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DOUGLAS TRUMBULL is going to destroy our minds and reveal awesome beyond our mortal imaginations!

Hey folks, Harry here...   HOLLYWOOD REPORTER has an interview with Douglas Trumbull.   And this genius had a lot to say.   As a child that grew up paying attention to every sort of magazine that ever would have printed the name of someone like Douglas Trumbull...   The sort of kid that would ask his father to take me to Trumbull experiences that he shot and presented.   And for the last 16 years, I've been privileged to see the same kinds of demos that my collegues have seen, and in all that time I've yearned to see specifically what Douglas Trumbull has been talking about.   Once we see THE HOBBIT at its higher frame rate and in 3D, we'll be seeing one particular vision of the future of film presentation.  And still, in Trumbull I will trust.   Seek out old issues of CINEFANTASTIQUE and if you read every issue of CINEFEX...    You've read Trumbull talking for years about taking the audience further.   Trumbull is one of the very few industry super geniuses.   

When he says he is making a film like this:

" I can only say that it’s a 200-years-in-the-future science fiction space epic that’s going to address very big, lofty issues, like man’s place in the universe, and how our contact with an extraterrestrial civilizations that are so mind-bogglingly in advance of our own that it will go into some of the same territory that 2001 went into, and it’s going to do it in a very plausibly scientific way, not a fanciful way. There are no alien monsters, and the earth is not being attacked by anybody. It’s going to be a much more intelligent, what we call hard-science fiction, and I think there’s absolutely nothing out there like this. I think the studios believe that they have to dumb everything down and the audience is not scientific, not up for anything truly intelligent, but I think just the opposite. I think we’re in the most technologically advanced society of all time, and people can go with that immediately. Most people you poll would believe that there’s life in the universe, for sure, and the Kepler project and another project are showing that the likelihood of inhabitable planets in our galaxy alone is going to be in the billions, and so the whole plausibility of contact with extraterrestrial civilizations is becoming very real scientifically, very plausible. Talk to any scientist and they’ll say, absolutely, yes. But Hollywood is still in the monster phase, it’s in the b-movie monster phase. And I’m not saying how it should be, I’m just saying what I would like to do, and I’d like to make something more intelligent that I can really be proud of."

after he said this:

"I don’t expect to get traction from investors until I can show what it is. Because no one’s ever seen it before, and no one can imagine what it would be like. But I can, and I know, and so I’m comfortable with personally making the investment. I have my own studio, I work in the Berkshires, I have my own stage, my own cameras, my own lights, my own editing, my own workshop, my machine shop, and I’m trying to reinvent the movies – with no help whatsoever from Hollywood. But very good, supportive help from projector manufacturers and camera manufacturers, who are completely open to anything that’s going to invigorate their business. So I am getting support on the technical side, but I’m not getting any support on the production side – and I hope that will come."

Well, I saw SHOWSCAN demos in Dallas a long time ago and it was jaw dropping.   I thought it was real.   It looked real.   Like you and me sitting on the same row and a guy walks in a room real.   Not like a screen that had anything upon it, but a window into reality.  For real.    And then it was gone and nothing came of it.

Now he's talking about taking that experiment and doing something fantastic with it.   Something Hard Science Fiction.   Something with a brain.   But something shown in a manner that none of us have ever really seen before.  How much and when?   Where?  When do we see this?   How could they not have asked?   Seriously?  WHEN? WHERE?  You got the WHAT...  I'm dying.   

Read this fantastic full interview here!   It is not to be missed.

Readers Talkback
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  • Feb. 8, 2012, 11:09 p.m. CST

    So he's making a Sci-Fi movie about vampires?

    by Domi'sInnerChild

    Or Chupacabras? As long as Wilford Brimley stars, I'm in.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 11:10 p.m. CST

    Sounds intriguing.

    by Hint_of_Smegma

    Definitely on board for this. We need a new scifi genre defining movie. He's talking the talk, jus hope he walks the walk! Could be great.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 11:22 p.m. CST

    Interesting ideas.....

    by Jobacca

    That kind of hard sci-fi seemed to die off in the 70's. As much as I love it,not everything has to be a Star Wars ripoff. Just no more Bruce Dern/Space Hippy Melodrama please......

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 11:25 p.m. CST

    thanks for posting this Harry!

    by exador

    it's post and articles like this that keep me coming back. Can't wait to hear more about this!

  • In other words, the more you magnify the proscenium, the less magical the magicians. That said, if anyone can find a happy medium between fabricated imagery and imaging technology — and blow us away — Trumbull will.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 11:36 p.m. CST

    Once we see THE HOBBIT at it's higher frame rate...

    by tomandshell

    It's" means "it is." "Its" means "belonging to it.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 11:38 p.m. CST

    Love this man...

    by Billy_D_Williams

    and everything he's trying to do to advance cinema, REALLY advance it. he's right, Hollywood needs a MASSIVE fucking enema, its so stagnant. they dont have a clue how to fix this major problem they're in right how. how can a business be so shockingly clueless???

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 11:43 p.m. CST



    thanks for the copy editing work, did you spot the mistake at Hollywood Reporter... "2011: SPACE ODYSSEY" indeed.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 12:06 a.m. CST


    by James Morgan

    Damn. That is possibly great news! I saw "New Magic" (showscan) three times in the early 80's. All three times in the front row. I couldn't believe my eyes. It was like I was watching someone BEHIND the movie screen! Nothing compares with 70 frames/second.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 12:11 a.m. CST

    Whatever happened to that 2001 documentary...

    by Cagliostro

    That he was working on?

  • Trans-light matter transportation would involve outracing your own shadow.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 12:11 a.m. CST

    Prometheus; now Trumbull???

    by IamZardoz

    Holy crap thats great, I hope this happens. I know some dont like Silent Running but I thought it was a great flick, those little robots and the way they went thru Saturns rings was fantastic. Hell, I thought the title sequence to Brainstorm was the coolest set of titles ever done (though Im sure nobody but me remembers it). Trumbull did alot of the work on 2001 and I would love more serious sci fi to go along with 2001, Silent Running, Blade Runner, Alien, Sunshine (minus the "monster"), The Thing and Im sure Prometheus. Count me in for $8 admission and $13.50 large coke/popcorn combo!!

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 12:11 a.m. CST

    Sounds like Rama

    by Rob Hill

    From the article, it sounds like he's talking about something akin to Arthur C. Clarke's "Rama" series, or something close to it. I'd pay to see that type of story done well. I'm tired of your bog-standard invasion-death-and-horror stories. Time for something smarter.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 12:19 a.m. CST


    by Dreamfasting

    Given how many people I know who are still in awe of how mind-blowing the opening scene of Contact is, I definitely think there is a market for hard-science fiction that actually tries to communicate the big ideas to its audience.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 12:22 a.m. CST

    If you want my two-cents, CONTACT was outstanding.

    by justmyluck

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 12:52 a.m. CST

    I'm frankly shocked that Contact has 63% on Rotten Tomatos

    by bullet3

    A hard sci-fi movie that sticks to its guns and explores its premise without introducing a stupid antagonist, done with state of the art special effects, and it's only rated 6 percent higher than fucking Transformers? Also REALLY wish Rendevous with Rama would happen already. If anyone could do it faithfully it would be Trumbull.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 12:58 a.m. CST

    Contact's ending destroyed it

    by Billy_D_Williams

    It's fantastic up until she lands on the beach and that ridiculous scene with her father/alien...i know the point of the ending was to flip her atheism on her head, but it destroyed the greater buildup of the an audience, we're more interested in whats out their at that point than her stupid religious beliefs...

