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Upcoming Film Based On Arthur C. Clarke Story

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the should-have-taken-the-skyhook dept.

Space 131

SoyChemist writes "The Wired Science blog has production stills and a story about a side project that several Industrial Light and Magic employees have been working on. They are producing the short story Maelstrom II as an independent film. The entire thing was shot in front of a bluescreen, so all of the sets and props will be CGI. The lone actor, Chuck Marra, plays a guy that hitches a ride on an electromagnetically launched freight capsule from the moon to earth. When the nuclear reactor that powers the catapult fails, he is thrown into space, but not far enough to escape lunar gravity — leading to an Apollo 13 style rescue mission. The original story was written by Arthur C. Clarke, author of 2001: A Space Odyssey."

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This is slashdot. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19768937)

I think we all know who Arthur C. Clarke. is.

Re:This is slashdot. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19769431)

Yeah, that guy from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Of course we all know.

Re:This is slashdot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19769467)

He was the one with two heads, right?

Re:This is slashdot. (3, Funny)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#19769507)

If they hadn't put that bit at the end the first comment would have been something like: "Would it KILL you to tell me who you're talking about? I actually had to use Google! Slashdot sucks!"

Re:This is slashdot. (3, Funny)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 7 years ago | (#19769771)

That usually happens when they have a headline like, "gPySQLbird 1.0.4 released", then talk about how great it is, without ever saying what the hell it does or comparing it to some better-known, similar project or product that might give us a hint.

Then, they have an article about a guy who almost certainly makes anyone's top-5 list of best sci-fi authors 1950-present, and they feel like they have to explain it. He's one of a handful of sci-fi authors that even non-sci-fi fans usually know.

Weird.

Re:This is slashdot. (1)

jgrahn (181062) | more than 7 years ago | (#19770601)

Then, they have an article about a guy who almost certainly makes anyone's top-5 list of best sci-fi authors 1950-present, and they feel like they have to explain it.

Let's see:

>>> 'Clarke' in ['Sturgeon', 'Cordwainer Smith', 'Leiber', 'P. K. Dick', 'Simak', 'Stephenson']
False
Not for me. (But I see your point.)

Re:This is slashdot. (1)

Control Group (105494) | more than 7 years ago | (#19771589)

So...did you miscount? Are you making a slantwise crack about zero-indexing? Or do Stephenson and Simak only count as half an SF author each?

FIST SPORT (-1, Offtopic)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 7 years ago | (#19768939)

Inhale.

Take in as much air as you can. This story should last about as long as you can hold your breath, and then just a little bit longer. So listen as fast as you can.

A friend of mine, when he was 13 years old he heard about "pegging." This is when a guy gets banged up the butt with a dildo. Stimulate the prostate gland hard enough, and the rumor is you can have explosive hands-free orgasms. At that age, this friend's a little sex maniac. He's always jonesing for a better way to get his rocks off. He goes out to buy a carrot and some petroleum jelly. To conduct a little private research. Then he pictures how it's going to look at the supermarket checkout counter, the lonely carrot and petroleum jelly rolling down the conveyer belt toward the grocery store cashier. All the shoppers waiting in line, watching. Everyone seeing the big evening he has planned.

So my friend, he buys milk and eggs and sugar and a carrot, all the ingredients for a carrot cake. And Vaseline.

Like he's going home to stick a carrot cake up his butt.

At home, he whittles the carrot into a blunt tool. He slathers it with grease and grinds his ass down on it. Then, nothing. No orgasm. Nothing happens except it hurts.

Then, this kid, his mom yells it's supper time. She says to come down, right now.

He works the carrot out and stashes the slippery, filthy thing in the dirty clothes under his bed.

After dinner, he goes to find the carrot, and it's gone. All his dirty clothes, while he ate dinner, his mom grabbed them all to do laundry. No way could she not find the carrot, carefully shaped with a paring knife from her kitchen, still shiny with lube and stinky.

This friend of mine, he waits months under a black cloud, waiting for his folks to confront him. And they never do. Ever. Even now that he's grown up, that invisible carrot hangs over every Christmas dinner, every birthday party. Every Easter egg hunt with his kids, his parents' grandkids, that ghost carrot is hovering over all of them. That something too awful to name.

People in France have a phrase: "staircase wit." In French: esprit de l'escalier. It means that moment when you find the answer, but it's too late. Say you're at a party and someone insults you. You have to say something. So under pressure, with everybody watching, you say something lame. But the moment you leave the party....

As you start down the stairway, then-magic. You come up with the perfect thing you should've said. The perfect crippling put-down.

That's the spirit of the stairway.

The trouble is, even the French don't have a phrase for the stupid things you actually do say under pressure. Those stupid, desperate things you actually think or do.

Some deeds are too low to even get a name. Too low to even get talked about.

Looking back, kid-psych experts, school counselors now say that most of the last peak in teen suicide was kids trying to choke while they beat off. Their folks would find them, a towel twisted around their kid's neck, the towel tied to the rod in their bedroom closet, the kid dead. Dead sperm everywhere. Of course the folks cleaned up. They put some pants on their kid. They made it look ... better. Intentional at least. The regular kind of sad teen suicide.

Another friend of mine, a kid from school, his older brother in the Navy said how guys in the Middle East jack off different than we do here. This brother was stationed in some camel country where the public market sells what could be fancy letter openers. Each fancy tool is just a thin rod of polished brass or silver, maybe as long as your hand, with a big tip at one end, either a big metal ball or the kind of fancy carved handle you'd see on a sword. This Navy brother says how Arab guys get their dick hard and then insert this metal rod inside the whole length of their boner. They jack off with the rod inside, and it makes getting off so much better. More intense.

