Interstellar: A new low in Concept Design ?

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Haven’t watched it yet, but I heard the story is extremely good and well told.

And I think the similarities between the robot and THIS are no coincidence (as far as I can tell from the short glimpse I got from the trailer):

If you want to see kick ass robots blowing stuff up go and watch Transformers :wink: Personally I am tired of this kind of “concept artist drawing style”-robots and spaceships.

What Mrog said.

Kubrick was my thought as well right away when I saw the early trailers.
Haven’t seen the movie yet but from what I can tell I am extremely excited to see it.
The artistic direction looks fresh and timeless at the same time. Simply stunning.

But that is of course all subjective.
I loved Pacific Rim as well, which I guess is at the other end of the spectrum as far as robots go.

It is all about the overall tone and appropriate design for the project.
To me, Nolan is without doubt one of the most nuanced and interesting directors today, especially when it comes to set and concept design.

I watched it last weekend and while i was definately reminded of space odysseys monolith an hence didn´t mind that robots form, i was disappointed by the spaceship, gadgets and machinery. which seemed bland to nonsensical in design.

little spoilerwarning!
as a defense for the concept artists, keep in mind that in this future mankind basically lost a lot of it´s space know-how. at least in terms of infrastructure, access to certain resources and technology . I guess everything was toned down, given a kind of diy feel.

But i definately liked the movie a lot.

Did you guys miss the point of the movie? This is not an ID p0rn movie. If you want a no story piece of fluff with some awesome Daniel Simon space ships flying around re watch Tron or Oblivion.

No, this movie is a film. It is easily in my top 10 ever list, maybe my top 5. There is an element of realism that underlies this film. It is a story of a desperate people trying to survive. It happens to take place in space, but it could have been 18th century ships and pretty much the same story. It is a tale of courage and what you do when it is really on the line. Matthew McConaughey doing the right thing for the greater good and Matt Damon being a selfish cop out who has rationalized his decisions for himself. I thought the concept design was perfect because it told the story of a moth balled NASA put back in action. The purpose of concept design in a movie is to drive the story home. If it was super flash, I would have hated the movie. But Nolan is a real film maker and knew better.

The robots stood out as a little out of place, but I got the homage to 2001. It felt like Nolan really consulted a lot NASA people, and notice one of the executive producers is an astro physicist. This movie will stand the test of time, though it might not get your ID rocks off.

The movie is supposed to happen in a nearby future (50 - 100 years from now, maybe?) in a context of a low-budget / secret NASA. Spaceships wouldn’t be much more sophisticated than what we have now, just using current technology and developing it a big further, nothing revolutionary. I didn’t expect anything like Star Wars, Star Trek or any other of this kind, that’s just a completely different type of SciFi. That and the use of real physics and space travel technology is what makes it so special. They hired some top notch astrophysicists to help with the worm hole representation, time distortions due to gravity and and things like that. The thing was beautiful and well executed. A detail I really liked was the absence of noise when they were doing the coupling between ships.

I very much liked it, Earth no longer being capable of sustaining humanity, relying in science to find a new planet and save the species. I don’t know about you, but to me that makes a hell of a story. At the end you have to make it attractive and entertaining, but I think they nailed it. I would have liked a more open ending, less Hollywood love story, but that’s just my opinion.

Haven’t seen it, haven’t planed too. Is this the robot you are talking about?

In that case, wow - that IS ID porn for me. It probably was a really dull sketch rendering, but personally I’m sick of everything art-center moving-when-it-stands-still aesthetic.

Besides, in case you missed the news the last 2 days, here’s what the most advanced man made technology looks like 2014:

I saw it the other day having only seen the trailer and not read any reviews or plot spoilers. I went thinking it was going to be some epic sci-fi movie with Prometheus-esque special effects/action albeit with a ‘not-so-distant’ future slant.

Understandably I came out feeling a little disappointed but upon reflecting a few days later I thought it was a great movie with a good story. There were a few instances where I thought it got a bit ridiculous, not to give too much away but the bookshelf bit in particular was a bit too far fetched for my liking.

One interesting line that stood out was the one from Murph’s teacher/principal when he said “the world doesn’t need anymore engineers”. It got me thinking about how theres a push in the press for college aged kids to pursue it as hot/steady career path but one does wonder that if in 5-10 years time that particular industry will have an oversaturated market when all these kids graduate thinking they’d have a clear career path…

That could be true - or maybe substitute ‘designers’ for ‘engineers’. I think in the context of the film there was an overt gov’t propaganda push to glamorize farming vs exploration and innovation, that our problems and solutions were “in the dirt under us”.