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 12:59 a.m. CST


    by Hot_Machete

    Not necessarily. From what we know so far, there's no reason to think that earth is some sort of jewel in space. Our entire environment, from our atmosphere's composition, to our air pressure, to our temperature ranges, and to our native spores, bacteria, and virii, would potentially all be hostile to an alien race. If they're after natural resources, they'd be better off going to a sterile, lifeless planet. Sure we've got lots of water, but there's plenty of water in other places, even in our own solar system, most of it which is likely not already contaminated with living organisms. Not to mention, that while some alien visitors would most likely have technology more than capable of defeating us in a fight, humans, through the use of nuclear and biological weapons would still have the potential to leave much of the earth in less than prize worthy condition. That being said, I can think of a couple scenarios where aliens arrive at earth and are intent on harming us... 1. The aliens, by random (and remote) chance are close to us and still a type I civilization (or maybe an early type II civilization), and are forced to come to earth as refugees (maybe they find out their star is going to go nova). Once here, and they find earth already occupied, they're not technologically advanced enough to just head someplace else, and they're also not technologically advanced enough to convert any other planet in our solar system into being habitable to their species. At the same time they do have the ability to adapt earth's environment to their needs. In such a situation, the aliens may decide that they have to take the steps to preserve their race, even if it means killing off most of the current life on earth. 2. The aliens are a type I or type II civilization and simply exterminate any intelligent life they come across for fear that if they let that life keep evolving, it might someday surpass them and do the same. (This supposes that the aliens are close enough technologically to us that they perceive us surpassing them someday as a real possibility.) 3. The aliens are a type II or early type III civilization, but due to the completely alien nature of their thinking, they don't behave in any way that we could understand. In such a situation, they might blow up the earth because the color blue equals red space dragons plus blackhole quantum fruity pebbles. 4. The aliens are an advanced type III or higher civilization, and are at a stage where their only goal is to harness every last bit of energy in the entire galaxy or galaxy cluster. In a project of such scale, life on earth would be insignificant, especially if the alien race has evolved to such a point where what we consider life would seem almost inanimate to them. On top of that, such a race would probably possess the technology to simply create earth type life or even far more complex life, if they found the need. Thus exterminating us would be no big deal or loss to them. 5. The aliens aren't intelligent as we know it, and thus either can't or don't recognize us as intelligent. (Perhaps they're a hive race, or a single-minded self replicating machine race, or some sort of highly evolved, but unintelligent, biological entity.) Such a race might take actions that harm us without actually comprehending what they are doing in intelligent terms. (Note this is all assuming that there isn't some cheap way to travel in drastic violation of our current understanding of physics. In other words, for an alien race to come here with any significant presence, they must have access to tremendous amounts of energy, and unless they're coming from anywhere besides our very corner of the galaxy, then we have to assume that the sheet scope of their technology, age, and energy harnessing ability puts them in a place where nothing on earth would be of significance or value to them.)

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 1:03 a.m. CST


    by bullet3

    See, I don't get that at all. They make it explicitly clear that it's not really her father, its aliens communicating to her through her memories, which to me seemed pretty reasonable. Just like in 2001, I think it was the right choice to not actually visualize an Alien there at the end, it would just ruin it. I'd say the movie is pretty consistently Atheist.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 1:24 a.m. CST


    by Billy_D_Williams

    did you miss the part where i said "her father/alien"...i know it was an alien, and that it was disguised as her father. my point is, the ending betrayed the tone of the film up until that point. the looming question wasn't "what do her beliefs mean?", the looming question was "who sent those damn blueprints?" so they gave us an ending that showed a shimmering little beach and conversation with an alien that resembled her dad...yeah, because i was dying to see her gain some catharsis from her father's death, which wasn't even much of an issue up to that point. the ending treated the film like it were a drama, and not sci-fi mystery thriller. nobody gave a shit about her beliefs, that was not the overriding appeal of the tone at that point, it was all about the aliens, that was what the entire film was building towards, so the filmmakers pulled a bait and switch and betrayed the audience...that's why it has such a low rating.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 1:26 a.m. CST


    by Joe Damiani

    Very good point. It was the one thing that really bugged me about Battle:Los Angeles (I make no apologies saying I liked it). If the aliens wanted water to use as a fuel source, there were plenty of places in our solar system to get it with out having to deal with the human military.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 1:35 a.m. CST

    Hard science fiction makes me…

    by melonman

    Well it does what it says on the tin.

  • This was the faith leap Arroway had to take when she had no material proof of its existence. It didn't mean she became religious like Palmer Joss.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 1:36 a.m. CST

    If the Showscan concept could be adapted for Digital Projection...

    by Daytripper69

    ... and show digital movies at a higher framerate than normal (say, three times the standard)... I would guess the images onscreen would appear to be significantly more lifelike. This wouldn't be too expensive to pull off either, as camera chips get faster all the time, it's just a matter of convincing the studios to adopt the new refresh standard. I hope this happens soon!

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 2:15 a.m. CST

    Douglas Trumbull trying to make his own 2001? Bring it on!

    by AsimovLives

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 2:16 a.m. CST

    Trumbull Really Is The Guy...

    by THX1968

    ...That has put it all together, isn't he? 2001 was absolute brilliance, right? I mean, Kubrick could not have achieved that brilliance without Trumbull. Close Encounters? Give me a break. The only reason I saw Brainstorm was because of Trumbull - okay, and Walken.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 2:54 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    you forgot to mention BLADE RUNNER and SILENT RUNNING.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 3:03 a.m. CST

    Thank you

    by mighty boosh

    For making us read his quotes in UNREADABLE ORANGE.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 3:04 a.m. CST

    I agree with this comment above:

    by Ray Gamma

    "If Arthur C Clarke was saying *Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic* then I'd say, with CONTACT, Carl Sagan was saying any sufficiently advanced world is indistinguishable from heaven." I think that's exactly right. The ending in CONTACT is just perfect, and Jodie Foster's reactions are wonderful and believable.

