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Have a Watch Party!

On July 20, 1969, groups of people all over the world gathered together to watch the Apollo 11 moon walk as it was broadcast live from the moon on network television; in homes, churches and public venues. It was the most-watch broadcast of all time.

Myself, I watched the network new broadcast with about 30 members of my youth group in the Fellowship Hall of my local church in Ft. Worth, Texas. Our festival is a perfect opportunity for a free group event. As an open-source documentary, our film festival includes all the public display licensing necessary for you to use our festival in a group setting WITHOUT the usually-required licensing fees. Its use is completely free, with our blessings!

Our film festival provides an opportunity to put a watch party together to watch the moon walk again or, depending on your age, perhaps for the first time. Gather your friends and watch the moon walk again! You can use the MoonScape documentary to introduce the Apollo 11 adventure and its history to young people who weren't yet born in 1969 and know little about Apollo except for a few brief clips they have seen or what they learned in history class.

We have heard of churches putting together watch parties for their youth groups, some on the July 20th anniversary of the landing and moon walk and will support a live version of the broadcast synchronized to the NASA elapsed mission clock of the moon walk, just 47 years time shifted!

Make watching the documentary a group experience by connecting a computer to a video projector or large-screen TV (via our Chromecast support or simply with an HDMI cable) and have a watch party in your home or church.

We Now Support Chromecast

With our new video player on the film festival's web pages that we are debuting during the festival, we are now supporting screen casting to the Google Chromcast device.

With our support of casting, from your computer, tablet or smartphone - any device that can show our media player - you can send our videos to any big-screen high-definition TV that is equipped with the low-cost Chromecast device (typically $35 at retailers.)  If you are in WiFi range of a Chromecast device, the casting icon (see image to the left) will be automatical displayed in the media player's toolbar. Click on the casting icon and the video/audio payload of the player will be cast to your Chromecast-equipped TV. Only player's video and audio will be sent to the TV, which will be shown full screen. The remainder of the web page and its controls will not be seen on the TV, only on your computer or mobile device.

If your broadband connection is fast enough, you will see the video in full 1080p high definition.

No cables, no sizing of the screen to fit - no fuss, no muss.

Screen casting is a perfect way to enjoy the film festival in a group environment or to have the "living room" experience that is perfect for watching our long-form film with a runtime of 3 hours and 27 minutes.

After the film festival, when we upgrade all of our player in the website, screen casting will be an ideal way to use our lectures in small-group gatherings or display them in your church sanctuary.

Part Of Our New Media Player

We will be using the film festival to debut our new media player. Media players are the software code that is embedded in our web pages that control and display our videos. It is a critical piece of technology in our efforts to make our media universally accessible across a wide range of devices (desktops, notebooks, tablets, smartphones and smart TVs) and across a wide range of connections (from 3G phones to gigabit fiber-to-the-home connections.)

We use the licensed version of the JWPlayer Ad Player for our media player. We have used some version of the JWPlayer since we launched this website. We currently have been using Version 6 very successfully for the last 18 months. We have been testing in our labs the new Version 7 since its release. We have waited until our Winter/Spring term was over before installing the new player so as not to potentially be disruptive to students who were in courses at the time. For the film festival, we have installed the production Version 7.4.4 and will be using it for all media shown in the film festival.

JWPlayer Version 7 is a major upgrade from Version 6 and represents a total re-write of its entire software code base. It builds upon the rich feature set and reliability of its predecessor but provides additional speed (it loads 35% faster), even more stability, cleaner architecture, additional device compatibility, additional format support (including MPEG-DASH and improved HTML5 experiences) and important new features (including CSS skinning.) The code re-write focused on fluidity and speed and resulted in a code base that's two-thirds the size it used to be.

We will collect data from the players' usage of Version 7 during the festival and analyze the results. We are expecting 3,000 to 5,000 visitors to view the long-form documentary (3 hours and 27 minutes runtime) during the festival. The resulting usage data this will give us a substantial experience base to consider before we fully deploy. We will use the results of the festival to tweak our implementation before our full rollout of the new player. In August, before the Fall/Winter Term begins, we will upgrade all players used throughout the site to use Version 7.