Science Channel Goes to the Movies

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There’s a lot of science that goes on behind the scenes of film and television, not just what appears on-screen. Earlier this year, the National Academy of Science’s Science and Entertainment Exchange assisted the producers of a new Discovery/Science Channel series called Science of the Movies with finding scientists in a wide range of fields to explore what goes into making a blockbuster movie or hit TV series. Host Nar Williams interviewed physicists, biologists, string theorists, paleontologists, and neuroscientists, even an expert on biokinetics to explore the physiology of the giant monster in the film, City of Ember.

And now you can view the fruits of their labors tonight at 9 PM on the Science Channel, when Science of the Movies debuts its first episode. Nar will be going behind the scenes of the Spiderman movies to learn about motion control. Subsequent weeks will show him going behind the scenes at Panavision; getting scanned into an action figure; working with scientists to recreate the avalanche scene inxXx; and exploring the technology of wireless camera mounts during filming of his very own chase scenes. You can preview some promotional videos here if you just can’t wait for 9 PM.

Here’s a snippet from the official program description:

Appealing to the movie junkie in us all, the new series explores the remarkable – yet rarely celebrated – scientific world that exists behind the screen, spotlighting the visionary artists, entrepreneurial spirit, innovative technology and remarkable techniques responsible for creating unforgettable, edge-of-your-seat moments in blockbuster films.

“Science of the Movies” breaks down famous movie scenes to show viewers the inside science on how each sequence was strung together. In each episode host and self-proclaimed movie geek Nar Williams gets the inside scoop on the tricks of the Hollywood trade.

The statements and opinions expressed in this piece are those of the event participants and do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for this event or of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.