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Encyclopedia > Contact (film)
Contact

Contact Promotional Movie Poster
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
Produced by Steve Starkey
Robert Zemeckis
Written by James V. Hart and Michael Goldenberg (screenplay)
Carl Sagan (novel and story)
Ann Druyan (story)
Starring Jodie Foster
Matthew McConaughey
James Woods
John Hurt
Tom Skerritt
and
Angela Bassett
Music by Alan Silvestri
Cinematography Don Burgess
Editing by Arthur Schmidt
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) July 11, 1997 U.S. release
Running time 153 minutes
Language English
Budget $90,000,000[1]
Gross revenue $171,000,000[2]
Allmovie profile
IMDb profile

Contact is a 1997 science fiction film adapted from the novel by Carl Sagan. Directed by Robert Zemeckis, it stars Jodie Foster as Dr. Eleanor Ann Arroway, Matthew McConaughey as Palmer Joss, James Woods as National Security Advisor Michael Kitz, and Tom Skerritt as Dr. David Drumlin. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (509x755, 80 KB) This image is of a film poster, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by either the publisher of the film or the studio which produced the film in question. ... Robert Lee Bob Zemeckis (born May 14, 1952) is an Academy Award and Golden Globe-winning American movie director, producer and writer. ... James V. Jim Hart is a screenwriter and author. ... Michael Goldenberg is a playwright and more recently a Hollywood screenwriter and director. ... Insert non-formatted text here Carl Edward Sagan (November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996) was an American astronomer and astrobiologist and a highly successful popularizer of astronomy, astrophysics, and other natural sciences. ... Ann Druyan (b. ... Alicia Christian Jodie Foster (born November 19, 1962)[1] is a two-time Academy Award-winning American actress, director and producer. ... Matthew David McConaughey (born November 4, 1969) is an American actor. ... This article contains a trivia section. ... For the singer, see Mississippi John Hurt. ... Thomas Alderton Skerritt (born August 25, 1933) is an Emmy Award-Winning American actor who has appeared in over 40 films and more than 200 television episodes (half Picket Fences). ... Bassett and husband Courtney Vance Angela Evelyn Bassett (born August 16, 1958) is an Emmy and Academy Award-nominated, and Golden Globe winning American actor who is particularly known for biographical film roles portraying women in American culture. ... Alan Silvestri (b. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... “WB” redirects here. ... is the 192nd day of the year (193rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The year 1997 in film involved some significant events. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... The year 1997 in film involved some significant events. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... Contact is a science fiction novel written by Carl Sagan and published in 1985. ... Insert non-formatted text here Carl Edward Sagan (November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996) was an American astronomer and astrobiologist and a highly successful popularizer of astronomy, astrophysics, and other natural sciences. ... Robert Lee Bob Zemeckis (born May 14, 1952) is an Academy Award and Golden Globe-winning American movie director, producer and writer. ... Alicia Christian Jodie Foster (born November 19, 1962)[1] is a two-time Academy Award-winning American actress, director and producer. ... Matthew David McConaughey (born November 4, 1969) is an American actor. ... This article contains a trivia section. ... Thomas Alderton Skerritt (born August 25, 1933) is an Emmy Award-Winning American actor who has appeared in over 40 films and more than 200 television episodes (half Picket Fences). ...


The story follows the relentless efforts of the film's main protagonist, Dr. Eleanor Arroway, or "Ellie," to advance research with the SETI project and search for evidence of the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence by listening for contact via radio astronomy, something which she feels would be the greatest possible human achievement "for the history of history". The film explores what might happen if such contact indeed were made, and the enormous difficulties the human race might encounter in coming to understand that contact, with significant internal conflict occurring in differences over culture, religion, politics, and human perception as the story plays out. Sagan also explores what kind of message a much older alien civilization might hold for humanity in its fledging steps to join an interstellar community of sentient beings. The SETI Institute has received limited telescope time at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. ... The Very Large Array, a radio interferometer in New Mexico, USA Radio astronomy is a subfield of astronomy that studies celestial objects in the radio frequency portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. ...

Contents

Plot

The film opens with a montage shot of Earth in space, with a loud background noise made up of radio and television signals from recent years. As the camera pans out at impossible speed the transmissions become older, until the camera loses sight of Earth, the Solar system, and the Milky Way in a vast, silent universe. This article is about Earth as a planet. ... This article is about the Solar System. ... For other uses, see Milky Way (disambiguation). ...


