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When Worlds Collide: The Science of Movies


Tobey Maguire in Spider Man 3
Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight (top); Tobey Maguire in Spider Man 3 (bottom)

“When Worlds Collide: The Science of Movies” is the title of the Academy’s Science and Technology Council’s program about the physics behind some of Hollywood’s best-known action and science-fiction scenes. “When Worlds Collide” will be presented on Thursday, August 6, at 7:30 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

The evening will be hosted by author Adam Weiner (Don’t Try This at Home! The Physics of Hollywood Movies) and will feature film clips and a panel discussion with Oscar-winning visual effects artists Robert Legato (Titanic) and Scott Stokdyk (Spider-Man 2), Oscar-nominated visual effects artists Shane Mahan (Iron Man) and Matt Sweeney (Apollo 13), and stunt coordinator and second unit director Dan Bradley (The Bourne Ultimatum).

As per the Academy’s press release, “physics concepts will be used to analyze scenes” from 2001: A Space Odyssey, Speed, Apollo 13, Titanic, The Bourne Ultimatum, Spider-Man 3, and The Dark Knight, among others.

Adam Weiner currently writes about science and popular culture for Popular Science magazine online and teaches physics at The Bishop’s School, a private high school in La Jolla.

Tickets to “When Worlds Collide: The Science of Movies” are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID.

The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information call (310) 247-3600 or visit www.oscars.org.

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