Channel 4 plans multi-platform retro event to mark 50th anniversary of lunar landings

Mark Johnson's picture
by Mark Johnson

UK broadcaster Channel 4 plans to launch an innovative series to mark the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11, the first mission to land men on the Moon. 

The anniversary onf the lunar landings for on 16 July, and Channel 4 will air two documentaries and stage a number of other digital events.

It was a monumental event, Channel 4 said of the Apollo mission, when the world came together to see if we could accomplish our greatest adventure ever. 

Channel 4’s two documentaries will include “incredible news archive from around the world, as well as exclusive NASA footage to re-tell the extraordinary bravery, anticipation and achievement of this iconic moment”.

Multi-platform event

The digital highlight of the multi-platform event will be a live stream of the Apollo 11 mission minute-by-minute, from the moment of blast off on 16 July until the astronauts leave the moon on 21 July. 

The mission will play out in real time, 24 hours a day on the Channel 4 YouTube channel. 

The broadcast will be made up of six days of NASA recorded audio communications between Mission Control and the spacecraft, footage and still images taken by the Apollo 11 crew, along with specially-created graphics and reconstruction where needed to tell an immersive story entirely from the crew’s point of view.

Social media heads back to 1969

The documentaries and YouTube stream will be supported by further bespoke social media content, written in the imagined style of how mission control would have posted if they had Twitter and Instagram in 1969. 

The Channel 4 Instagram Story will be taken over for the five days between launch and landing complimented by real time Twitter commentary at key points throughout the mission. 

Capitalising on the mystery and excitement of the mission there will be ‘Moonbuster’ videos to explore some of the biggest conspiracies and theories about the moon mission, bringing to life this extraordinary feat for a new generation.

Additionally, six short films will go out after Channel 4 News on the week of the mission, the Monday before Tuesday’s launch and then everyday leading up to the landing on Saturday, with a daily mission update from the astronauts and Mission Control.

London production house 72 Films has produced the two documentaries and six short films, the live stream has been created by Little Dot Studios and the social content by That Lot.

Buy your tickets for the Prolific London Awards

The inaugural event takes place on July 16th