It's this big brother who travels around the world, sending back French phrases. Russian phrases. Helpful jack-off tips.

After this, the little brother, one day he doesn't show up at school. That night, he calls to ask if I'll pick up his homework for the next couple weeks. Because he's in the hospital.

He's got to share a room with old people getting their guts worked on. He says how they all have to share the same television. All he's got for privacy is a curtain. His folks don't come and visit. On the phone, he says how right now his folks could just kill his big brother in the Navy.

On the phone, the kid says how-the day before-he was just a little stoned. At home in his bedroom, he was flopped on the bed. He was lighting a candle and flipping through some old porno magazines, getting ready to beat off. This is after he's heard from his Navy brother. That helpful hint about how Arabs beat off. The kid looks around for something that might do the job. A ballpoint pen's too big. A pencil's too big and rough. But dripped down the side of the candle, there's a thin, smooth ridge of wax that just might work. With just the tip of one finger, this kid snaps the long ridge of wax off the candle. He rolls it smooth between the palms of his hands. Long and smooth and thin.

Stoned and horny, he slips it down inside, deeper and deeper into the piss slit of his boner. With a good hank of the wax still poking out the top, he gets to work.

Even now, he says those Arab guys are pretty damn smart. They've totally reinvented jacking off. Flat on his back in bed, things are getting so good, this kid can't keep track of the wax. He's one good squeeze from shooting his wad when the wax isn't sticking out anymore.

The thin wax rod, it's slipped inside. All the way inside. So deep inside he can't even feel the lump of it inside his piss tube.

From downstairs, his mom shouts it's supper time. She says to come down, right now. This wax kid and the carrot kid are different people, but we all live pretty much the same life.

It's after dinner when the kid's guts start to hurt. It's wax, so he figured it would just melt inside him and he'd pee it out. Now his back hurts. His kidneys. He can't stand straight.

This kid talking on the phone from his hospital bed, in the background you can hear bells ding, people screaming. Game shows.

The X-rays show the truth, something long and thin, bent double inside his bladder. This long, thin V inside him, it's collecting all the minerals in his piss. It's getting bigger and rougher, coated with crystals of calcium, it's bumping around, ripping up the soft lining of his bladder, blocking his piss from getting out. His kidneys are backed up. What little that leaks out his dick is red with blood.

This kid and his folks, his whole family, them looking at the black X-ray with the doctor and the nurses standing there, the big V of wax glowing white for everybody to see, he has to tell the truth. The way Arabs get off. What his big brother wrote him from the Navy.

On the phone, right now, he starts to cry.

They paid for the bladder operation with his college fund. One stupid mistake, and now he'll never be a lawyer.

Sticking stuff inside yourself. Sticking yourself inside stuff. A candle in your dick or your head in a noose, we knew it was going to be big trouble.

What got me in trouble, I called it Pearl Diving. This meant whacking off underwater, sitting on the bottom at the deep end of my parents' swimming pool. With one deep breath, I'd kick my way to the bottom and slip off my swim trucks. I'd sit down there for two, three, four minutes.

Just from jacking off I had huge lung capacity. If I had the house to myself, I'd do this all afternoon. After I'd finally pump out my stuff, my sperm, it would hang there in big, fat, milky gobs.

After that was more diving, to catch it all. To collect it and wipe each handful in a towel. That's why it was called Pearl Diving. Even with chlorine, there was my sister to worry about. Or, Christ almighty, my mom.

That used to be my worst fear in the world: my teenage virgin sister, thinking she's just getting fat, then giving birth to a two-headed, retard baby. Both heads looking just like me. Me, the father and the uncle. In the end, it's never what you worry about that gets you.

The best part of Pearl Diving was the inlet port for the swimming pool filter and the circulation pump. The best part was getting naked and sitting on it.

As the French would say, Who doesn't like getting their butt sucked? Still, one minute you're just a kid getting off, and the next minute you'll never be a lawyer.

One minute I'm settling on the pool bottom and the sky is wavy, light blue through eight feet of water above my head. The world is silent except for the heartbeat in my ears. My yellowstriped swim trunks are looped around my neck for safe keeping, just in case a friend, a neighbor, anybody shows up to ask why I skipped football practice. The steady suck of the pool inlet hole is lapping at me and I'm grinding my skinny white ass around on that feeling.

One minute I've got enough air and my dick's in my hand. My folks are gone at their work and my sister's got ballet. Nobody's supposed to be home for hours.

My hand brings me right to getting off, and I stop. I swim up to catch another big breath. I dive down and settle on the bottom.

I do this again and again.

This must be why girls want to sit on your face. The suction is like taking a dump that never ends. My dick hard and getting my butt eaten out, I do not need air. My heartbeat in my ears, I stay under until bright stars of light start worming around in my eyes. My legs straight out, the back of each knee rubbed raw against the concrete bottom. My toes are turning blue, my toes and fingers wrinkled from being so long in the water.

And then I let it happen. The big white gobs start spouting. The pearls. It's then I need some air. But when I go to kick off against the bottom, I can't. I can't get my feet under me. My ass is stuck.

Emergency paramedics will tell you that every year about 150 people get stuck this way, sucked by a circulation pump. Get your long hair caught, or your ass, and you're going to drown. Every year, tons of people do. Most of them in Florida.

People just don't talk about it. Not even French people talk about everything. Getting one knee up, getting one foot tucked under me, I get to half standing when I feel the tug against my butt. Getting my other foot under me, I kick off against the bottom. I'm kicking free, not touching the concrete, but not getting to the air, either.

Still kicking water, thrashing with both arms, I'm maybe halfway to the surface but not going higher. The heartbeat inside my head getting loud and fast.

