Watch Brad Pitt in a Chase on the Moon in ‘Ad Astra’ | Anatomy of a Scene

  • Published: 20 September 2019
  • How do you make it look like you’re shooting a scene on the surface of the moon without going to the moon? How about a little help from … the moon?

    The science-fiction tale “Ad Astra” takes place in a near future where the moon has become, to some degree, the Wild West, with treaties being made to create settlements. This scene has lunar pirates trying to thwart the work of astronauts, including one played by Brad Pitt.

    In this video, the director James Gray explains his two goals for this sequence. He wanted it to play as a subjective kind of experience, immersing you in “the strangeness of the moon,” he says. But he also wanted to “illustrate what it means when there is a total lack of order.” That plays out here in harrowing ways.

    Gray describes the challenges of making the scene feel authentic, including shooting in the desert at another frame rate to make it look as if the moon rovers were affected by the different gravitational pull, then enhancing that footage with visual effects. And he elaborates on how he and his team used photography of the moon and digitally covered it over the desert lands to help simulate the moon’s surface in a convincing way.

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Comments • 198

  • Accendo World
    Accendo World  5 days back

    Considering the magnitude of this story being at the forefront of civilization - idealizing the potential risk for “moon pirates” in the future gives such a dynamic perspective into the progress, and possibilities, of man. I do just want to say, really thank you so much for sharing this with us. Certainly a learning experience for me I enjoyed wholeheartedly ✌️

    • Jordan Gate
      Jordan Gate  6 days back

      If only the moon thing was the whole movie, not just a pit stop on the way to Neptune where nothing happens

      • S.E. Sander
        S.E. Sander  1 weeks back

        00:08 I thought that was Waldo hiding back there in plain sight in the middle of the shot. 😆 Had to screenshot the scene and zoom in to realize that it actually belongs there.

        • Ben Quinney
          Ben Quinney  1 weeks back


          • Anton van der Merwe
            Anton van der Merwe  1 weeks back

            Watched this at Imax. My wife fell asleep and I had to torture myself to stay awake just so I didn't waste my money. Worst movie I have seen in a long time!!

          • Lulu OneTrickPony
            Lulu OneTrickPony  1 weeks back

            the flim wasn't scientific enough unrealistic made it unreal

            • smart phone
              smart phone  2 weeks back

              Terrible movie

              • altGoolam
                altGoolam  2 weeks back

                Lunar pirate make no sense... Loved the movie though... But still that specific cultural lense.

                • Ilya Liviz
                  Ilya Liviz  2 weeks back

                  Just watched it today; enjoyed it!

                  • darren marchant
                    darren marchant  2 weeks back

                    this is not the way that it will happen.

                    • E Cannon
                      E Cannon  2 weeks back

                      This movie was a real snooze fest. I was disappointed.

                      • Colin Henderson
                        Colin Henderson  2 weeks back

                        This movie is comical. Had it ended with his death from an opening scene or waking up in mental health facility, I could accept it, but that didn't happen. I didn't follow my instinct to walk out after 30 minutes, so that's a lesson for me. Terrible movie.

                        • David Smith
                          David Smith  2 weeks back

                          Too bad they didn't put that kind of effort into the writing!

                          • R P
                            R P  2 weeks back

                            These idiots put 70 year old Astronaught suits and the same General Motors made buggies. Yea right.

                            • Dan OConnor
                              Dan OConnor  2 weeks back

                              The chase by outlaws on the moon and later the monkeys in space from the distress call had nothing to do with the movie. The whole movie was a confused mess.

                              • V B
                                V B  2 weeks back

                                You're ridiculous.

                            • Vethelyne Sangma
                              Vethelyne Sangma  2 weeks back

                              Khalsa not fit to Brat Pitt.

                              • Alex T
                                Alex T  2 weeks back

                                I think the movie doens't take itself seriously, it plays out like a kid with a toy rocket. It jumps from one thing to another with no answers why.

                                • Robert Caffrey
                                  Robert Caffrey  2 weeks back

                                  They forgot to add in the retail park and homeless folk.

