The Midnight Sky Spaceship Design Explained in New Featurette
Production designer Jim Bissell explains their unique solution to generating gravity aboard the ship.
We at Collider are happy to exclusively share a behind-the-scenes look at the production design of the Netflix original sci-fi film The Midnight Sky. When crafting this adaptation of the Lily Brooks-Dalton novel Good Morning, Midnight, director George Clooney wanted the space-set scenes to reflect the potential reality of space travel rather than inventing a spaceship that didn’t make much practical sense.
The story of The Midnight Sky is told in two parts. On Earth, Clooney plays a dying scientist who struggles to reach a radio station where he can warn a colony ship returning to Earth to turn back. You see, a cataclysmic event is about to make Earth uninhabitable, and the only hope for humanity to continue is for those on the ship to colonize on a new planet.
So the space scenes take place entirely on a space ship, the design of which was constructed by production designer Jim Bissell. “The biggest challenge,” Bissell explains in the exclusive featurette, “came in the beginning when George said, ‘I want a design that explores a potential solution to the problem of growing food, generating oxygen, close living arrangements, and how they affect the psychology of people who are living in them and living with each other in long-term space flight.’”
The main problem to solve was generating gravity onboard the ship, which is usually portrayed in cinema by a circular design. But for The Midnight Sky, they went with a baton design that twirls in space, generating its own gravitational force.
You can learn more about the design of The Midnight Sky in the featurette above. The film also stars Felicity Jones and David Oyelowo and is currently streaming on Netflix.
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