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John Hoffler

INT. SPACE SHIP

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hey all,

 

I may be shooting a short film that takes place in the interior of an industrial space ship. I am gathering up films to watch as reference and inspiration and wanted to see if anyone had any suggestions on films to take a look at for creative cinematography in tight corridors and spaceships.

 

So far I've got "Alien", "Solaris", "2001", and "Sunshine".

 

I was also thinking about using some submarine films as reference as well, such as "Das Boot"

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Check out the series "Firefly." One of my favorites and a big disappointment when it was cancelled after only one season.

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The Remake of Battlestar Galactaga, as well as perhaps US Navy Warships (submarines especially). Also, perhaps, something like, The Abyss (almost a space-ship, just underwater)

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"Apollo 13"

 

Don't know if you guys have the budget to do those parabolic arcs to simulate weightlessness though :P

 

Actually I was reading the AC Magazine article about the movie, and alot of the footage in the spacecraft was shot with the actor and camera on seperate jibs that were floated up and down to simulate weightlessness for MCUs. They also often just had the actor 'sway' which worked well for closeups.

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"Star Wars" (but the original three) some of the stuff in the Millenium Falcon and even some of the stuff on the star destroyer.

 

i got to agrea with Keith about "Firefly". Great show, great look and a super disapointment when the canned it after just 14 eps.

Edited by Brendan Fish
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There's the obvious Hunt for the Red October for nicely shot submarine movies.

 

Probably the best place to see the insides of a real space ship would be in an Imax cinema, which often shows their numerous 3D space movies, inside the space shuttles or the international space station.

 

Its probably worth going to see a museum with space artifacts to give you an idea of materials and scale. I'm lucky in that respect, i'm just down the road from the London Science Museum which has a number of real life artifacts including one of the original Apollo capsules.

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I'm going to be an iconoclast here and say that watching other movies is a great way to do something derivative. If you want to do something original, sit down with a good production designer (and there are many out there, many of whom earn their livings in theatre and would be thrilled to do a short to help them build their on-camera resume) and design a look that's right for the tone, character, and theme of YOUR film. No one knows what the future will look like, so make it be what's right for your story.

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Guest Tim Partridge

LIFEFORCE has some of the besty "Zero G" operating seen on film, on par with the work in 2001, in my opinion. Lots of upside down crane work and also precision, floaty handheld. It's all razor sharp, wide angle anamorphic too, which makes it stunningly impressive. Aditionally, check out the 1969 Gerry Anderson movie JOURNEY TO THE FAR SIDE OF THE SUN, also known as DOPPELGANGER.

 

General rule of thumb is handheld wide angles for vague but otherwise convincing zero G. Just don't shoot wide open on long lenses racking on fairy lights for stars outside the window (see SPACE TRUCKERS, though the effect was probably intentional in that movie). Single source hard light with no fill ALWAYS sells a spaceship cockpit. Deep blue gels for "reflective" kickers too, or go for the sourcey practical approach with display screens and what not.

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