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With The Martian out now, lets take a look at 15 things you probably didnt know about

Ridley Scotts big-screen adaptation of Andy Weirs best-selling book.

Director Ridley Scott didnt want to rely on visual effects for the sandstorm scene,

and wanted to make it feel real for the actors and audience, so giant fans were used to fill

the air with dirt and small stones. Dust got everywhere including inside the air

vents in the actorshelmets, which made it tough for them to breathe, so between takes

wardrobe assistants had to help them remove the helmets.

And the thick dust in the air also meant the actors could hardly see each other while filming.

Fortunately, the mini-intercom system installed inside their helmets allowed them to talk

to each other and Scott throughout. According to Kate Mara, who plays astronaut

Beth Johanssen, the cast used the intercom to swap jokes and tease each other, which

helped them bond quickly on set. The sandstorm scene took three days to film

on the Martian exterior set that was built on one of the biggest soundstages in the world,

Stage 6 at Korda Studios, near Budapest.

As Matt Damon plays astronaut Mark Watney who gets stranded by himself on Mars, he spent

most of his time filming alone, without the rest of the cast, for a total of nearly five

weeks. In fact, his filming schedule only coincided

with Jessica Chastain and the other actors playing astronauts for three days in mid-December

2014. And he filmed again with just Chastain for

a couple more days in February 2015.

After plans to film in the Australian Outback didnt work out, the filmmakers decided

to shoot many of the Martian sequences on sets at Korda Studios to give them more control

over the environment. However, the movie also filmed panoramic views

for 8 days in Jordans Wadi Rum desert, which doubled for Mars.

Other movies that have shot in the same area include David Leans Lawrence of Arabia

and the sci-fi horror The Last Days On Mars. Back in the studio, a huge green screen, over

300 foot long and 65 foot high, was assembled so background plates of Wadi Rum could be

added. And to ensure that shots taken on the stage

matched those from Jordan, the movies visual effects supervisor and cinematographer studied

Wadi Rums solar path charts so they knew the correct lighting direction at all times.

4,000 tons of soil and other materials were used to create the Martian landscape set.

It took three types of Hungarian soil mixed together by hand and machine to get the right

colour to match the Wadi Rum desert. A nursery with artificial lighting and heating

was also built at the studio to grow Watneys potatoes, using half-cut spuds, just like

in the movie. A total of 1,200 potatoes were grown, with

around 8 potatoes per plant.

The Martians Rover was modelled on the Curiosity rover, though the movies version

is even bigger. A team of 22 technicians from the movie crew

and 15 members of the Hungarian Opel Dakar team constructed two full-scale Rovers for

filming. But before shooting began in Jordan, the vehicles

ability to deal with rough terrain was put to the test in a Hungarian quarry.

While the solar panels on the vehicles exterior make it look as if it runs on solar

energy, which is part of the story; in reality it had a 2-litre diesel engine.

The design of the Hermes spacecraft was influenced by the interlocking modules of the International

Space Station. The Hermes set was built on several stages

at Korda Studios, and the crafts bright white interior is a nod to director Stanley

Kubricks classic scif-fi, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

To make it look like the actors were floating around in zero gravity, an enormous winch

system was built and suspended above the roofless set of the Hermes and the actors were harnessed

to wire rigs at the waist, legs and shoulders. Although the system was mechanised, members

of the stunt team were still needed to pull harness ropes to make the actors move vertically.

150 metres of truss, 90 metres of track, 70 pulleys, and around 400 metres of rope were

used to build the rig.

To get inspiration for the movies spacesuits, costume designer Janty Yates visited the Johnson

Space Center and the Jet Propulsion Lab, researched spacesuit designs with the Curator of Space

History at the Smithsonian National Air And Space Museum, and even saw designs for suits

that are going to be used on missions beyond 2030.

15 suits were made for the film, and the actors wore them for 10 to 12 hours a day.

The surface suits, which were worn when exploring Mars, were made of neoprene, which is also

used for wetsuits, and their combined weight with the helmet was over 30 pounds.

The movies Extra-Vehicular Activity suit orouter spacesuit, which was worn

outside the Hermes spacecraft, is a more streamlined version of a NASA suit used outside the International

Space Station. Underneath the suits, there was a system of

cold water tubes to keep the actors cool, and fans inside their life support backpacks

also channelled air through a hose into their helmets, which was the same as the cooling

system used in the spacesuits in Interstellar. If you want to check out some more cool facts

and things you didnt know about Interstellar, click right there!