The main protagonist, Ellie Arroway, is introduced as a child, fascinated by amateur radio. After Ellie asks her father whether humans can talk to other planets, and whether there are other civilizations, the scene changes to Arroway in her late 20s, a brilliant scientist and researcher working on the SETI program. While working at Arecibo, she meets Palmer Joss, a Christian theology student researching a book on science's impact on the Third World. Despite her commitment to the SETI project, Arroway is ridiculed by her former teacher, Dr. David Drumlin, who shuts down the project. Amateur radio station with modern solid-state transceiver featuring LCD and DSP capabilities Amateur radio, often called ham radio, is both a hobby and a service that uses various types of radio communications equipment to communicate with other radio amateurs for public service, recreation and self-training. ... This article is about the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence. ... The Arecibo Observatory is located approximately 9 miles south-southwest from Arecibo, Puerto Rico (near the extreme southwestern corner of Arecibo pueblo). ... Theology finds its scholars pursuing the understanding of and providing reasoned discourse of religion, spirituality and God or the gods. ... For the Jamaican reggae band, see Third World (band). ... This article is about the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence. ...


Ellie spends the next thirteen months trying to find a new source of funding for her research and succeeds in obtaining a large grant from the reclusive billionaire industrialist S.R. Hadden (John Hurt). Leasing time from the Very Large Array of radio telescopes in New Mexico, Ellie and her colleagues spend the next four years combing the skies until she detects a powerful signal of extraterrestrial origin coming from the star Vega composed of prime numbers, something which could not have happened randomly in nature. For the singer, see Mississippi John Hurt. ... The Very Large Array (VLA) is a radio astronomy observatory located on the Plains of San Augustin, between the towns of Magdalena and Datil, some fifty miles (80 km) west of Socorro, New Mexico, USA. U.S. Route 60 passes through the complex. ... Capital Santa Fe Largest city Albuquerque Largest metro area Albuquerque metropolitan area Area  Ranked 5th  - Total 121,665 sq mi (315,194 km²)  - Width 342 miles (550 km)  - Length 370 miles (595 km)  - % water 0. ... For other uses, see Vega (disambiguation). ...

Arroway sees the Hitler footage from Vega.

Government and military officials descend on Ellie's project, intent on taking control of it and displeased with the open announcement of the discovery. During arguments, one of Ellie's team members finds a complex interlaced data structure woven into the sequence of prime numbers. They discover that a sideband of additional data is interlaced with a television image, with video footage of Adolf Hitler making his opening speech at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin; apparently an extraterrestrial intelligence had received this early human broadcast and transmitted it back to earth. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... In radio communications, a sideband is a band of frequencies higher than or lower than the carrier frequency, containing energy as a result of the modulation process. ... Interlacing is a method of displaying images on a raster-scanned display device, such as a cathode ray tube (CRT). ... Hitler redirects here. ... The 1936 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XI Olympiad, were held in 1936 in Berlin, Germany. ... This article is about the capital of Germany. ...


The team also discovers that what was thought to be background noise amongst the frames of the Hitler footage is actually tens of thousands of pages of data written in an alien language. For some time the team is stumped by the language, but S.R. Hadden supplies Ellie with a way to decipher the language in three dimensions which reveals blueprints for some sort of mechanical device. Later, Ellie travels to a White House Cabinet meeting to discuss theories on what the machine does, and whether or not it should be built. Ellie believes the machine is a communication or transport device which might take a person to Vega, while several officials worry that the machine is an alien weapon or Trojan Horse. Ellie finds support from Palmer Joss, who has become the personal religious adviser to President Clinton, who decides to authorize the building of the machine. For the 2003 film, see Blueprint (movie). ... Alternate meanings in cabinet (disambiguation) A Cabinet is a body of high-ranking members of government, typically representing the executive branch. ... For other uses, see Trojan Horse (disambiguation). ...


