Behind the scenes photos from 2001: a space odyssey

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Earl Earl 3 months, 4 weeks ago.

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    2001 is one of my all-time favorite movies, and I had never seen most of these pictures.

    The one overhead shot in the circular Discovery set, with the floor panels popped out, kinda confirms how I always suspected that set was built – really, the only way you could build it and have the camera and a moving actor tracking on the circular surface: build the set on its side like a giant hamster wheel, and have “wild” panels through which the camera sticks out on a thin support stand.

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    Cool pictures.

    I already knew how the circular set of Discovery was filmed thanks to my interest in reading old issues of Popular Science as a kid. One issue told all about how certain shots were made. Here’s one:

    To complete the shot they had to strap one of the actors to the couch to hold him in as the set rotated to follow the other actor jogging the perimeter.

    I found the magazine at a garage sale. This is the cover of that issue:


    And here are Dave and Frank today – or, at the very least, at the Monsterpalooza con held this weekend.

    HAL couldn’t make it, sadly, but sends his best.


    And here’s some behind the scenes footage, including the Discovery “hamster wheel” set in action – I don’t remember seeing this documentary before.

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    Cool video. I may have seen parts of it before but never the whole thing (still haven’t yet: I just watched a couple minutes of it. I’ll watch the whole thing later).

    BTW, Earl, your link has the video start at the twenty minute mark, after the hamster footage (which is near the twelve minute mark). Here’s the link of the video from the beginning.

    This documentary reminds me of something Arthur C. Clarke mentioned in an article or intro for a book. He mentioned that he was being interviewed by Kubrick on camera in front of a running IBM computer but the machine was making too much noise. Kubrick wanted the computer turned off for the interview but the sysadmin said it was calculating and printing the payroll and it would cost the company big money to shut it down. Kubrick asked how much it would cost to shut it down for an hour and the guy gave him a number in the thousands of dollars. Kubrick said OK, wrote the check, they shut down the computer and Kubrick got Clarke’s interview on film. I don’t know if Clarke is in the above film in front of a computer (I saw him in the LEM prototype) but, nevertheless, that was a cool story that Clarke told.


    Oh man, I’d give good money* for a “2001/2010 Technical Manual”.

    * if I had any

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    Hamster Wheel

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