  • But if you have, the fucking movie is a very dumbed down version of it. One that's desperate to kiss ass to the religious right of the bible belt of USA. Which goes completly contrary to the spirit and message and intentions of the book. Bascially, the movie CONTACT is a bastarderization of the novel it's supposeed based on. It doesn't have 1/10th of the intelligence the book has, nor the movie is as smart as it thinks it is. and for a supposed hard science movie, it comits some serious basic scientific goofs. It's a good movie for people who know jack shit about basic science.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 3:07 a.m. CST

    Oh the irony...

    by Dromosus

    ...of struggling to read Trumbull's words about the dumbing down of sci-fi because someone's chosen to highlight it with some digital equivalent of a pink florescent marker.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 3:08 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    in the fucking movie, Ellie fianly learns hwer lesson that faith is actually a good thing because it become convineitn to her that people believe in her without proof. In the book, after she returns, and realising that nobody should believe her because she has no physical proof of her travel, she goes to find the proof and just doesn't expect that people believe in her just because of her pretty eyes. In the book, she acts like a real scientist. in the movie, she is taught a lesson on how important blind faith is. So the movie can go fuck itself up it's fucking ass.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 3:11 a.m. CST

    PS About Harry's writing......

    by Ray Gamma

    "And for the last 16 years, I've been privileged to see the same kinds of demos that my collegues have seen, and in all that time I've yearned to see specifically what Douglas Trumbull has been talking about. " Seriously, Harry, you either need to take Written English night classes, or get a CT scan.

  • As an animation artist working at 12 fps this is clear logic that 48 fps will result in a much clearer sharper and realistic image. Turnbull (being an artist knew this in the 70s) Complete bullshit that the eye cant see 48 fps. if the Hobitt does this (im not sure of this) but if it is being shot at 48 fps it will be the most enjoyable movie for the eyes anyone has ever seen.

  • there's far more water in the solar system in the form of the ice found in the moons around Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, the planet Pluto and it's moon Charon, and the whole comeraty objects found in boht the Kuiper belt and Oort cloud. Those places have far more water in th form of ice then what can be found on Earth by order of magniture of the hundreds, if not thousands time over. Not to mention that they are in the form of ice, which is water ina nice compacted form, easy to extract and carry and store. Water on Earth is mostly liquid in form. And since 99% of water on earth is sea water ,it means it's salty water, which mweans it would still nee destilation to be useful as a basis for a fuel, qwhile cometary ices are just fresh water in ice form free floating around in space. Invading earth for our water is just absurd. aliens could do better by just getting it from the ice moons of the giant gas planets or the other cometery objects in our solar system. I'd think that this writers who write SF movies for Holywood would actually bother to learn a bit of basic science, since they are writing SF. But that would expecting too much, would it?

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 3:16 a.m. CST

    invate = invade

    by AsimovLives

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 3:31 a.m. CST

    A semi-serious question

    by Dollar Bird

    I'm kind of curious about all the talkbackers out there who genuinely believe that meeting intelligent life from another world is possible or even probable. I think we all agree that if it ever happened, it would have gigantic ramifications in many people's lives for multiple reasons; and it's fun to play with those ideas in fiction. But does anyone think it really could happen? (In full disclosure, I have become more and more doubtful about humanity ever encountering an alien intelligence. Certainly not by face-to-face contact. Perhaps, someday, from signals, but even the possibilities of that seem unfathomably slim due to the degradation of radio waves through space. Evolution doesn't require intelligence to be a final result. It's just a random outcome of some creatures' babies surviving. But, I could be wrong.)

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 3:33 a.m. CST

    asimovlives = the idiot returns

    by justmyluck

  • If you've noticed, Trumbull, Cameron, Jackson etc. haven't yet produced any VFX/CG tests at higher FPS for review. With CG, it's easy to increase the virtual FPS and just pump out a test shot and project it (or watch it on a computer) at the higher frame rate. But they haven't done that — Cameron, for instance, showed a live action setting to the media. The reality is that for high FPS VFX-heavy movies, you have to take the most near-photoreal computer graphics available today, and up the quality by about a factor of four for two times the scrutiny. What we're hearing now is *Oh, this is going to look so good in high FPS* because that's what they must say to get the industry backing to pump the fucking beejesus out of their VFX budget and make something look acceptable at 48-60FPS. So, yeah, that's one big reason why higher FPS capture and projection is becoming *a thing* — it needs major studio/industry backing to fulfill its promises.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 3:48 a.m. CST

    Silent Running was as good as 2001

    by Gorgomel

    So, I just cant wait for this. Go ahead Douglas!!!!

  • ...Everyone that has a movie to push or get finance for is going to say it's the best thing since 2001 or Star Wars, you won't get much interest from hollywood if you don't. Sounds a lot like what Ridley Scott has been offering for his premis of Prometheus...

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 4:08 a.m. CST

    Harry is a walking cliche at this point

    by Jonathhan Kana


  • Feb. 9, 2012, 4:14 a.m. CST

    good intentions

    by Vince

    I'm pleased that someone is bypassing the Hollywood film factory, it potentially opens the door for something more experimental. Cinema won't progress without this kind of maverik thinking. I've heard before the talk of revolutionary, game changing developments in film that just haven't delivered. Cameron's claims that Avatar's 3d was something new. It wasn't. It was just like all other 3d, unconvincing. To really progress, you have to do away with film completely. Go digital. Remove film stock with it's inherant grain, exposure problems, depth of field artefacts etc, only then will you really transcend the ingrained language of film and create something that genuinely is a recreation of reality as the human brain sees it. I don't have exposure limitations or depth of field in my eyes. Until film dispenses with this it will remain an art stilted by convention. I can understand it's hard to let go, Spielberg is in love with the qualities of film, so it will take a younger radical thinker. I don't think Trumball is that person. I may be wrong, we'll see.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 4:16 a.m. CST

    Contact dropped the ball with the '18 hours of static' part

    by awepittance

  • But invests shitloads of money on inferior presentations through 3D. We are fucking DONE. I want a 120fps 8k presentation. NOT 3D.

  • Sure, some first person shooters are pretty much nothing more, but many video games & big sellers are actually packed with dense & immersive stories/plots.

  • The screenplay adaptation obviously condensed that to 18 minutes of video static.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 4:38 a.m. CST

    18 *hours* of video static

    by justmyluck

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 4:56 a.m. CST

    Hollywood and 3D

    by Uridium

    the big problem is that 3D gets the moric masses into the cinema to oooh and Ahhhh at the things coming out of the screen. Its been far too long since films were an artform.

  • This is why I'm fine with the camera recording the motion blur and allowing my eyes relax in a theater. Cinematography is about light and shadow, composition, camera placement and movement. Turning the experience into an electric boogaloo might be fine for science, nature, sports and other fields where total clarity is appreciated. I'm not sure being constantly *stimulated* by accelerated frame rates is the way to go.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 5:12 a.m. CST

    hard-science fiction

    by the creeper

    I'm with you 100%, Harry, on Douglas Trumbull but when he said "hard-science fiction" I kept thinking of Roman on PARTY DOWN. Sadly, Trumbull is right, Hollywood would ruin his vision and devastate this project. They would dumb down the content AND the technology.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 5:15 a.m. CST

    by the creeper

    And he's right...people can't imagine what it will be like. They couldn't imagine talkies.

