LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 10: Ridley Scott attends the "Earthquake Bird" World Premiere during the 63rd BFI London Film Festival at the Vue West End on October 10, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for BFI)
Movies - TV
Ridley Scott Couldn't Wrap His Head Around The Martian's Computer Science
Director Ridley Scott's "The Martian," does its best to not brush over the science in science fiction, but Scott, who admitted in an interview, was "intimidated" by the film's script, as he "wasn't very good" at mathematics and science in school. Scott particularly struggled with how to authentically portray the sci-fi film’s computer technology.
In an interview with, Scott explained that his biggest struggle was the characters use of ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange.) ASCII is a standard method of communicating encoded messages via electronic communication, and Scott had to find a way to convey this mechanic while keeping it accessible and without dumbing it down at the same time.
Scott explains, “when I had to shoot the sequence about ASCII, I went: 'Whaaat?! How am I going to show this?' [...] So we just blocked it out the way the book had it." Scott closely followed the ASCII sequences in the source material (Andy Weir's brilliant novel of the same name) to avoid complications and, in the end, managed to convey the basics in a way that is intuitively graspable.