Interstellar Tesseract

Even though Christopher Nolan‘s sci-fi drama Interstellar ended up being a fairly divisive piece of cinema last year, it’s hard to deny that the film still left an impression on people. And while we can nitpick the story until we’re blue in the face, one element I think we can all take the time to appreciate is the abundance of practical effects used.

Miniatures and large sets were used surprisingly frequently with digital effects only being used to enhance what Nolan physically shot with a camera. And this is even more impressive when you take a look at how practical and visual effects combined to create what Nolan calls the “Tesseract,” which is the spatial plane where Matthew McConaughey can see across time and dimensions.

Watch the featurette on the Interstellar Tesseract after the jump!

Here’s the Interstellar featurette “Across All Dimensions and Time” (via Vimeo):

In the script for Interstellar, the Tesseract is described very abstractly, and it’s hard to picture what they’re describing. But even seeing the concept art that was created for the film doesn’t exactly give you a firm grasp on this device/location. Even production designer Nathan Crowley says he ignored even thinking about building the set as long as possible. Therefore, it’s surprising to see how much practical effects work was done on set to bring the Tesseract to life.

As you can see in the featurette above, projections were used instead of just plain green screen, making it much easier for director of photography Hoyte Van Hoytema to light the scene and make it look as realistic as possible, all things considered. And that’s all after Nolan and his crew built a small model of an “infinity box” to figure out how to approach the Tesseract as a story setting and a film set.

Hearing the way Nolan talks about this piece of the film just makes me respect his approach to the craft even more. Every detail matters, from the science to the set, and he poured all of his heart and mind into this project. If you’re a naysayer of Interstellar, maybe it’s time to give it a second shot. Interstellar is available on Blu-Ray, DVD and VOD now.

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