The bright sparks of light crossing and crisscrossing my eyes, I turn and look back ... but it doesn't make sense. This thick rope, some kind of snake, bluewhite and braided with veins, has come up out of the pool drain and it's holding on to my butt. Some of the veins are leaking blood, red blood that looks black underwater and drifts away from little rips in the pale skin of the snake. The blood trails away, disappearing in the water, and inside the snake's thin, bluewhite skin you can see lumps of some half-digested meal.

That's the only way this makes sense. Some horrible sea monster, a sea serpent, something that's never seen the light of day, it's been hiding in the dark bottom of the pool drain, waiting to eat me.

So ...I kick at it, at the slippery, rubbery knotted skin and veins of it, and more of it seems to pull out of the pool drain. It's maybe as long as my leg now, but still holding tight around my butthole. With another kick, I'm an inch closer to getting another breath. Still feeling the snake tug at my ass, I'm an inch closer to my escape.

Knotted inside the snake, you can see corn and peanuts. You can see a long bright-orange ball. It's the kind of horsepill vitamin my dad makes me take, to help put on weight. To get a football scholarship. With extra iron and omegathree fatty acids.

It's seeing that vitamin pill that saves my life.

It's not a snake. It's my large intestine, my colon pulled out of me. What doctors call prolapsed. It's my guts sucked into the drain.

Paramedics will tell you a swimming pool pump pulls 80 gallons of water every minute. That's about 400 pounds of pressure. The big problem is we're all connected together inside. Your ass is just the far end of your mouth. If I let go, the pump keeps working-unraveling my insides-until it's got my tongue. Imagine taking a 400-pound shit and you can see how this might turn you inside out.

What I can tell you is your guts don't feel much pain. Not the way your skin feels pain. The stuff you're digesting, doctors call it fecal matter. Higher up is chyme, pockets of a thin, runny mess studded with corn and peanuts and round green peas.

That's all this soup of blood and corn, shit and sperm and peanuts floating around me. Even with my guts unraveling out my ass, me holding on to what's left, even then my first want is to somehow get my swimsuit back on.

God forbid my folks see my dick.

My one hand holding a fist around my ass, my other hand snags my yellowstriped swim trunks and pulls them from around my neck. Still, getting into them is impossible.

You want to feel your intestines, go buy a pack of those lambskin condoms. Take one out and unroll it. Pack it with peanut butter. Smear it with petroleum jelly and hold it under water. Then try to tear it. Try to pull it in half. It's too tough and rubbery. It's so slimy you can't hold on.

A lambskin condom, that's just plain old intestine.

You can see what I'm up against.

You let go for a second and you're gutted.

You swim for the surface, for a breath, and you're gutted.

You don't swim and you drown.

It's a choice between being dead right now or a minute from right now.

What my folks will find after work is a big naked fetus, curled in on itself. Floating in the cloudy water of their backyard pool. Tethered to the bottom by a thick rope of veins and twisted guts. The opposite of a kid hanging himself to death while he jacks off. This is the baby they brought home from the hospital 13 years ago. Here's the kid they hoped would snag a football scholarship and get an MBA. Who'd care for them in their old age. Here's all their hopes and dreams. Floating here, naked and dead. All around him, big milky pearls of wasted sperm.

Either that or my folks will find me wrapped in a bloody towel, collapsed halfway from the pool to the kitchen telephone, the ragged, torn scrap of my guts still hanging out the leg of my yellowstriped swim trunks.

What even the French won't talk about.

That big brother in the Navy, he taught us one other good phrase. A Russian phrase. The way we say, "I need that like I need a hole in my head...," Russian people say, "I need that like I need teeth in my asshole......

Mne eto nado kak zuby v zadnitse.

Those stories about how animals caught in a trap will chew off their leg, well, any coyote would tell you a couple bites beats the hell out of being dead.

Hell... even if you're Russian, someday you just might want those teeth.

Otherwise, what you have to do is you have to twist around. You hook one elbow behind your knee and pull that leg up into your face. You bite and snap at your own ass. You run out of air and you will chew through anything to get that next breath.

It's not something you want to tell a girl on the first date. Not if you expect a kiss good night. If I told you how it tasted, you would never, ever again eat calamari.

It's hard to say what my parents were more disgusted by: how I'd got in trouble or how I'd saved myself. After the hospital, my mom got scared. And said "You're moving with your Auntie and Uncle in Bel-Air."

I whistled for a cab and when it came near. The license plate said "fresh" and there were dice in the mirror. If anything I could say that this cab was rare. But I thought "nah forget it, yo Holmes, to Bel-Air!"

I pulled up to a house about seven or eight. And I yelled to the cabby "yo Holmes, smell you later". Looked at my kingdom, I was finally there. To sit on my throne as the prince of Bel-Air.

All those people grossed out or feeling sorry for me....

I need that like I need teeth in my asshole.

Nowadays, people always tell me I look too skinny. People at dinner parties get all quiet and pissed off when I don't eat the pot roast they cooked. Pot roast kills me. Baked ham. Anything that hangs around inside my guts for longer than a couple of hours, it comes out still food. Home-cooked lima beans or chunk light tuna fish, I'll stand up and find it still sitting there in the toilet.

After you have a radical bowel resectioning, you don't digest meat so great. Most people, you have five feet of large intestine. I'm lucky to have my six inches. So I never got a football scholarship. Never got an MBA. Both my friends, the wax kid and the carrot kid, they grew up, got big, but I've never weighed a pound more than I did that day when I was 13.

Another big problem was my folks paid a lot of good money for that swimming pool. In the end my dad just told the pool guy it was a dog. The family dog fell in and drowned. The dead body got pulled into the pump. Even when the pool guy cracked open the filter casing and fished out a rubbery tube, a watery hank of intestine with a big orange vitamin pill still inside, even then my dad just said, "That dog was fucking nuts."

