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Old March 14 2012, 12:35 PM   #16
Asbo Zaprudder
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Re: Should the future look "Futuristic?"

Cutter John wrote: View Post
Asbo Zaprudder wrote: View Post
I agree with RJDiogenes - I'm sick to death of the grunge look. In addition, the engineering section of the Enterprise should not look like the inside of a brewery. What a travesty.
Doctor Who is another show thats been bad about this in recent years.
I can cut Doctor Who some slack. The producers don't have a Hollywood movie budget to play with, and the series has always improvised to overcome this limitation. It's part of its charm.
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Old March 14 2012, 01:18 PM   #17
jefferiestubes8
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Re: Should the future look "Futuristic?"

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post

I think Back to the Future depicts the distant future the best (again excluding the technological aspects.) The town square is not vastly futuristic looking, there aren't 200-story tall buildings standing grandly in the background and all of that it's still largely the same space.
I totally agree. I thought if BTTF part2 right away. The 2015 future they showed got a lot right.
Did we think in 1987 when TNG had their PADD we would have iPads & tablet computers in 2011?
Tech changes but our cities wont look like 'The Fifth Element' for a long time.
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Old March 14 2012, 03:04 PM   #18
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Re: Should the future look "Futuristic?"

stj wrote: View Post
One huge failing in almost all screen attempts at futurism is the bizarre belief that in the future there will be lots and lots of empty spaces. And everybody's homes will be as bare as motel rooms. What's scattered about will sometimes be deliberately retro but there will always be lots of miscellaneous junk. I suppose being too cheap to really decorate the sets plays a role.
I can see a future with more and more people becoming less materialistic and bored with junk. I know I am. Combine that with the fact that a lot of things are being shunted into computers and iPhones and I can imagine a future that's pretty bare.

jefferiestubes8 wrote: View Post
Tech changes but our cities wont look like 'The Fifth Element' for a long time.
I don't know if they ever will. I've thought for a while that cities will expand underground.

Last edited by Agent Richard07; March 14 2012 at 03:50 PM.
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Old March 14 2012, 03:11 PM   #19
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Should the future look "Futuristic?"

Almost all "futuristic fashion" looks silly and naive pretty quickly. There's a lot of money tied up in making commercial films, and elements that inhibit the identification of the mass audience with the main characters are a focus of concern to studios - there may be a lot that's weird-looking in Avatar or Star Trek, but just don't dress genius-I.Q. farmboy Jim Kirk or Jake Sully up in metallic Spandex.

nuBSG took a good approach to costuming, as did Firefly/Serenity. B5 was just TNG-Lite in those instances where it wasn't completely hamstrung by budget.
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Old March 14 2012, 03:18 PM   #20
Agent Richard07
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Re: Should the future look "Futuristic?"

B5 had collarless shirts that were pretty 90s.
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Old March 14 2012, 03:47 PM   #21
davejames
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Re: Should the future look "Futuristic?"

Agent Richard07 wrote: View Post
stj wrote: View Post
One huge failing in almost all screen attempts at futurism is the bizarre belief that in the future there will be lots and lots of empty spaces. And everybody's homes will be as bare as motel rooms. What's scattered about will sometimes be deliberately retro but there will always be lots of miscellaneous junk. I suppose being too cheap to really decorate the sets plays a role.
I can see a future with more and more people becoming less materialistic and bored with junk. I know I am. Combine that with the fact that a lot of things being shunted into computers and iPhones and I can imagine a future that's pretty bare.
Nah, I'm sure people will always have a need to collect stuff. Maybe it won't be the same kinds of things we collect today (movies, action figures, old vinyl albums, etc), but it'll be something.
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Old March 14 2012, 04:09 PM   #22
davejames
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Re: Should the future look "Futuristic?"

Regarding fashion, the other thing that always bugs me is how everyone in these stories appear to dress in the same exact style. Whether it's the generic jumpsuits of Trek or the really crazy and colorful outfits of 5th Element.

When the truth is it'll probably be much like today-- there will be a handful of people (most of them the younger generation) walking around in outrageous outfits and crazy looking hair, and the rest will be wearing the same boring shirts and pants we've been wearing forever.
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Old March 14 2012, 04:09 PM   #23
jefferiestubes8
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Re: Should the future look "Futuristic?"

Gotham Central wrote: View Post
Space: 1999 had the same issue of screaming...look the future while giving us uniforms with bell bottoms and platform shoes, and lots of molded plastic furniture.
Lucas' THX 1138 (1971) had a white minimalist production design and wardrobe. It looked futuristic in an institutional way with a totalitarian government making everything monochrome white and the same.

