Contact: About The Production

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Principal photography on "Contact" began with a week of location filming at The VLA (Very Large Array), a field of 27 dish-shaped radio telescopes located in the desert of Socorro, New Mexico. The VLA is a facility used by astronomers to study the physical processes by which the sun, planets, comets, stars, galaxies and gas clouds throughout the universe produce radio waves. Through their studies, scientists hope to learn more about celestial objects, and in the film, much of Ellie's early research takes place at the VLA.

The filmmakers found it necessary to shoot the VLA in the fall to take advantage of the formation of the dishes when they were closest to one another, providing a stunning visual image across the remote desert. New Mexico filming was completed just as the dishes were scheduled to be moved into a new formation to follow the movement of celestial objects.

The production then returned to Los Angeles for several months' worth of location and soundstage shooting, utilizing a total of nine stages at Warner Hollywood and Culver Studios.

Production designer Verreaux and set decorator MICHAEL TAYLOR are re-creating dramatic yet realistic sets which serve as the backdrop for the epoch-making events in the film. Their teams are creating sets ranging from the interiors of the White House to the scientific world of the VLA and the massive and intricate control rooms at NASA.

In addition to filming in Los Angeles, the production will shoot for several weeks at locations in Washington, D.C., Cape Canaveral in Florida and Arecibo, Puerto Rico, where the world's largest radio telescope exists.

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