Wednesday, 18 November 2015



FILM 1412: INTERSTELLAR

TRIVIA: Early in pre-production, Dr. Kip Thorne laid down two guidelines to strictly follow: nothing would violate established physical laws, and that all the wild speculations would spring from science and not from the creative mind of a screenwriter. Christopher Nolan accepted these terms as long as they did not get in the way of the making of the movie. That did not prevent clashes, though; at one point Thorne spent two weeks talking Nolan out of an idea about travelling faster than light.

To create the wormhole and black hole, Dr. Kip Thorne collaborated with VFX supervisor Paul J. Franklin and his team at Double Negative. Thorne provided pages of deeply sourced theoretical equations to the team, which then created new CGI software programs based on these equations to create accurate computer simulations of these phenomena. Some individual frames took up to 100 hours to render, and ultimately the whole CGI program reached to 800 terabytes of data. The resulting VFX provided Thorne with new insight into the effects of gravitational lensing and accretion disks surrounding black holes, and led to him writing two scientific papers--one for the astrophysics community and one for the computer graphics community.

For a cornfield scene, Christopher Nolan sought to grow 500 acres of corn, which he learned was feasible from his producing of Man of Steel (2013). The corn was then sold and actually made a profit.

The majority of shots of the robot TARS were not computer-generated. Rather, TARS was a practical puppet controlled and voiced on set by Bill Irwin, who was then digitally erased from the film. Irwin also puppeteered the robot CASE, but in that instance had his voice dubbed over by Josh Stewart.

The method of space travel in this film was based on physicist Kip Thorne's works, which were also the basis for the method of space travel in Carl Sagan's novel "Contact", and the resulting film adaptation, Contact (1997). Matthew McConaughey stars in both films.

The giant dust clouds were created on location using large fans to blow cellulose-based synthetic dust through the air.

The wormhole explanation using paper and pen is exactly the same as it appears in Event Horizon (1997).

Cooper's first name is never revealed throughout the entire film.

Kip Thorne won a scientific bet against Stephen Hawking upon the astrophysics theory that underlies Interstellar (2014). As a consequence, Hawking had to subscribe Penthouse magazine for a year. This famous bet is depicted in The Theory of Everything (2014) which was released in the same year as Interstellar.

Some space sequences were shot with an IMAX camera installed in the nose cone of a Learjet.

Production designer Nathan Crowley based the Endurance ship's design on the International Space Station: "It's a real mishmash of different kinds of technology; you need analog stuff as well as digital stuff, you need back-up systems and tangible switches. Every inch of space is used, everything has a purpose. It's really like a submarine in space".

The apocalyptic Earth setting in this film is inspired by the Dust Bowl disaster that took place in the United States during the Great Depression in the 1930s.

This is Christopher Nolan's seventh film to be included in the IMDb Top 250.

Many of the characters' names are found on the books in Murph's room as authors.

The film began as a Paramount production. When Christopher Nolan took the director's chair, Warner Bros., which had released Nolan's recent productions, sought a stake in the project. In exchange for international distribution rights, Warners gave Paramount the rights to co-finance future sequels of Friday the 13th (2009) and South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999).

The "hyper-sleep" chambers place the astronauts' bodies in a cold liquid, as seen after they wake up, when they are covered on blankets or thermal blankets. This is likely a practical reference to studies that have shown a state of hibernation can be achieved in the human body by causing hypothermia. This technology has been used to treat brain damage, and has been proposed as a viable means of keeping people with severe injuries alive after accidents, while they are transported to medical facilities, where they can be treated by specialists.

The TARS robot, when standing upright, strongly resembled a much smaller version of the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).

Cooper tells Murph her name means "whatever can happen, will happen." Murphy's law actually states "Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong."

The documentary-style interviews of older survivors shown at the beginning of the film and again on the television playing in the farmhouse towards the end of the movie are from Ken Burns The Dust Bowl (2012). They are real survivors, not actors, of that natural disaster.



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