Nuke The Fridge was recently invited to Paramount Studios for a very special exclusive look at the Academy Award Best Picture nominee, Arrival set to releases on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD February 14. In addition to the media demonstration, we had the opportunity to speak with Academy Award-nominated production designer Patrice Vermette (Arrival) and his wife Martine Bertrand, who designed the alien symbols known as “logograms” for Arrival. We also spoke with Dr. Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute. Dr Seth Shostak talked to us about the exploration of extraterrestrial life and communication.
Our day started with a demonstration of Arrival in true 4K UHD resolution with technical insight by Paramount Studios Mike Trainotti (Vice President Technology Services) and Ed Hoxsie (Senior Vice President of Production). They explained the technical aspect of maintaining the integrity of the transfer from the theatre experience to the home viewing experience. With side by side comparison in different formats, it was very clear (No pun intended) how 4K UHD is definitely the premier format for the home viewing experience.
Next we spoke with Academy Award-nominated production designer Patrice Vermette and his wife Martine Bertrand. Martine Bertand designed the “logograms” for Arrival and Patrice was the production designer for the film. During our time together, I asked Patrice and Martine about the evolution of the design for the logogram.
Robert Garcia: Patrice and Martine, how did the logograms evolve? Was it an on going process when you submitted designs to the director and was there feedback from producers and the director to maybe tweak the design of a logogram at various points?
Patrice Vermette: No it was more like I would present the aesthetics of a design to Denis (Villeneuve- Director) which were Martine’s designs. And as we created the language and made the evolution, Denis would say, ok Patrice can you show me which one (Logogram) would be for Louise (Amy Adams) and I would show him and say ok this one is for Ian (Jeremy Renner) and so on. So what we did is we created a catalog, a scene for scene catalog so no one would be mixing up the logograms.
Our final conversation was with Dr Seth Shostak who is the senior astronomer at the SETI institute. Dr Shostak is a wealth of information in practical research of extraterrestrial life and communication. I asked Dr. Shostak about our governments involvement in extraterrestrial research.
Robert Garcia: Based on your experience, how dedicated do you believe our government is or should be, in exploring the universe in search of intelligent extraterrestrial life?
Dr. Seth Shostak: They don’t do it! They (U.S. government) have zero interest now. When I joined the SETI institute, it was still a NASA program so it was government funded. It was run out of NASA’s AMES research center near Mountain View California which is where I’m from. A portion of it was also run out of JPL here in Pasadena, it was fairly small, so its was one-one thousand of the NASA budget at the time. It was killed in 1993 by a Senator in Nevada by the name of Richard Brian and NASA’s never gotten back into it. It isn’t that NASA isn’t interested in intelligent life, they’re spending hundreds of millions of dollars every year and even more to build motorized skateboards to go to Mars and hunt around on parts of Mars that might have had oceans and stuff like that because they’re looking for life on Mars. You know it’s not gonna be a guy that comes up to you and says hey welcome to Mars, they’re looking for a microbe and most likely it’ll be a dead microbe. But still it’s life and it’ll show biology isn’t just limited to earth so it would be very interesting. It’s funny, they spend big bucks on that and nothing to look for intelligent life. That’s because it’s politics, the public of course is interested in life in space, mostly because, I think, this is probably delusional I think, but because they’re interested in aliens they see on TV and in the movies. They’re not so interested in pond scum on Mars although they should be but they’re not, they want to meet aliens that hold their side of the conversation.
Arrival is a fascinating movie which has earned 8 Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Production Design. Look for it on 4K UHD, Blue-ray and DVD on February 14.