A set, not CGI, the five dimensional library from “Interstellar”

Monday, 29 June, 2015

Remember the library scene from Christopher Nolan’s 2014 film Interstellar?

The library, or, more to the point tesseract, that existed in a mind boggling five dimensions that is, meaning the astronaut Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), could view every past moment that had played out in the room, from a single, if sprawling space, and also use gravity to tap out messages to his daughter, Murphy.

The film nerd in me was thinking that the scene must have been shot in a green-screen room, probably the size of an average garden shed, but much to my surprise, it was an actual set. How mind boggling is that?

The idea of the tesseract scene alone was so daunting to the filmmakers, Nolan and his special effects team procrastinated for months before trying to tackle how it might work. After months of concepting and model building the team opted for the unusual approach of using minimal digital effects in favor of fabricating a massive set which the actors could physically manipulate. A remarkable feat considering not only the complexity of the concepts depicted, but the cost and labor of building something so large.

Read more posts on related topics

, ,

Here are a few photos we took while holidaying on Mars

Monday, 8 June, 2015

Is this photo collection, by Paris based photographer Julien Mauve, indicative of the sort of snaps we ourselves may take, if Mars ever becomes a – and so much for one way trips there – tourist destination?

Be sure to check out some of Mauve’s other work as well, such as Hopeless Romantic, and also After Lights Out, that I linked to last year.

Read more posts on related topics

, , ,

So, which is better, Star Trek, or Star Wars?

Wednesday, 20 May, 2015

The truth is they’re both pretty lousy, but together they’re better than all the others… with apologies to Keith Richards. Presenting The Carbonite Maneuver, a fan made trailer that blends elements of both realms. Non-canonical, obviously.

Read more posts on related topics

, , , ,

The destruction of a LEGO model of a Star Wars command ship

Friday, 15 May, 2015

The battle scenes from The Return of the Jedi, both on the forest moon of Endor, and in the space overhead, were a tad over the top in my opinion, even for a science fiction story.

A legion of trained, and heavily armed, Stormtroopers brought down by… teddy bear like creatures? The Imperial fleet put to the sword by a rag tag collection of rebel ships? Still it was good to see the good guys prevail, even if they weren’t really all that well organised.

The scene where Darth Vader’s super massive command ship was (somehow) taken out, is one of more memorable for me, surely it alone would have destroyed the Death Star as it sliced through it, but never mind.

Here though is the command ship, built with many, many, LEGO bricks, meeting its demise in slow motion… try telling me a blow like that would have been water off a duck’s back, as it were, for the Death Star…

Read more posts on related topics

, ,

Don’t wait to buy new Star Wars BB-8 action figure, make one now

Tuesday, 28 April, 2015

The world’s favourite droid, R2D2, of “Star Wars” fame, may find himself competing for the attention of film-goers, with the arrival of BB-8, a roller ball droid, who makes an entrance to the sci-fi saga in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, this December.

I get the feeling BB-8 is going to prove quite popular, so fans will be happy to know they could build their own version of the droid with a Sphero and some magnets, as Christian Poulsen has.

Read more posts on related topics

, ,

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, the second teaser/trailer

Monday, 20 April, 2015

Behold, the second teaser for the new “Star Wars” film, The Force Awakens. I’d say it’s aimed more at fans of the original movies, with its nostalgic overtones, the Mark Hamill voice over, and a brief appearance by Han Solo and Chewbacca.

Feel like weighing into the discussion as to what Luke Skywalker means when he says his father has the force, rather than had it? Hmm.

I suspect the arrival of the first trailer, as opposed to the two teasers we’ve seen so far, is going to be quite the event, whenever that happens.

Read more posts on related topics

, ,

“Sundays”, a short science fiction film by Mischa Rozema

Friday, 10 April, 2015

And to end the week, Sundays, a short science fiction film, written and directed by Mischa Rozema. In a word, amazing.

The end of the world seems like a nightmare to Ben. A memory of a past life that doesn’t belong to him. When Ben starts to remember Isabelle, the only love he’s ever known, he realises she’s missing in his life. An existential descent into confusion and the desperate need to find out the truth begins. This reality depicts a stunning, surprising and dark world. A world that is clearly not his.

Best seen in full screen mode, by the way.

Read more posts on related topics

, ,

A round up of recent, and most important, scientific discoveries

Thursday, 9 April, 2015

A couple of scientific breakthroughs came to light last week, Wednesday, 1 April, as it happened. Given their significance, I thought I’d quickly highlight them.

First up, computations by some super computers, over what seems like an extended period, have revealed the meaning of life. I kept thinking the result of these calculations seemed familar. But that must have been on account of the media coverage the story would have received.

According to inside sources the answer given by the computer was “42”. What this means will be announced later according to a research representative.

Also, scientists at CERN discerned that the force, as seen throughout the “Star Wars” films, is in fact very real, and not, as previously thought, the stuff of science fiction:

Though four fundamental forces – the strong force, the weak force, the electromagnetic force and gravity – have been well documented and confirmed in experiments over the years, CERN announced today the first unequivocal evidence for the Force. “Very impressive, this result is,” said a diminutive green spokesperson for the laboratory.

This I’ve long suspected. No, scrub that, known, but dared not discuss. Until now. For instance, there’s been many times I’ve uttered words like “you don’t want to sell me death sticks, you want to go home and rethink your life”, and whoever I was talking has taken off, vanished.

Read more posts on related topics

, ,

The return of The X Files

Wednesday, 1 April, 2015

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are set to reprise their roles as Mulder and Scully in a six episode series of The X-Files, that goes into production in the next few months. Little else is known about the new episodes, as producers are remaining tight-lipped for the moment.

And so they should, the return of Mulder and Scully will make for more of an event that way.

Read more posts on related topics

, ,

The best sort of science fiction novel? A fix up of course

Wednesday, 25 March, 2015

A “fix-up” is a science fiction book, or novel, written by an author who has created the work by stitching together a number of their earlier shorter stories. Some of these fix-up titles are in fact quite well known:

The “fix-up” is a novel that’s constructed out of short stories that were previously published on their own. And a lot of classic science fiction novels were “fix-ups.” Asimov’s I, Robot and Foundation were both published as groups of short stories before becoming books. There’s Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles, too. There’s also Jack Vance’s The Dying Earth, and Leigh Brackett’s Alpha Centauri or Die!.

I dare say fix-ups are not limited to sci-fi writing though.

Read more posts on related topics

, , ,