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View Full Version : "Space Probe Taurus" vs "2001 A Space Odyssey"



wd40
2016-Nov-25, 01:44 AM
It is hard to believe that even as the abysmal b&w special effects of "Space Probe Taurus" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_R7LoJCR2E) were being played, the still unmatched special effects of Kubrick's "2001 A Space Odyssey" were starting to be filmed.

SkepticJ
2016-Nov-25, 01:58 AM
"Still unmatched"?

NorthernDevo
2016-Nov-25, 02:20 AM
I have to agree with Skeptic - the special effects of 2001 were passed almost immediately - it is not a special effects film.
Mr. Kubrik's masterpiece is not a special effects film. Its SFX are simple but their emotional impact is immense; it is the story that drives the movie, not the SFX. The effects enhance the story and help tell it; unlike modern films they aren't the point.

The actual moment when Frank Poole returns the AE-35 unit to the antenna is childishly simple - VERY easy FX. But by the time it happens, the moment when that pod turns...dear Lord I'm still crawling up the wall each and every time; it's so gripping and terrifying.

It's not the special effects in 2001 that are unmatched - it's the storytelling. For that reason, and that reason alone, 2001 will never be forgotten as a cinematic masterpiece.

Solfe
2016-Nov-25, 02:32 AM
Monty Python and the Holy Grail came out the same year as Star Wars and they don't remotely have the same production quality. The issue is, "what is the point" of the film.

Star Wars was a breakout, the intent is unimportant really. The effects were unlike anything before, but the cast and crew didn't know how it would do at the box office.
Holy Grail was not a breakout, the intent was comedy. The cast and crew meant to be funny, not successful. Even by their own standards, they had no idea what what they were doing. However, the whole thing is ridiculously successful despite the not so hot numbers at the box office.
Taurus was a classic B movie. It succeeded at the intend of a pedestrian presentation. It is interesting probably on a few levels. You can actually see that they tried to break the play as a film model by shooting 3/4 shots of the cockpit.
2001 was intended to be a masterpiece. Excellent scoring, acting, quality stages and amazing film. This was not a teleplay, Dave taking his jog pretty much destroys the man on a set concept that Taurus tried to do. One of the main criticisms of the film is the length. Too much of a good thing? I don't know how that works.

As far as 2001's special effects go, they are good. What makes them eye catching is something that anyone can do - They are consistent through out the film. If you can hit a certain quality and it matched the rest of the film, you have something that is great. Bad special effects are not terribly objectionable in a bad movie, the story killed it. However, having effects that throw the watcher a visual curveball will really screw up a film's legacy. Think Lawnmower Man. That stinker was doomed from the start, but boy did they completely trash the film with goofy computer effects.

wd40
2016-Nov-25, 02:47 AM
I have to agree with Skeptic - the special effects of 2001 were passed almost immediately - it is not a special effects film.


With good special effects for a few precious minutes you become decerebrated & forget yourself and that you are in a theater watching models and projected data displays, & become totally immersed in the film as if it was reality. I am unaware of any subsequent SF film that has surpassed 2001 in the 50 years since it was made, in non-CG effects that could withstand being filmed and shown in Super Panavison, let alone immediately.

Solfe
2016-Nov-25, 05:22 AM
I still claim that what makes or breaks films is the ability to make special effects consistent with the general feeling and style of the film.

I would list Tron as a solid film for making the effects consistent, although not great.

A counter example would be Babylon 5, a TV show. The special effects were pretty bad and the creators knew that they were bad. The were relying on the audience to realize that they wanted to depict something entirely different from what had been done before but the expense of having a weak technical craft, the technology was not available to them. They took a gamble and asked the audience to use their imagination to get past the production quality. I hate Babylon 5, but I have to say that the audience of that series was a titch more imaginative and accepting than most audiences. They are a "cultured lot", which circles back to the risk the producers and authors took.

NorthernDevo
2016-Nov-26, 03:17 AM
With good special effects for a few precious minutes you become decerebrated & forget yourself and that you are in a theater watching models and projected data displays, & become totally immersed in the film as if it was reality. I am unaware of any subsequent SF film that has surpassed 2001 in the 50 years since it was made, in non-CG effects that could withstand being filmed and shown in Super Panavison, let alone immediately.

Umm...I'm sorry, but you've kinda lost me a little. I agree that good special effects take the watcher into the reality of the film, but after that it becomes somewhat murky. I dearly hope you're not proposing that 2001's special effects have not been matched to date; that's silly, technical ability improves every year. If you are proposing that the impact 2001's special effects had on its viewers is immense, then I agree with you - in fact; it is exactly what I said in my earlier post.

