Hollywood has a tendency to turn to smoke and mirrors when creating special effects. Stop-motion, miniatures, and painted plates wowed audiences in fantasy and sci-fi beginning at the turn of the last century. Through the 1950s and 1960s the audience reaction turned from awe to ridicule until computer-generate imagery revitalized the scene. Now audiences of a $200 million sci-fi thriller expect knockout special effects, and the latest installment in the Star Trek universe delivers.
Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013) features an array of energy references and future of energy themes, to be covered in another post. However, the location itself pertains directly the future of energy in our non-cinematic world. In his attempt to create maximum verisimilitude, producer J.J. Abrams set up shop in the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory National Ignition Facility, the site of cutting edge fusion fuel research. During a break in normal testing operations, the cast and crew shot several scenes that made the final cut. Check out the screen grabs below and click through to read more about the lab and what researchers do there. Look familiar?