Terry Gilliam’s New Film ‘The Zero Theorem’ Relies on 3D Printed Futuristic Props

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Terry Gilliam, screenwriter, director, animator, and actor is often remembered as a member of the Monty Python comedy group. His distinctive style of animation during his time with Monty Python became so well known that it is often the subject of parody and, sometimes, outright plagiarism. In addition to his time with Monty Python, he also has extensive experience as a film director for pieces such as Time Bandits, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, and 12 Monkeys.

the-zero-theoremThe latest adventure through the film versions of Terry Gilliam’s mind is The Zero Theorem, a science fiction film that promises to be the most Gilliam-esque of all of his films. His works are known for their complex plots and intricately strange stories and this time is no different. The tale is set in a futuristic landscape where the world has gone grungy and the characters are struggling through an atmosphere of surveillance and mechanistic competition. The key character is a hacker with a philosophical bent whose efforts to understand the meaning of human existence are constantly being thwarted by an entity known as “The Management.”

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Despite being set in the future, Gilliam envisioned the movie as a commentary on the present:

“I thought it was a perfect representation of the world we live in at the moment. When I go out – I live in London – you go to Piccadilly Circus and ads are coming at you. You’re attacked all the time by ads, television – all of this is going on,” Gilliam said. “It’s not always as nice as the way Maserati does it here, it’s more subtle – and people seem to be busy, running around the streets, doing things. They seem to be happy. They look happy. I’m not convinced they are though.”

For help creating the futuristic eye candy for the set, the director turned to North Design Labs, LLC to create a prop that would act as the key piece of futuristic techno-gear. This piece, a controller, is actually a housing for a Samsung Galaxy tablet, but in order to advance the feel of the movie it had to look like something from an alien world.

the_zero_theorem_fathom_detailAdd to the mix the fact that this piece was needed on an extremely short turnaround time. Two days, to be exact.

The final controller was created by North Design Labs and FATHOM as a collaborative effort using GrabCAD for filesharing as they developed the design. The piece itself was made from PolyJet multi-materials and printed on the Objet500 Connex in VeroClear and TangoBlackplus. Finally, conductive foam was adhered to the keypad in order to make the prop fully compatible with the functionality of the tablet.

With an all star cast, the genius of Gilliam, and the amazing prop designs, this film is one you won’t want to pass over. Let us know if you have seen this film, and what you thought, in the 3D printed Zero Theorem forum thread on 3DPB.com.  Check out the brief trailer from the movie below.

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