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  Launch footage in the film Armageddon

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Author Topic:   Launch footage in the film Armageddon
ASCAN1984
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From: County Down, Nothern Ireland
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posted 10-22-2009 06:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ASCAN1984   Click Here to Email ASCAN1984     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was just watching the movie Armageddon and was wondering which launch did they film for their launch sequence?

issman1
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posted 10-22-2009 07:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe the launch sequence was of STS-89. The daylight shots of the orbiter on the pad plus the landing were of STS-87.

garymilgrom
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posted 10-22-2009 11:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wouldn't this all be computer generated visual effects? Certainly most of the sequences are, like the lighting of main and SRM engines at one time, the bent wings of the orbiter on ascent and the separation of the ET and SRBs at the same time. Given that budget I think they would have recreated everything.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-22-2009 12:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Armageddon was the second movie (Space Camp being the first) to use real shuttle launch footage to represent a fictional launch. In post-production, they used CGI to add in the modified X-71 orbiters atop the real vehicles.

The CGI was reportedly not ready for the initial trailers for the movie, so they were released showing the unedited NASA footage, only doubled to make it look like two shuttles were launching at the same time.

garymilgrom
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posted 10-22-2009 12:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Robert!

FFrench
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posted 10-22-2009 12:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A very familiar face in that scene...

sts205cdr
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posted 10-22-2009 01:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sts205cdr   Click Here to Email sts205cdr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hey, isn't that Ed Buckbee?

FFrench
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posted 10-22-2009 01:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can see the resemblance, but nope, it's someone who knows what that shuttle launch feels like from the inside...

OV-105
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posted 10-22-2009 02:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for OV-105   Click Here to Email OV-105     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by FFrench:
A very familiar face in that scene...

STS-5 and STS-51A Mission Specialist Joe Allen.

ASCAN1984
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From: County Down, Nothern Ireland
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posted 10-23-2009 01:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ASCAN1984   Click Here to Email ASCAN1984     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Was looking on IMDB and quite a bit of space related trivia related
Because of the patriotic nature of the script and the success of using Top Gun (1986) as recruitment material, the producers persuaded NASA to allow director Michael Bay and company to shoot in the normally restricted space agency. This included the neutral buoyancy lab, a 65-million-gallon, 40-foot-deep pool used to train astronauts for weightlessness and the use of two $10-million space suits. The crew was also allowed to shoot in the historic launch pad that went out of service after the Apollo 1 disaster, and parts of the movie were filmed at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

This was the first movie that the cast was allowed to use genuine NASA spacesuits. The cast are the only civilians to ever wear NASA spacesuits, which cost over $3 million each

Regarding the film's premise, Ben Affleck asked director Michael Bay, "Wouldn't it be easier for NASA to train astronauts how to drill rather than training drillers to be astronauts?" Bay told Affleck to shut up.

Cameo: [Shannon Lucid] the astronaut who made headlines for setting endurance records for living in space aboard the Mir Space Station is in the background of the "underwater simulation" scenes.

During the filming of this movie, the cast and crew worked around $19 billion worth of equipment, including a real oil rig and real space shuttle.

ASCAN1984
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From: County Down, Nothern Ireland
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posted 10-23-2009 01:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ASCAN1984   Click Here to Email ASCAN1984     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...and more trivia.
Rockhound's line about sitting on a million pounds of fuel in a rocket built by the lowest bidder is a variation of an actual radio transmission by Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard, just prior to lift-off.

The film crew was also allowed to shoot sequences at the top of a real launch pad with an actual space shuttle docked to it. The only condition was that they not step into the shuttle itself. Ben Affleck admitted to stepping inside the orbiter for a brief moment before NASA technicians ordered him out of the spacecraft.

The second movie that depicts a fictional shuttle launch using actual launch footage. The first was SpaceCamp (1986).

Footage from this film (namely the destruction of the Atlantis space shuttle) was utilized in a hoax which purportedly featured actual satellite photographs of the February 1st, 2003 destruction of Space Shuttle Columbia.

spaceman1953
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posted 10-23-2009 04:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman1953   Click Here to Email spaceman1953     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This movie was/is spectacular from every viewpoint.

The part I was taken aback by, was when the crew is asking the G-men for "favors", Bruce says something like: "I don't suppose you can tell us who killed Kennedy ?"

This comes up time and time again in film, TV shows, RECORDS ("There were two shooters on the Grassy Knoll" is in a country-western song)... over and over again!

Cliff Lentz
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posted 10-23-2009 09:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff Lentz   Click Here to Email Cliff Lentz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This movie was/is ridiculous from every viewpoint!

Lou Chinal
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posted 10-23-2009 11:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I couldn't help but noticed Bruce Willis closing his visor with a ungloved hand.

mjanovec
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posted 10-24-2009 03:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Cliff Lentz:
This movie was/is ridiculous from every viewpoint!

I have to agree. Whenever the subject of "worst movie" comes up, I immediately think of Armageddon.

ASCAN1984
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From: County Down, Nothern Ireland
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posted 10-24-2009 03:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ASCAN1984   Click Here to Email ASCAN1984     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Did the STS-89 and 87 crews ever mention that they were filmed, are they allowed to use the unedited video and if so does it exist anywhere to see?

Joel Katzowitz
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From: Marietta GA USA
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posted 10-24-2009 07:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joel Katzowitz   Click Here to Email Joel Katzowitz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The crew was also allowed to shoot in the historic launch pad that went out of service after the Apollo 1 disaster, and parts of the movie were filmed at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
To make a minor correction, Pad 34 wasn't put out of service after the Apollo 1 disaster, it was ultimately used for the Apollo 7 launch before being shutdown.

Jay Chladek
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posted 11-17-2009 10:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The film crew didn't utilize any NASA provided footage of liftoff. Instead they utilized their own Panavision film cameras, mounted into the pad's camera system. The Criterion collection DVD for Armageddon includes commentary from Joe Allen and the director of photography. Joe talks about if a dual shuttle launch is possible and the camera guy talks about the hurdles that had to be overcome to get the shot.

They did film a daytime launch of Columbia and used it as a backup and dress rehersal for a night time launch of Atlantis. The daytime shots at the pad with the principle actors was from Columbia's launch prep. According to the actor commentary on the disk, pad techs in Columbia stopped work for all of four minutes apparently so Bay could get the shots of Bruce and Ben "entering" through the side hatch.

Filming the launch had its challenges. Vibration from liftoff was so extreme that one of the cameras' Panavision lenses literally shook itself to pieces. It wasn't broken, just disassembled by the vibration. The lens was shipped back and put back together.

Funny enough, if it was STS-89 for the night sequences, I think "Deep Impact" also filmed the same launch as there are some quick shots of Atlantis launching at night in it. These may have been NASA provided shots though. The Disney comedy "Rocketman" may also have used footage from the same launch as well.

I am curious as to if anyone knows what launch was filmed for "Space Cowboys" as the wing of the orbiter was altered digitally to say "Daedalus" on it? I am thinking Discovery as I figure that would be a little easier to alter then one of the other shuttle names.

issman1
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From: UK
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posted 11-18-2009 04:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If the launch sequence in "Armageddon" wasn't STS-89, then it must be STS-86. Not sure about "Deep Impact" however (STS-89 perhaps?). "Space Cowboys" launch footage was definitely STS-96. The landing of was STS-99. I recently watched "Under Siege 2: Dark Territory" which opens with a daytime Columbia launch. But which mission was it?

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