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How 2001: A Space Odyssey beat NASA into space

2001

Sorry, but Taschen's $1000 four-part art book on the making of 2001: A Space Odyssey is already sold out. Console yourself with Wired's feature about the movie's most enduring and prescient imaginings.

That left Kubrick to build a space-age world unlike any other. After surveying set designs from other 1960s-era sci-fi films, Kubrick decided he didn’t want to leave 2001’s mise en scène in the hands of film industry artists. He wanted a more realistic setting. He assembled a skunkworks team of astronomical artists, aeronautics specialists, and production designers. Aerospace engineers—not prop makers—designed switch panels, display systems, and communications devices for the spacecraft interiors.

This particularly helped with the movie’s light design. Artist Richard McKenna was creating color schemes for spacecrafts before anyone really knew what they might look like. Roy Carnon, another illustrator, created a visual system for Kubrick that imagined how sunlight and shadows might fall in space. Other advisors took cues from submarines and military vehicles to create the red-lit interiors of the moonbus cockpit.

UPDATE! You can still get a $60 edition of the set!

New 2001: A Space Odyssey trailer

2001: A Space Odyssey got a new trailer to celebrate BFI's theatrical UK re-release for Kubrick's genre-defining film. Even though every shot is already burned into our collective conscience, the trailer is surprising.

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Short documentary about 2001: A Space Odyssey

Look magazine's 1968 mini-documentary about 2001: A Space Odyssey, titled "A Look Behind The Future." (via Laughing Squid)