Even from my upstairs bedroom window, you could hear my dad say, "We couldn't trust that dog alone for a second...."

Then my sister missed her period.

Even after they changed the pool water, after they sold the house and we moved to another state, after my sister's abortion, even then my folks never mentioned it again.

Ever.

That is our invisible carrot.

You. Now you can take a good, deep breath.

I still have not.

Students Protest For Matt Damon Lead .. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19768965)

globaltics.net [globaltics.net]

Great Quote for His Interview (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#19768995)

He hopes to visit the great author at his home in Sri Lanka, unveil the completed film, and interview him about the future of humanity in space.
I am reminded of a great quote I once heard about from him that would be quite applicable to the above interview:

There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum. - Arthur C. Clarke
I don't know why but my favorite Arthur C. Clarke novel would have to be Childhood's End [wikipedia.org] . In my opinion, there's something more poetic about the style he used for that than there is for any of his other work. Of course, I find myself sliding into more and more bizarre novels these days ... possibly the reason why I haven't seen this adapted into a movie is it's not fit for public consumption (or something that can doom a film in the states, Christian acceptance [wikipedia.org] ).

I love independent films and I've got high hopes for this--if anyone could do up an amazing indie film, it'd be ILM. More importantly, I hope this opens up the door a little more for indie films to debut in regular theatres but unfortunately, I'd have to travel pretty far to find a theatre playing something like this and I live in D.C.!

That said, he is a great author though from what I've read about him as a man, he is rumoured to be a bit pompous--but you know, he is credited with being the first to conceive a geostationary communications satellite [wikipedia.org] so maybe he deserves to have a movie made for him and his ego stroked a little? :-)

Re:Great Quote for His Interview (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 7 years ago | (#19769153)

>>That said, he is a great author though from what I've read about him as a man, he is rumoured to be a bit pompous

Years ago he played himself in some stupid sci-fi movie. Something about how aliens sent an asteroid towards the earth to say "hello", and when we blew it up, they got pissed and sent thousands more. I think it was shot as live news coverage or something, but it sucked. After appearing in that, maybe he would have some humility.

Re:Great Quote for His Interview (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 7 years ago | (#19769889)

I think I may have seen it. Can you name it?

Re:Great Quote for His Interview (2, Informative)

codered82 (892990) | more than 7 years ago | (#19770081)

Without Warning [imdb.com]

Re:Great Quote for His Interview (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 7 years ago | (#19770305)

Thanks. That was quick.

Re:Great Quote for His Interview (1)

codered82 (892990) | more than 7 years ago | (#19771653)

The only reason I remember it so well was that I was 12 and it scared the hell out of me.

Re:Great Quote for His Interview (1)

TuringTest (533084) | more than 7 years ago | (#19770523)

So, the aliens got upset because we used anti-spam filters?

Re:Great Quote for His Interview (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 7 years ago | (#19771287)

No, that was a pilot message. When they saw that someone was here that's when the opened the spam gates and sent thousands more.

Re:Great Quote for His Interview (2, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 7 years ago | (#19769793)

I lost respect for Clarke when he began to attach his name to low-quality projects that were mainly written by another writer--such as the Rama sequels written by Gentry Lee which were full of puerile and un-Clarke-like sex scenes--and when he began milking the 2001 universe. I mean, 2010 was alright, but 2061 was fluff and 3001 [amazon.com] was unspeakably awful and pointless (and, from the Amazon reviews, it looks like a lot of people agree).

Re:Great Quote for His Interview (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19770997)

Yes, I was also very disappointed in the Rama "sequels." You could definitely see that his hand was not involved with the writing. And what was with that Venus Prime series?

He is a very good author, for the stories he's written. He shouldn't be attaching his name to puerile, character-driven trashy space operas.

Re:Great Quote for His Interview (4, Interesting)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 7 years ago | (#19770039)

I don't know why but my favorite Arthur C. Clarke novel would have to be Childhood's End.

Childhood's End would be good but unfortunately the "huge ships settle over all major cities on earth" imagery has been stolen by Independence Day. And yes, a highly-evolved race saying "religion is a common primitive response in dual-parent species" would not go down too well in modern America. (Maybe that wasn't in Childhood's End)

A more timely adaptation might be The Fountains of Paradise. Space Elevators, yes.

Re:Great Quote for His Interview (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 7 years ago | (#19770231)

The City and the Stars.

That's my vote for the next film adaptation.

Re:Great Quote for His Interview (1)

Khuffie (818093) | more than 7 years ago | (#19771389)

One of my favourite stories by far!

Re:Great Quote for His Interview (1)

IQgryn (1081397) | more than 7 years ago | (#19770659)

A highly-evolved race saying "religion is a common primitive response in dual-parent species" would not go down too well in modern America. (Maybe that wasn't in Childhood's End)
I'm pretty sure that was from Rendezvous with Rama.

Re:Great Quote for His Interview (1)

hidden (135234) | more than 7 years ago | (#19770833)

Unlikely, given that they never meet the aliens in Rendezvous...
It might be one of the later Rama books, but if so, its (probably) more of a Gentry Lee quote.

Re:Great Quote for His Interview (1)

khendron (225184) | more than 7 years ago | (#19770999)

That theme is from "Fountains of Paradise", as part of the conversations with Starglider.

Re:Great Quote for His Interview (2, Informative)

arashi no garou (699761) | more than 7 years ago | (#19771999)

Childhood's End would be good but unfortunately the "huge ships settle over all major cities on earth" imagery has been stolen by Independence Day.

I take it, then, you haven't seen the "V" miniseries from the early 80s? I always felt that "V" was the inspiration for that particular part of the "Independence Day" plot. Then again, I'm old enough that I actually watched "V" in first-run.

