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Variable Produces BEFORE MARS, a Digital Short Film for the National Geographic Channel

Available on demand and online, the 30-minute prequel to MARS is the inspirational story that fuels the Martian dream

Variable Produces BEFORE MARS, a Digital Short Film for the National Geographic Channel

National Geographic Channel has just launched its first-ever digital short film, BEFORE MARS, to complement the highly anticipated fall event series MARS (from Academy Award and Emmy-winning producers Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Michael Rosenberg of Imagine Entertainment and Justin Wilkes and Dave O’Connor of RadicalMedia.) 

The scripted 30-minute prequel was developed, written and produced by Variable and National Geographic and debuted on National Geographic On Demand, Nat Geo TV** and cable providers’ sites and apps, Facebook, Hulu and Twitter on October 26, and on Amazon, iTunes and GooglePlay on October 31. BEFORE MARS introduces two main characters from MARS, providing viewers with the unique opportunity to engage in content and characters before the global series event launches Monday, November 14. 

You can view BEFORE MARS below: 

“This project is really about creating entertainment that lives squarely in the marketing and advertising arena, “ says Variable Partner and EP Tyler Ginter. “It underscores the value of offering entertainment instead of standard thirty-second ads and promos that nobody watches anymore, especially millenials and younger people. They want stories, and that’s exactly what we delivered with BEFORE MARS – an original story, created within the promo and sales division of Nat Geo.”  

Of all the planets in our solar system, none has captured our collective imagination like Mars — a mysterious, indelible part of our zeitgeist. Set in the present day, BEFORE MARS follows young twin sisters Hana and Joon Seung — central characters from the main series — many years before they take part in humankind’s first expedition to another planet. When the girls move to a small town, their interests begin to diverge.  

In BEFORE MARS, Joon forges her own friendships at school, while Hana discovers that an old ham radio in the attic of their new home actually can be used to contact the International Space Station. Eventually, Joon craves the closeness she and her sister once had and realises that ‘home’ is by her side. Parallel to her future path, Joon champions Hana’s aspirations and plays her own part in their joint interplanetary dreams. BEFORE MARS is the intimate backstory to and foreshadowing of a life-changing event that inspires the twins’ enduring commitment not only to each other but to space exploration, as well.  

“We are excited to engage National Geographic fans with a first-ever prequel to complement our upcoming TV event while enhancing the overall experience with storytelling supported by authentic science,” says Andy Baker, senior vice president &global creative director for National Geographic Channels. “BEFORE MARS serves two purposes: It presents a heartwarming, early narrative to MARS and reflects our desire to encourage all young people – especially young girls – to engage in science and exploration.”  

Before MARS is produced by Variable with NGC. For Variable, executive producer is Tyler Ginter and director is Lloyd Lee Choi. For NGC, senior vice president/global creative director is Andy Baker and creative director is Tyler Korba.  

MARS is produced by Imagine Entertainment and Radical Media for NGC. For Imagine Entertainment,Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Michael Rosenberg are executive producers. For Radical Media, Justin Wilkes and Dave O’Connor are executive producers. For NGC,Robert Palumbo is executive producer; Matt Renner is vice president,production; and Tim Pastore is president, original programming and production.  

**NatGeo TV is National Geographic Channels’ TV Everywhere product, which includes, AppleTV, Roku, iOS phones and tablets, Android phones, Xbox One and Xbox 360 and Samsung Connected TVs. 

Genre: Dialogue , Digital , Storytelling