Posted by Paul Devlin:
How much science is too much science?
That was the big question when editing BLAST!. Viewers needed to understand enough to invest in the stakes for the BLAST team. But we had to be careful not to bog the story down with too much complicated, unfamiliar information. Very challenging.
Does the audience need to understand the light spectrum? Do they need to know what a light year is? Do they want details on how the telescope
operates? Do they understand that our sun is also a star? How can we get all this info in and not kill the story?
Endless test screenings of rough cuts helped us calibrate for the broadest possible audience. Were they absorbing the science? Did they need more? Would they still get caught up in the story even if there were some parts they didn’t understand? A painstaking process, screening new cuts weekly. And each audience had to be fresh. We started running out of friends and colleagues to be our test audiences!
We decided describing the details of how BLAST works was not essential for the story, so these vignettes did not make the final movie. But the inner workings of this amazing instrument are still fascinating on their own. Have fun geeking out!