Re:Great Quote for His Interview (1)

Nethead (1563) | more than 7 years ago | (#19770223)

Childhood's End is what started me on sci-fi back in 1972. Thank you again to my science class teacher.

Re:Great Quote for His Interview (3, Informative)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#19771341)

I don't know why but my favorite Arthur C. Clarke novel would have to be Childhood's End. ... possibly the reason why I haven't seen this adapted into a movie is it's not fit for public consumption (or something that can doom a film in the states, Christian acceptance).

Or it could be simply that the story won't translate well into film.
 
Among other things - it's really two or three connected stories told serially within one set of covers. This is the same problem that haunted Dune for decades (for example). Another problem is that Sir Arthur simply won't leave Sri Lanka, which renders collaboration difficult. Yet another problem is that 'popular' (film) sci-fi has tended for decades towards 'space opera' and lightweight sophmoric 'philosophy/morals' and steered away from deep issues and complex tales. (LOTR could safely (partially) ignore the issue of complexity because that series has what Sir Arthur lacks, a large and vocal fanbase.)
 
And the issue of fanbase may be the real key - for whatever reason, among the Masters of SF, Sir Arthur remains largely obscure. He's known for 2001, but many fen know little more than that. He simply isn't read very much. (This may be because his main output over the last twenty years has been a series of simply wretched collaborations.)

Re:Great Quote for His Interview (3, Interesting)

xtracto (837672) | more than 7 years ago | (#19772247)

Personally I prefer Mr. Isaac Asimov, his Robot short stories (some of them in the I, Robot book), his Foundation Trilogy and other books are the ones that made me an avid reader. Oh, and he invented (coined?) the term "Robotics".

Oh and Asimov and Clarke used to play saying each that the other was a better Science Fiction writer.

Of course, I believe Mr. Clarke is more popular.

Just Wait for the DVD (1)

linx4prs (595942) | more than 7 years ago | (#19772319)

I'm really looking forward to this; finally the talent and resources of someone like ILM can be used independently of the dumbed-down, over-hyped and commercialized Hollywood establishment. And don't worry about waiting for your local consolidated theater chain to decide to show it to you, just wait for the DVD. Then you can see it when and where you want, without paying for parking or $5 popcorn, with no cell phones or noisy patrons making loud or stupid remarks, and you won't have to pay $10 to watch 25 minutes of commercials and "approved" previews before the movie begins on their schedule. The "big screen" is hardly worth it anymore.

Crack open that wallet, Poindexter (0, Troll)

E. Edward Grey (815075) | more than 7 years ago | (#19769107)

"Film" eh? I'll just ask you what other movie you recently saw that was filmed entirely in front of a blue screen and features minimal human acting, and you'll get the point.

Of course, because you're a nerd, you're going to hate it, and you know already you're going to hate it, but you're going to shell out your rent money to see it anyway. Make a night of it. Bring your girlfoh who am I kidding here.

Re:Crack open that wallet, Poindexter (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 7 years ago | (#19769135)

What on earth are you talking about?

Re:Crack open that wallet, Poindexter (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19769245)

Well I'm on Slashdot, and you're on Slashdot, so a reasonable guess might be: Linux.

Re:Crack open that wallet, Poindexter (1)

deweycheetham (1124655) | more than 7 years ago | (#19769429)

"The 300" on the History Channel(while I was reading /. of course). Done entirely in front of a green screen with minimal actors. They could have use cartoon figures as far as I was concerned, but still a good historical recreation. Hey I am geek not a "Red Carpet Groupy". What do you expect?

Re:Crack open that wallet, Poindexter (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 7 years ago | (#19769759)

still a good historical recreation

300 was a pretty good comic book and movie, but it was lousy history. If you read up on the real Greco-Persian wars (of which Thermopylae was only a small part, altough certainly a pivotal one) you'll see that Miller changed a lot of what happened -- in some cases understandably, for the sake of dramatic pacing, but in other cases for no apparent reason.

Re:Crack open that wallet, Poindexter (1)

mwlewis (794711) | more than 7 years ago | (#19770539)

Yeah, but he was talking about a show on the History Channel. I saw it, too, and it was pretty good.

Re:Crack open that wallet, Poindexter (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 7 years ago | (#19773525)

Oops. Apparently I should have RTFP'd before replying. ;)

No Blue screen (0)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19769911)

How about a show about a rat chef? Not much human acting there, and its raking in the cash.

Re:No Blue screen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19771577)

Ah! It is ALL human acting, except the humans have (through animation) been made to look like rats! That is what makes the film so compelling, all the oh so human drama.

I had no idea?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19769129)

I didn't know Arthur C Clark was catapulted into space. I'm looking forward to seeing the story of his life...

Who? (5, Funny)

glwtta (532858) | more than 7 years ago | (#19769161)

The original story was written by Arthur C. Clarke, author of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Oh, that Arthur C. Clarke.

Re:Who? (5, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#19769501)

The original story was written by Arthur C. Clarke, author of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Oh, that Arthur C. Clarke.

Remember, any sufficiently advanced sarcasm is indistinguishable from offtopic.

Re:Who? (1)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 7 years ago | (#19769797)

Remember, any sufficiently advanced sarcasm is indistinguishable from offtopic.

OK, I seriously Laughed Out Loud. This should go down in the annals of Slashdot history as one the The Great Posts.

Thank you for making my day.

Re:Who? (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#19769885)

Thanks. I just couldn't beleive that somebody modded the GGP "offtopic".

Re:Who? (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 7 years ago | (#19770943)

I used to think "off-topic" got used a lot when someone didn't get a reference in a joke, but I'm starting to think there are a fair number of people that just don't like jokes period.