Construction begins at Cape Canaveral on "The Machine," supported financially by an international lobby. A committee of scientists, philosophers, theologians, and politicians is formed to select a candidate for the journey. Dr. Drumlin and Dr. Arroway become the main American contestants for the "machine seat." During questioning, Ellie is forced by Palmer to reveal her atheism, and as a result, Drumlin is eventually chosen to make the journey. However, during the day of the Machine's first test, a religious cult leader infiltrates the site and commits a suicide bombing, killing dozens including Drumlin and completely destroying The Machine. This article is about the area of Florida. ... This article is about the profession. ... A philosopher is a person who thinks deeply regarding people, society, the world, and/or the universe. ... Theology is literally rational discourse concerning God (Greek θεος, theos, God, + λογος, logos, rational discourse). By extension, it also refers to the study of other religious topics. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      A politician is an individual who is a formally recognized and active member of a government, or a person who influences the way a society is governed through an understanding of political power and group dynamics. ... Atheist redirects here. ... A suicide bombing is an attack using a bomb in which the individual(s) carrying the explosive materials composing the bomb intend(s) and expect(s) to die upon detonation (see suicide). ...


Later, S.R. Hadden again surprises Ellie by revealing to her the existence of a second Machine, secretly ordered and built by his corporation in Hokkaidō, Japan, and tells her that the International Machine Consortium still wants her to go on the journey.   literally North Sea Circuit, Ainu: Mosir), formerly known as Ezo, Yezo, Yeso, or Yesso, is Japans second largest island and the largest of its 47 prefectural-level subdivisions. ...


Ellie travels to Hokkaidō, where Palmer meets her and reveals that his acts at the committee hearing were influenced not entirely by his beliefs but also by his personal fear of losing her. Ellie enters the Machine and it is activated, creating a massive energy vortex in the core of the machine through which Ellie's transport pod passes. Inside, Ellie travels at immense speed through a series of wormholes, eventually losing consciousness. She awakens on a beach that resembles childhood drawings she had made of the beach at Pensacola. An entity approaches her which slowly takes the form of her deceased father. Ellie realizes the experience is not real, and that the aliens have created the environment after downloading her thoughts and memories. She talks briefly with the alien, who explains there are many more civilizations in space. Ellie wants to take proof back with her to earth, but is told this is the way it has been for billions of years. When the alien senses Ellie's desperation, he comforts her, adding that in the immensity of space, "the only thing we've found that makes the emptiness bearable, is each other." A wormhole, also known as an Einstein-Rosen bridge, is a hypothetical topological feature of spacetime that is essentially a shortcut from one point in the universe to another point in the universe, allowing travel between them that is faster than it would take light to make the journey through... Pensacola Beach is an unincorporated community located on Santa Rosa Island, south of Pensacola, in Escambia County, Florida, United States. ...


Ellie wakes up inside the transport pod and is told that the pod had simply dropped through the Machine without going anywhere. Opinion divides over whether she had actually made the journey or hallucinated it, and an enormous political firestorm erupts. Later, at a congressional hearing led by Michael Kitz, Arroway admits that she has no evidence but asserts that the journey really took place. Ironically she asks them to take on faith the event happened. The congressional panel appears unmoved, and Ellie leaves the hearing with Palmer. Much to her amazement, as she leaves, there is a crowd of 'believers' outside the court. Later, in private, Kitz and the White House chief of staff discuss the interesting fact that Arroway's video headset, which she had worn during her journey, contained blank static, but had recorded approximately 18 hours of static, the same amount of time Arroway claimed she was gone. Though the information is suppressed, Kitz is pressured by the chief of staff and agrees to continue to fund Ellie's SETI work. Ellie returns to the radio-telescope array back in New Mexico, and is seen sitting in the desert during sunset. This article is about the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence. ...


Cast

Emile Hirsch as Francis Doyle and Malone as Margie Flynn in The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys Jena Malone (born November 21, 1984) is an American actress. ... For other persons named David Morse, see David Morse (disambiguation). ... Alicia Christian Jodie Foster (born November 19, 1962)[1] is a two-time Academy Award-winning American actress, director and producer. ... Geoffrey Blake is an American film and television actor who was born on 20 August 1962. ... William Edward Bill Fichtner (born November 27, 1956) is an american supporting actor, often credited as William Fichtner and occasionally as Bill Fichtner. ... For the singer, see Mississippi John Hurt. ... Matthew David McConaughey (born November 4, 1969) is an American actor. ... Thomas Alderton Skerritt (born August 25, 1933) is an Emmy Award-Winning American actor who has appeared in over 40 films and more than 200 television episodes (half Picket Fences). ... Max Martini (born Maximilian Carlo Martini on December 11, 1969) is a film, theater and television actor known for his roles as Corporal Fred Henderson in Saving Private Ryan and Master Sergeant Mack Gerhardt on the military television drama,The Unit. ... This article is about the television show host. ... Bassett and husband Courtney Vance Angela Evelyn Bassett (born August 16, 1958) is an Emmy and Academy Award-nominated, and Golden Globe winning American actor who is particularly known for biographical film roles portraying women in American culture. ... This article contains a trivia section. ...

