers were among the approximately 900 people attending the event. It was Illustra's third film premiere at this classic venue.
Staff members Jack Dabner and Jerry Harned opened the program with a special tribute to three men who were instrumental in the founding and early development of Illustra Media: Jim Adams, Don Hedrick, and Warren Allan. Harned acknowledged their indispensible contributions of time and talent. Then, producer Lad Allen (above left) introduced the documentary.
For the next hour, the huge crowd was mesmerized by the spectacular high definition imagery that filled the theater's screen. Stunning computer animation and slow motion photography brought to life the wonder of avian flight and the evidence for intelligent design revealed in the anatomy and behavior of the more than 9,000 species of flying birds that inhabit the earth. Applause was long and loud as the credits rolled at the conclusion of the film.
Following the screening, Dr. Timothy Standish of the Geoscience Research Institute and Discovery Institute Fellow Paul Nelson (who both appear in the film), joined Lad Allen onstage for a panel discussion. Again, the crowd was fascinated by their insights and remarks about the power of design in nature and the importance of intelligent design theory. Both men specifically noted that because "pictures are worth a thousand words," the visual impact of films like Flight can effectively touch young minds with the truth about science.
After the program, everyone stepped outside for a special treat. Two "stars" of the film -- a pair of beautiful live Harris Hawks -- were exhibited by West Coast Sky Falconry, modern practitioners of an ancient tradition. Children and adults enjoyed close-up looks at the intelligently designed birds, as their caretakers answered questions.
As a perfect southern California autumn afternoon drew to a close, the crowd lingered to talk with Illustra Media and Discovery Institute staff members. One woman summed up the day beautifully when she remarked that, "I am so thankful for your work and for films like Flight. I'm a home school mom and I have been searching desperately for quality science material I can use with my kids. I found it here, today."