I feel the Space: 1999 series had production design that echoed the mostly white production design of the 2001: A Space Odyssey film. The overall feel of the uniforms felt like the future. The platforms and bell bottoms should have been eliminated from the design. The light grey color of the uniforms though looked futuristic.

Kubrick's film was designed in 1965 as Principal photography began December 1965. Space:1999 shot in November 1973. Both of these examples and Star Trek XI (2009) use a similar look of white for the production design of the sets.

Star Wars and Alien art director Roger Christian
Star Wars (1977) had lots of white in the corridors of stardestroyers including the stormtroopers uniforms.
Roger Christian's design of the Nostromo ship's living quarters in Alien (1979) looked very futuristic with all white everywhere. It started shooting in July 1978.

Look at Star Trek series. While the tunics in TOS were not seen as uniforms in ENT and instead replaced with jumpsuits that look like 1980s Space Shuttle jumpsuits I think the uniforms of TNG & VOY look futuristic.

When The Island (2005) came out the white uniforms they wore looked futuristic. Ewan McGregor even comments why are they white? and that they were constantly getting dirty.

The choice of Enterprise bridge production design incorporating a lot of white in the bridge & corridors gives the feel of Space: 1999 & 2001: A Space Odyssey as well as Star Wars.


Phase II of Star Trek which became ST:TMP
They called upon Ralph McQuarrie, famous for his Star Wars production designs, to help create the design for a new retrofitted Enterprise. Mike Minor, who would go on to do production design for the first two Trek films, created the new look for the Phase II Enterprise interiors (you can see many of those details carried forward into the films and TNG).
see the illustration here of the bridge with lots of monochrome white in the design.
ST:TMP the refitted Constitution-class starship USS Enterprise-A's bridge (see photos at the link)
as well as
in 2286 (STIV:TVH)
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-A), STV: TFF

Part of this style of production design using white creates a minimalistic feeling or mood. I feel this is partly how the makeup store Sephora is designed. Mostly white and some black lines & the product. Goto google search and click on images and type in " "minimalist white" " and see more design like this.

Last edited by jefferiestubes8; March 14 2012 at 04:26 PM.
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Old March 14 2012, 04:52 PM   #24
DarthTom
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Re: Should the future look "Futuristic?"

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
The most realistic look for the future is pretty much for it to look the same. Different colors, cleaner or dirtier depending on which way you think the local crime-rate/economy went but mostly, the same.
I think all sci-fi shows should hire Apple to do set designs henceforth.
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Old March 14 2012, 08:24 PM   #25
RAMA
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Re: Should the future look "Futuristic?"

Gotham Central wrote: View Post
In the Lost in Space thread the reviewer covered an episode called "Return from Outer Space" where Will Robinson gets beamed back Earth in the "present" (which for the series was 1997). What always struck me about the episode was how not futuristic the town Will Robinson visits appeared. In fact the entire community looked rather retrograde and would not have seemed out of place on The Andy Griffith Show. Even as a kid watching Lost in Space in reruns during the 1980s, I never bought the idea that Will Robinson was actually supposed on Earth in the 1990s. For me, what hurt the story was that this place that was supposed to exist 10 years in my future seemed not only out of date but lacked anything that screams look I'm in the future.

When you really think about though, the future rarely looks "futuristic." If the youthful me of the 1980s had been pulled into small town America in 2012 would it really seem all that futuristic? Yeah some of the TVs would be flat, and the cars might be curvier, and people would be carrying their telephones in their pockets...but how much of that would be noticeable?

It goes to the question of how should the future be depicted on TV. Irwin Allen productions, despite their outlandish stories, usually had a VERY restrained visions of the future. Some of that is budgetary. But more often than not, his shows never look or feel like they take place in the future. Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea takes place between 1973-1984 yet with the exception of the odd video phone (which appears in season 2 and then disappears) never looks more advanced than the 1960s. The same was largely try for his other series. Compare this to say Gerry Anderson who always tried to make things look futuristic. UFO features a very "mod" 1960s vision of futurism with jet cars, Nehru Jackets and purple wigs. UFO manages to scream futuristic while also looking very dated. Space: 1999 had the same issue of screaming...look the future while giving us uniforms with bell bottoms and platform shoes, and lots of molded plastic furniture.