  • I read a lot of sci-fi back in the day and CONTACT has to be just about the most faithful and worthy book-to-film sci-fi adaptation I can think of.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 7:17 a.m. CST

    Trumbull did beautiful stuff in Tree of Life

    by white_vader

    Seems most people don't know he worked on it. And Harry, you already answered your own questions. He doesn't KNOW when and where because it's not actually being made yet. They didn't have to ask those questions because he answered the - it's right there in your gaudy hi-lighter text! Jesus!

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 7:18 a.m. CST

    Showscan Jealousy

    by smallerdemon

    Harry, my jealousy is deep that you even got to see test footage of Showscan. I remember the one page write-up on Showscan in Omni magazine back in the early 80s and how taken I was by the idea. Movies were such an important escape for me from a pretty terrible childhood and adolescence and even though it faded as a teenager, which I was by the time I read the article, the idea of mentally stepping into what essentially would be the realistic reality of a movie grabbed me and never let go. It was why worked in theaters in the 80s, first as a doorman and then as a manager. But through all the fun and wonderful years in the 80s managing theaters, 70mm, which already existed, was the closest I ever got to Showscan, and it's not remotely close I know. I will be thrilled to see The Hobbit in intended projection if I can just to get a small flavor of what could have been nearly 30 years ago.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 7:26 a.m. CST


    by Zahaladeen

  • The Machine is alien technology I guess, but it's assembled by humans. The only alien tech shown in the movie is during Ellie's trip, she gets a quick glimpse of some massive array of panels and latticework floating out in space. She sees it for a second and then zips off. It's the only bit of alien technology in the whole movie outside of The Machine itself. I personally have been interested in SETI for more than 20 years now. I was making animations about the Drake Equation and the Aricebo Transmisson back in high school, before anyone even heard of the web (or the internet for that matter).

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 7:40 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Bullshit! Asan adaptation, CONTACT isd a fucking disgrace. Totally subverts and denies and contradicts the very point of the book. The movie kisses ass to faith and dogma, which is the polar opposite of what the book is. Nobody denies that the movie is great on a technical level,and Zemeckis pulls some impressive visuals and camera tricks. But as story goes, it's abominable!

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 7:47 a.m. CST

    I don't think that's accurate, the book ends with.. SPOILERS

    by Autodidact

    The book ends* with Ellie finding a perfect representation of a circle within the number sequence Pi, and taking it to be evidence of there being a plan to the universe. And the entire overarching theme of the book, apart from first contact with aliens, is whether there really is a conflict between science and religion, or not. In my opinion, there is not. It's a canard. It's especially a canard when you take into Clarke's god-like aliens into account. It seems quite likely to me that if we were "created" in any way it's by a much more advanced civilization. *If I'm not mistaken. It has been almost 20 years since I read the book.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 7:52 a.m. CST

    dollar bird

    by AsimovLives

    i don't think it will be possible to mnake direct contact with any extraterrestrial civilization, now or in any near future (and by that i mean in the next thousand years, which is small in the cosmic scale of time). It's comething that most people don't want to hear about because it ruins their romantic notions about the future, the the true is, space travel to other stars is a near impossibility. At least if travel with humans on board is concerned. So, direct contact with ETs i find it extremely improbable if not to say impossible even. If we ever get to contact sime alien civilizations, it might be by remote contact, like shared radio messages. and considering the vasts distancs involved, it would mean correspondence that would take centuries just to get a answer and reply. I'm positive that there is life outside Earth. I'm ever pretty positive that there might be life in our solar system besides Earth, in places like the inner oceans of Europa or Enceladus. I'm absolutly convince that life not only exists outside our soar system, but that is pretty common out there in our galaxy. At least even if only on a microbial scale. but i think even on a macroscopic scale there is plenty of life out there. And i would even find it very plausible that there is quite a lot of other intelligent lifeforms and alien civilizations even in our own galaxy. Even in a more pessimistic scenario there would be just one intelligent life civilization per galaxy, it would still means there would be billions and billions of them in the universe. And when i say that i find the possibility of extraterrestrial life to be very plausible as to be a certainty, it means i'm not just refering to the "goldilocks scenario" for life. Maybe the existenc eof life outside our solar system like it is on Earth could be rare, there's still many possible ways that life could emerge in circunstances different from those found on our planet Earth. The study of the extremophiles lifeforms in our own Earth gives us hopes that life can emerge on other planets in other different types of enviroments then those of Earth's surface. Which is encouraging. Is there life outside Earth? Yes. Are there an other civilizationjs outthere? I most certainly think there is. Do we will ever make direct contact with them? I don't think so.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 7:53 a.m. CST

    If we ever "meet" aliens they'll probably be robots

    by Autodidact

    And it will probably be our robots meeting their robots.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 7:57 a.m. CST

    No matter how common life/intelligence is

    by Autodidact

    The sheer size and separation of scale in the universe (intergalactic space makes interstellar space look like a sardine can) means physical encounters, even if many civilizations are out there exploring, are highly unlikely. Consider that the earth is essentially one large 2D plane. Space is 3 dimensional and goes on forever. When the implications of that finally hit me as a youth, my mind literally boggled and I had to sit down to avoid a panic attack.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 7:58 a.m. CST

    If this does turn our to be Rama he's working on

    by Rob Hill

    Then I will dance the uncoordinated joyful spasm that is the Happy Geek Victory Dance. Out of any other series Arthur C. Clarke wrote, Rama is by far my favorite. It's just what we need right now to get us collectively thinking again.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 7:59 a.m. CST


    by Rob Hill

    Spelling before coffee? Not a good idea.

  • The first book in particular is amazing and holds a lot of promise as a movie. I personally would make the one movie and leave it at that. Although if it makes half a billion you've got more books to adapt. The second and third books are kind of a mess with a bit too much man-vs-man drama and people getting pregnant and stuff, but between the two books there is one solid epic sci-fi story that does not sprawl but is almost entirely contained on one massive spaceship. RAMA REVEALED was a decent cap on the series but not as revelatory as the title would suggest. Mostly it was a lot of imagery and I don't remember it as well as the first three books for some reason. I read the whole thing even the side-books BRIGHT MESSENGERS and DOUBLE FULL MOON NIGHT by Gentry Lee. Gentry Lee can go drown in acid. That's how I feel about his writing and his "contributions" to ACC's work. But the ideas and imagery within RAMA are some of the best I've ever read in sci-fi. Just massive in scope and implication.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 8:12 a.m. CST

    Earlier posters beat me to the punch sounds like uh Contact

    by Wcwlkr

    And um I really wasn't feeling that movie. Not because it didn't have any action, just because it was hard to see the point. It was just flat out un-interesting and boring. And in the end she really didn't have any interaction with the Alien beings.

