Kubrick’s Universe - The Stanley Kubrick Podcast

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2001 A Space Odyssey and Beyond with Doug Trumbull

February 7, 2021

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Episode 43 : 2001 A Space Odyssey and Beyond with Doug Trumbull

Hey, everyone. Thanks for checking in with us once again at Kubrick’s Universe, where we continue our ongoing mission to explore the art and vision of the late, great Stanley Kubrick. If you’re listening to this, odds are you’ve seen 2OOI: A Space Odyssey. Well, have you ever seen Close Encounters Of The Third Kind? Star Trek: The Motion Picture? How about Blade Runner? Or even Terrence Malick’s The Tree Of Life? We ask because in this case there is one degree of separation that connects these masterful films. And that connection is Douglas Trumbull. Doug Trumbull is a true legend in the film industry, having gone from animator, to groundbreaking special effects genius, to visionary director, to pioneer in massive technical achievements like the development of IMAX and high frame rate film shooting and projection. 

We had the chance to speak with Doug in spring, 2020. He graciously answered all our most nerdy questions, but also shared some of his personal reflections on, among other things, working with Kubrick.

In this episode, you’ll hear Doug talk about things like how a cold call to Stanley Kubrick led to him getting a job on 2OOI at the ripe young age of 23, creating the dozens of rear-projection screens on the Discovery 1 that represented HAL-9000’s many computer readouts — long before CGI existed, as well as how he helped bring a bland model of the Moonbus to life, and having been one of the few American craftsmen on 2OOI who had carte blanche to work in a multi-disciplinary way on a unionized British set. And of course, we’ll hear insight on his process for developing the Slit-Scan camera, without which there would have been no Stargate sequence; or indeed, arguably the most mind-blowing third act in motion picture history. 

You’ll even hear Doug Trumbull talk with us about his own unique connection to The Wizard Of Oz. But not quite. But at the same time, yeah. Quite. Anyway, it’s complicated. And to quote Dr. Clayton Stonewall Forrester “it would take a scientist to explain it… and I’m simply too mad”. So, let’s just get into it.

Production Credits :

Hosted by Jason Furlong / Researched and written by Stephen Rigg and Jason Furlong  / Theme written and performed by Jason Furlong / Produced and edited by Stephen Rigg / Contributions by Mark Lentz & James Marinaccio