So the question is, who futuristic should the future look? Does trying to make the future seem like the future actually work against such productions in the long run?
The advance of technology has been exponential through time, even depressions and human caused downturns haven't stopped it. People adopted phones in 50 years, computers in 20, cell phones in 10. We are living in a world where that advance will only accelerate...it will go beyond noticing a few info-technologies to a point where we will learn more in each succeeding 5 years than the decades before it. Eventually we should hit a singularity..a point at which we can no longer predict what will come after....here's where my POV has changed in SF...I can watch SF of any type still, but I'll always take it with a grain of salt unless it accounts in some way for these changes. Even in the great novel "Hyperion" societies went unchanged for 100s of years. In Star Trek, the advance of tech is hopelessly linear and understated. I'd say by 2050, we won't recognize much of the world around us..much less the 23rd and 24th centuries. I used to feel ST's universe was so advanced and only 2 decades after discovering it, I feel it is already obsolete.

I just finished "Marooned in Realtime" by Vernor Vinge. It was written in the mid-80s. In it, the last remaining survivors traveled in stasis through time. The last remaining humans from 2195 to 2210 are called "high techs"...they were the most advanced people, but the weapons and equipment from just 5 years before were obsolete compared to the later equipment, even finally down to the last two survivors: one from 2202, one from 2210, the difference made the last one by far the more powerful. This is what we should be seeing in our SF.
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Old March 14 2012, 08:49 PM   #26
Warped9
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Re: Should the future look "Futuristic?"

RAMA wrote: View Post
I just finished "Marooned in Realtime" by Vernor Vinge. It was written in the mid-80s. In it, the last remaining survivors traveled in stasis through time. The last remaining humans from 2195 to 2210 are called "high techs"...they were the most advanced people, but the weapons and equipment from just 5 years before were obsolete compared to the later equipment, even finally down to the last two survivors: one from 2202, one from 2210, the difference made the last one by far the more powerful. This is what we should be seeing in our SF.
Sounds interesting. Maybe I should look this up.
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Old March 14 2012, 08:54 PM   #27
Owain Taggart
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Re: Should the future look "Futuristic?"

I also have to say that the way we see the future is also very dependent on how we look at things presently, based on what we know and what's available. Someone mentioned that anything that tries to be futuristic would look dated in time, and that's very true. Again, that's due to the social concepts we have, as we often can't think much beyond what we already have and the future will never look the way we expect it to look.

I found this great clip from the 1960's view of what the internet would be like:

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Old March 14 2012, 09:02 PM   #28
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Re: Should the future look "Futuristic?"

Gotham Central wrote: View Post
. Irwin Allen productions, despite their outlandish stories, usually had a VERY restrained visions of the future. Some of that is budgetary. But more often than not, his shows never look or feel like they take place in the future.

The purest vision that Irwin Allen had of the future was his TV pilot "City Beneath the Sea"..and his budget was practially unlimited at the time..



too bad it didn't sell...
but to me..it's still possible for that look to become reality..

just not the underwater city or the flying subs..too many technical issues there..

but the look... nice
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Old March 14 2012, 09:14 PM   #29
RAMA
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Re: Should the future look "Futuristic?"

What would the future look like before the singularity? Flexible and integrated...no tech has to be so specialized for one purpose. Nanotech might extend what we think of objects and machines into malleable constructs..into "smart" clouds...something called foglets. We can create things we need right from the ground up, in any form, even to the point of downloading our brain patterns into a simulacrum of a human body. In such a climate of technology, aesthetics might really not be a consideration, unless it was actively pursued.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utility_fog

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Programmable_matter

http://bigthink.com/ideas/40291
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Old March 14 2012, 09:16 PM   #30
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Re: Should the future look "Futuristic?"

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
The episode of LIS in question never bothered me. It was set in a small rural town-- such places still exist today, let alone in 1997.

But I do like it when movies and TV shows depict the future as somewhat futuristic. Unfortunately, that's pretty much gone out of fashion and the future usually looks more like the past-- I'm tired of spaceship interiors that look like factory basements. I saw a movie on Sciffy a couple of weeks ago that was set aboard an interstellar colonization vessel that was made up of dark corridors, metal gratings, big clanging doors and even manhole covers. It was completely ridiculous. One of the reasons SF interested me as a kid was the exotic, futuristic aspect-- nowadays they seem to go out of their way to look mundane. The reason Bladerunner has "aged well" is that pop culture has, at best, been stagnant for thirty years. I'd rather see something like The Jetsons or TOS than the gray, dismal stuff we've been getting lately.
I wouldn't say pop culture is stagnant-but I will say this. John Birmingham, in his Axis of Time books, has a character from 2021 reflecting that NOTHING in pop media gets thrown away since the advent of electronic recording because everything is important to somebody. So she has the Simpson's theme as her email alert and knows the words to Sympathy For the Devil. Such is the future-a mash-up of the past and present.
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