  • Again??!! Cool.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 8:45 a.m. CST

    If Fincher still can't get Rama off the ground

    by white_vader

    then I dunno about other people's chances.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 8:55 a.m. CST

    give this man $200 million dollars


  • Feb. 9, 2012, 8:57 a.m. CST

    asimov, billy d....

    by Half-Baked-Goggle-Box-Do-Gooder

    It's not something to get bent outta shape over, but what I took away from the movie version of "Contact" (I've never read the book, for various reasons), was not a kowtowing to American religious dingbats, or a descent into sloppy emotionalism - But Arroways' realization, on a cosmic scale, that the likely statistical realities of alien intelligence DO NOT depend on our meager ability to comprehend them or to even recognize them when we see them. Unlike you, I saw the end of "Contact" as a gigantic slap against blind faith and against the arrogant convictions that "we know all we need to know". I felt a great sense of the basic premise that we have no idea of just how small our concept or grasp of what's out there actually is. That is a difficult concept to express through the lens of hard scientific factuality. It requires the observer to always keep in mind that while the numbers don't lie, it's entirely possible that we keep getting the wrong answers because we don't understand that we keep asking the wrong questions. The hardest thing in science to keep one's own observational biases out of the way. To me, it's sort of like why I went from being a hard atheist to being a pessimistic agnostic - The fact that there is absolutely no scientific evidence to support the human concepts of divine beings (On which my atheism was based) had to give way to the acceptance that there are most likely much bigger realities that we have no way of understanding, given the utter vastness of reality and our own relative lack of scientific knowledge - And that those realities are under absolutely no imperative or obligation to make themselves known to us. It's like when, back in the 1400's, highly intelligent and scientifically literate (for the time) Northern Europeans were aghast at the reports of the monstrosities that were being brought back from early travels through Africa - Monstrosities that we now casually accept as rhinos, giraffes and elephants. The flora and fauna of Africa didn't give a flying fuck whether or not we knew about them or understood them, and I suspect that, whatever the totality of the universe may be, that the same concept holds true - That humans really aren't culturally or scientifically equipped just yet, to even BEGIN to figure it out.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 9:06 a.m. CST

    *Meant to add*

    by Half-Baked-Goggle-Box-Do-Gooder

    In the end, Arroway's ideas of what alien intelligence might resemble were no different than Joss's religious beliefs or concepts - In the sense that both were based on preconceptions, preconceptions that fundamental lacks of knowledge and imagination allowed to take root. Faith in something for which there is no evidence is stupid. Faith that we have a lot to learn isn't.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 9:17 a.m. CST

    Ahh fuck this! I wanna see The Rock bounce a bean off his boobie

    by openthepodbaydoorshal 3D!!!!!!! No seriously. Watch Harry review Journey 2 and say what a silly, fun time he had.**giggle** And watch it make a shitload of money over the weekend. And that makes Mr. Trumbull's quest and ideal more of a struggle.

  • It was just perfect really. If they remade it it would be called iThought. Apple introduces the new iThought! Record and playback actual memories and dreams from anyone! The leaked Scarlett Johansen iDream where she's having orgy sex with multiple Ryan Renolds is very popular lately.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 9:25 a.m. CST

    Now let´s find good scripts

    by CuervoJones

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Film-based Showscan is STUNNING!

    by gotilk

    People who say it's like watching 3d though are on crack. It is MUCH more realistic than traditional presentation, but it comes nowhere near what we have now with our primitive 3d presentation. Now... combine showscan digital with 3d and you have real immersion. (wow my spellchecker doesn't say immersion is spelled wrong anymore) Anyone ever see that goofball thing at the Luxor? Is that even still there? It was a goofy film but it looked incredible.I know it was Trumbull, but I was never sure if it was showscan proper. It didn't look like any film presentation I'd seen before. Definitely very high frame rate. There's a single , bad quality, mono ride-through POV of the old ride left on youtube. It was shut down a while back. The flicker you see isn't on the ride itself, it's just an artifact introduced by shooting it on 30fps video.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Doug you can run with that and remake Brainstorm yourself.

    by UltraTron

    Call it iDream and have it star Scarlett Johansen. Indy budget with you doing the effects and Scarlett getting a nice check. Then use the proceeds for this thing you wanna make.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 9:45 a.m. CST


    by gotilk

    Great post and fascinating way of looking at it.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 10:11 a.m. CST

    I can't say enough about Brainstorm.

    by UltraTron

    It's a fully explored concept movie. Introduce the idea and then evolve it and put it through every pace you can think of. Just a perfect epic.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 10:19 a.m. CST


    by Richard Raymer

    Sounds a lot like Greg Bear's EON, something that's begged for an onscreen version for decades

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 10:37 a.m. CST

    If people think Contact has a "quasi-religious" ending...(semi-SPOILER)

    by Bill Binkelman

    then you should watch Brainstorm. I LOVE the film for everything except the angelic visions that Christopher Walken's character sees at the end when he finally plays the tape of what his lab partner (Louise Fletcher's character) experienced when she died. The first part of her "vision" is kinda cool (the isolated playbacks of specific memories as reflected in Escher-like globes) but by the end, we're in the same quasi-heaven territory that we were taken to at the end of The Black Hole (remember the cathedral like tunnel the remaining crew members passed through?). Visually, one of the coolest parts of Brainstorm, if you saw it in the right theater, was that whenever the character actually put on the playback device, the screen went from standard 35mm to WIDESCREEN in an almost Cinerama-like way. It was pretty radical. Also, the soundtrack was great and, of course, Natalie Wood was drop dead gorgeous (this was her last movie and, in fact, she died just after principle shooting was over, IIRC). People forget that the reason Christopher Walken was on the boat with her and Robert Wagner the night she "drowned" was because the movie had not completely wrapped yet. Since the scenes between the two in the movie sure seems like they had developed great chemistry, maybe Wagner was kinda suspicious. Who knows...

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 11 a.m. CST

    Will this debut at Snoozfest???

    by Tikidonkeypunch

    JK, I'm all up for a thinking mans sci fi movie. But come on, The Arrival was more entertaining than Contact. Contact started out good but disappointed in the end. I wanted to see fuckin aliens not her dad.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 11:24 a.m. CST

    GO FOR IT, DOUG!...

    by ObiBen

    ...Real movie geeks are behind you 199%...

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 11:34 a.m. CST

    All the geeks who keep bitching about the lack of aliens in "Contact"

    by Half-Baked-Goggle-Box-Do-Gooder

    - You are PRECISELY missing the point of the movie. Deal with it.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 11:43 a.m. CST

    *In Fact*

    by Half-Baked-Goggle-Box-Do-Gooder

    You are all playing directly into the problem.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 1:10 p.m. CST

    Silent Running? Really!?!

    by brokemart

    Oh goodie! Douglas Trumbull's going to make a hard sci-fi movie! And gee what better resume than "Silent Running". Remember? Bruce Dern and crew blast off on a gigantic spaceship loaded with the last remaining forest of a doomed Earth. Dern's character actually murders his crew mates, but it's okay because he's saving a forest. Later, the bile rises as Dern lays in bed and reaches his hand out to gently caress the "Conservation Pledge" hanging on his wall. All of the usual baddies are present...Evil corporations, a malevolent government, nuclear weapons, ignorant, insensitive humans. Those meanies!!! Poor Douggie just wants us all to hug a tree with him. And did someone actually call Silent Running the equivalent of "2001"!?!? Kubrick is spinning in his grave. Get serious.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 1:57 p.m. CST

    He needs to re-make Brainstorm NOW!

    by jamesonian

    No film of the 20th century screams to be remade like his '84 flick Brainstorm. Not only does it require upgraded graphics but his lead actress died during production compromising the final cut and skewing the film. Remake Brainstorm NOW!