Re:Who? (1)

vorlich (972710) | more than 7 years ago | (#19771447)

The benefits of a classical education. Ah, those heady days of slash/hilarity.
Go to the top of the class RANDOMLUSER(804576), we are unworthy. Outstanding.

Re:Who? (2, Interesting)

whyde (123448) | more than 7 years ago | (#19771511)

Remember, any sufficiently advanced sarcasm is indistinguishable from offtopic.


I thought it was, "Any sufficiently advanced ignorance is indistinguishable from stupidity."

Other notable variations include:

Clarke's Third Law: prov. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Any sufficiently reliable magic is indistinguishable from technology.

Any sufficiently nice person is indistinguishable from someone who likes you.

Any sufficiently advanced communication technology is indistinguishable from random noise.
    --Richard Factor's Corrolary to Clarke's Third Law.

Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.
    --Vernon Schryver

Shermer's Last Law: prov. Any sufficiently advanced Extra-Terrestrial intelligence is indistinguishable from God.

Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
    --Gregory Benford's Corrolary to Clarke's Third Law.

(Go ahead, you know you want to swipe one of these as your signature. Admit it.)

Re:Who? (1)

Kiaser Zohsay (20134) | more than 7 years ago | (#19772287)

Remember, any sufficiently advanced sarcasm is indistinguishable from offtopic.

Other notable variations include:

Clarke's Third Law: prov. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

--clip--

Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
Don't forget one of the classics: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.

Re:Who? Chuck... (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 7 years ago | (#19770655)

Norris? I thought I saw his name. Wrong Chuck.

In space, Chuck Norris doesn't sleep. He moves solar winds and kicks asteroids.

Rendezvous with Rama (4, Interesting)

nacturation (646836) | more than 7 years ago | (#19769183)

I'm still waiting for Rendezvous with Rama to come out. They used to have some info up at the domain name [rendezvouswithrama.com] , which is registered by Revelations Entertainment and was supposed to be sponsored by Intel. If the IMDB page [imdb.com] is accurate, this might be coming out in a few years... but it's been simmering for about a decade so who knows how accurate that is.
 

Re:Rendezvous with Rama (4, Informative)

raddan (519638) | more than 7 years ago | (#19769635)

If someone actually does do Rendezvous with Rama, they'd better do it right. The thing about that book-- and the thing that has always made me love Clarke's writing-- is that it captures the wonder and fear in an almost palpable way. But the fear part is hard for movie people to get right. It's the fear of the unknown. Not the fear of some big, drooling monster like Hollywood loves to put in the films. Rendezvous with Rama captured the weirdness of an alien species, and to my knowledge, Arthur C. Clarke is the only writer, next to Stanislaw Lem, who toys with the idea that actually communicating with aliens may not be possible.

Kubrick has made one of the only true sci-fi films in my mind-- 2001: A Space Odyssey. Rama would have to do something similar. Definitely a hard sell, but those kinds of films have staying power.

Re:Rendezvous with Rama (1)

Cctoide (923843) | more than 7 years ago | (#19770461)

I wish I had mod points right now. This is exactly what made me love the book. The game was great at capturing this, which made it unusually good for a book adaptation, IMO.

Re:Rendezvous with Rama (1)

Floritard (1058660) | more than 7 years ago | (#19770683)

...who toys with the idea that actually communicating with aliens may not be possible.
until Rama II when the humans were given a large talking owl with which to communicate. Ya know, because people find owls to be soothing creatures. j/k I loved the whole series of books, though the sequels are definitely more hollywood-friendly.

Re:Rendezvous with Rama (2, Interesting)

Scarblac (122480) | more than 7 years ago | (#19770817)

Rendezvous with Rama captured the weirdness of an alien species, and to my knowledge, Arthur C. Clarke is the only writer, next to Stanislaw Lem, who toys with the idea that actually communicating with aliens may not be possible.

That description reminds me of _Roadside Picnic_ by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky. Recommended reading.

Re:Rendezvous with Rama (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 7 years ago | (#19772041)

The original book was good, but the later ones were stupid. "Angels did it", is pretty lame for a Science Fiction author.

Re:Rendezvous with Rama (1)

Tmack (593755) | more than 7 years ago | (#19769683)

Yeh, I had my hopes up for a while after they announced the movie would be made... but it seems to have faded away and the last news I read about it didnt sound too promising.

Now movies (or series of movies) I would really like to see would be based on Ring World, or the Mars trilogy. Actually, take almost any of the Known Space stories and adapt it to a movie.

Tm

Re:Rendezvous with Rama (1)

vorlich (972710) | more than 7 years ago | (#19771747)

It would make a damn fine movie as it stands, but perhaps the French would have to do it! Jean-Jacques Beineix or Luc Bresson.
Ringworld was optioned for a movie and - allegedly - by the Sci-Fi channel.
The various screenplay treatments of Ringworld were unadulterated dog food and I don't think the websites that used to have them, exist anymore - probably a good thing.
Tanj!

Re:Rendezvous with Rama (1)

Fastolfe (1470) | more than 7 years ago | (#19769727)

I loved these stories. My greatest fear is that with such lackluster interest from the major studios so far, when it finally does get made, it'll be done on a low budget and end up disappointing.

Re:Rendezvous with Rama (1)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 7 years ago | (#19769835)

Morgan Freeman owns the rights. He wants to have a major part in the film. But hey, Morgan, you're getting on in years. Better do it soon.

Re:Rendezvous with Rama (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 7 years ago | (#19770055)

Rama is such a great book, but it reminds me too much of the original Star Trek movie, which was slow and plodding. The movie could be absolutely breathtaking, as I imagine if done right, it would. But at the same time, be very boring. Clarke wasn't really interested in centering his stories around characters, which movies generally are. I loved the entire 2001 series, but fell asleep during the movie.

