Interesting read so far. It's a very good timeline of the inception and production of the movie. Lot's of interesting background and insights into how Kubrick thinks.
Here's something interesting I just read today:
Kubrick had been so worried when NASA’s unmanned Mariner 4 spacecraft had flown by Mars a few weeks previously that he’d contacted Lloyd’s of London and asked the insurance company to draw up a policy to compensate him if their plot was demolished due to the discovery of extraterrestrial life. “How the underwriters managed to compute the premium I can’t imagine,” Clarke wrote wonderingly, “but the figure they quoted was slightly astronomical, and the project was dropped. Stanley decided to take his chances with the universe.”
About 1/3 of the way through the book. Fascinating read. Gotten to rather detailed descriptions of how the centrifuge wheel from the Discovery space craft worked.
Hell of piece of engineering. It could turn at 3 MPH in either direction (intercom and other cables had to pass through the hub with a lot of slack and just got twisted up after a certain number of turns, and then they'd have to reverse it to untwist them). They had to jack-hammer the studio floor to pour a new foundation to support the weight of the wheel.
There's a great video clip below that shows how one of the greatest continuous shots was done (the two astronauts passing from the hub to the centrifuge ring). First the centrifuge is spun while they're in the hub tunnel, then when they move in the wheel, it stops turning with the ladder facing down while the hub tunnel (with the camera mounted in it) starts rotating.
In order to simulate "flat panel displays" they projected 16mm films onto the back of translucent screens - including the "iPad-like" tablets lying on the table when they're eating their meal. 20 16mm projectors all had to be run in synchronization, AND elaborately mounted to the wheel (and keep in mind the wheel might be turning while the projectors are running). You can see several or the projectors on the right side of the photo below, inside HAL's console.
Because loose parts & forgotten tools would often fall to the floor when the set was rotated, the chicken wire cage on the left is where Kubrick and his staff would sit during filming, watching through a video monitor. If anyone had to be outside the cage when they wheel was turning, they had to wear hard hats. To make things more interesting, the bulbs in the stage lights don't like to be rotated and they often exploded when the wheel was turning, raining hot metal and glass fragments to the floor below. A crew of firemen were always on standby because the set was VERY flammable.
This guy has a great 7 part YouTube series, each about a half hour, on how the effects were done throughout the film. There's some real good footage in here showing how the cameras were mounted and operated inside the wheel, and that show the wheel spinning from outside. Cool stuff.
Jump ahead to the 7 minute mark if you don't care about the background.