The Making of the Interstellar Tesseract

Christopher Nolan certainly likes puzzles and the most ingenious one in Interstellar appears inside the black hole.

This is where Matthew McConaughey’s Cooper encounters the Tesseract: an artificial construct that allows him to perceive time as a physical dimension.

The design and execution was a total collaboration between Nolan, theoretical physicist and exec producer Kip Thorne, the art department led by production designer Nathan Crowley, and VFX studio Double Negative led by co-owner/supervisor Paul Franklin. “We looked at works from Gerhard Richter, who has this technique of scraping the paint across the canvas and leaving these trails, so there’s this sense of a historical record,” Franklin explains. “The other thing I looked at was slit scan photography, and of, course, the Stargate in 2001,  but it goes back a lot further than that…. For me, what was interesting is that you’re turning time into a horizontal axis of the photograph as a record of the time of the exposure,” Franklin says.

“So I thought that might give us some sort of lead in to how we would represent the concept of these world lines. A world line is something that comes out of Einstein’s theory of relativity: It’s the idea that every object, every person, and every piece of matter in the universe is leaving a trail in space-time behind it because we live in a four-dimensional universe. We have three physical dimensions and one dimension of time, which is always moving forward. And we had this idea that the Tesseract was a concept that shows time as a physical dimension, so Cooper could interact with it and move back and forth across the timeline and find specific moments in the history of his daughter’s bedroom.”

Read the rest at TOH/Indiewire.


Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Movies, previs, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production

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