SkepticJ
2016-Dec-01, 03:29 AM
I am unaware of any subsequent SF film that has surpassed 2001 in the 50 years since it was made, in non-CG effects that could withstand being filmed and shown in Super Panavison, let alone immediately.

Blade Runner?

SkepticJ
2016-Dec-01, 03:35 AM
Oh yeah, and 2010. 2010 looks fan-freakin-tastic in places. Jupiter, wow.

wd40
2016-Dec-02, 01:06 AM
21880The best special effect in 2010 was the Russian-accented Helen Mirren as Commander Kirbuk (a pun on 'Kubrick').

Solfe
2016-Dec-02, 03:19 AM
I could name dozens of movies that are much better than 2001 in terms of special effects. 2001 is impressive that it can hold up to modern technology... for the most part. Maybe not the apes at the beginning, but up until motion capture and CG, no one was doing primates very well.

One of the more ironic special effects failures when it comes to primates are the Daggits from Battlestar Galatica. They looked awful. They basically wanted a robot dog and sort of muddled their way through. To get the job done, they designed a costume for a chimpanzee and taught the chimp to act, in costume, like a robot dog. One of these things sounds like fantasy and I can't decide if it's the chimp actress or the robot dog.

:confused:

I though Com. Kirbuk was one of the better characters in 2010. Perhaps she was a parody of Soviet person, but her character didn't have all of the inherent flaws that most American movies from the 80's had with Soviet/Russian characters. She was sort of "flat", but not bad.

NorthernDevo
2016-Dec-02, 07:24 PM
I though Com. Kirbuk was one of the better characters in 2010. Perhaps she was a parody of Soviet person, but her character didn't have all of the inherent flaws that most American movies from the 80's had with Soviet/Russian characters. She was sort of "flat", but not bad.

I have to admit that even now I've still got something of a crush on Cdr. Kirbuk. Ms. Mirren absolutely nailed the role IMO; a strong, confident and capable leader balancing the needs of her mission with the ever-increasing political difficulties. One of the high points of a film absolutely loaded with high points. To return to the spirit of the thread, 2010 is a beautifully-worked example of how good SFX can be when they support the story; not when the story is used as an excuse to show off special effects.

NorthernDevo
2016-Dec-03, 05:29 AM
Oh yeah, and 2010. 2010 looks fan-freakin-tastic in places. Jupiter, wow.

The moment that completely blew me away was the first sight of Discovery spinning derelict over Io. It was astounding, majestic and utterly beautiful.

wd40
2016-Dec-03, 04:40 PM
The moment that completely blew me away was the first sight of Discovery spinning derelict over Io.

The original Discovery was a whopping 50' model, and it and its blueprints were destroyed on the orders of Kubrick, so they weren't able to use it for 2010.

21898[

publiusr
2016-Dec-03, 07:15 PM
I've seen bad CGI and great model work. Quality is what you want in either case.

A couple of things about "Space Probe Taurus."

They at least used an Atlas launch, instead of stock V-2 footage that went on for years.

Atlas' payload on its own was never as big as the set of course--but a wet stage station was being looked at that could have held a good bit of those sets:
http://www.fantastic-plastic.com/CONVAIR%20ATLAS%20MOL%20PAGE.htm

Skylab started as a wet stage launched by some form of the Saturn I, before a fully fitted out dry stage atop Saturn V

As far as the retro-armed astronauts--that could have been a thing:
http://www.aerospaceprojectsreview.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Pages-from-The-Meanderings-of-a-Weapon-Oriented-Mind-When_Page_1.png
https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3038458/The-Meanderings-of-a-Weapon-Oriented-Mind-When.pdf

Tuckerfan
2016-Dec-03, 10:31 PM
Cosmos: War of the Planets (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qn0zkoXIYQs) was released in 1977, and its effects are about on par with those of "Space Probe Taurus."

Krel
2016-Dec-05, 05:05 AM
Earlier this year I saw the TV movie, "Space Prob Taurus" for the first time in years, and I realized that the space ships were made from commercial model kits. The Alien ship was made from a Lindberg rocket model. The Earth ship Hope One, was made from the upper stage of a Revell XSL-01 MANNED SPACE SHIP Moon Rocket. So the models in the TV movie couldn't have even been a foot tall.

David.

