Is there a website compiling framegrabs of computer screens in feature films?
August 31, 2004 5:41 PM   Subscribe

Is there a website compiling framegrabs of computer screens in feature films? In other words, a photo gallery including Jeff Goldblum's Mac virus from Independence Day, Matthew Broderick's terminal in Wargames, the 3D filesystem in Jurassic Park, Scotty's "transparent aluminum" GUI in Star Trek IV, and so on.

I find it hard to believe this doesn't exist on the Internet. (If it doesn't, then I'm going to start it right away.)
posted by waxpancake to Computers & Internet (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sounds like you found a niche.

Its not a feature film, but I have a good screen cap of Windows XP in the TV series "Firefly". The episode is one of the never aired ones, so maybe they had planned to replace it with something less recognizable.
posted by tetsuo at 6:40 PM on August 31, 2004

At NAB, I met a guy whose fill time job was animating those screen for feature films. I really wanted to BE him. What a cool job.
posted by grumblebee at 7:09 PM on August 31, 2004

wax, I know I've seen this. I might be thinking of this, but I'm not sure.
posted by blueshammer at 7:22 PM on August 31, 2004

For a long time alot of them that I'd see were very blatantly made in Director. I always appreciate those rare production designers that acutally put some more thought into it than that. Viz: Trinity using nmap in the Matrix.

Definitely get someone to post it to the blue if/when you do this!

[Also, is there any thing more lame or hackneyed now than the "Download in Progress" suspence bar? I mean, is there any more obvious sign that things are about to go to hell for Our Hero than a slow moving blue bar appearing on his screen? Just once, I'd like to see Tom Cruise copy a file unmolested. Someday, there will be an Austin Powers-like satire of these lame "techno-thrillers" and their utterly contrived computer-as-pit, download-bar-as-pendulum versions of danger. Not to mention the totally lame UIs.]
posted by ChasFile at 7:39 PM on August 31, 2004

No screengrabs, but here's a list to get you started on some: Mac sightings onscreen.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 7:44 PM on August 31, 2004

No kidding about the lame GUIs. You'd think that now in 2004 that enough people are familiar with email that they can show Outlook/Eudora/AOL/whatever email client instead of some obviously fake animation of a big envelope flying across the screen.
posted by alidarbac at 9:52 PM on August 31, 2004

I love the one in "The Insider"...the fake Windows desktop totally ruins the realism of the scene.
posted by inksyndicate at 10:41 PM on August 31, 2004

Remember that in movies, an exponentially increasing keystroke rate is required to keep a 3D image moving across the screen.
posted by Krrrlson at 11:17 PM on August 31, 2004

It always amused me that the Arnold robot in Terminator (first movie) was running DOS from an Apple II. They run the source code by in his head-up-displays.
posted by plinth at 3:07 AM on September 1, 2004

I totally agree with the gist of this thread. Computers on film, shees...

I did like the interface Tom Cruise is wielding in Minority Report, though. Futuristic enough to be credible.
posted by AwkwardPause at 3:34 AM on September 1, 2004

Oh yes please put that together! I've been catching Battlestar Galactica and I can't believe the computers...

Would you like to play a game?
posted by mimi at 5:57 AM on September 1, 2004

nothing annoys me more than watching a movie where some high-end techno spy sits down and boots up his iMac to log into his AOL account to see if the enemy has been spotted. i mean, seriously, would James Bond be caught dead using an AOL account? what kind of hacker would use one? if they wanna do a believable product tie-in, can't they just have the character take a swig of mountain dew or starbucks or something whilst checking email, rather than ruin the credibility of said character by having them use the same setup for spy stuff that grandma uses to send me chain letters?

i say any such site should be carefully set up to point out the usual dumbness of computers in movies. sort of the same way i keep telling people about biology problems in movies.

like, for example, outbreak. i mean, WTF was a south american monkey doing in africa, anyway? or anacondas? yeah, people going to borneo could be attacked by giant anacondas. except that anacondas don't fucking live in borneo, you dumb gits. christ. consult an expert before writing your damn scripts... they spend millions on CGI but can't drop a dime asking someone who knows something about the crap plot they write...
posted by caution live frogs at 6:05 AM on September 1, 2004

Ask MetaFilter is as useful as you make it. Please limit comments to answers or help in finding an answer.

posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:18 AM on September 1, 2004

I always thought it was fascinating that "Alien" and "Blade Runner" use the same operating system. I guess Ridley Scott's to blame for that, but still....
posted by muckster at 6:57 AM on September 1, 2004

I always hate "hackers" in movies - their screens are always highly animated and sometimes computery-voiced, when I imagine real hackers stare at boring lines of code all the time?
posted by agregoli at 7:02 AM on September 1, 2004

So is anybody putting this together? I'm willing to contribute screen caps of my DVDs if need be. Email me.
posted by codger at 8:13 AM on September 1, 2004

Response by poster: Yes, I'm going to do this. I want to see how software has been portrayed in the movies over time, including all of those laughably bad hacker movies.

The first step is to create a starter list of films that have had computer close-ups in them, then provide a way for people to submit screencaps of them. I'll set this up.
posted by waxpancake at 8:25 AM on September 1, 2004

It always amused me that the Arnold robot in Terminator (first movie) was running DOS from an Apple II. They run the source code by in his head-up-displays.

What's more, some of that source code was from Nibble magazine. They had very distinctive checksum listings to help you detect errors in typed-in programs, and several of these are visible.
posted by kindall at 9:01 AM on September 1, 2004

One of my particualr favourites is AntiTrust, not least because the hackers have GNOME 1.x desktops all over the place and that most of the code they work on in the movie comes from Jigsaw but mainly becuase although the Microsoft/Apple evil company have their own wierdgui all over the place when they get down to the evil it's all Linux behind the scenes, terminal represent.
posted by nedrichards at 11:54 PM on September 1, 2004

« Older Making a Cat Exercise   |   Error message when launching winamp. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.