A project like this needs a big group of people to make it happen and we wanted to thank as many of them as possible for sharing our vision and contributing their creative energies and unstinting support. The first person we told about the idea was film producer and long time collaborator Duncan Copp, who encouraged us to go for it and helped us refine the concept.
Without the generous support of the European Space Agency (ESA) 'First Orbit' would never have been made. Their scientists, engineers and public affairs staff were invaluable partners in this project from start to finish. Most notably Jean Coisne, Roland Luettgens, Gerald Ziegler, Giovanni Gravili, Melanie Cowan and astronaut Paolo Nespoli, who gave up some of his precious time on his mission to the International Space Station to capture the footage used in the film. It was YuriGagarin50 (YG50) in the UK that helped connect us with ESA. We are particulary grateful to YG50 member Nick Spall who introduced our idea to Bob Chesson at the agency, and to YG50 Chair Chris Welch from the International Space University who helped us to source the original orbital data for Vostok 1, promoted the film ahead of its release and introduced us to the Yuri's Night team.
Without composer Philip Sheppard's spellbinding music the film would lack its emotional impact, and we are extremely grateful for his enthusiastic support. Iya Whiteley, from the innovative robotics company Elumotion, generously gave her time to help us track down and translate the original mission archive audio recordings from the Vostok 1 flight. Additional audio archive research was supported by Andrea Rose and Alexandra Smirnova at the British Council, Vitaly Davydov and Tatiana Fomicheva at Roscosmos, Alexander Shaposhnikov and Vladimir Smirnov at The Russian State Archive of Scientific and Technical Documentation and Paul Vanezis at the BBC.
Film editor Tabitha Moore created our opening titles in her spare time, juggling our demands with her own very busy schedule. Stephen Slater, the film's editor, took on the onerous task of grappling with formats, resolutions, frame rates and world atlases to unravel the folders of media files we were sent from the Space Station, to turn them into a coherent film which accurately & beautifully charts the flight of Vostok 1. The outstanding team at Unit in Soho London completed the final post production on the film in record time, and we are particularly grateful to Lucy Clark, Adrian Thomas and David Linton, who also cut the trailers for the film in his spare time.
Additional orbital views of the Earth were sourced and supplied by NASA, where we are particularly grateful to Jody Russell, Gayle Frere, Mike Gentry, Silvia Gederberg, Sheva Moore, James Hartsfield and Kylie Clem. Further archive film was donated to the project by Footagevault.