NorthernDevo
2016-Dec-06, 01:00 AM
The original Discovery was a whopping 50' model, and it and its blueprints were destroyed on the orders of Kubrick, so they weren't able to use it for 2010.

21898[
I know - it's part of 2001 lore. :) Mr. Hyams created a marvellous replacement based upon watching the original opus. I wonder if there are nitpicking sites out there detailing the differences in Discovery between the two films? There HAS to be - I'll look :)

CJSF
2016-Dec-06, 12:56 PM
I know - it's part of 2001 lore. :) Mr. Hyams created a marvellous replacement based upon watching the original opus. I wonder if there are nitpicking sites out there detailing the differences in Discovery between the two films? There HAS to be - I'll look :)
Yesplease!

CJSF

NorthernDevo
2016-Dec-06, 08:51 PM
Yesplease!

CJSF
I haven't found much; I'm not very good at finding sites like this (my GF's brilliant at it). Still; I'm looking - I have found a fascinating blog by a modelmaker that teaches how to change the original model to the 2010 version. I like this because he gets into the nitty-gritty of changing the two models. http://culttvman.com/main/2010-discovery-by-jean-marc-deschamps/

Some changes we all knew; that 2010's Discovery is nearly twice the size of the original is common knowledge, as is the crew EVA door on the command module being moved to the side of the sphere; away from its old position to the right of Pod bay 1. I was surprised however at how much had changed.

publiusr
2016-Dec-09, 07:19 PM
Earlier this year I saw the TV movie, "Space Prob Taurus" for the first time in years, and I realized that the space ships were made from commercial model kits. The Alien ship was made from a Lindberg rocket model. The Earth ship Hope One, was made from the upper stage of a Revell XSL-01 MANNED SPACE SHIP Moon Rocket. So the models in the TV movie couldn't have even been a foot tall.

David.

The missiles in the movie Meteor were even smaller.

I visited the original Ackermansion back in 1992 and Forry had the American missile platform from the movie.
http://up-ship.com/blog/?p=33687

Krel
2016-Dec-12, 05:12 AM
The original Discovery was a whopping 50' model, and it and its blueprints were destroyed on the orders of Kubrick, so they weren't able to use it for 2010.


That actually isn't true, Stanley Kubrick couldn't order any 2001 property destroyed, because he didn't own it. The British MGM Studios did. What happened is that all of the 2001 properties were put into storage for donation to a Science Fiction museum that was to be built in Washington, D.C., which didn't happen. With the loss of the museum, some of the large properties were trashed, and some escaped, but most were kept in storage. During the same time period, the British MGM Studios went under, ironically due to 2001. The movie had taken up so much of the studio's space and resources, that they weren't able to rent studio space or services to other films. The series "UFO" started filming at MGM, then had to go into hiatus as they moved to another studio. All the studio's props, costumes, etc., were put into storage, where they stayed for a few years until MGM got tired of paying for the storage. Then EVERYTHING got trashed. All that movie history got destroyed.

A few 2001 props escaped. The SkyDiver Helmsman's chair on "UFO" was from the Moonbus. A couple of the orange Discovery space packs were occasionally seen as set dressing on British SF shows. There are probably others, like the Ares Moon ship that surfaced a couple of years ago.

David.

SkepticJ
2016-Dec-12, 09:49 PM
All the studio's props, costumes, etc., were put into storage, where they stayed for a few years until MGM got tired of paying for the storage. Then EVERYTHING got trashed. All that movie history got destroyed.

Why didn't they just sell them, like movie props are nowadays? Or even give them away? Better than destroying them. I'm sure that England has plenty of mega-geeks with very large homes who'd have loved to put the Discovery somewhere.

grant hutchison
2016-Dec-12, 10:51 PM
A HAL 9000 faceplate turned up in a north London junk shop in 1971, was bought for a few shillings, and was sold in 2010 for $27,600.
Dave Bowman's red helmet is still around, although considerably restored, and owned by a pressure-suit historian called Dennis Gilliam.
And we actually have an eyewitness account of the trashing of the other props after Borehamwood studio closed. Trucks delivered crates of stuff to the entrance of a dump in Stevenage. A graphics artist called Trevor Parsons, who was training at the college across the road, heard that they contained props from 2001 and went over to take a look. The crates had been unpacked and the props thrown on to the dump - he was able to photography the broken remains of the eight-foot diameter Space Station V, but couldn't take it away (which he desperately wanted to do) because he only had a motorbike.

Grant Hutchison

publiusr
2016-Dec-16, 10:08 PM
This I think:
http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/faq/html/spacestation.html