New York Times - 09/30/1983
"...Always interesting....[Wood's last] performance feels complete..."
Variety - 09/28/1983
"...BRAINSTORM is a high-tech movie essentially dependent on the visualization of a fascinating idea..."
Two scientists, Michael and Karen Brace are developing a virtual reality system that sends sensory inputs into the brain and can record sights, sounds, feelings, and even dreams. The military attempts to take over the project when a senior worker begins to die of a heart attack and uses the system to tape the experience. They will do anything to get it. Natalie Wood's last film.
Theatrical Release |
Natalie Wood died on November 29, 1981, only five days before she would have completed filming her role. She drowned in a mysterious boating accident that also involved co-star Christopher Walken and her husband Robert Wagner. Only one scene was altered, with actor Joe Dorsey replacing Wood in a scene with Walken.
"Brainstorm" was special effects wizard Douglas Trumbull's second directorial effort, after 1972's "Silent Running."
Additional crew: Robert Jeffords & Eugene Mazzola (assistant directors); Stanislav and Christina Grof (experiental sequence consultants); Durk Pearson (scientific consultant); Sandy Shaw (scientific consultant); Omnivision (special purpose lenses); Don Baker (Compsy [computer-synthesized] effects supervisor); Mark Stetson (action props & miniatures supervisor); Matthew Yuricich (matte artist); Robert Hippard (post-production coordinator); Jack Hinkle (assistant editor visual effects); Michael Backauskas (optical lineup); Richard Hollander (Compsy technical supervisor); Chuck Cowles (optical camera operator); and Evans Wetmore (consulting engineer).
Estimated budget: $18 million. Trumbull was forced to go to insurance company Lloyd's of London to secure $6 million of that budget to complete the special effects.
Filmed at Entertainment Effects Group's studios and on location in North Carolina in 1981. Color by Metrocolor. Sound is six-track magnetic Dolby Stereo.
Most of the film was shot in non-anamorphic 35mm Spherical Panavision, which produced a projected aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Super Panavision 70 was reportedly used in the "experiential" sequences, producing a projected aspect ratio of 2.05:1.
Released theatrically in the USA September 30, 1983, to 175 theaters. This initial release was only to theaters equipped with 70mm projectors. The film received a wider release to non-70mm theaters in November.
Not to be confused with the 1965 film, "Brainstorm," which starred Jeffrey Hunter, Anne Francis, Dana Andrews, and Viveca Lindfors.
Available to buy in the UK.
DVD Special Features: Trivia and Production Notes and Theatrical Trailer.
All locations for Brainstorm were in North Carolina, USA.