Production

Development

Sagan had intended Eleanor Arroway's story to be a movie even before he published the novel of Contact in 1985; the book had its origins in a 60-page film treatment Sagan wrote with his wife, Ann Druyan, from 1980-81.[3] Though the author had been interested in the movies since the 1960s, when he advised Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke during the making of 2001: A Space Odyssey, and he had talked with Francis Ford Coppola about "the possibility of making a film about alien contact,"[4] the movie version of Contact would languish in various stages of pre-production for more than a decade before finally getting made. Contact is a science fiction novel written by Carl Sagan and published in 1985. ... This article is about the year. ... A treatment or more properly film treatment is a short piece of prose intended to be turned into a screenplay for a motion picture. ... Ann Druyan (b. ... Year 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1980 Gregorian calendar). ... AUGUST 25 1981 US Marine Sean Vance is Born on the 25th of August {ear nav|1981}} Year 1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link displays the 1981 Gregorian calendar). ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from 1960 to 1969. ... Kubrick redirects here. ... Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, CBE, Sri Lankabhimanya (16 December 1917 – 19 March 2008) was a British (lived in Sri Lanka since 1956) science fiction author, inventor, and futurist, most famous for the novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, written in collaboration with director Stanley Kubrick, a collaboration which led also to... Francis Ford Coppola (born April 7, 1939) is a five-time Academy Award winning American film director, producer, and screenwriter. ...


Sagan, Druyan, and film producer Lynda Obst spent hundreds of hours discussing how Contact could be adapted for the screen, in conversations that were tape-recorded and to which Sagan biographer Keay Davidson later received access. Davidson wrote, "These transcripts make enthralling reading [and] show how seriously these bright, enthusiastic, middle-aged children of postwar America and the 1960s wanted to make a movie that would intellectually entice viewers."[4] Along with conducting scientist think tanks and talking to female scientists about sexism in the field, the discussions included how scientifically complex the final film could be. Scientific accuracy was crucial in Sagan's mind; Druyan later said that, whenever they were watching a movie together and the filmmakers made a scientific error, Sagan would sarcastically ask, "Couldn't they afford to hire a graduate student?"[4] Lynda Obst is a feature film producer. ... This article is about the institution. ...


After years in limbo (Obst lost control of the project in the early 1980s, and she didn't begin working on it again until she was hired at Warner Bros., who owned the rights), the project was greenlit in 1993, with George Miller attached to direct.[1] Jodie Foster signed on to play Ellie after reading the screenplay's second draft, and Ralph Fiennes was approached for the role of Palmer Joss.[1] The 1980s refers to the years from 1980 to 1989. ... “WB” redirects here. ... To greenlight a project, in the context of the movie business, is to formally approve production finance, thereby allowing the project to move forward from the development phase to pre-production and, barring disasters, principal photography. ... Year 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar). ... George (Miliotis) Miller (born March 3, 1945), is an Academy-Award winning Australian film and television screenwriter, director and producer. ... Alicia Christian Jodie Foster (born November 19, 1962)[1] is a two-time Academy Award-winning American actress, director and producer. ... Ralph Nathaniel Fiennes, (IPA: ), born 22 December 1962) is a Tony Award-winning, Academy Award-nominated and Genie Award-nominated British actor. ...


Warner Bros. had hoped to release the film by Christmas 1996, but after Miller asked several times to push back production, the studio fired him.[1] Druyan later told Entertainment Weekly that "Warner Bros. finally came to the conclusion that George would make a great movie, but [that] it wouldn't be ready until after the millennium." Robert Zemeckis (who had been offered the project before Miller) took the project over, making a series of quick decisions: he changed the ending, kept Foster, and cast Matthew McConaughey as Joss. Carl Sagan died during the film's production, just seven months before its release. Year 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar). ... Entertainment Weekly (sometimes abbreviated EW) is a magazine published by Time Inc. ... Robert Lee Bob Zemeckis (born May 14, 1952) is an Academy Award and Golden Globe-winning American movie director, producer and writer. ... Matthew David McConaughey (born November 4, 1969) is an American actor. ... Insert non-formatted text here Carl Edward Sagan (November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996) was an American astronomer and astrobiologist and a highly successful popularizer of astronomy, astrophysics, and other natural sciences. ...