                                  • Cynthia Perras
                                    Cynthia Perras  2 weeks back

                                    Such utter nonsense keeping the sheep sleeping before the slaughter. We are living out the Biblical endtimes before terrible evil and terrible judgments hit mankind. Please seek the Lord and ask forgiveness of sin, in Jesus’ Name. All who call upon the Name of the Lord will be saved, to eternal life, in Christ. Try to remember this.

                                    • fading_starz
                                      fading_starz  2 weeks back

                                      I think CNN would do a better job fooling everybody with the moon scene they like to fool everyone.

                                      • Kako Onikumo Ekun
                                        Kako Onikumo Ekun  2 weeks back

                                        Bunch of thieves already plotting how to rob the moon blind

                                        • Pankaj Kumar Jaiswal
                                          Pankaj Kumar Jaiswal  2 weeks back

                                          Today, the New York Times has propagated false propaganda against India, this newspaper gets funds to run false news, what does New York know about India, it has run Pakistan's agenda,

                                          • Anthony Perez
                                            Anthony Perez  2 weeks back

                                            Incredible movie!

                                            • Dan Thomas
                                              Dan Thomas  2 weeks back

                                              I think it woulda been way cooler if they were on the moon shooting only to look up and see a flat earth.

                                              • V B
                                                V B  2 weeks back

                                                As if they wouldn't look when in the ship?

                                            • Jobs Steve
                                              Jobs Steve  2 weeks back

                                              Dull film I think so.

                                              • Damnit Bobby
                                                Damnit Bobby  2 weeks back


                                              • zdcyclops1 lickley
                                                zdcyclops1 lickley  3 weeks back

                                                The science in your movie was non existent. It takes 10-12 tears to travel from the Earth to Neptune. Your protagonist was a little strange, half a bubble off from normal, obsessed with space, to the point it cost him his marriage. The only characters I believed were the space baboons. 1 to 10 I rate it a 6.

                                                • eating sugar no papa
                                                  eating sugar no papa  3 weeks back

                                                  It's set in the future so the technology is better and they can travel faster

                                              • Clay Kemper
                                                Clay Kemper  3 weeks back

                                                The moon chase scene was visually exciting, but lacked context. To say simply the moon had become a lawless region is to trivialize a harrowing battle and near death for our main character. Sure, Mad Max on the moon, using advanced laser pistols. The scene contributed nothing to the movie and culminated in McBride's spectacular, slo-mo spin off the edge of a massive crater fortuitously landing on all four wheels and casually proceeding to the base as if nothing critical had just happened. Pretty nutty.

                                                • eating sugar no papa
                                                  eating sugar no papa  3 weeks back

                                                  So their buggy had to be destroyed and crash for it to be meaningful?

                                              • Douglas Williams
                                                Douglas Williams  3 weeks back

                                                THIS MOVIE WAS A WASTE OF MY TIME I WANT MY MONEY BACK DONT GO SEE IT

                                              • Chris Banach
                                                Chris Banach  3 weeks back

                                                Ad-Astra was a big let-down. I had great expectations for that one, given James Gray's the director. Brad Pitt's handsome as always and delivers one of his career's best, most emotional performances, CGI's amazing (you'd expect that), but all this is sadly overshadowed by a nonsensical script: moon pirates, a killing Norwegian space baboon, 1G gravity on moon and mars bases... seriously?...

                                                Still (kinda) worth watching imho, for inspired visuals and cinematography. But it's pretty bad science and terrible continuity management. Without spoiling too much there's a scene on Mars where Brad Pitt runs through a dusty tunnel (with 1G gravity!), swims (in his space suit!) under a lake, makes it last second to the departing rocket's lower hatch (after ignition!) and not only doesn't get broiled but his space suit is impeccable and white as if right out of the dry cleaner... it's trying to be 2001, Sunshine and Armageddon, and sadly fails in all 3 attempts.

                                                Oh, i almost forgot.... character development is also very weak. I honestly don't know what Liv Tyler was doing there.

                                                • pam 1
                                                  pam 1  3 weeks back

                                                  this movie cured me from not sleeping

                                                  • Pablo Ferrigno
                                                    Pablo Ferrigno  3 weeks back

                                                    So there’s Lunar cities with lunar Starbucks and lunar Applebees, and there’s lunar pirates with heavily armed Guns but they travel using 20th century Rovers with no armor or protection whatsoever.