To get inspiration for the movies spacesuits, costume designer Janty Yates visited NASA

facilities, researched spacesuit designs with the Curator of Space History at the Smithsonian

National Air And Space Museum, and even saw designs for suits that are going to be used

on missions beyond 2030. 15 suits were made for the film, and the actors

wore them for around 10 hours a day. The surface suits worn for exploring Mars

in the film are made of neoprene, which is also used for wetsuits.

The movies Extravehicular Activity suit orouter spacesuit, which was worn

outside the Hermes, is a more streamlined, less bulky version of the Extravehicular Mobility

Units worn by astronauts on spacewalks at the International Space Station.

Underneath the suits, there was a system of cold water tubes to keep the actors cool,

and fans inside their life support backpacks also channelled air through a hose into their

helmets, which was the same as the cooling system used in Interstellars spacesuits.

If you want to check out some more cool facts and things you didnt know about Interstellar,

click right there!

To get good, clear close-ups of the actorsfaces, the helmets made for the movie had

to be bigger than the ones worn by real astronauts. Also, each helmets visor had to be flawless

and ultra-polished to prevent the kind of glare that makes it very difficult to capture

the faces of real astronauts on camera when theyre in space.

Again, to keep the actorsfaces visible while filming, the helmets also had several

lights in them which were operated separately by a small remote.

The filmmakers worked closely with NASA from script to shoot.

For example, they were allowed to film rocket launches at Cape Canaveral, including the

lift-off of the Orion, a spacecraft designed to eventually enable human exploration of

Mars. In fact, on board the Orion during its maiden

voyage in December 2014 was the title page of The Martian script, which included a sketch

of astronaut Mark Watney by director Ridley Scott!

To prepare for her role as Commander Lewis, leader of the Mars mission, Jessica Chastain

spent a number of days at NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Johnson Space Center and

got to go inside a Mars Ascent Vehicle. Chastain also did background reading on astronauts

including Sally Ride, and spent time with astronaut and chemist Tracy Caldwell Dyson

who shared her experience of both the technical and human side of life in space.

On top of that, via a virtual reality headset, Chastain experienced panoramic images of Mars

taken by the Curiosity rover.

Production designer Arthur Max found much of his inspiration for the movies NASA

sets on a tour of the Johnson Space Center, led by Dr James Green, who, as well as being

Director of NASAs Planetary Science Division, also happens to be a huge fan of Alien!

During the tour, Max spoke with lots of specialists and took hundreds of photos for reference.

He also inspected the old Apollo mission control centre and the current Centre, and incorporated

aspects of those into his own vision of NASAs next control room in The Martian.

During filming, the monitors in the movies Mission Control Room displayed a mixture of

graphics, high-res satellite imagery and video footage from NASA.

Ridley Scott preferred this to using green screen and adding the images in post-production

as it allowed him to use the images on the screens as light sources and it gave the actors

something real to react to. By the way, director Colin Trevorrow did something

similar in Jurassic World. And if youd like to find out more things you didnt

know about that movie, click right there.

Filming in Budapest also took place at The Whale, a cultural and commercial centre located

along the Danube River. The state-of-the-art building was used for

scenes set in the offices of NASA director Teddy Sanders and media relations director

Annie Montrose, played by Jeff Daniels and Kristen Wiig, and it was also used for scenes

involving conference rooms, a break room and coffee shop, and a main entrance.

To make the maximum use of the buildings open spaces, fake concrete walls were placed

on wheels and used to quickly create and then change the layout of offices, as needed for

filming.

Kate Mara was already such a huge fan of Ridley Scott before she was even cast in The Martian

that she had named one of her dogs Lucius, after the Emperors nephew in the Oscar-winning

historical drama, Gladiator.

Now, let me know in the comments below, what are your favourite sci-fi movies?

And what other movies would you like me to cover in my Things You Didnt Know videos?

If you enjoyed this video, do please share it, hit the thumbs-up button and subscribe

for more things you didn't know, as well as movie reviews and interviews.

Thanks for watching! Yippee-ki-yay, movie lovers!

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