Adaptation

Carl Sagan, author of Contact
Carl Sagan, author of Contact

Although the film remained relatively true to the plot of the original novel, it differed from the original book in several notable respects. In the novel, for example, five scientists undertake the journey in the "machine," whereas in the film Ellie takes the journey alone. In the novel there is a female President in office, but the film uses footage of then-President Bill Clinton. Much of the characterization and dialogue of the President in the novel (including, with a few small changes, the memorable line "Twenty million people died defeating that son of a bitch, and he's our first ambassador to outer space?") was transferred to the Presidential advisor played by Angela Bassett. Due to the movie being made after the fall of the Soviet Union, the novel's subplot of a Cold War-era world united by the message (and the character of a Russian scientist with whom Ellie has a turbulent friendship) was dropped. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... William Jefferson Bill Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III[1] on August 19, 1946) was the 42nd President of the United States, serving from 1993 to 2001. ... Bassett and husband Courtney Vance Angela Evelyn Bassett (born August 16, 1958) is an Emmy and Academy Award-nominated, and Golden Globe winning American actor who is particularly known for biographical film roles portraying women in American culture. ... For other uses, see Cold War (disambiguation). ...


Also, in the novel, the destruction of the first Machine is due to sabotage, while in the the film this is dramatized to be a suicide bombing by a religious cult leader identified as "Joseph." This character may be based on a fundamentalist religious leader from the novel, Billy Jo Rankin, who vigorously opposed the construction of the Machine on theological grounds.


In the novel, Ellie has a sporadic romance with Presidential science advisor Ken van der Heer. The filmmakers left der Heer out entirely and "seriously discussed [characters as varied as David Drumlin and] the Russian scientist who collected dirty playing cards" as Ellie's love interest before settling on Palmer Joss, played in the film by Matthew McConaughey. The end of the novel does hint at the possibility of a relationship between Ellie and Palmer for the future. Ellie's character remains the lead, in a role reversal that inspired Foster to quip, of McConaughey, "He's got the girl's part."[1] In the novel, Joss plays a much smaller role, though he does send Ellie a talisman shortly before she goes on board the machine (a pendulum in the novel and a compass in the movie). McConaughey, who is religious, refused to deliver his character's line "My God was too small," telling Druyan that it was sacrilegious.[4] Matthew David McConaughey (born November 4, 1969) is an American actor. ...


Obst has said that the studio sent her notes warning her against "nerdifying" Ellie and, eventually, the novel's coda (in which Ellie discovers a hidden message deep within the digits of pi) was dropped, partly because executives thought that "pi would be too difficult a concept to explain to a mass audience."[4] Ideas that were discussed (and rejected) as possible replacement endings included a spectacular finale in which a light show in the sky is created by the extraterrestrials to prove their existence, and an ending in which Ellie (who, as the machine is taking off in the novel, thinks to herself she wishes she had had a baby) gives birth to a child. Sum redirects here. ... When a circles diameter is 1, its circumference is π. Pi or π is the ratio of a circles circumference to its diameter in Euclidean geometry, approximately 3. ...


The Machine

The Machine itself underwent a radical redesign from its novel counterpart:

