Factual error: The geography around the VLA in New Mexico is actually relatively flat - in fact one of the reasons why the array complex is there is because the land is flat. The canyon in the film was actually Canyon de Chelly, in Arizona, more than 170 miles (270 km) away. But in the film, when Ellie goes to the canyon, the radio antennas seem to be right there, insinuating that the canyon is part of the VLA's magical desert scenery.
Correction!! I made a small boo-boo.A small team of S.E.T.I. research scientists, led by Dr. Ellie Arroway and amid financial hardship, detect a legitimate alien signal. The discovery triggers a worldwide military, political, and religious upheaval. During which, a transportation device is built based on a schematic embedded in the alien signal. Influencing Ellie in this are three men: One is Dr. David Drumlin, Ellie’s superior who pulled the plug on her research project. He later undermines her role as the discoverer of the alien message and positions himself as the top candidate to make the trip through the transport machine. Another is S. R. Hadden, a billionaire industrialist who financially supported Ellie’s research after her NSF funding was cut. Hadden further assists Ellie during the raging political maelstrom and shares a key element he’s discovered to decipher the alien message. Third is Palmer Joss, a theology vs. technology expert and a religious adviser to the White House. Despite deep religious and philosophical differences, Palmer falls in love with Ellie.
Ellie Arroway: I work for a project called seti.
Palmer Joss: Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence? Wow, that's out there.
Question: How did they film the scenes where real historical figures (President Clinton, for instance) made speeches and comments they didn't make in real life?
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