There's a Hotline to Call When You Want Your Movie to Be Scientifically Accurate

There's a Hotline to Call When You Want Your Movie to Be Scientifically Accurate

Jan 13, 2016

Every sci-fi movie made these days has to put up with scrutiny from Neil deGrasse Tyson. And on top of his public criticisms, there are experts like Nerdist's Kyle Hill, MythBusters and others around the web and on YouTube exploring the scientific accuracy of everything from The Martian, which did aim for realism, to Star Wars, which has always been pure fantasy. Well, Hollywood is aware of the pressure to get things right, or at least "plausible-ish," and they're in contact with a bunch of scientists willing to help them out.

For free.

About 2,700 scientists, in fact, are on call as part of the nonprofit-funded Science and Entertainment Exchange, according to a story in The Wall Street Journal. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice screenwriter David S. Goyer apparently consulted with one of them for the upcoming series Krypton. Someone involved with Ant-Man talked to them regarding the superhero's shrinking powers. And you, too, can use them for your own screenplay. Just call their hotline at 844-NEED-SCI. 

In addition to the phone service, which can place writers with experts around the world, including in Antarctica, the Exchange holds special parties year round with various topics in focus. One, hosted by Seth MacFarlane, who produced the deGrasse Tyson-hosted Cosmos series, was on evolution. Another was on the non-sci-fi subject of "The Science of Psychopaths." Maybe if you're lucky, you can kill two birds with one stone and collaborate with Dr. Jessica Cail, a psychopharmacologist who is also a stuntperson.

You can read more about the Exchange and their unpaid and typically uncredited scientists at its website. There are articles spotlighting experts and what they consulted on with recent movies, such as Bioethics professor Jeff Kahn providing insight on artificial intelligence for Avengers: Age of Ultron. And there are separate interviews for computer scientist Chris Kinlay and former FBI agent and cyber security expert Michael Panico about their work with the makers of Blackhat.

According to the site, upcoming movies that have consulted with Exchange scientists include Marvel's Doctor Strange, Marc Forster's Imagining Nathan, the adaptation of Joe Haldeman's The Forever War and Paramount's still-possible second attempt at a big-screen version of Dune

Other past collaborations including The Avengers, Terminator: SalvationWatchmenIron Man 2PrometheusThe Amazing Spider-ManContagion and the TV series The Good Wife and The Big Bang Theory.




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