                                                  • Robert Krüger
                                                    Robert Krüger  3 weeks back

                                                    That looks gorgeous!

                                                    • taniapinky1
                                                      taniapinky1  3 weeks back

                                                      It was a great movie. In my opinion

                                                  • Beautiful Portland
                                                    Beautiful Portland  3 weeks back

                                                    So glad this movie did not take the Marvel Comic view of the Universe, where EVERYTHING is DYSTOPIAN and APOCALYPTIC, nor did it view the Future as UTOPIAN . . . .

                                                    • Mean Old Lady
                                                      Mean Old Lady  1 weeks back

                                                      That's atheist utopianism in a nutshell - they know their ideology can only spiral downwards into depravity.
                                                      They've screwed up over 100 years & in over 100 different countries.
                                                      Socialism/communism always leads to totalitarian dictatorships that cost millions of lives.

                                                  • Jane Katz
                                                    Jane Katz  3 weeks back

                                                    i really loved this scene on IMAX..but I felt it was NOT REALISTIC considering Roy should have been heavily protected with more weapons and defenses around him. All he had was OPEN cars and his security guys didn't even have their weapons drawn already? Also, the launch base fires 2 homing missiles at the pirates and destroys them in the end, how did they not detect those pirates already? Too many plot holes in this movie.

                                                    • camaro Carl
                                                      camaro Carl  3 weeks back

                                                      So much CGI it was like watching a cartoon...only worse, and with bad acting.

                                                      • Chris Wright
                                                        Chris Wright  3 weeks back

                                                        This is the most absurd notion of the whole movie. If you're rich enough to get to the moon, you have no reason to turn to banditry to get a little more money. It's people who are impoverished and desperate who turn to these sorts of activities.

                                                        • Kriss Kringle
                                                          Kriss Kringle  3 weeks back

                                                          @zdcyclops1 lickley The hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy.

                                                        • zdcyclops1 lickley
                                                          zdcyclops1 lickley  3 weeks back

                                                          The bandits all hitchhiked.

                                                        • Kriss Kringle
                                                          Kriss Kringle  3 weeks back

                                                          This is a half assed comment. There were malls and fast food restaurants on the moon, which means a lot of people were brought there for work, so it's not far fetched to think how they would turn to banditry if what they were making from flipping artificial burgers wasn't enough.

                                                      • CΔRL ΛTTΞNIΞSΞ
                                                        CΔRL ΛTTΞNIΞSΞ  3 weeks back

                                                        I loved the move, but there were physics issues. Take for example a less egregious one (perhaps astronauts would say it's not less so): this scenario, in fully pressurized EVA suits of the Apollo type--which these obviously emulate--would not play out this way, unless (and I do assume this is possible), advances are made to increase range of motion and unencumbered flexibility. The Apollo astronauts, like the Gemini astronauts before them, struggled at the joints and with their hands, often injuring them working against the inflation and the creasing it painfully caused.

                                                        • Legofilmwhofan1
                                                          Legofilmwhofan1  2 weeks back

                                                          Well this is set in the future so I suppose the tech could have made vast improvements since they've colonised part of the moon and also have manned bases on Mars, also some of the other tech like the guns and holographic displays in the film are pretty advanced.

                                                      • Hank Harding
                                                        Hank Harding  3 weeks back

                                                        I saw this movie yesterday and I have to say it was kind of eye opening in a sense. It makes you think. I’d recommend it, pretty spectacular on the big screen too.

                                                        • Hank Harding
                                                          Hank Harding  2 weeks back

                                                          @Topgun 12345 Gee, I too want to believe that and in an endless universe I suppose it's more probable than not that that is the case. I mean, there has to be right? I could drive myself insane thinking about this stuff, and I like a movie which makes you stop and think :)

                                                        • Topgun 12345
                                                          Topgun 12345  2 weeks back

                                                          @Hank Harding thanks for the reply. I thought the same thing but was a bit unsure to admit it. I guess i always want to believe that there are extraterrestrial living entities in the universe 🙂

                                                        • Hank Harding
                                                          Hank Harding  2 weeks back

                                                          It makes you think that there is a distinct possibility that humans are the only life forms like us in the universe, whilst unlikely, we don’t really know yet, sort of like a don’t take your life for granted/ appreciate what you have message.