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 2:36 p.m. CST

    My thoughts on Contact's ending

    by Dreamfasting

    Whether it was the intention of the writing or not, the core story I took away from Contact was the difficulty a person at the frontier of science has explaining their observations and understanding of the universe to people who simply lack the background to fully understand the material and the experiments. Look at how many times an astronomy story is published with a grainy low-resolution photo of a few pixels of a star attached to a story about how this photo proves something about the chemistry of a transitting planet that's causing an almost imperceptable drop in light. Even for those of us who are well educated enough to understand the basics of the science involved, there are so many things about that observation and conclusion that we have to take on faith. That's essentially what the character is left with at the end: an encounter far too beyond the realm of our experience for the rest of the world to understand. Personally I think that the movie shouldn't have followed her - we should have been left watching her drop though the machine with the rest of the world and then do a montage of scenes of her in hearings and interviews struggling to explain what she experienced, trying to find evidence that it really happened and wasn't just a near-unconsciousness hallucination. To me, Contact is actually a bit of a horror story, a warning that believing what a sufficiently advanced expert outside your field tells you is indestinguishable from a leap of faith. In the end we are all the crazy people camped out partying in the desert, using our beliefs, our politics, our agendas and our judgement of a scientist's character to decide whether to accept what they tell us.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Sounds good

    by HughHoyland

    I've been interested in this mans work for a long time. I want to see him take his ideas and blow our minds with them!

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 2:57 p.m. CST

    The beginning of EVERY Harry article: =As a child that grew up...=

    by Jaster Mareel

    I mean seriously. I can understand throwing something like that in every now and then....BUT EVERY FUCKING ARTICLE!?!?!

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 3:04 p.m. CST

    I never got to see Trumbull's Showscan thing

    by Margot Tenenbaum

    I do remember a photo of some dude's head on a spider in a STARLOG article about Showscan, though.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 3:32 p.m. CST

    So it won't be based on a Hasbro Toy/Boardgame?

    by SifoDyasJr

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 3:34 p.m. CST

    Outer space scares me


    I’ve always known the basics of astronomy/cosmology but lately ive been learning abit more about it all (largely thanks to anticipation for Prometheus) and I find it incredibly terrifying and chilling just how vast the universe is/how many galaxies there are and imagining what may be out there...not in movie world or make believe but for REAL. You can actually see it with your own eyes on a clear night away from light pollution! there actually could be (and more than likely is when you consider just how vast the universe is) alien being…..possibly with intelligences and motives we cant even begin to fathom…and others basically monsters (imagine if benevolent beings had visited our world 65 million years ago - they’d have uncovered a planet of gigantic alien lizards who want to eat them!). Makes you think should we even be sending signals and satellites out there? What if some advanced civilation want this nice planet for themselves. and even if there isn’t any life out there (not that wed ever know for sure)- itd be just as chilling. Think how precious life would be on earth. The only life in the universe. and then theres the possibility of the totally unexplained - blackholes, what lies beyond the universe, other dimensions /universes, the nature of reality, how we came to be, how the universe came to be, travelling through space/time etc its all just so very scary. terrifying when you think deeply about it. im surprised the majority of us humans can go about our daily business without a thought to this stuff. We’re in a real life science fiction movie (R rated for sustained threat and fear of the unknown) and no one seems to give a fig! Prometheus looks to delve deeply into all that stuff. I cant wait to have the shit scared out of me in a very bad way

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 3:34 p.m. CST

    Hmm. I live in the Berkshires. I wonder where his facility is?

    by Lucifer Haywood

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 3:43 p.m. CST

    "no one can imagine what it would be like"

    by ScriptCunt

    I love hearing shit like that... yeah, nobody on the planet is as visionary as YOU, douchebag. We can't even BEGIN to imagine the wonders that regularly flow through your beautiful mind... Fuck you, Dougie.

  • I'd rather see this than anything else scheduled for release next year (or the year after that). Silent Running haters can eat my dirt. Bruce Dern is the man and I want to marry his daughter!

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 4:49 p.m. CST

    I'm telling you, it's Drop Koalas vs. Chupacabras

    by Domi'sInnerChild

    Whoever wins, it'll be adorable. No one could imagine that.

  • As Hawking has cautioned, we are doing ourselves no favors whatsoever advertising we exist with SETI or other radio astronomy endeavors to seek out intelligent life, ie we should NOT be seeking these species out as they may just decide to kill us all. Just sayin...

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 5:21 p.m. CST

    Sucked as a director of characters

    by RogueWarrior65

    Brainstorm was a cool movie but the line delivery was really awful in places and that should have been dealt with via good direction.

  • The only time I've ever seen his Armond White shtick make him right about something is, ironically, the stance he's most infamous for on this board - JJTrek.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 6:32 p.m. CST

    Words are wind.

    by Dr_PepperSpray

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 7:50 p.m. CST

    Trumbull may just, ''knock our socks off''.....

    by spidar40

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 8:32 p.m. CST

    This sounds damn interesting

    by lv_426

    As much as I love a good bug hunt, I agree with Trumbull when he says that Hollywood is still in its monster phase when it comes to depicting alien lifeforms. Besides a few optimistic gems like Star Trek, 2001, Close Encounters, and The Abyss, we seem to always have monsterous aliens up in here.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 8:37 p.m. CST

    cartmanez, yeah space is pretty mind boggling isn't it?

    by lv_426

    I am also with you on how equally mind boggling it is that a lot of people don't give a fig as you say. Most people I know have such a limited view of the cosmos that it makes me want to slap them sometimes.

  • Showscan is to 3D what HD TV is to a drawing in the dirt with a stick. Showscan is a vastly superior technology. The large 70 mm film format projected at 60 fps does indeed approximate reality. I've been saying that for years here. And say it every time some new 3D film is released and 3D fans gush over it like it's the Second Coming. Once you see Showscan you'll never see at that Viewmaster looking 3D in the same light.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 9:03 p.m. CST

    ST TMP still the most amazing SciFi effects ever - FACT!

    by picardsucks

    The Vger cloud, wormhole, vger interiors and of course all the Enterprise shots are still by far the most photorealistic space effects ever in a sci fi movie. Only a few of the rotoscoped shots are dated but he did not do those Certainly the most gorgeous and intricate paintjob ever on a spaceship model in the original gorgeous pearlecent paint scheme on the enterprise Then ILM took the enterprise and painted it grey,. Fucktards

