Factual Footage Inc.
Science Consultants for the Film and Television Industries
When the details aren’t credible, when the science doesn’t ring true, you risk losing the audience and hurting the production.
“… movies live and die by an internal logic; if those schematics are not sound, the audience can’t get lost in the story.”
Katrina Onstad, Heavy lifting, Box-office hero Will Smith can’t elevate the mediocre Hancock. Wednesday, July 2, 2008. CBC News.
“Of all of the impossible occurrences in Fantastic Four, none seems as implausible as scientist Reed Richards’ scheme to make billions of dollars by studying the human genome through the exposure of plants–yes, plants–to cosmic rays.”
Gregory Mone, Popular Science Magazine, Hollywood’s Science Guru.
What We Do
Our mission is to ensure the authenticity of science in the arts while upholding creative vision.
We consult on all forms of media (film, television, theatre, video games, novels) and on all disciplines of sciences (biology, chemistry, biochemistry, genetics, physics, medical science, engineering).
We find imaginative and scientifically sound solutions to help make your world on paper, stage, and screen seem real.
Our science consultants work alongside you to draft scientifically conceivable details that support your vision. We are experts who can filter through the debris of dubious science to understand how your idea fits into the bigger picture, synthesizing a sound scientific idea for a creative project.
- Examination of validity/accuracy in written science
- Script recommendations and written changes
- Script writing
- Full script writing
- Examination of validity/accuracy in visual science
- Set recommendations
- Set pricing (scientific props)
- On-set consultation
Dead Days Chronicles
A new zombie apocalypse television series slated for release on major networks in the coming seasons, we were involved with the pre-production process of analyzing the scientific plausibility behind a new take on the living dead genre. Our work included synopsis rewrites, internet application description with probability of various apocalyptic scenarios (The End of the World App), and scientific script consultation.
Memoires of a Dead Scientist
A unique independent feature about the development of a new weapon for the war on drugs, slated for theatrical release in late 2014. We were involved with major script rewrites and scientific consultation involving various factors related to atmospheric viral release and dispersion, and anti-drug compounds and interference pathways. We are currently on contract for on-set development and consultation for the theatrical reproduction of high tech government labs.
Into the Try Zone
An inspirational film currently in production with DeeTown Entertainment, JARS Media Group, the US Sevens Rugby Federation, and the Fiji Film Commission, and slated for release in theatres in early 2014. We are currently contracted for on-set consultation to measure the structural loads of a bridge collapsing scene.
Jonathan Thon, PhD
Jonathan received his doctorate from the department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. He currently holds joint appointments within the Hematology Division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School (Boston, Massachusetts), where he works on platelet production and the role of platelets in cancer.
Lauren Scott, PhD/MD
Lauren completed her doctoral degree in medicinal inorganic chemistry at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and earned her M.D. at Boston University School of Medicine specializing in family medicine. Lauren applies a deep scientific understanding to complex medical problems, and her commitment to holistic general medical practice has helped contextualize medical science in society.
Damien Wilpitz, MS
Damien Wilpitz received his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego where he did undergraduate and post-graduate research in metabolic gene regulation. He is currently an academic research manager for a Brigham and Women’s Hospital hematology laboratory that studies the pathogenesis of hematological disorders.
Why You Need Us
The following clips demonstrate unfortunate and sometimes humorous scientific errors from otherwise excellent movies that managed to press us beyond the realm of the scientifically plausible.
The posting of these clips is not intended for promotional purposes but solely for the criticism and review of their scientific accuracy (in accordance with Canadian copyright laws).
00:03:45 – 00:04:47
In this opening scene a technologically advanced alien “Engineer” prepares to seed a primordial planet—presumably Earth—with life. The Engineer accomplishes this by drinking a black substance, sacrificing himself to provide the basic building blocks of life. While many of these building blocks (DNA, amino acids) as well as higher order structures (genes, proteins) can presently be synthesized in labs, all cellular material can be derived from less morally contentious test specimens such as bacteria and yeast. A comparable allegory would be Prometheus bringing fire to humanity by setting himself alight.
The Avengers (2012)
1:10:53 – 1:11:13
At 30,000 feet (9144 meters) or approximately the elevation of mount Everest, absolute atmospheric pressure is about 30% that at sea level and the temperature is roughly -48°F (-44°C). While most superheroes should do fine, Clint Barton/Hawkeye (played by Jeremy Renner) shown here standing aboard the bridge in a t-shirt should be suffering from lack of oxygen and extreme cold. The same should be expected of the crew after the Hulk punches a hole through the cabin glass, depressurizing the helicarrier.
Kill Bill, Vol. 1 (2003)
00:32:40 – 00:33:02
When organs or muscles in the body shrink due to injury, lack of use, or disease they become weakened, a condition called ‘atrophy’. This appears to be what The Bride (Uma Thurman) experiences as she desperately tries to wiggle her toes after months of laying comatose. She calls it ‘entropy’ which is a measure of disorder that exists in a system.
1:36:48 – 1:37:10
Water makes up approximately 60% of total human body weight, 65-80% of plant weight, and roughly 71% of the Earth’s surface – a feature clearly evident from space. Atmospheric water has been estimated to comprise nearly 12,900 km3 and is most visibly manifested in clouds. Mel Gibson’s movie Signs features an advanced alien race for whose physiology liquid water has similar properties to acid. Nevertheless, in the pivotal final scene an alien comes in contact with glasses of water (left about the house by Bo Hess, played by Abigail Breslin) facilitating its death and prompting the aliens’ immediate retreat from Earth.