Stanley Kubricks 2001: A Space Odyssey was a milestone in filmmaking. The epic sci-fi story of aliens and higher planes of existence bridged the gap between studio images and art films, all because of the director's inimitable genius. Here are 12 facts about the sci-fi classic.
. 1 The book and the movie were developed simultaneously.
2001: A Space Odyssey was created after a lunch in February 1964 between director Stanley Kubrick and Roger Caras, the publicist for Kubrick's previous film . Weirdness . Kubrick told Caras that he wanted to shoot a film about extraterrestrial life for his next film, prompting Caras to get in touch with his friend, colleague, and science-fiction author Arthur C. Clarke.
Caras introduced the two, and Clarke sent a telegram saying, "Terrible interest in working with enfant terrible," and they soon worked on developing Clarke's short story "The Sentinel" into a movie treatment. Per Kubrick: "The novel was written after we had done a 1
. 2 There were a few alternative titles.
During the development of the film, Kubrick and Clarke humorously designated their sublime project "How the Solar System Was Won," a title track from the title of the Western Epic of 1962 How The West Was Won It never was a serious title option, although in the book Jerome Agel of 1972, The Making of Kubricks 2001 was admitted by Clarke: "[It] was our private title, which is exactly what we tried to show.
The couple's first working title for the film was Project: Space listed in the first outline. Other temporary titles included About the Sea of Stars Universe Tunnel to the stars Escape from Earth Jupiter Window Farewell to Earth and Planetfall . The official MGM press release for the February 1965 film lists the title as Journey Beyond the Stars though Kubrick released two months later 2001: A Space Odyssey for the final title Homage to Homer's Odyssey . "Stanley chose 2001: A Space Odyssey ," Clarke said in his book, The Lost Worlds of 2001 . "As far as I can remember, that was all his idea."
3. One of Stanley Kubrick's greatest inspirations was an animated short film show from Canada in 1960.
It's no surprise that Kubrick selected "Universe" as the possible title for his film, as it was also the name of one of the greatest inspirations he had it while filming it. Universe is a 28-minute, Oscar-nominated, animated documentary from 1960, produced by the National Film Board of Canada. He was supposed to take a stunning look at what it would be like to sail through outer space Milky Way.
Kubrick was so engrossed by the short film that he hired Douglas Rain, the narrator of Universe to be the voice of the evil computer HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey and also Universe 's optics effects artist Wally Gentleman set to make special effects for the film.
. 4 Kubrick had a little help from Carl Sagan.
Kubrick began the film's main production without knowing how to convey many of the movie's key scenes, especially the end of which Dr. Dave Bowman contacts extraterrestrial life. One of the biggest problems Kubrick had in developing the film was to portray these extraterrestrial life forms to suit his abstract ideas, but also be covered by the film's budget. So he asked the well-known astrophysicist / author Carl Sagan for help.
In his book The Cosmic Connection: An Extraterrestrial Perspective Sagan stated, "I argued that the number of individually unlikely events in the human evolutionary history was so great that anything like we'll probably develop somewhere in the universe again. I suggested that any explicit depiction of an advanced extraterrestrial being should have at least one false element, and that the best solution would be to propose the aliens rather than explicitly portray them.
Though Kubrick Would Do This Experiment with literal methods to show aliens in 19459003, when he reported a ballet dancer in a special polka-dot suit that was filmed against a black background, and he chose Sagans Submission of aliens.
. 5 Kubrick tried to complete a foreigner insurance.
Kubrick was paranoid, he had brought all this work with the concept of extraterrestrial life as close to reality as possible, and aliens were discovered just before his expensive life. Sci-fi film was ready. To literally ensure that his film is not outdated, Kubrick attempted to take out insurance at Lloyd's in London to protect himself against losses if extraterrestrial intelligence services were discovered before the release of the film. Lloyd's rejected the policy because the likelihood of discovering extraterrestrial intelligence in such a short period of time in the mid-1960s was too small.
. 6 The film was shot almost exclusively indoors.
The film was shot almost entirely at English Shepperton Studios and MGM-British Studios. Massive sets were built for the film's locations, including a 30-ton rotating Ferris wheel designed to represent the gravity of Discovery built by a British aircraft company called the Vickers-Armstrong Engineering Group.
The film's iconic monolith was actually made of wood and a special black graphite blend to create an extremely smooth finish on the outside.