                                                        • Topgun 12345
                                                          Topgun 12345  2 weeks back

                                                          What does it make us to think?

                                                        • Chris Imil
                                                          Chris Imil  3 weeks back

                                                          Seen it yesterday too, loved it👏

                                                      • SensoMap
                                                        SensoMap  3 weeks back

                                                        Doesn't make sense. Where would the pirates hide? Any human facility on the moon would be widely visible.

                                                        • zdcyclops1 lickley
                                                          zdcyclops1 lickley  3 weeks back

                                                          Ramada Inn. They work at Star Buck$, and wired at work, and relax by attacking the US military space force.

                                                      • David Seeling
                                                        David Seeling  3 weeks back

                                                        Ad Astra is a hoax, sheeple - Kubrick filmed this...

                                                        • Frank Silva
                                                          Frank Silva  3 weeks back

                                                          Movie was terrible. So bad they needed hungry space monkeys to give it some suspense. Seriously.

                                                          • Anthony
                                                            Anthony  3 weeks back

                                                            I kept waiting for a fascinating 1/6 gravity moment. Didn't happen.

                                                            • Legofilmwhofan1
                                                              Legofilmwhofan1  2 weeks back

                                                              @Chris Banach I'm not scientist but this is a Science Fiction film set in the future, I assume they tackled all that when they set up bases on the moon, you want a 2 and a half hour lecture on how everything works in the movie?

                                                            • Chris Banach
                                                              Chris Banach  2 weeks back

                                                              Legofilmwhofan1 uh not the same. On a space ship it’s possible to pull it off by spinning the whole station, creating centrifugal force, pulling inhabitants outwards and somewhat simulating gravity. A feat used in amusement park rides for decades, nothing new there. Now explain how to do that on a scale of an entire moon station (that’s clearly not moving on screen) and you get a Nobel prize. Not to mention that even if you had, say, a giant salad spinner of a moon station, it wouldn’t solve the problem because the centrifugal force would be applied perpendicularly to the moon surface, all while still getting a 1/6G gravitational pull downwards. It works in zero gravity but on a planet or moon with even a little gravity it wouldn’t. Also, you have to account for entries/exits which imply to stop the spin each time, otherwise moon rovers would just fly out air locks like a cup tossed out your car window while spinning it.

                                                            • Legofilmwhofan1
                                                              Legofilmwhofan1  2 weeks back

                                                              @Chris Banach This is the future, they clearly have some form of advanced artificial gravity in their planetbound structures, other movies like 2001 did it on space stations, this is hardly the first time.

                                                            • Chris Banach
                                                              Chris Banach  3 weeks back

                                                              @TheRecreator pretty much the ONLY moment in the entire movie. science was so bad. inside the moon base there was magically 1G gravity. explain THAT. same inside mars base.

                                                            • TheRecreator
                                                              TheRecreator  3 weeks back

                                                              Anthony what exactly did you expect? When the rover flies off the cliff it falls surprisingly slowly, and hits the ground relatively gently, there’s a moment for you.

                                                          • Raymond K Petry
                                                            Raymond K Petry  3 weeks back

                                                            *_...amusing but so 'retro' in portrayal—we'd expect something simple but higher-tech on the moon... water spray turning into ice-storm... sand-blowers (when you're in the lead)... slaloming the hills... dropping unnecessary equipment to flip the chasers... gouging ruts... 'cause otherwise we'd be expecting Stingers and rpg's..._*

                                                            • Pqrst Zxerty
                                                              Pqrst Zxerty  3 weeks back

                                                              The Moon in 50 years will be coated in plastic rubbish from all the Tourists.

                                                              • Luis M
                                                                Luis M  2 weeks back

                                                                Nope, thanks for your pessimism though.

                                                            • hersheystaste4life
                                                              hersheystaste4life  3 weeks back

                                                              wtf. Thanks for saving me $11 for this shyte.

                                                              • bud ekins
                                                                bud ekins  3 weeks back

                                                                First 'car chase' on the moon in movie history.

                                                                • Paul Freedman
                                                                  Paul Freedman  3 weeks back

                                                                  The moon is the next chunk of real estate. On earth it's all already taken. What happens in this movie, ain't a far fethched prediction.