To coincide with the release of director Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, a 3D printed ranger aircraft model which was featured in the film has gone on display at the BFI IMAX, Waterloo.
As mankind’s time on earth draws to a close, a group of explorers are despatched into space on a mission that represents our last hope – to find a planet capable of supporting human life.
The Ranger is the fast-moving shuttle of the Endurance, and in the prop design process was the first of the film’s trio of aircrafts to take shape. Director Christopher Nolan and production designer Nathan Crowley embarked on a research expedition through the past, present and future of aerospace, which took them through hours of IMAX documentaries on the International Space Station (ISS), a tour through entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX facility and Dragon spacecraft, and a walk in the shadow of the Space Shuttle Endeavor. “We both grew up with NASA and know the excitement of a rocket launch”, Crowley explained, “So we were after something that would feel new and somewhat advanced, but familiar and relatable.”
The Ranger displayed at BFI IMAX is 12ft long, 1/15th of the full size ship and was used in filming as Nolan felt that miniatures, rather than CGI, were the best way to make the aircraft seem tangible in the spacescapes. Although spanning 12 feet, this miniature amongst others, earned itself the nickname of a ‘maxature’ on set!
The model was crafted with excruciating detail using state of the art 3D printing methods to ensure it matched up exactly to its full size counterpart and retained its texture when shot mid-ground against the background of the spacescapes built by Paul Franklin, the film’s London-based Visual Effects Supervisor.
Positioned in the BFI IMAX entrance for the star studded premiere on October 29th, the Ranger will remain on display until November 17.
Read our reviews of Interstellar here and here.
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