Why ‘Fireball’ Producer Sandbox Films Doesn’t Need Talking Heads to Make Smart Science Documentaries

“Name a truly science-focused film that’s ever been nominated for an Academy Award in Best Documentary … There aren’t a lot of them,” Sandbox Films’ Greg Boustead says

In Werner Herzog and Clive Oppenheimer’s “Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds,” the directors show you gloriously colorful images of meteorites containing atomic particles of five-fold symmetry, a geometric shape thought to be impossible in nature. It’s a beautiful sight, but the German auteur concedes that he “won’t torture you” with more testimony from a bespectacled professor about how the math works.

That line captures the ethos for the new production company Sandbox Films, which produced “Fireball” and launched last month at TIFF with a lineup of other science-based documentary films all in development. Sandbox Films’ founders, Greg Boustead (“The Most Unknown,” “Human Nature”) and Jessica Harrop (“Follow This,” “Bill Nye Saves The World”), are determined to make informative, intelligent documentary films about science, but they want to do so with a sense of real beauty, artistry and experimental creativity all driven from filmmakers.

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Brian Welk

Brian Welk

Film Reporter • brian.welk@thewrap.com • Twitter: @brianwelk