The only exterior shot of the movie was the moon. The Watcher monkey smashes the animal bones with his own bone weapon shot on a raised platform near the studio, allowing Kubrick to see actor Dan Richter, who played the Moon Watcher, at a low angle, and the bone in the air threw. The shot, which would be the first part of the movie's infamous leg-to-spaceship adaptation cut, was commemorated during filming after Kubrick threw a broomstick to a crew member before taking a hiring.
. 7 All monkeys were mimes.
One of the last sequences Kubrick shot was the opening sequence "Dawn of Man," mainly because the director had difficulty finding out who the monkeys were in the scenes. He described actors, dancers, and even comedians to perform the parts, and hired Richter (who was a professional pantomime in London at the time) to simply choreograph the sequence. Instead, Kubrick hired Richter as the main monkey and charged him with recruiting 20 other mimes as monkeys.
To improve the reality of the sequence, Richter said, "I spent a lot of time at the zoo, in front of the chimpanzee cage, and the gorillas. I've received all the shots of Jane Goodall's work and watched it over and over again. I met with anthropologists. My goal was to get this group of 20 apes into a parking lot without telling them what to do and they would just look good. "
. 8 Kubrick received help from NASA professionals.
Although the story he told was science fiction, Kubrick wanted a lot of collaboration to base the film on the facts of science. In order to work as a technical consultant for the film, Kubrick hired German-born designer Harry Lange, who had previously worked at NASA's Head of Future Projects, and Frederick Ordway, NASA's former Space Information Systems chief had development of the rocket Saturn V.
From his collaboration with the director, Ordway said, "Kubrick wanted to make sure that all the special effects that were shot completely convince and lead to a realism that has never been achieved in motion pictures."  9 There were some really groundbreaking special effects.
Complete books have been written on the elaborate special effects that created the futuristic world of 2001 . Such effects were painstakingly created because the movie existed in an era before you can just boot up a computer and bring to life what is in your noggin. Perhaps the most famous special effect in the film is the final sequence "Star Gate", created by effect artist Douglas Trumbull using a technique called "slit-scan photography".
To show the threefold colors that make Bowman travel to a higher existence Trumbull used only two panes of glass and a camera on a custom dolly track. He placed a static foreground glass that was completely blackened, except for a small slit in the center in front of the camera. On another static sheet behind the darkened sheet was a piece of glass with interchangeable paintings, drawings, and geometric patterns. He then moved the camera back and forth to produce, as Trumbull explained, "two seemingly infinite planes of exposure," which were cut together to create the sequence.
10th Kubrick rejected the entire original score.
Kubrick called 2001 "a visual, non-verbal experience" and to help the director emphasize the music of the film. In the early stages of production, Kubrick commissioned composer Alex North, with whom he had previously compiled the music for Spartacus to film the film. North composed a complete score, which he had abandoned in post-production in favor of iconic classical music such as Johann Strauss's The Blue Danube Waltz.
North did not even find out that his score was scrapped until he attended the premiere of the film in 1968. North's score was eventually to be released on CD in 1993 and recently received a limited vinyl release on the niche collector's label Mondo.
. 11 The Death Song of HAL came from a real experience.
The scene in which Bowman HAL, who sings "Daisy Bell", turns off, was inspired by a visit Clarke attended in the early '60s at Bell Labs, to a demonstration of an IBM 704 computer singing the same song. The idea that "HAL" is a canny reference to "IBM" was corroborated by the fact that every letter in the name of the evil computer is an alphabetical letter from the letters on behalf of the computer company.
Clarke remained faithful to this HAL, whose character was originally a female personality by the name of Athena, stood for "heuristically programmed algorithm computer," and any connection to IBM was pure coincidence.
12th Kubrick allegedly burned all the material, which was found decades later.
Kubrick had kept his film secret and went so far as to have destroyed all props for the film so that no replicas could be made. He also did not want anyone to see any extra material he considers unworthy to be in the final film. Only during the first premiere additional footage was included in the film, so Kubrick was cut for 19 minutes from scenes like the "Dawn of Man" due to tempo problems. Afterwards he ordered that all negatives of these sequences were destroyed.  The entire 19 additional minutes were lost, until 17 minutes of material was found that was stored in 2010 in a salt mine in Kansas. The special effects supervisor, Trumbull, hopes to present never-before-seen images from the lost films in a forthcoming film behind the scenes.
Further sources : The Making of Kubrick's 2001 by Jerome Agel