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Backstage Magic for a Trip to Saturn
by Richard F. Dempewolff
Popular Mechanics, April 1967
The article is taken from a popular US magazine about technology and mechanics. Columnist Dempewolff was invited to Borehamwood to visit the sets where Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: a Space Odyssey was in production and he could see how the trick shots for the movie were developed and realized.
More than a year before the final release date, Kubrick began the promotional campaign for his film by stimulating the audience with articles and pictures telling the cutting-edge technology used by special effects wizards to simulate a trip beyond the stars.
Howard Shafer’s drawings carefully explain how mechanical effects were done for no-gravity scenes, and Arthur C. Clarke, while touring the stages, explains to Dempewolff the scientific implications in the tale.
It should be noted that at the time the article was written, the Discovery was still supposed to go towards Saturn, instead of Jupiter: the end of the trip was changed later in the production for photographic problems in realizing Saturn’s rings in a realistic way. Similarly, the article features some of the early pre-production design for the spaceships, different than those actually filmed.