Tales From The Industry XXI – Another Go At An Einstein Film

Well, since they’ve actually done a press release about it, I suppose I don’t have to be so coy as I was in the last post. This is about the film company I was doing some consulting work for on an interesting project with and interesting screen-writer.

The company is called Hero Pictures, and they have an interesting mission statement, and a rather splendid website (which I recommend… love the little hero guy) which tells you more. One of their projects is a film about Einstein. Working title is “The Private Lives of Albert Einstein”. They’ve bought the rights to a couple of books on him, brought in a screenwriter (see my thoughts on him and working with him in the previous post), Ron Bass, well known for his work on projects like Rain Man and The Joy Luck Club, Snow Falling on Cedars, among many other films.

It was fun to work with him on this, however briefly. He’s super sharp and gets the science really fast and uses it “right back at you” if you’re not careful! Excellent. I’ll be back in the saddle on that project again, possibly (you can never be sure with this industry… things change a lot), when they start rolling cameras, worrying about authenticity of the look, characters, things they might say, and so forth. There’s probably going to be some interesting casting announcements for this coming up when it gets the go ahead for production, so stay tuned. Keep an eye on their site and you’ll maybe hear before I do.

I just realized – if this is actually produced, it’ll be the first feature I’ve helped on that actually makes it to theatres. Most don’t of course – that’s the nature of the industry – and all the things of this nature that I’ve worked on so far (in front of or behind the cameras or microphones) that have got “out there” have been for broadcast media such as TV and Radio. (I’m not counting other media here of course.) So this would be an interesting change. Stay tuned for more.

Anyway, here’s the press release on their website announcing the scientific consultants (you can learn more about the project itself on the site):

Los Angeles, May 10th, 2008 – It wasn’t easy being Einstein and it certainly isn’t any easier getting inside his brain.

To understand the theories that garnered Einstein the Nobel Prize and other awards in Physics, screenwriter Ron Bass has begun meeting with two specialists from UCLA and USC for his work in writing the definitive Einstein biopic, currently in development at Hero Pictures.

“We want to make sure we not only get the science right, but we hope to make it very visual and understandable by a broad audience,” says Kique Mora, international film consultant for Hero. “It’s very important for us to present Einstein accurately and intelligibly for the scientific community as well as the general public.”

The consulting side is primarily made up by physicist Dr. Mark R. Morris, who has a proven knack for making complicated concepts easy to grasp. As Vice Chair of UCLA’s Astrophysics Department, Dr. Morris is a leading authority on physics and astrophysics. His research is focused on understanding the extreme environment of the center of our Galaxy, and the supermassive black hole that lurks there. He was a consultant for “The Astronomers” television series on PBS and for Nova series.

Mr. Bass is also consulting with Dr. Clifford Johnson, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Southern California, who has focused his research on issues of space and time and the basic fabric of nature, closely paralleling the work of Einstein. Johnson regularly serves as a scientific consultant for the Discovery Channel, the History Channel (specifically, the series, “The Universe”), BBC, and for a slew of other independent production companies.

(Ok… a correction: I have not done anything for the BBC in a while now. I guess I’m too far away.)


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5 Responses to Tales From The Industry XXI – Another Go At An Einstein Film

  1. Blake Stacey says:

    So, whatever they get wrong, we’ll know we have you to blame! 😉

  2. Clifford says:

    I wish it were that simple. All we do is offer advice and information. As usual in a consultative relationship, they reserve the right to totally ignore it. And more and more things can fall by the wayside at each stage of refinement, from the writing, to production and so forth.

    It is difficult, but worth trying to help where one can, if you consider the alternative.


  3. Elliot says:

    interesting. I would think that getting Einstein “right” would be enormously challenging more on the personal front than the scientific front.


  4. Bilal says:

    I will be looking forward to this feature film. Congrats!

  5. John says:

    It sounds like an interesting film. I wish someone would make a film about Isaac Newton for once, he was much cleverer and more influential than Einstein.