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The Making Of "The Elegant Universe"


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Many scenes in NOVA's miniseries "The Elegant Universe" draw directly upon the book by physicist Brian Greene on which the series is based. With its lively descriptions, analogies, and illustrations, Greene's book gave NOVA producers Joe McMaster and Julia Cort a concrete road map for telling the story of string theory, an extremely abstract and counterintuitive subject, to a general audience. With Greene's book in hand, the NOVA production team—including the producer, camera crew, animator, and editor, to name a few—created innovative visualizations of invisible things, such as extra dimensions, parallel universes, and black holes.

In this interactive, you will see how a single concept from Greene's book evolved into a finished film sequence, a process repeated many times over throughout the making of NOVA's miniseries. From the book's illustration of hidden spatial dimensions that inspired the sequence, to the collection of storyboards used to plan the director's shot list, to outtakes from the rough footage, to the finished scene, click on the image on the top at left and see for yourself the painstaking process of interpreting The Elegant Universe for the screen.

We also invite you to browse a collection of behind-the-scenes photographs of NOVA's "Elegant Universe" film crew on location in London, New Mexico, New York, and Boston. To launch this slide show, click on the bottom image at left.—Lexi Krock

   

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