  • In the novel, it is described as a dodecahedron-shaped vessel wrapped inside of three separate-free-floating spherical shells called benzels (the largest outer shell being approximately 30' in diameter), with a single hatch along the top of each segment. The Machine was also both built inside of- and activated from- a large hangar bay; which took the better part of ten years from when the US President authorized its construction to when it is activated. Through complex descriptions of what each part of the machine is and how it operates (or is thought to operate), the inner vessel remains stationary while the three outer shells counter-rotate perpendicular to each other along each axis (X, Y, and Z). Three Machines are built- one by the United States (which is sabotaged), one by Russia (which is plagued by malfunctions and never used), and a third one in Hokkaidō, Japan which was finally used. There is enough room inside for five occupants in cushioned seats which face each other. When the Machine arrives at its destination, the hatch opens automatically, and all five passengers exit the Machine onto a sandy beach. Later, they re-enter the Machine, and it automatically returns to Earth.
The film's (second) Machine in operation at Hokkaidō.
  • By contrast, the Machine in the film is composed of two parts- a very large, crane-like structure standing well over 300ft-tall, and the smaller rigged traveling capsule which will make the trip to its final destination. Two are assembled: one at the Kennedy Space Center and another in Hokkaidō, Japan. On four pillar-like supports three massive rotating rings. Directly aside the ringed complex is a tall crane with a long boom which hold a small room directly above the rings. The travel capsule is suspended over open space directly over the rings. The cage-like framework structure around the spherical capsule is also shaped like a dodecahedron. A retractable bridge extends to the side of the capsule leading to a wide circular hatch. When the capsule's hatch door is closed, the edge seams disappear, sealing in the occupant inside. When the three large rings below spin up to a specified speed, a bright wormhole effect appears. The travel capsule is then dropped into the center of the rings, entering the wormhole. As the capsule returns to Earth, it continues the fall through the rings, into a catch net. Both the Kennedy and Hokkaidō Machines look and operate the same way.
    • Ellie is never shown exiting or re-entering the Machine capsule in the film; she merely appears floating over the beach until she touches the sand.

Since construction of the novel's Machine takes so long, and requires new technologies and materials to be developed, world industries are revolutionized during this time, including the formation of several Earth-orbit space stations which contain thousands of individuals each. In contrast, the construction timeframe is much narrower in the film and there is no mention of the benefits of using alien technology in other applications. A dodecahedron is any polyhedron with twelve faces, but usually a regular dodecahedron is meant: a Platonic solid composed of twelve regular pentagonal faces, with three meeting at each vertex. ... Fig. ... The axis of rotation of a rotating body is a line such that the distance between any point on the line and any point of the body remains constant under the rotation. ... Image File history File links Contact-Machine. ... Image File history File links Contact-Machine. ... Merritt Island and Kennedy Space Center (shown in white). ...   literally North Sea Circuit, Ainu: Mosir), formerly known as Ezo, Yezo, Yeso, or Yesso, is Japans second largest island and the largest of its 47 prefectural-level subdivisions. ...


Things that are consistent between the novel and film Machine designs-

  • The walls of the Machine are made of solid, opaque materials. However, when activated, the walls fade and the environment outside can be easily viewed.
  • The capsules are both based on dodecahedrons.
  • Both Machines incorporate three round objects that counter-spin perpendicular to each other; one stacked inside the other.
  • The concept of the Benzel is conserved - In the novel, their name is a surded form derived from one of the main protagonists of merry-go-round design in the 19th Century, Gustav Dentzel. In the novel, the Benzels ensure sphere rotation with minimal drag, and are in fact frictionless bearings. In the film, the rotating rings do appear to be in essence like merry-go-round's stage, and thus can equally claim to Benzel design in purpose.
  • In the climax of both the film and novel, the traveler(s) return to Earth, awed by their journeys and are anxious to share what they have seen. However, no one outside of the Machine's effect sees anything significant happen. In the novel, the Machine's sphere shells spin up to speed, and then automatically slow down after a few moments; in the film, the travel capsule simply falls through the bright effect, and lands in the netting as if nothing had happened.
  • Though the traveler(s) bring electronic recording devices with [them], all are immediately erased by the effects of wormhole travel, making them useless as evidence of any voyage or their time on the beach.
  • No attempt is made to use the Machine again after its 'failure to perform as anticipated.'

This article is about the fairground ride. ...

Effects

The special effects of Contact were produced by both Sony Pictures Imageworks as well as Peter Jackson's Weta Digital. Typical of Zemeckis' work, the effects work was intensive, in what was a first for Foster. She later said, when asked about working in front of a bluescreen, "It was a blue room. Blue walls, blue roof. It was just blue, blue, blue. And I was rotated on a lazy Susan with the camera moving on a computerized arm. It was really tough."[1] The elaborate effects were well-received upon Contact's release (getting nominated for several awards, including a Saturn Award and Annie Award, and winning the 1998 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.); it also received a nomination in the Academy Awards for Best Sound and lost against Titanic. Among the more notable effects scenes in the film are the following: Sony Pictures Imageworks Inc. ... For other persons named Peter Jackson, see Peter Jackson (disambiguation). ... Weta Digital is a digital visual effects company based in Wellington, New Zealand, an offshoot of the Weta Workshop physical effects company. ... The bluescreen setup. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Saturn Award is an award presented annually by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films to honor the top works in science fiction, fantasy, and horror in film, television, and home video. ... The Annie Awards are given to an animation award show created by the International Animated Film Society ASIFA-Hollywood, and are animations highest honor[1]. Originally designed to celebrate lifetime or career contributions to animation in the fields of producing, directing, animation, design, writing, voice acting, sound and sound... Year 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar). ... The Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation is one of the annual Hugo Award categories, presented by members of the World Science Fiction Convention. ... Academy Award The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are the most prominent and most watched film awards ceremony in the world. ... This is a list of films that have received an Oscar for best sound. ... Look up titanic, Titanic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

