Sunday, April 26, 2009

Prediction: Bond driving a PRT

I would say that within the next 10 years we are seeing a Bond movie, where a chase or other action event happens with PRTs. The overlapping bridges of current Heathrow track give a certain potential to this, but so would the under-street level maze of Masdar's.

I know it is stupid to make such predictions, but this is more of a statement, really. They filmed gorgeously at the Malaysia's twin towers when those were new. And before most of the world realized Malaysia had leaped up to par with West.

The problem remains: how to make the 40km/h vehicles seem fast on the big screen. :> And since Martin said ULTra has solved the podlurking problem, are we restricting the movie directors' options too much.



Mr_Grant said...

The state of CGI being what it is, I would think it just as likely the PRT could be simulated in a city that doesn't have one.

I think it would make more sense as a sequence where Bond follows a suspect to an evil rendezvous. The steady pace of PRT lends itself to building tension.

We could even have the bad guy try to evade Bond by hacking into 007's pod computer, and send it off to some other destination. Then he climbs out onto the roof of his pod and jumps onto one going the other way, and he's back on the trail.

akauppi said...

Like that! :)

Nathan Koren said...

There's already something of a genre of PRT-based action sequences: see "Minority Report" and "The Incredibles" for two of my favorite sequences. And also, more than a few Bond villians have had PRT systems of a vague sort (starting with "You Only Live Twice," I believe).

As far as getting an action sequence involving a real-world PRT... I'm scratching my head trying to figure out how to make it work. Having ridden the Heathrow PRT, I can say that it does feel fairly zippy when you're in it -- but honestly, it's more or less like riding in an elevator, but with a much better view and a more comfortable seat. Nice, but intrinsically very exciting in other words. In the real world, if Bond (or Tom Cruise or Elasti-girl or whomever) started jumping around in or on an ULTra pod, this would set off an "unexpected yaw" alarm at the control center within 1/30th of a second, at which point the controllers would redirect our hero into the arms of airport security, or at least give them a really embarrassing talking-to. Not terribly cinematic either way.

Hmmm... rather than a chase scene, I can more easily imagine a scene that uses the pod's relentless progress towards its destination as some some sort of more exciting version of a ticking clock. Picture this: as our hero hurtles towards the N3 business car park, he must frantically hack into SPECTRE's mainframe using the on-board wifi -- and if he doesn't succeed by the time he reaches his destination station, the damsel in distress goes into the shark tank. Or, um, something like that...

Mr_Grant said...

OK, I have a scenario. It's the end of the movie, and Bond has just returned to London with a young lady with whom he has become acquainted during the mission. We'll call her Linnea Induction.

They board a pod to whisk off to the car park, where M is waiting with a Daimler. 007 hacks into the computer and stops the pod on an elevated section. He and Linnea start making out.

M marches into the control room and calls over the pod intercom. "What's the delay, 007?" Maybe she also gets an eyeful via the CCTV.

"Sorry M. Uh, you're not going to believe this, but we've run out of gas..."

Cue Shirley Bassey imitator! Roll credits!