I remember the first time I watched Moon and felt like I recognised the style of the design. Then later in the film when I saw the vehicles I thought to myself "That looks like massively like Gav's design"; referring to Gavin Rothery who I'd worked with a number of years earlier at a games company called Pure Entertainment.
We both worked on a title called Lunatik, which was a futuristic space game - I did the Playstation 3D graphics engine and he worked on the concept models for the spaceships, cities, etc. Very bladerunner-esque.
When I left the company we lost touch, so it was very nice to see his name up in lights on the credits 10 years later - and to just recognise his style without knowing that he'd worked on it.
I agree everyone should go watch this film, as it was really fascinating and a probably far more realistic take on living in space than most - the boredom, paranoia and drudgery were very effective - I feel compelled to stop discussing it here though in case I violate your no spoilers rule! I think I'll watch it again sometime, and I'll probably enjoy it more, not less, having read some of the discussion here and knowing more about it, and having seen all the twists of the plot already. Those are the least enjoyable and least important parts of the enjoyment of the film, and a focus on them omits all the other fascinating parts of this story (the repetition, the model-making as a way of escape, the corporation that controls his life, the convincing drudgery of space etc).
If you really don't like spoilers, don't click on discussions which purport to be about the film until you see it, or stop reading them as soon as the film is mentioned. That's really the only solution for you, and more effective than calling for no spoilers. Where did this recent obsession with spoilers come from?
A great story should not need the prop of plot-twists to be enjoyable - there are so many facets of entertainment which don't depend on plot (character, narration, allusions, themes, language, even setting and typography as here!). Stories like The Odyssey or Julius Caesar are not ruined by knowing the plot, because the pleasure is in the telling (and sometimes the retelling) and worrying over spoilers shuts down any sort of significant discussion of a film or story. To me shutting down all that discussion is far more damaging than any potential loss of momentary surprise when something happens you didn't expect.
So what Biot said: go watch Moon and then come back and read this excellent blog post.
It's interesting, because I find more pleasure sometimes in rereading a book or watching a film again than the first time, specifically because of having a deeper understanding of it, the background to the characters, other films like it, and perhaps noticing things that were missed the first time round. Broader knowledge (from others or from previous experiences) actually helps further enjoyment in many cases, because it deepens your understanding when you are exposed. So I'd say go ahead and enjoy reading about things beforehand, you may well find it actually improves the experience - in some cases like James Joyce, or to a lesser extent Shakespeare, it becomes almost essential.
But regardless, you're missing the point. No one is complaining about the article containing spoilers or are trying to shut down the discussion; I think you must be reading too much connotation into the term "spoiler". What we're doing is providing the advice that people haven't seen the movie may wish to do so first, because it may be a lot more fun (I understand you may disagree, which is fine, but I stand by the advice). Your diatribe against "the cult of no-spoilers" is simply misplaced.
That's lovely for you. You are not me. You are basically doing this:
me: "I don't like artichokes."
you: "Oh, that can't be true! You must never have actually eaten artichokes! Surely you are laboring under a tragic and inexplicable delusion! Here, hold still while I stuff artichokes down your throat! You'll thank me later!"
Yes, thank you, I have had artichokes. I have never enjoyed a work of fiction more for having pivotal plot details spoiled, and I have often enjoyed it less. I am quite capable of evaluating my own reactions to things, thank you very much. You are not doing a public service by telling everybody to just be more like you.
I wouldn't 'stuff artichokes down your throat' as you put it and didn't properly discuss the film here because of the spoiler warning, but I don't want to be policed by other people in what I can say about a film, which is exactly what talking about spoilers does - it shuts down discussion and damages the discussion of everyone else.
If you don't want to read about a film before you see it, don't do that then, but don't attempt to police the thoughts of everyone else.
It's clearly an emotive topic, and I'm sad now this has taken over the top of the discussion of this film and don't think any of these comments including the OP deserve to be anywhere near the top (they were not when this thread started), so will leave it there.
Does it? The parent comment just warned people who haven't seen the film yet to watch it first. It didn't stop anyone from discussing the film, or suggest that the article should be spoiler-free.
Your entire comment can be boiled down to "suspense is an unnecessary prop", and I couldn't disagree more.
Janet Leigh gets in the shower. "Is...is this the film with the shower scene?", says my girlfriend.
Janet Leigh is attacked. "But she can't be dead - she's the main character!"
As a film student, I was grateful to see the initial 1960 reaction played out in my living room.
Moon (2009) opens with the line "Where Are We Now?," the title of the first single off Bowie's new album (2013).
David Bowie is, of course, Duncan Jones' father.
For example, the black-backgrounded GUIs with wide text on them remind me of old DOS-era applications, but they're displayed on modern high-resolution flat-panel displays.
The T-shirt is also painfully '80s, as directly noted. The only music mentioned is an early-'90s song that was hokey the day it came out. The Flowbee and the magazine are other noted '80sisms.
The rescue-crew-manifest with poor-quality black-and-white images on a color screen? That could've been lifted directly from the '80s-era Alien films.
Which really, all makes sense - the '80s were the end of the space race. For space-travel nostalgia, that's where you go for modern Gen X movie fans.
No, but 3 years is remarkably close to 146 weeks.
"It certainly does suck!"
"It's sucking my will to live!"
