From Back To The Future to Breaking Bad, Hollywood’s relationship with science is almost as old as filmmaking itself. In a noble effort to make film concepts as scientifically accurate as possible, directors have made it their personal task to hire experts — scientists, military personnel and engineers — to advise on the scientific foundations of science-heavy movies. Interstellar, for example, had notable physicist Kip Thorne to weigh in on the black hole madness of the film. Breaking Bad had Donna Nelson, a University of Oklahoma chemist, whose knowledge on the hard sciences made Walter White’s Blue Sky meth “tight, tight, tight.”
How does Hollywood achieve such a close relationship with the scientific community? Ann Merchant, deputy director of communications for the National Academy of Sciences, recently graced Reddit’s AMA subreddit to explain how scientists and filmmakers converge to create scientifically sound movies. She also clarified some of the most common misconceptions about scientists’ involvement with big budget Hollywood films. Here are some of the most intriguing questions Merchant answered on the popular Q and A thread.
Redditor dGraves asked, “What’s the most stupid fact you guys had to correct or totally change in a script.”