Contact

Visible crew/equipment: As Ellie runs up the stairs of the observatory after hearing the first audio transmission from space, she runs towards doors with two large glass windows in them. As she opens the doors, a crewman/cameraman is visible in the right window for a brief fraction of a second.

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Visible crew/equipment: During the scene when Ellie has discovered the Signal, and is in the control room with the guys, she turns to one of them and says "Make me a liar". Right when she turns, you can see some bright, smaller, roundish white lights reflected in her eyeglass lens. These are probably camera lights, as their appearance wouldn't match the computer screens or natural lighting in the room.

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.

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More mistakes in Contact

Palmer Joss: What are you studying up there?
Ellie Arroway: Oh, the usual. Nebulae, quasars, pulsars, stuff like that. What are you writing?
Palmer Joss: The usual. Nouns, adverbs, adjective here and there.

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Trivia: The film's opening shot, zooming out from the Earth to outside the galaxy, held the record for the longest completely computer-generated shot for seven years until The Day After Tomorrow in 2004.

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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?

Answer: They used real footage and used careful editing to make it appear as if they were talking about the events of the film.

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