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but decided to duplicate the room on a Hollywood sound stage to give him better control over lighting and camera angles
on October 4, 2016
I worked at the Johnson Space Center when the Apollo 13 movie was originally released. The director, Ron Howard, considered filming in the Apollo Mission Control Center (MCC), but decided to duplicate the room on a Hollywood sound stage to give him better control over lighting and camera angles. The set designers extensively photographed the MCC and duplicated it down to the last detail including stenciled lettering on the walls, and the layout of the Ford Aerospace video display consoles. It is virtually impossible to tell that the move WAS NOT shot in the actual MCC. The details that were changed in the movie were for the most part insignificant to the story. Large teams of people working behind the scenes on the actual Apollo 13 mission were consolidated down to a few characters in the movie. The flight controllers work rotating shifts, yet only the primary team was depicted in the movie. Adding the other flight control shifts would have been more accurate, but could have been confusing. Sacrifices need to be made to squeeze nearly 6 days of mission in to 2 hours.