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 9:34 p.m. CST

    by Michael

    I love science fiction movies and love when they include aliens. With that being said, I've just decided why I don't believe there is any other intelligent life beyond our planet. It comes down to the issue of probability. As we have discovered that there are not only millions of stars, but potentially billions of galaxies many scientists argue that this increases the probability that there is alien or intelligent life out there. But I believe these discoveries cut both ways. If there are millions of potential planets out there that have intelligent life on it, it would be fair to deduce that some of these life forms are more intelligent than we are, just as there would be many that are less intelligent than we are. So, if there are beings that are more intelligent and they are more advanced in technology and discovery, wouldn't it be a high probability that those life forms would have found us by now and introduced themselves? Now, some would argue that if they were more intelligent they might not be interested in us. Ok, fine. But if there are millions of planets, then some of those beings should be more of the outgoing type of lifeforms instead of the ones who would have no interest in us. I just think that if the probability is so great for life to exist on other planets than the probability would be just as great that there were beings on one of those planets capable of discovering us, traveling to us, and wanting to introduce themselves to us.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 9:50 p.m. CST

    Why don't you run those numbers again

    by Autodidact

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 10:07 p.m. CST

    The issue with 60 fps

    by DougMcKenzie

    Was with making some people sick and they end up being unable to watch the movies. That's why Hollywood has avoided it, in order to, maximize the butts in seats. But Cameron/Jackson/Trumbull are forcing their hand thou.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 11:04 p.m. CST

    I'm wondering

    by HughHoyland

    Is he looking for ideas? Or has one already.

  • He'd be a good choice to help write up a scientifically plausible sci-fi/space opera about first contact with aliens 200 years from now.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 4:39 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    I'm not being a contrarian, you fool, it's what i really think about the movie. and which is what the movie is in regard to the book. Maybe you never read the book. Maybe you are a sucker for blind faith superstitions, i don't know. but it's very foolish of you if you thing one would just dislike CONTACT the movie just to go against the grain. I never do that. All my opinions are legit and honest.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 4:43 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Allow me to share your love for RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA. Though i only read the first book of the series.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 5:11 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    I see two problems with your agument. One is that the fact aliens hav enot yet visited us is not prof that they do not exist, but proof of how vast the space between the stars is, and how incredibly difficult it is for interstellar travel to occur. Second is the assuption that other intelligent lifeforms would be interested in space travel. We shouldn't assume that space would fill their imagination the same way ity does to us. imagine an alien civilization in which in their version of religion, Hell is on the heavens. This culture would certainly not want to go travel to their own hell. Or consider that some speices are so earthbound that they do not even any biological compulstion to travel upwards from their own planet, that to them space exploration is anathema. Just becasue mankind developed a fascination for astronomy, doesn't mean others do have. There might be more advanced alien civilizations who deliberatly never made an effort to go to space, and space travel is something that never ever crossed their minds. Or traveling the skies could be a tatoo like incest is on Earth culturesand only freaks and degenerates would entertain such thoughs. Imagine an alien civilization that had evolved in a planet that would had conditions like the Saturn's moon Titan, which is complelty envolved with a thick cloud layer up in the atmosthere, blocking everything from view except the light of the sun. A whole civilization in which they never saw the stars, planets, maybe not evne the very source of the sunlight they get, due to the cloud layer. This civilization would even get a lot of trouble figuring out the world they live in is a sphere object, much less all the cosmical objects that exist above. This civilization woud devote all their energies to surface bound tasks and never ever conceive the notion of space travel or astroniomical interests. Specially if they had a lesser curious nature then us humans have.

  • It's about time there is brough some ballance to cinema, instead of this prevailing unballance toward the Michael Bay type shit we are geting today.

  • I find myselr fascinated whenever i see Sf played very realistic. Whenever i se space stuff, the mofre realistic it's depicted the more i enjoy. Something about the brealistic depiction of space travel and space walks makes me blood pump up. There could be a compromise of sorts, like the one 2001 did: all the stuff about the humans and the human space travel would be depicted very very accuratr and realistic, but the alien stuff, being so advanced, would look more mysterious and strange and not act in the more obvious way. Of course, still the story would be spent more time with the realistic side of the human story. This is why i have good hopes for Alfonso Cuaron's GRAVITY movie.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 7 a.m. CST

    sounds great

    by digginjim

    and kudos to Trumbull for doing it himself.... lets hope he doesn't turn into Lucas...

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 8:05 a.m. CST

    Showscan & Trumbull

    by indivisibleman

    I saw Showscan at Trumbull's facility in the 80s and at various Expo venues around the world. It's a great format. Much superior to IMAX and and 3D. Trumbull is visual effects genius but he's a terrible director and nobody is going to give him the money to make his cerebral epic movie. He couldn't even get that going when he was briefly a corporate officer at IMAX (and working on a script with Ursula Le Guin). There may be lots of interesting demos of his new process and lots of buzz, but it's not going to gain enough traction to become meaningful. As much as I admire his accomplishments, there's only one thing that he's been successful at -- visual effects. His personal fortune is mostly from the stock options he received for giving IMAX adding technical credibility at the time the company went public.

  • No not really. I'm just talking out my ass. South Park did 500 years from now so good I don't know where we can go from there. The chick in the commercial polishing her whatever it is is as far out as is possible to think of the future before it becomes unrecognizable.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 8:54 a.m. CST


    by Sam Clegg

    Why are you here? I am the true asimovlives! I have died and have been reborn, you fool! Prepare for the coming of Star Trek 2 which will be equally as good as the first one! I live and I die. I am!

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 2:19 p.m. CST

    ST. TMP

    by HughHoyland

    Picardsucks is right about the FX in Star Trek The Motion Picture. Its the one thing about that movie that counter acts its listless plot. The FX are freaking amazing and a lot of it holds up well, even to this very day. That and the Score. And the beautiful ship. To bad it doesnt get more props like 2001 does, but it wont because well...It has Star Trek in its title.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 5:49 p.m. CST

    Autodidact -- Rama? Not sure, though...

    by The StarWolf

    I loved the first novel, not so much the ones co-written with Gentry, though. The problem I have is that the first novel has nothing much of substance happen. Major spoilers alert here... When they leave the enormous ship at the end of the novel, they haven't really gotten the answer to any major question. Yes, it's extra-terrestrial in origin. But, from where? Heading where? Built by whom? Why? Not a clue. I have a hard time imagining the average North American audience sitting still for this, unless you skip ahead to the third and fourth books where the Rama colony degenerates into civil war, in which case it turns into your basic shoot-em-up action flick and what would be the point of that?

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 8:14 p.m. CST

    "asimovlives=asimovlivesdies" BULLSHIT!!!

    by AsimovLives

    Another loser with no life basking on others. Sad ass loser!

  • Feb. 11, 2012, 2:41 a.m. CST

    asi: GRAVITY is going to rock

    by melonman

    After the masterpiece CHILDREN OF MEN I'm excited for anything CUARON does. But a real time space drama about a female astronaut in freefall… Holy fucking shit, I think I just came again. I'm dreaming of those long camera moves already.

  • Feb. 11, 2012, 3:51 a.m. CST

    How about Showscan3D?

    by Eyegore

    Maybe then all the freaks who get headaches from watching 3D movies will stop complaining.

