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Neil Armstrong biopic First Man used '60s-era NASA equipment for a fully-immersive cinematic experience

Contributed by
Aug 29, 2018

Damien Chazelle's Neil Armstrong biopic First Man makes its worldwide premiere today at the Venice Film Festival.

While speaking to the press, the Whiplash and La La Land director talked about the lengths the production went for complete accuracy in terms of the movie's asthetic. One thing they strove to obtain was actual NASA technology and equipment used during the 1960s, which could then be used as props for the film.

“Whenever you hear Ryan [Gosling]'s breathing in the space suit, it's through a real lunar helmet, through [Apollo 16 astronaut] John Young's helmet ... If you do the leg work [and] get the real things, I think it always looks and sounds better than what you would make on your own," Chazelle told The Hollywood Reporter.

John Young was the first person to fly six successful missions in space and the ninth to step foot on the moon during the Apollo 16 mission in 1972. Young also holds the record for longest-serving NASA astronaut with a 42-year career there. He passed away just this past January at the age of 87. 

You can also blastoff with a new trailer for the film, which emphasizes the toll that the 1969 mission took on Armstrong's family, as well as the skeptical attitude of the public over the billions of dollars being spent to send a human to the moon. 

While every American knows about the 1969 moon landing, Chazelle admitted that making First Man was something of a learning experience, forcing him to step outside of his boilerplate knowledge of the event and look at it with a fresh perspective. 

“We grow up with the moon landing already [having] been a fact, with the iconic images and the archival footage,” he said. “But the more I learned about it, the more fascinated I became in what went into it and, of course, what the costs were of that process. Because they were enormous.”

First Man achieves liftoff in theaters Oct. 12.


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