Creative agency Territory Studio works closely with NASA to develop and design the UI screen graphics for “The Martian”.
The Martian tells the story of stranded astronaut Mark Watney and NASA’s efforts to bring him home. Based on Andy Weir’s novel, the story is set circa 20 years in the future, during NASA’s third manned mission to Mars. Predicated on real science, Director Ridley Scott and Production Designer Arthur Max drew on the expertise of specialists at NASA and the European Space Agency, and asked Territory to craft the screen graphics and UI that would be needed.
As a story that is mediated by technology, hundreds of screens are employed across eight key sets, forming the lens through which the drama unfolds.
Working closely with NASA, Territory developed a series of deft and elegant concepts that combine factual integrity and filmic narrative, yet are forward looking and pushing NASA’s current UI conventions as much as possible.
Territory’s plot-based graphics includes identities and visual languages for each set, and include images, text, code, engineering schematics, 3D visualizations based on authentic satellite images showing Martian terrain, weather, and mission equipment served across consoles, navigation and communication systems, laptops, mobiles, tablets, and arm screens throughout.
In all Territory delivered around 400 screens for on-set playback, most of them featuring interactive elements. With 85 screens on the NASA Mission Control set alone, a number of which were 6mx18m wall screens, there are many moments in which the graphics become a dynamic bridge between Earth and Mars, narrative and action, audience and characters.