  • Elements are just protons and you can make anything out of anything if you have energy. No need to travel to another star system to get stuff as you'd have stuff in your own system. Travelling interstellar distances is much more difficult - if you can solve that technical/engineering problem, you've already solved all your environmental problems.

  • Feb. 11, 2012, 4:08 p.m. CST

    francisxseelos argument is not so far fetched...

    by pete

    actually it has been around for 60 years. it has been formulated by enrico fermi, who was probably smarter than all of the talkbackers combined. thus it is known and famous as the "fermi paradox" and its exactly that. a paradox. tha ts why it is difficult to argue with. thought you hard core sci fi fans might be interested in that fact.

  • Feb. 11, 2012, 4:39 p.m. CST

    Yeah the first RAMA doesn't have much narrative kick

    by Autodidact

    However, I think that it could be a beautiful and wondrous movie. The story in the novel does not have a built in climax of the kind that would pay off in a movie. But it does have one of the best sledgehammer ending lines ever: The Ramans do everything in threes. I'm sure with a bit of a nudge and tweak they could find a suitable climax for RAMA. I think in the novel there was a certain window of time after which the explorers sent to RAMA would not be able to make it back to earth, as the ship was passing through the solar system. So you've got a built in countdown timer to add some tension in the third act. Doesn't one of the scientists opt to stay on the ship? If not, I might add that to the book. I just wanna see some octospiders done right.

  • Feb. 11, 2012, 4:40 p.m. CST

    I mean, add that to the movie

    by Autodidact

    Not add to the book, which wouldn't make sense.

  • Feb. 12, 2012, 9:25 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    I think a movie made from RENDEVOUZ WITH RAMA should had the same climax that the book has. a good filmmaker could make it good and exciting cinema. Turning it to something more action packed would be the action of a lesser filmmaker. Any fool can entertain by making action scenes. it would take real talent to dispense that to create a really suspenseful satisfying climax that is close to the book. and this book needs a talented filmmaker to turn it to a movie. in fact, the whole book, i think, is very cinematic. it's pratically a blueprint for a movie, given how much it focus on imagery, imagery that is so ripe to be translated to images.

  • Feb. 12, 2012, 10:11 a.m. CST

    I'm tired of studios not respecting the audience.

    by Rob Jenson

    Of course, that goes along with our entire dumbed-down culture, something that's really gotten out of control. It seems to have started with the big corporations taking over everything in the late 80s and throughout the 90s, and now everything's owned by massive conglomerates. When it comes to their entertainment businesses, their strategy is almost always risk-avoidance: brand name stuff, remakes and sequels and bottom denominator stuff. This is a dangerous attitude. Dangerous to our culture. I'm reminded of Albert Brooks's monlogue in Broadcast News. It's been a while since I've seen it, but it's something to the effect that the devil wants to lower our standards, to make our society somehow . . . lesser. That's what's going on right now, and, to use specific examples, people that embrace crap like Transformers or defend the Prequels have fallen prey to this standards-lowering phenomenon.

  • Feb. 12, 2012, 11:57 a.m. CST

    By "nudge and tweak" I don't mean turn RAMA into an action movie

    by Autodidact

    I'm talking about small adjustments to the timing of character movements and positions, whereby perhaps there is a small bit of excitement at the end of the movie where it looks like they might miss their window of departure. Hell it's been so long since I read the book that there might very well be something like that in there that I'm forgetting. And yeah, in the right hands with the right treatment, any such alteration might be unnecesssary. But don't go trying to hit against me with fallacious over-extension of my propositions, mmk?

  • Feb. 12, 2012, 1:27 p.m. CST

    Stan Deyo

    by Hemi23

    is a guy that wrote a book about how he was involved in some top secret g-men type shite and that he had his memory of it wiped blah blah then "remembered so callled experiences after taking some drug" blah. Anyway long story short. he had this idea that Hollywood science fiction movies involving aliens went through cycles of 'bad aliens coming to destroy', 'good aliens coming to help man etc' and his really wacked out theory was that at some point when it was at a 'good alien' point that aliens would land on earth and present themselve's as good guys coming in peace but in actual fact it was going to be humans staging contact with aliens so they could.....conspiracy blah blah etc etc. Not much point to this except for parts of his interview suddenly reminded me of this story. I think his book was called The Cosmic Conspiracy or something like that. i read it about 20 years ago so my memory is a bit...

  • Feb. 12, 2012, 5:20 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    mayeb i misread you, if so i'm sorry. I do remember when i read the book, i found the climax to be very exciting. Clarke had a knack to use real life physics and turn it into something very suspenseful. Operating in microgravity (which is erroneously called Zero-G, which is a misnoumer), it's rife for tension, which Clarke milked for all it's work during the climax when the astronaut has to dismantle the nuclear bomb that threatens Rama. His resolution to the problem was quite ingenious and completly consistent with real life physics. I find that kind of stuff to be utterly engrossing. And man, as you said before, the last line in the book is a real killer: the ramans do everything three times. It totally made me jump up and it boggled my mind.

  • Feb. 12, 2012, 5:43 p.m. CST

    See I totally forgot about any nuclear bomb

    by Autodidact

    I do remember an awesome bit/gag using a lesson about gravity vs air drag AKA terminal velocity. One of the scientists takes a leap of faith off some 200 metre cliff, having determined that terminal velocity on RAMA is something like 40KM/h.

  • Harry, I saw showscan in dallas also, at the showbiz pizza time theater. ard time trying to explain it to people who just look at me and think I'm making it up. I can see people reading your description here and not buying it. It just has to be seen to be believed. I have always hoped that the movie going experience would become something like showscan. Trumbull is the Tesla of motion pictures. He has a better way and I hope his time has finally come.

  • Feb. 13, 2012, 8:43 a.m. CST


    by Jeff

    This is very exciting news! Some of the best news I've heard in a long time, actually. God I would love to see (many times) a movie like this. Go Douglas!

  • Feb. 13, 2012, 5:35 p.m. CST

    BRING IT!!!

    by Bigdada

    The conventional cinema experience needs something, that sounds amazing. We need more amazing!

  • Feb. 15, 2012, 2:04 a.m. CST


    by Stephen Niver

    Wow. Do you have any idea who Douglas Trumbull even is? Just curious.

  • ... we have Silent Running and Brainstorm. Hopefully he'll put in the drafts, energy, and help it takes to get a great plot and script written. But hats off to Trumbull, the accomplishments with 2001 and Close Encounters are GENIUS and completely rule my world. Blade Runner was a continuation of what he had developed for CE3K in my opinion. Brainstorm had some GREAT effects imagery, and cool moments like the romance rekindling scene... but it also had parts like the slapstick factory scene with the robot assembly machines.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 12:09 a.m. CST

    Hard sci-fi badly needed.

    by smudgewhat

    Cinema is starting to drown in utter unseriousness. Much like America. A steady diet of candy only rots your teeth and makes you fat and stupid.