I think this is one of the most iconic scenes of the movie 2001: a space odyssey:

How did Kubrick shoot it?

  • 2
    Can't do a full writeup this time, but these are often referred to as rotating sets, and they've been used in various movies since 1919. Here's a small selection of films that have included one: imgur.com/gallery/sBO4q . Here's a video showing how one was made and used in a more recent film (inception): youtube.com/watch?v=8PhiSSnaUKk
    – Adam Davis
    Nov 3, 2016 at 16:52

1 Answer 1


They used what most people refer to as a "giant centrifuge". There are multiple sites on the interwebs which explain this.

From Pajiba

The giant centrifuge was built “in the North of England” by Vickers Aircraft and was “about 50 tons and 60 to 70 feet high,” (in actuality, 30 tons). In this shot, the centrifuge wheel does turn, but once the stewardess steps forward and begins walking up, it is the camera—on an axis—turning.

Here is a picture from the Wikipedia page:

Ferris Wheel/Centrifuge set from 2001

Note that although this set was often referred to as a centrifuge, it never spun fast enough to create centrifugal force; it (and the camera) only turned fast enough to let the actors walk/jog around at the bottom while the set rotated around them.

For the scene where Bowman was jogging, and Poole seated at a console, Poole (Gary Lockwood) was actually strapped into his seat so that he could rotate past Bowman (Keir Dullea) who was effectively jogging in place.

  • 4
    Looks and sounds more like a giant hamster wheel.
    – JAB
    Nov 3, 2016 at 14:29
  • Space odissey was not the first movie to use that tecnique. Nov 3, 2016 at 14:44
  • I made a comment to the question with a few more resources. Consider expanding your answer.
    – Adam Davis
    Nov 3, 2016 at 17:02

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