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Collaborating with NASA on Special Project


Special Project
Ken Adam Artist
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Special Project came about because Herb Ross – who you know, we were very friendly with Herb and Nora [Kaye] – and he was very friendly with a producer, quite a successful producer, Danny Melnick. And Dan was working at 20th Century Fox and they'd come up with an idea that I should come up with a design like the cinemas of the ’20s, which were like movie palaces. And, they didn't only have one film, they had, very often, two films, or they had a Wurlitzer organ coming up or other entertainment, whereas now – when I say now this was in '82 – there were no longer these incredible film palaces who gave, you know, so much entertainment.

Sir Kenneth Adam (1921-2016), OBE, born Klaus Hugo Adam, was a production designer famous for his set designs for the James Bond films of the 1960s and 1970s. Initially, he trained as an architect in London, but in October 1943, he became one of only two German-born fighter pilots to fly with the RAF in wartime. He joined 609 Squadron where he flew the Hawker Typhoon fighter bomber. After the war, he entered the film industry, initially as a draughtsman on This Was a Woman. His portfolio of work includes Barry Lyndon and The Madness of King George; he won an Oscar for both films. Having a close relationship with Stanley Kubrick, he also designed the set for the iconic war room in Dr Strangelove. Sir Ken Adam was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: 20th Century Fox, Wurlitzer, 1982, Herbert Ross, Nora Kaye, Daniel Melnick

Duration: 1 minute, 25 seconds

Date story recorded: December 2010 and January 2011

Date story went live: 18 November 2011