Behind the 3-D magic is a director who won’t let even the laws of physics get in the way of an epic story
Science Advisers are Annoying:
But Sometimes Scientists are Useful:
I wanted to put Pandora in the Alpha Centauri star system, but we haven’t found any large planets there. One of my astrophysicists said, “Well, if a planet’s ecliptic was inclined at 60 degrees to our line of sight, then the Doppler method would not work because the planet would perturb [the star] Alpha Centauri A or B on a different axis, and so we wouldn’t be able to see it. You wouldn’t be able to see it using the transit method, either.” So there might be planets there. But you can only have stable orbits out to about 230 million miles from Alpha Centauri A, so your planets have to be close in, blah blah blah. So we went through the steps of creating two possible solar systems there, because it’s a binary star, and gussied it up with technical research.
Audiences Will Like it Anyway:
My goal was to tell an epic story with visual power and to impress the crap out of the audience, like my goal is every time I make a movie. When it comes to the science behind the camera, what it took to produce the images—I think the viewer likes the idea that they’re being shown something new, but I don’t think they really care how you did it. I mean, I’m happy to talk about it, but I don’t think it sells the damn ticket.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.