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SFFH in Film, TV, and other NonTextual Media
Friday 19 October 2001
An article by David Bradley describes (in mostly sympathetic terms) how scientists serve as consultants to TV and movie producers. Their effectivity is predictably variable...
It is not just space movies where accuracy is important. Wright State University's John Fortman, in the Chemistry Department, specializes in rifling through the cinematic test tubes. Two films he cites as having been well advised are The Man in the White Suit starring Alec Guinness (1952) and It Happens Every Spring starring Ray Miland (1949). "Most newer films," Fortman adds, "seem to not care about details." He agrees with DeGroof that Apollo 13 does a good job, as does Lorenzo's Oil, but emphasizes that too many are like Dante's Peak, "full of impossibilities, such as acid water dissolving the aluminum boat and stainless steel propeller."
Although film producers have no moral obligation to get the science right, [Joshua] Colwell believes scientific accuracy is extremely important. "Many people's ideas about what is and what is not realistic and possible are formed almost exclusively by popular culture depictions," he explains. "That's not a good thing."
September Media Refractions