Re:Rendezvous with Rama (1)

cronot (530669) | more than 7 years ago | (#19770097)

Hmm. But would it sell? I've only read Rama a few months ago, and while the geek in me loved it for all the cool ideas and concepts it has, I was a little disappointed by the anti-climax of how the story ends - without providing further insight on the purpose of the Ramans and what happened to them. I know that are sequels, but I won't bother reading them since from what I've heard almost unanimously, they are worthless - they deviate too much from the direction and style of Arthur C. Clarke, since it is mostly written by someone else.

I mean, Rama certainly works for me, but I have a hard time believing a story that ends with a whimper would work for the general public.

Re:Rendezvous with Rama (1)

aitala (111068) | more than 7 years ago | (#19770471)

The 'end' of Rama does present certain issues... its not the most cinematic book ever written..

Dr E

Re:Rendezvous with Rama (1)

labyrinth (65992) | more than 7 years ago | (#19770895)

For me, the fact that there was no "explanation" was exactly what made the original Rama book so good.

I did read the sequels, but I did not like them much- for me they were the kind of book I throw across the room in disgust, but then I can not help myself picking it up again later (late Heinlein has the same effect on me)

Re:Rendezvous with Rama (1)

aitala (111068) | more than 7 years ago | (#19771059)

The sequel(s) were bad - I only made it through Rama 2.

But the problem with the original is the lack of serious action...in terms of creating a movie. Most of the interesting bits happen between people's ears which is kinda hard to film...

Dr E

That would be great (1)

jgoemat (565882) | more than 7 years ago | (#19770385)

As long as they refrained from making any sequels. I found "Rendezvous with Rama" to be one of the most compelling science fiction stories ever. It was well written and had interesting characters you could empathize with and root for. It also had a great plot with realistic and entertaining challenges for the characters to overcome. The sequels were a huge letdown. Instead of being about exploring this mysterious alien craft and protecting it from hasty actions by planetary governments, the second book is more of a soap opera with the human characters fighting petty squabbles and acting in ways that strain credibility.

Re:Rendezvous with Rama (1)

aitala (111068) | more than 7 years ago | (#19770429)

You may get your wish sometime soon....

Dr E

Isn't this a lose-lose (3, Insightful)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 7 years ago | (#19769259)

Does anyone else see this as a lose-lose for these budding filmmakers? If the project is a success, ILM will own any distribution rights to it, since it was made with company resources. Meanwhile, these guys spent undoubtedly countless nights and weekends working on it, without pay. What will they have to show for it but a spot in the credits?

Re:Isn't this a lose-lose (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 7 years ago | (#19769311)

Does anyone else see this as a lose-lose for these budding filmmakers? If the project is a success, ILM will own any distribution rights to it, since it was made with company resources. Meanwhile, these guys spent undoubtedly countless nights and weekends working on it, without pay. What will they have to show for it but a spot in the credits?
Kinda reminds me of a certain operating system where people invest countless hours for no pay and other companies rake in the money from it.
 

Re:Isn't this a lose-lose (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 7 years ago | (#19769419)

In a way, yes, but in this case it's like working on a FOSS project, only to have your employer claim ownership and slap a copyright on every last bit of source code. A situation even the most generous of programmers doesn't want to see happen to his/her work.

Re:Isn't this a lose-lose (4, Insightful)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#19769389)

Sounds more like a win-win to me. If it's not a commercial success, these guys will still have a completed project to add to their demo reels and resumes, which didn't cost anything financially. If it is a commercial success, they'll have made a ton of money for ILM. ILM is known for being among the coolest places to work in the FX industry, and it will probably get them some nice bonuses and brownie points, as well as the elusive prize of a successful film for their resumes and demo reels.

What will they have to but a spot in the credits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19769425)

Sounds like a great deal. Having something good to add to your portfolio increases your chances at a better job in the future.

I've turned lots of crappy jobs on my resume into stepping stones to a better position.

Re:What will they have to but a spot in the credit (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 7 years ago | (#19770035)

I may be wrong, but I think there aren't many places cooler than ILM to work for.

It is also quite impressive that _all_ the props will be CGI. It must have been incredibly painful to sync them with a live actor.

Re:What will they have to but a spot in the credit (1)

tzot (834456) | more than 7 years ago | (#19772647)

It is also quite impressive that _all_ the props will be CGI. It must have been incredibly painful to sync them with a live actor.
I think your comment is two-three years late. If you find impressive the fact of synchronizing CGI sets with a single actor, what do you think about Immortel (ad vitam) [imdb.com] , Sky Captain [imdb.com] , Sin City [imdb.com] and Casshern [imdb.com] ?

btw, the garden scenes in Casshern were a joy to my eyes.

Re:Isn't this a lose-lose (1)

christurkel (520220) | more than 7 years ago | (#19769659)

No. They are doing it for the love of it. When it is done and they present to Arthur C. Clarke, I imagine it will far outweigh any consideration of credit or money.

Re:Isn't this a lose-lose (1)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19769833)

Even if you do something for the love of it, if someone else comes in and makes millions of dollars off of it, and gives you nothing, it's bound to burn a little.

Re:Isn't this a lose-lose (1)

count0 (28810) | more than 7 years ago | (#19770045)

The chances of someone making millions of dollars off of an obscure Clarke short are slim-to-none....this is about establishing credibility in the industry, not making money.

Re:Isn't this a lose-lose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19771285)

You're pretty stupid for someone with such a low UID. That's bound to burn a little. Did you buy it on EBay?

Re:Isn't this a lose-lose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19770979)

Is it so hard to imagine that poeple do things because they like doing it ? That not everything they do is for moeny ?

