Science of TRON

Listen to audio from the "Science of TRON" panel, featuring director Joe Kosinski, producer Sean Bailey, and science consultants Sean Carroll & John Dick. Learn More

Featured Entertainer

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Featured Entertainer: Sarah Newman

Sarah Newman knows how lucky she is to spend her workdays talking to experts in pandemics, nuclear security, and other topics. As the Research Manager at Participant Media she works to develop companion campaigns to films with important topics, such as Contagion and infectious disease. We caught up with Newman recently to ask her a few questions about her role at Participant, how films can get people engaged in science, and what science topic she wants to see more of in film and television.

Featured Entertainer: David Grae

David Grae did not intend to use science on the hit series Castle, but as the supervising producer and writer explains it, the science kept coming up. No stranger to seeking expert advice (Grae previously worked on Joan of Arcadia, which had a religion and philosophy advisor), he called up The Exchange for some science help. Recently, Grae took some time to answer a few questions for us on his writing background, his first big break, and what inspires him.

Tell us about your background. How did you get started in the entertainment industry?

Featured Entertainers: Chuck Bryant & Josh Clark

Chuck Bryant and Josh Clark know a thing or two about how stuff works. As the hosts of the twice-weekly Stuff You Should Know podcast, Bryant and Clark research a myriad of topics ranging from wacky (Twinkies) to mind-blowing (asteroid mining).

Featured Entertainer: Tom Johnson

Actors act. Directors direct. Producers…. If you have ever wondered what exactly it is that producers do, you are in luck! The Exchange recently chatted with Tom Johnson, Texas native and Head of Development for Flashpoint Entertainment, about the role of a producer, how films are developed, and why he decides to bring certain stories to the big screen.

Tell us about your background. How did you become Head of Development for Flashpoint Entertainment?

Featured Entertainer: John Nein

With a background in film and a secret enthusiasm for science, John Nein, a Senior Programmer at the Sundance Film Institute, seems to have found himself in the perfect line of work. Each year, Nein oversees the process for the Sloan Foundation Prize at Sundance, a prize awarded to an outstanding feature film with a science theme or depiction of a scientist as a major character.

Featured Entertainer: David Goyer

He may have been a “classic nerd” but now screenwriter David Goyer is the embodiment of cool. The brains behind Blade, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, Goyer somehow turned a childhood love of comic books into one of the most enviable careers in Hollywood. But what’s really cool about Goyer?

Featured Entertainer: Tom Schulman

As a philosophy major at Vanderbilt University, screenwriter Tom Schulman had no intention of working in the film industry. But then, one fateful semester, a professor assigned a film project instead of a term paper. What followed is a long and successful career in film. Schulman is the brains behind Dead Poets Society, the hysterical comedy What About Bob?, and the dark comedy Eight Heads In A Duffel Bag.

Featured Entertainer: Alex McDowell

Production designer Alex McDowell has one strict rule: Don’t repeat the same genre. His eclectic work history ranges from the graphic novel adaptation Watchmen, to the animated children’s film Bee Movie to the futuristic world of Minority Report, proving his rule has served him well. McDowell is also an advisory board member for The Exchange and as you can read below, he is not shy about expressing his love for science and science consulting.

Featured Entertainer: Jeff Silver

He’s the producer behind 300, Terminator: Salvation, Tron: Legacy, and more films than you can hardly imagine. But you might be surprised to learn Jeff Silver’s career in filmmaking started with a Bar Mitzvah gift from his aunt, a Super 8 camera. It’s a wonderful reminder of how a small moment can change everything, which might explain why Silver chose to use science advising for Terminator: Salvation and Tron: Legacy – those small science details could change anything, from a character to a storyline.