Sunday, 7 November 2010

Essay Research- 1

I'm researching into the timeline and available resources of space imagery during the making of:

Idea four: 2001: A Space Odyssey, Dir. Stanley Kubrick, 1968

Stanley Kubrick was renowned for his attention to detail. I had seen this film before but I had also recently watched it as a celebration at the BFI London where there was a live orchestra playing along with the film. It was quite an experience. His wife spoke of thousands and thousands of boxes of research he had collected and stacked in every place around his estate. This really gave a sense of how he was able to give so much detail within his films.

I have read about some methods and processes tested during the making of this film, for example:
'Stanley Kubrick worked for several months with effects technicians to come up with a convincing effect for the floating pen in the shuttle sequence. After trying many different techniques, without success, Kubrick decided to simply use a pen that was taped to a sheet of glass and suspended in front of the camera. In fact, the shuttle attendant can be seen to "pull" the pen off the glass when she takes hold of it.' (

This film was released in april 1968, although there had been many experiments with people and animals going into space, the photos that had been sent back to earth were that of the surfaces of the moon and mars, the first full photographs of the earth were not taken until the Apollo 8 mission, containing the first people to leave earth's orbit and pass the moon. This was 8 months after the release of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Image 1:

Image 2:

How did the crew of this film gather enough information to be so accurate about their interpretation of space and the earth from space?

1 comment:

  1. Hey Nat - 2001 is a meaty choice - but be aware of simply getting into the 'how' they did it - the real question underpinning a CRITICAL analysis of a film's production design is unpacking its visual concept - i.e., what was the conceptual thinking behind the design of the future? The pen example is interesting - but actually 'off subject' because all you're doing there is telling your reader how something was accomplished; in this sense, it is descriptive, not analytical... you want to hunt down the thoughts and intentions of the production designers themselves, and the art director too; if you haven't done so already, please read the articles on production design etc. available on myUCA/Space/Unit Materials...