Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Cool Thing I Got to Do

On Friday I got to go see this exhibit at the Boston Museum of Science before it opened to the public. I was invited to do some commentary for WBUR, the local public radio station. I'll put up a link when the piece is broadcast in a couple of weeks.

The exhibit was surprisingly good. I've seen lot of movie props (my roomate at Carnegie Mellon was a drama production major and used to bring work home), and they're usually crappy: just good enough to look ok on film is the rule (and it makes sense, since you don't want to waste a lot of money). But these are really impressive: beautifully crafted and presented as if they were 'real' artifacts in a 'real' museum.

I was inwardly amused because I remember that back in sixth grade we had been given the assignment of designing a museum or something like that, and I'd done The Museum of Middle-earth, with orc skulls and palantiri on display. I'd forgotten that until just as I was walking out of the exhibit

There are also some very interesting displays that let you do interactive stuff to see how the characters, etc. were made. You can re-create the Gandalf and Frodo on the cart scene (two separate benches, different sizes, melded together on one screen), or move a plastic sword and shield to make a computer-generated warrior follow you moves. Pretty neat stuff, whether you were disappointed in aspects of the films or not.

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