TW was great because they demod the tech live and it often failed. Watching someone Getting a terrible haircut, live on tv, and being visibly upset by it was interesting.
If I cared that little about how my hair looks, I'd just get some clippers.
Not a typographical Easter egg, but one I noticed while reading: could the Eliza rescue team be a reference to the early 'robotic psychologist' ELIZA? That would fit with the other playful human/machine blurring in the movie.
I'd beseech you to do Metropolis, but I feel like that'd be a relatively short post, so to speak.
I too would love to see a more detailed blog post on Typography and Metropolis as it's a hugely important part of the film's style and sense of "future".
If you haven't seen Moon, then the following song will not make sense, but the sense of desolation and uncertainty rhymes with the film. The ending of the song captures the denouement @ 7:20.
Moon was fantastic.
I like your song, but it's a different vibe. To my ear, it sounds a bit too military to be Moon. I do like the vintage synth sounds though!
Here's a link to a section often used in documentaries:
"Moon uses an interesting angular typeface for its location-establishing shot... This typeface is OCR-A, which was designed in 1968 for use in optical character recognition systems.... Moreover, it looks like THE FUTURE, and so it makes a perfect choice for on-screen interstitial positioning shots."
OCR-A does not look like THE FUTURE; it looks like the future in 1968. To me, it looks like bitterness and cynicism. Apparently, it looks that way to others, too, since it or something similar is used in the same way for every other similar movie.
I haven't seen the movie. Is that message typed out on the screen, complete with teletype noises? That has to be one of the weirdest anachronisms ever adopted as a trope.
It is. I think it's necessary in this case - it's used as a mechanism to distinguish it from the credits, which are being displayed at the same time (e.g.  from the next shot). The typing noise and animation causes the audience to pay attention to it, even if they weren't paying attention to the credits.
In most other cases, it's just foley - audiences expect to hear futuristic computer-clicky noises to accompany their space-text, so it feels weirder to leave it out than to leave it in.
It's certainly context-specific. For me, OCR-A letters look like THE FUTURE, but the numbers frequently trigger the "oh, how quaint" response you seem to be describing.
Lots of video games do that for dialog if it's just printed on the screen and there's no voice track.
Maybe I should go and have a lie down for a bit, and come back when the conspiracy theories have subsided. It’s a shame sci-fi films don’t have intermissions these days. Let’s transplant the one from my 2001: A Space Odyssey post, and go and have a cup of tea while the [characters] work out what to do next.
<embedded http://typesetinthefuture.com/postfiles/2001/2001_intermissi... >
It's funny to hear about the Microstile/Eurostile differences - when we had to replace type that was on the real set we made new elements using Eurostile, so there are probably some inconsistencies.
The Bank Gothic/gradient fill/outline choice definitely haunted us for a while after - it was already a bit of a scifi poster trope but it's got out of control since. I've cringed a few times seeing posters on the tube and wished we'd picked something slightly different. I remember being keen on an outlandish faux-Cyrillic face at the time but it wasn't legible enough. I did win the argument about colour though - my boss at the time did a bunch of concept frames with translucent orange type for the main credit lines... there's a little interview with him here: http://www.artofthetitle.com/title/moon/
Maybe it's too obvious to bear mentioning but there's a big foreshadowing in the shot where Sam Rockwell's credit appears - a second copy of his name dissolves up out of focus further back inside the base...
The OCR-1A type was set by me, in a slight hurry as I recall, type-on effect and all. It had to look different to the Bank Gothic credit lines, and I'm sure we tried the obvious Eurostile and it wasn't readable or was too heavy for that amount of text. It feels a bit of a case of too many faces in succession, in retrospect. I love machine-specific typefaces. I think I first got into them after reading The Computer Contradictionary, which mentions E13B a couple of times, the type used for the numbers printed in magnetic ink on cheques: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_ink_character_recognit.... That book is worth a look if you appreciate a bit of cynical tech humour... http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=tZKCZje8178C&printsec=fro...
The dot-matrix background on the text fields of the "big board" with the countdown on it was probably my bad also... we replaced that whole board wherever it appears in the film because the real prop had light leaking into the four harvester status lines and you could see they were acetate. We definitely tried having the letters formed by the actual dots but they weren't legible enough, and making the dots smaller made them not legible enough. Sense of nerd embarrassment. I guess it's some kind of future display technology with... big dots? Err...
Trivia: the postcard reading "wish you were here" was inserted in post because we had to cover up the real one which couldn't have its rights cleared ;)
More trivia: there was a spelling mistake on one of the panels on set, the one which says "satellite uplink" when Matt Berry is yelling at Gerty. It was caught by QC and I have some memory of fixing it for that shot since we'd inserted the video into that screen anyway, but it might be visible in other shots. It had "satellite" spelled "satelite".
Looking forward to more from that blog. I've thought of starting something similarly one-track, favourites being "over-obvious ND grad filters in film" or "non-circular lens vignettes done badly in post through the ages" or "10 worst skies graded without highlight rolloff" ^_^
Please do post this as a comment to the original blog post as well – I'd love for people to be able to read it after they've finished reading my article. And thanks for the kind words about the blog – there's plenty more where that came from :)
I'm not sure when filming started, but the company was registered just about two years before the film was released.
It's those small touches that make me really appreciate it.
I wonder if this is how Rob came up with the name for his future food.
Original Book: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Make_Room%21_Make_Room%21