Of all the ways for someone to describe their job, when that job entails orbiting more Earth than 200 miles above the surface, “I’m just an astronaut” might be the most banal.
But that’s exactly how Paolo Nespoli describes his role working with Darren Aronofsky on the documentary series One Strange Rock.
His expertise as an engineer with the European Space Agency puts his occupational comfort zone well beyond most people’s potential.
However, he would have to step out of it in order to help Aronofsky capture scenes aboard the International Space Station—some of which are included in this 360-degree video.
Indeed, after receiving a crash course in cinematography from the famed director, Nespoli—a man accustomed to rocketing from Earth at speeds of 17,000 mph—claims he was “a little mortified.” He had always maintained an interest in photography and had even worked on a few professional shoots, but filming for National Geographic felt like a tall order for a hobbyist.
“It’s like the guy who goes out and runs on Sundays compared to Usain Bolt doing the hundred meter,” he says.