I thought this film was fantastic. As someone alluded to above, the bookshelf thing was a little bit of a stretch, but I’ve been thinking all weekend HOW you could wrap up a plot like Interstellar, and I think this is a really ambitious stretch of story-telling in film. For comparison, the climax in ‘2001’ is the ‘wormhole’, right? In Interstellar, they get to a wormhole right away…so where do you go from there?

As regards to the OP I thought every bit of the concept production design to be refreshing and intriguing. If you read some of the background as to why the filmmakers did the robot in that form factor it makes sense - sort of a multiply-subdividable rectangle. Overall the production design lends more to ‘Moon’ and ‘Star Wars’ with the ‘battle-damaged’ aesthetic but I tend to appreciate those honest looks into the future a bit more than full-blown futurism. What’s the saying - “truth is stranger than fiction”?

4.5 out of 5 stars. Almost, almost perfect. See it on the biggest screen possible.

I thought the robot was excellent concept design, given the context of the film. I really liked how it rolled in the water planet scene. The simple form of an exponentially divisible rectangular box much is more versatile, especially from a story-telling perspective, than a an assemblage of parts and pieces designed for individual specific tasks. Also, put in the context of a near-future Earth where the protagonist drives a current day Dodge Ram pickup, and I think its pretty damn appropriate.

While I thought it was fairly interesting conceptually but executed in a manner that didn’t always work for me, I’m in favor of anything that gets us away from the unnecessary visual clutter that has invaded sci-fi since Michael Bay’s Transformers.

The robots were totally unexpected and when I first saw them in the movie it just confused me but in hindsight if spoiler a giant speaking rectangle electrocuted my dad I can totally understand why the girl was terrified spoiler. By the end though as I experienced their complex personalities and casual chit-chat between themselves then matched with such a simple shape I thought they were one of the best parts of the film. They did look really awkward interacting with anything though.

Looking forward to seeing the movie, haven’t made it yet, but looking at clips and talking/reading about it, this seems more like very high CONCEPT design. The focus is actually on the concept.

Just saw this and it reminded me of this thread:

Saw it last night and wow, what an epic piece of filmmaking!
I was blown away. The docking scene? wow…
Yes, the film is “full of corn, even the literal kind” as the always spot-on A.O. Scott noted in his NYT review but I thought it was quite effective.
I also really liked all the performances a lot. Mcconaughey has really grown into this big ticket guy. Who da thunk it after being stuck as this rom-com dude with a set of abs?

In terms of concept art and visual effects, it is without doubt one of the greatest movies I have seen. I loved the robot design. Some great, appropriate and effective decisions made there.

Highly recommended!

LOVED THE ROBOTS. Finally a non-athropomorphic robot that does what I ask it to do, even if that is drop into a blackhole. I thought they were easily one of the best parts of the film.

One of the best movies I have ever seen! the robots are awesome, As little design as possible.

Agreed. I know he put on a good show in Dallas Buyers Club (which I haven’t seen), but I thought the family scenes were tremendously moving and well done. Flying a spaceship or being in a space helmet only allows for a limited range of facial expressions. As a relatively new dad, I’ve found that films with themes about life or death and ultimately your children’s survival (The Road, Walking Dead, etc.) can be piercingly poignant, and if done realistically and with tension as in Interstellar they become believable motivations for the characters to succeed. When he’s watching those messages after 23 years I lost it. :frowning:

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I look at it one of two ways.

Yes, the talking file cabinet was not exciting.

With that said, the lack of hyper-humanoid CGI bionic androids does a good job of telling the story of how and when civilization fell off (notice they didn’t go into the future with the regular vehicles or drones either) and I think it will age well.

I think this is a film you’d be able to watch in 20 years when its re-released and you’d get excited to watch it again. I can’t say the same for Oblivion or Tron or any of those other recent sci-fi flicks.

Like yo said, it’s much more along the lines of Gravity - where it was about telling a human survival story that happened to revolve around space.

I agree it was a wonderful movie and Christopher Nolan has gotten a bit further in trying to convey deep relations between science and human life that he probably more and more intuitively starts grasping…so that was great although at times a little bit confusing. McConaughey did a fantastic job as well, he was very convincing.

I didn’t mind the overall concept art, although the 45 degree angled features like windows, are a bit cliche and I got a bit tired of it. But yeah I agree, the monolithic robot is a bit of a concept fail. Especially it was a bit unbelievable that such a simple configuration of geometry would be able to do advanced motoric functions like wade through waving water and carry a person. It asks more for something like a tensegrity-inspired structure, something more lightweight and dynamic. But I did like how he related to the people around him, that was well done.