He painted the future. How did he know?
That’s the tagline for a documentary about the life of Chesley Bonestell, a man who painted space in a way that inspired science-fiction films and NASA. And a man whose most famous painting created a more realistic rendering of Saturn’s moon than people knew at the time.
Renton-raised Kristina Hays was the co-editor for the documentary, titled “Chesley Bonestell: a Brush with the Future.” A screening, followed by a question and answer session from Hays and other participants of the film, was held Sunday, Aug. 25 at the Museum of Flight.
Hays attended Liberty High School, and said that’s where her interest in film started. The lessons she learned from a TV/video production class stuck with her up to this documentary, which is her first professional project.
“I got started with nonfiction with Liberty, and honestly I’ve continued to do that ever since,” Hays said. “I’m very excited to bring the film back to my home town, it feels like I’ve come full circle.”
At Chapman University, Hays received her bachelors of fine arts in film production with an editing emphasis. There, she became comfortable with editing and nonfiction films.
“On set you’re only working with one to two people in the room, so it’s much more personal, so it was really good for me,” she said of editing.
The documentary has a fantastic topic and helped Hays get her foot in the door, she said. Working under the writer/director/producing Douglass M. Stewart Jr. also taught her a lot about professional editing.
Hays said she is learning more how to communicate why certain edits should be how they are. In the future, Hays hopes to keep working with Stewart.
Hays has been working on the film for over three years, and as it’s wrapping up she’s had to learn post-production as well as editing.
It wasn’t until the documentary screenings when Hays realized how important the film was to some folks in the space community. She said they’ve had science and science-fiction fans coming out to attend, most who are older and remember how influential his work was.
“It’s been nice to see the science community come out and support, it’s really fantastic,” Hays said.
The film isn’t available yet, but updates on the distribution will be at chesleybonestell.com, where fans can also sign up for the newsletter.