Documenting the HAL 9000 faceplates

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nkg

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
No, I don't have one of the original faceplates myself, sadly. But I have spent the last while researching what I can about this iconic piece of movie history. There has been a fair bit of information scattered hither and yon, so I decided to centralize it all into a single report on the topic. While working on it I believe I have determined the correct typeface used in the HAL 9000 logo. I've also spent some time assembling the highest quality images I can of the props.

the4Kphoto.jpg

Enjoy!

HAL 9000’s faceplates - The Age of Plastic

- NK Guy
 

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joberg

Master Member
Great thread Neil and I think that this is the best place to discuss this historic prop, its birth, challenges, etc...
 

joberg

Master Member
I read your analysis of HAL Neil and, as usual, its details are thorough and well presented. I tend not to talk about 2010 for the fact that the sets were lousy to say the least (Discovery interior):rolleyes:
 

nkg

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I read your analysis of HAL Neil and, as usual, its details are thorough and well presented. I tend not to talk about 2010 for the fact that the sets were lousy to say the least (Discovery interior):rolleyes:

Thanks! Yeah, 2010 was weird. I mean, the pod bay set was mostly really well done. There were some clunky bits - like making the display board on the repair station massively thick to accommodate a crappy CRT TV. But, despite all that expense and effort they made these absurd HAL props which were massively oversized, had the wrong proportions, had the wrong logo, had an illuminated (!) logo, had the wrong lens size, had the wrong colours, and had speaker grilles with microscopic holes in them. Wow. I mean, why even bother?
 
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joberg

Master Member
You're so nice Neil; even the pod bay was terrible. The scene with the EVA Pod (even that vehicle has its fair share of mistakes) near the bay wall was missing pipes and details that made it lousy:mad:
 

nkg

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Update: I've drawn up a diagram showing the dimensions of the screen-used HAL 9000 faceplates. This is the front elevation only at this time, since the side elevation data is not known and can only be estimated.

I'll post the image here for convenience, but the updated version will always reside on my website:


1616938210459.png
 

Pyramidrep

Member
nkg,
Fantastic, thorough piece of research. It’s great that there great people here on the RPF that love the history and the artefacts/ props/ sets of 2001.
My particular interest is in the sets of the Discovery. I have Adam Johnson’s first volume and heard the second isn’t quite as good. Can I ask does it contain any images of original blueprints of areas not seen in the first volume?
 

nkg

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Glad you like the page!

I wouldn't say that volume 2 of Adam Johnson's book isn't as good, per se. It has a different focus. He spends more time examining some of the influences that went into the design work of 2001, and so has fewer reproductions of 2001 stuff. That means there's less directly useful stuff for people interested in the original props and sets. However, there's still some good material not available elsewhere in terms of views of the Orion and details on some of the Discovery interiors.
 
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Pyramidrep

Member
Glad you like the page!

I wouldn't say that volume 2 of Adam Johnson's book isn't as good, per se. It has a different focus. He spends more time examining some of the influences that went into the design work of 2001, and so has fewer reproductions of 2001 stuff. That means there's less directly useful stuff for people interested in the original props and sets. However, there's still some good material not available elsewhere in terms of views of the Orion and details on some of the Discovery interiors.
Thank you for that. For years all I had was Jerome Agel book which I bought in 1980. We’ve been spoilt with the number of publications in the last few years but its quite never enough for completists. I’m always happy even if I can find any sliver of information I haven’t read or seen before so Volume 2 is on order now.
EF4E7AA9-3C9F-43F9-AD64-D5D4E12BBE42.jpeg
 

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joberg

Master Member
I went directly to the Canadian publisher and I got the first book for a song, compared with prices you`ll see on Ebay.
I whish there was more detailed pics of the models:(
 

Pyramidrep

Member
If ever the movie industry make another film related to 2001:A Space Oddssey, they should employ some of the RPF folk to act as art/ set design consultants so we can scream at the construction crews to get the details right. Ha, ha, ha !

By the way I agree with the comments on the sequel 2010. Man, I thought I was the only one bugged out about the recreation of the Discovery. I used to think Peter Hyams was trying to be Kubrick or Ridley Scott but didn’t have that obsessive eye for detail.
Still liked Syd Mead’s work on the Leonov though.
I have this also since 1984.

A5031E08-82CF-43B2-B31D-7F763819BF74.jpeg 00C46398-9EC9-475B-8C17-A055C05D22C6.jpeg
 

nkg

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Yes, volume 1 has more material not published elsewhere. But volume 2 is still useful if you are, as you say, a completist. :)
 

joberg

Master Member
Doug Trumbull has a lot of 2001 pics in his possession and wanted to do a video/documentary presentation about that material.
I think that the publication of the 2001 Taschen book put a stop to it...or maybe the permission for the rights to do so:unsure:
 

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joberg

Master Member
Site updated with additional material and ... stuff!

Great research/work once again Neil (y) (y) One nagging question I always had with that stepped set-up seen on the plate is: how did they secured that Nikkor lens into it?:unsure: Special clamps at the back of the plate holding it in place? I know the "mock-up" seen in the vid with Peter Jackson and A. Savage is showing 4 holes in the alu plate behind it...but it seems, to me, that those holes were made to secure it in openings they had build in various set pieces. Nothing at the back is showing some kind of attachment to hold the lens.
 

nkg

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
One nagging question I always had with that stepped set-up seen on the plate is: how did they secured that Nikkor lens into it?:unsure:

I talk about that in the section on the aluminium ring. Basically, the answer is we don't know. There is a photo of Kubrick with a Polaroid camera in front of a HAL faceplate with the lens off, and you can see some additional internal steps. So perhaps they put a Nikon F camera body mount (just the lens mount - not a whole camera, obviously!) inside there. That would be a logical thing to do. However, we don't know for certain.
 
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