Building ‘The Goodman’ Satellite

COSMOS Banner Goodman

COSMOS MOVIE PRODUCTION BLOG 13:
 BUILDING ‘The Goodman’ SATELLITE


A grainy shape appears at the edge of screen… The image sharpens. We see– A SATELLITE. Its shape undeniable; a pair of solar panelled “wings” clearly defined. The silhouette is hazy, distorted by Earth’s atmosphere.

Roy quickly leans in, the images of this satellite on screen reflecting in his glasses. He sits mesmerised watching it hang almost magically overhead. But the smile slowly fades from his face, his expression growing more solemn. Why? We can see it in his eyes– there’s more to this man. What does this satellite mean to him?

As suggested by the script excerpt above, a science satellite (nicknamed The Goodman) plays a pivotal role in COSMOS for reasons that will remain a secret… for now.

"The Goodman"

The Goodman is a fictional ‘Earth Observation’ satellite residing in Earth orbit at an altitude of approximately 2000km. This satellite traverses the Earth’s surface and completes a single orbit in about 130 minutes, and is observed by the characters in the story via a telescope connected to a computer monitor.

green screenBeing big fans of practical and physical effects (for both photographic and budgetary reasons!) we really want the actors to view and interact with a ‘real’ image of The Goodman on a monitor, rather than compositing this image in later in post-production.

Therefore we’ve had to create several visual effects shots ahead of shooting the film. The first step in creating the telescope image of The Goodman flyover is of course, designing and building our very own science satellite during pre-production.
(more…)

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