  • The movie opens with a scale view, lasting approximately three minutes, of the entire Universe. It begins by zooming away from the Earth and through the solar system, through the Oort Cloud, then through the nebulae and stars in the galaxy, away from the Milky Way, through the Large Magellanic Cloud, through Andromeda, and through billions of other galaxies, finally ending up by coming out of the eye of young Ellie. The effect is accompanied by slight anachronisms in the audio, which are meant to emphasize the observer's distance from Earth by juxtaposing the tracking shot with radio transmissions that travel at the speed of light and were produced years or decades before the present. Close to Earth, modern-day radio chatter is heard; but as the "spacecraft" passes Saturn, which is approximately one light-hour from Earth, we hear Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have a Dream speech (1963), even though the film is set in the "present day" (1997). The radio transmission of the speech would, in fact, have reached the stars Pollux and Arcturus by then. Also, there is a minor "astrographical" error in the sequence. When the camera passes through the Eagle Nebula, the three distinctive columns are shown as we see them from earth, not as they would be seen in a pull back of that magnitude. When passing by Mars, the "face" can be seen.
  • News footage of then-President Bill Clinton was used and digitally altered to make it appear as if he is speaking about alien contact. This was not the original plan for the film; Zemeckis had actually asked Sidney Poitier to play the President. Soon after Poitier turned the role down,[1] Zemeckis saw a NASA announcement in August 1996 featuring then-President Bill Clinton. "Clinton gave his Mars rock speech," the director later explained, "and I swear to God it was like it was scripted for this movie. When he said the line 'We will continue to listen closely to what it has to say,' I almost died. I stood there with my mouth hanging open."[1] Zemeckis incorporated the Clinton speech into the film, and the altered footage caused a controversy both from the White House and from news organizations, over the ethics of fictionalizing such footage.[5][6]
  • Jena Malone, who played Young Ellie, has dark brown eyes, while Jodie Foster has blue eyes. Rather than have Malone wear blue contact lenses, computerized colorization was used to make her brown eyes blue.
  • In the scene where young Ellie fetches her dad's medicine, she runs around a corner, up a flight of stairs, around another 90°Corner, and down a hallway towards a bathroom medicine cabinet with a mirror on its door. In an unusually smooth transition, the film switches from point-of-view of the camera to a view of the reflection on the bathroom mirror in mid-hallway.
  • In the scene before Ellie descends to the beach, six different emotional performances (happy, sad, afraid, etc.) of Foster and one of Malone are composited over each other.
  • In the scene on the beach with Ellie and her "father," the water appears to only recede from the sand; there are no waves approaching the beach.

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References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Cover story: Making Contact. Benjamin Svetkey, Entertainment Weekly (1997-07-18). Retrieved on 2007-02-06.
  2. ^ Contact (1997). Box Office Mojo. Retrieved on 2007-09-24.
  3. ^ Sagan, Carl. Contact: A Novel. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1985. p. 432.
  4. ^ a b c d e Davidson, Keay. Carl Sagan: A Life. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1999.
  5. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20031105101908/
  6. ^ http://www.parascope.com/articles/slips/fs_184.htm

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  Results from FactBites:
 
Contact (film) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2019 words)
Contact is a 1997 science fiction film adapted from the novel by Carl Sagan.
The film ends with Ellie receiving a new government grant to continue her SETI project at a newly-expanded array, followed by a shot of the words "For Carl" set against a backdrop of stars, as a dedication to Sagan.
The film was nominated for a "best special effects" Saturn Award, a "best individual achievement: effects animation" Annie; and won an "outstanding visual effects" Golden Satellite Award and a "best use of animation as a special FX in a theatrical" WAC award.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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