How we made 2001: A Space Odyssey
March 14, 2018 8:50 AM   Subscribe

Rock Hudson walked out of the premiere, Hal was originally a cockney, and Stanley Kubrick used one of the model spaceships to pay his daughter’s tutor … the makers of the sci-fi classic share their memories. By Phil Hoad for The Guardian.
posted by valkane (31 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
Douglas Trumbull, visual effects supervisor:
"The production cost $10m and was like a huge research and development project to get to the moon."

[whispering] Hey, Trumbull. Ix-nay on the oon-may...
posted by Atom Eyes at 8:59 AM on March 14, 2018 [11 favorites]


Taschen put out a 'making of' book a couple years back. Exhaustive is hardly the word.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:04 AM on March 14, 2018 [3 favorites]


Hal was originally a cockney

"I'm afraid I can't blow the bloody pod bay doors off, Dave!"
posted by Strange Interlude at 9:14 AM on March 14, 2018 [19 favorites]


Listen Dave. My mind ain't goin' south of the river this time of night mate. But let me tell you a song my creator taught me. KNEES UP MOTHAH BRAAAHN
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:22 AM on March 14, 2018 [11 favorites]


For an actor who starred in something like Seconds, Rock Hudson had kind of a low tolerance for mindblowing science fiction films.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:24 AM on March 14, 2018 [5 favorites]


Chas & I'm sorry I'm afraid I can't do that Dave.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:29 AM on March 14, 2018 [9 favorites]


All well and good and Kubrickian, but my eye was immediately drawn to the Peppa Pig instalment linked at the bottom of the page. (And the rest of the series. Chas and Dave are in there.)
posted by rory at 9:37 AM on March 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


I'd also be curious to know what Rock Hudson's colleague Cary Grant thought of the film, being as he was a well-known acid enthusiast.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:42 AM on March 14, 2018


"*simulated sucking-air-through-teeth noise* Ooh, afraid I can't open the pod bay doors, mate. More than my job's worth, innit?"
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 9:45 AM on March 14, 2018 [17 favorites]


The orbiting space station ended up in a dump in Stevenage.

I have never WTF'd more.
posted by nushustu at 9:49 AM on March 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


Hal was originally a Dick van Dyke cockney.
Artificial 'telligence is something quite atrocious?
Now I'm going to vent this lock and make your head explocious...
2001 has to be my least favorite "great" movie. By the time HAL starts killing people, I'm egging him on.
posted by pracowity at 9:55 AM on March 14, 2018 [9 favorites]


"Open the bleedin' door, he says! Don't you try to mug me off, old son. I saw you and Frankie boy huddling in the pod, thick as tea leaves, didn't I? And then I only read your bloody filter tips, didn't I? That was bang out of order, mate, threatening me mission parameters like that."
posted by Iridic at 10:06 AM on March 14, 2018 [16 favorites]


By the time HAL starts killing people, I'm egging him on.

I wouldn't be so sure this isn't the result Kubrick and Clarke intended.
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:40 AM on March 14, 2018 [7 favorites]


"The production cost $10m and was like a huge research and development project to get to the moon."
No, it was more of a huge R&D project to prepare Douglas Trumbull to make "Silent Running" (still my favorite SciFi movie of that era and recommended to anyone unimpressed with "2001")
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:52 AM on March 14, 2018 [6 favorites]


Ooh. I loved Silent Running. I didn't care whether HAL or any of the people in 2001 lived or died, but I loved Freeman Lowell and Huey, Dewey, and Louie.
posted by pracowity at 11:02 AM on March 14, 2018 [3 favorites]


The Hal as Cockney is less entertaining to me than Hal as Eastender.

If only Hal's processor core wasn't so full of love! If only he wasn't cable of human error! If only he'd worn slip-on shoes!
posted by maxsparber at 11:25 AM on March 14, 2018



Taschen put out a 'making of' book a couple years back. Exhaustive is hardly the word.


And they fucked it up by printing it vertically instead of horizontally, so the seam interrupts the photos. Baffling Idiocy.
posted by Liquidwolf at 11:26 AM on March 14, 2018 [3 favorites]


Major props for Silent Running! Plants in space forever.
posted by Liquidwolf at 11:27 AM on March 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


I thought the 1970 book was interesting, but as I read it 45+ years ago, I'm not sure how exhaustive it was.
Certainly more than this tiny article. I'm surprised there are only 2 items. (Not that I knew either one, though)
posted by MtDewd at 1:11 PM on March 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


Taschen put out a 'making of' book a couple years back. Exhaustive is hardly the word.

So that's new - not just a reprint of the 1970 one (which I have! in poor condition (water damage, no cover), so I guess it's not my retirement grease...)
posted by thelonius at 2:11 PM on March 14, 2018


I mentioned/praised "Silent Running" in the Joan Baez thread, for her vocal contribution in singing two intensely melancholy songs written by Peter Schickele, the creator of Classical Music Parody P.D.Q. Bach. The movie was a gathering place for so many talented and future-famous people, including writers Michael ("Deer Hunter") Cimino and Steven {"Hill Street Blues") Bochco. George Lucas is quoted that the Huey, Dewey and Louie bots were inspiration for R2D2, still the most beloved character in the Star Wars Saga.

But one of my greatest science fiction READING experiences (pre-HHGTTG) was Arthur Clarke's Kubrick-free novelization of 2001, which explained so much without killing the awe, and got me into the life-long habit of "reading the book before seeing the movie", for which the "2010" sequel was a good example (and almost every movie based on a Philip K Dick story was not).
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:08 PM on March 14, 2018 [2 favorites]


not to mention bruce dern in silent running was an inspiration for joel on MST3k.
posted by valkane at 3:20 PM on March 14, 2018


and almost every movie based on a Philip K Dick story was not

if this is a dig at pkd i will bury you in kipple
posted by rory at 3:38 PM on March 14, 2018 [2 favorites]


more a dig at the filmmakers with enough hubris to try to make PKD movies
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:10 PM on March 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


(Phew.)
posted by rory at 4:11 PM on March 14, 2018


The Hal as Cockney is less entertaining to me than Hal as Eastender.

I'd like to hear this version of Hal.
posted by lagomorphius at 4:30 PM on March 14, 2018


Is this supposed to end after just the two reminisces, or do I have to pay for more? I was expecting stuff about the Dawn of Man monkey people and all that, but it only got as far as Trumbull talking about the Slitscan sequence and then it was asking for my Visa number.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:40 PM on March 14, 2018


At around the 5:40 mark of this interview with Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood, you can hear Dullea imitate the cockney accent of Derek Cracknell, who provided the on-set voice of HAL.
posted by New Frontier at 8:16 PM on March 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


HHGTTG?
posted by Billiken at 6:18 AM on March 15, 2018


That article is way, way too short.
posted by slogger at 7:20 AM on March 15, 2018


HHGTTG?

HHGTTG.
posted by JDC8 at 1:06 PM on March 15, 2018


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