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How Did Christopher Nolan Make a Profit From a Cornfield in Interstellar?

  • Christopher Nolan planted a 500-acre cornfield outside Calgary, Canada, to depict a realistic farm setting for Interstellar.
  • The cost of creating the actual farm was a small dent in the movie’s $165 million budget.
  • After filming, Nolan and the studio earned a substantial profit from the leftover corn crop.

In the world of filmmaking, Christopher Nolan is renowned for his meticulous attention to detail and his commitment to practical effects over computer-generated imagery (CGI). This dedication led the visionary director to an unconventional venture, becoming a farmer for his 2014 sci-fi film, Interstellar.

How Did Christopher Nolan Plant a Cornfield for Interstellar?

Interstellar - Christopher Nolan
Interstellar – Christopher Nolan

Interstellar’s script called for scenes set on a farm surrounded by cornfields and mountains, a location that proved challenging to find. Determined to capture the realism he envisioned, Nolan took inspiration from director Zack Snyder’s approach to Man of Steel and decided to plant his own cornfield.

With a budget of $100,000, Nolan created a 500-acre corn farm outside of Calgary, Canada, a small investment compared to Interstellar’s $165 million production budget. However, the endeavor came with the risk of the farm failing to sustain itself during the filming process.

Despite the potential risks, Nolan’s unconventional approach paid off in an unexpected way. After wrapping up production on Interstellar, the director and the studio were left with a surplus of corn from the fields planted explicitly for the movie.

According to reports from GQ, Nolan and the studio earned a substantial profit of approximately $162,000 (Rs 1.3 crore) from selling the leftover corn that wasn’t destroyed during filming.

READ MORE: Game of Thrones Creators Reveal Their Favorite Character Deaths

Christopher Nolan’s Commitment to Practical Effects

Interstellar - Warner Bros.
Interstellar – Warner Bros.

This unconventional farming venture was just one example of Nolan’s dedication to practical effects and visual realism. The director is famous for rejecting the use of CGI in his movies, opting instead for practical stunts and effects that lend an unparalleled level of authenticity to his films.

From destroying an actual airplane for a scene in Tenet to creating a practical atomic explosion for his latest film, Oppenheimer, Nolan’s commitment to visual mastery has earned him widespread admiration and numerous accolades, including Oscars for Best Visual Effects for Inception and Interstellar.

READ MORE: Why Does Mr. Bean Star Rowan Atkinson Have a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering?​

As audiences eagerly await the release of Oppenheimer, Nolan’s pursuit of cinematic realism continues to captivate and inspire filmmakers and moviegoers alike. His willingness to go the extra mile, whether it’s planting a cornfield or pushing the boundaries of practical effects, sets him apart as a true visionary in the industry.

Interstellar was released in theaters on November 7, 2014.

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