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GoPro Goes to Mars

Director Ridley Scott and his production crew installed GoPros on spacesuits and in the Mars habitat set of The Martian, using the miniature cameras to “record everything—they’re like the black box on an aircraft.” The film follows astronaut Mark Watney (played in the film by Matt Damon), who becomes stranded alone on Mars. “If you have a GoPro present and no one else to talk to, it suddenly becomes a buddy. Matt was able to talk to it that way,” Scott explains.

“I ended up using these cameras in a way I didn’t expect,” Scott adds. “Matt’s character records all of his video logs on them. Small details like that helped drive aspects of the story forward and gave the world an extra layer of authenticity and familiarity.

“We used GoPro cameras in several of our biggest scenes,” Scott says, “and they really allowed us to capture not only the intensity and suspense of these moments, but also the intimacy of the characters themselves.”