Re:Isn't this a lose-lose (1)

3D Monkey (808934) | more than 7 years ago | (#19771027)

No this is completely win-win for Jeroen (producer/director) and his crew. ILM is very cool about this sort of thing. He will be able to show the film at festivals and get notoriety (i.e. Slashdot and Wired) to help get him investors and propel the excitement forward. In order to become a noticed force in the entertainment industry you HAVE to put in countless hours outside of your normal work and expect that money will follow in time. However, working for ILM as your daily grind is fairly lucrative. Jeroen has worked for them for over 10 years and he's doing what he loves.

I've had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with Jeroen at ILM, and well, he is MORE than happy to be working with Mr. Clark and this is definately his dream come true. In the same position I can't imagine anyone would be averse to spending extra time to realize their goal.

More power to them, and thanks for posting this story to /. !!

Headline is all wrong (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19769305)

Downgoing Film Based on Arthur C. Clarke Story

lol (5, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#19769309)

The entire thing was shot in front of a bluescreen

      As if I really care which OS they used...

      oh, wait...

Re:lol (1, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#19769751)

"Offtopic". Fucking mods. That was funny. I'm offtopic.

Re:lol (4, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#19770077)

I'm used to it. It's the puppies. I get a lot less mod points since I got the sig about the puppies. I guess I'll have to bump it up to eight.

Re:lol (1)

vorlich (972710) | more than 7 years ago | (#19771837)

The puppies gag always makes me laugh. Seven is such a quality number. I get slash modded ever since I put a rather entertaining quote from the bible in my profile. I guess people are taking it seriously! Funniest part was - I read it first on slashdot.

The Cheapskates! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19769365)

The entire thing was shot in front of a bluescreen, so all of the sets and props will be CGI.
You're joking! You mean they didn't film it in space?

Um, which story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19769413)

I thought the original idea for 2001 was the short story _The Sentinel_.

Apollo13-style rescue mission? (3, Informative)

donour (445617) | more than 7 years ago | (#19769865)

There was no rescue for Apollo 13. They had to figure out how to get home safely just by following the directions of the crew on the ground. Thank goodness, they had Tom Hanks. :-p

Re:Apollo13-style rescue mission? (2, Informative)

Don Sample (57699) | more than 7 years ago | (#19771791)

And if they follow the Clarke story, that's what happens in this movie too. The guy has to follow the instructions on how to save himself that he gets from the folks on the ground.

Re:Apollo13-style rescue mission? (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 7 years ago | (#19772151)

And if Tom had his ball with him, he would have done it in half the time.

Re:Apollo13-style rescue mission? (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 7 years ago | (#19772849)

Are you suggesting that the Apollo astronauts didn't have any balls?

Doesnt fill one with confidence (2, Insightful)

AaronLawrence (600990) | more than 7 years ago | (#19769887)

The words entire thing was shot in front of a bluescreen don't exactly fill me with confidence these days. In fact I'd say that the record for such movies is poor, only Sin City really having managed to avoid being bland and dull. Dear filmmakers: yes CGI can save you money, and show you new interesting visions, but you STILL HAVE TO WORK ON THE BASICS like making convincing characters and interactions between them ... and actors find it hard to produce that if you make them work in front of a bluescreen.

Re:Doesnt fill one with confidence (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#19770383)

One of the biggest problems with blue-screens is the tendency in films (like Skycaptain and the World of Tomorrow) to film actors in the same scene at different times and just composite them together. In a film with only one human actor, this won't be a problem. The other issue is the actors not interacting with things they can't see correctly (pretty much anything in the new Star Wars films). This could still be a problem, but the fact the whole film is set in a fairly small craft should alleviate it somewhat.

But you get to go home at night (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#19770541)

As Gwyneth Paltrow said while working on Sky Captain, an all blue screen job, "I get to go home at night and sleep in my own bed." This after filming the scene where they're in a blizzard on a mountain at night. The mountain is CG, the blizzard is CG, and the weather is LA. Beats having to go on location to Outer Nowhere.

lone actor? (2, Funny)

phrostie (121428) | more than 7 years ago | (#19770853)

how much dialoge can you have in a movie with only one actor?

not much.

can too

can not

can too

can not

can

can't

can

can't

Re:lone actor? (1)

YT (79213) | more than 7 years ago | (#19771733)

Actually if you have read the story, then you'll know there is more then just the actor. There is the moon base and if I remember correctly a shuttle craft that tries to rescue him. So yes it's mainly centered on just this lone guy in a cargo pod, but there are other people he will be talking to.

YT

Graypeace will hate it (2, Funny)

ishmalius (153450) | more than 7 years ago | (#19771073)

With modern (hyper)sensitivities, ecologists will likely decry the damage to the lunar landscape.

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19771093)

I hope it's better than 2001: A Space Travesty [imdb.com]

Whatever happened to Morgan Freeman doing Rama? (1)

adzoox (615327) | more than 7 years ago | (#19771155)

I sold the domain rendezvouswithrama.com 7 years ago to a production company that involved Morgan Freeman partnering with Intel to create a movie version of Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous With Rama ... nothing's ever come of it.

Re:Whatever happened to Morgan Freeman doing Rama? (1)

aitala (111068) | more than 7 years ago | (#19773215)

The production company is still working on the project...

Dr E

Hopefully it's a winner (1)

YT (79213) | more than 7 years ago | (#19771903)

I hope it does well. Sir Arthur C Clarke and many other writers have tons of excellent short stories. The "Wind from the Sun", "The Sentinel", "The Nine billion names of God", "A Meeting with Medusa" to name a few from Clarke. It would be really neat to see some of these turned into short movies.

YT
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