When Worlds Collide: The Science of Movies

Presented by the Academy’s Science and Technology Council

Hosted by Adam Weiner

Could a bus really jump over a 50-foot gap in the highway? Would Spider-Man survive an 80-story plummet without so much as a broken bone? Why did the Titanic actually sink? Adam Weiner hosted an interactive evening that examined the “real” physics behind many of your favorite action, science fiction and superhero films.

Physics concepts were used to analyze famous scenes from films including “Speed,” “The Bourne Ultimatum,” “Titanic,” “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Apollo 13,” “Spider-Man 3” and “The Dark Knight,” exploring how Hollywood movies can provide an effective springboard into understanding science.

The evening included conversations with several of the films’ stunt and visual effects crew members, who explained how many of these scenes were actually created.

Guests included Oscar®-winning visual effects artists Robert Legato (“Titanic”) and Scott Stokdyk (“Spider-Man 2”), Oscar-winning special effects supervisor John Frazier (“Spider-Man 2”), Oscar-nominated visual effects artists Shane Mahan (“Iron Man”) and Matt Sweeney (“Apollo 13”), executive producer-second unit director Todd Hallowell (“Apollo 13”) and stunt coordinator and second unit director Dan Bradley (“The Bourne Ultimatum”).

Adam Weiner is the author of Don’t Try This at Home! The Physics of Hollywood Movies. He currently writes about science and popular culture for Popular Science magazine online and teaches physics at The Bishop’s School, a private high school in La Jolla, California.

Event Information

Thursday, August 6, at 7:30 p.m.
Samuel Goldwyn Theater
8949 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Executive producer/second unit director Todd Hallowell

Host/author Adam Weiner and visual effects artist Shane Mahan

Executive producer/second unit director Todd Hallowell

Executive producer/second unit director Todd Hallowell

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