Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow - Verbal Diorama

Episode 5

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

Published on: 22nd April, 2019

Most movies contain some blue screen in some way (some, green!). If your movie is full of complex special effects, or set on some vast, wholly imagined alien world, you need that blue (or green) screen to be able to insert those computer generated backdrops, with your actors in the foreground pretending to be in that world. In the early 2000s, brothers Kerry and Kevin Conran had an idea..... what if they could shoot a complete movie using these blue screen backdrops, set in an alternative 1939 New York, where robots attack the city and only a brave pilot and a smart reporter could save the world?!

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow was the result of years of painstaking hard work and determination. Its effects were revolutionary for the time, and paved the way for modern movies. You think Sin City or 300 started this revolution? Nope, it was Sky Captain!

Whilst the visuals don't always hold up 15 years later, the premise and ambition of the movie really does. Plus Jude Law is super hot, but this episode isn't 30 minutes of me telling you something you already know!

Simply put, a lot of today's movies owe a great debt to Sky Captain, including the MCU, not only for the remarkable visual effects but also in other ways you might not realise....

I also talk about the Ottensian dieselpunk style of this movie, and reference a particular article - the link for which is below - if you're interested in knowing more about the differing styles of dieselpunk:

I would love to hear your thoughts on Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow! You can get in touch on

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The battle for tomorrow is about to begin...

Special thanks to the following people for their contributions to this episode:

Rich from @WooLongTalks










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About the Podcast

Verbal Diorama
The podcast on the history and legacy of movies you know, and movies you don't.
Are you interested in how movies are made? Do you wonder how a film went from conception to completion? If so Verbal Diorama, hosted by Em, is the podcast for you!

Movies are tough to make, and Verbal Diorama is here to celebrate the coming together of teams of extraordinary cast and crew, bringing us movies that inspire us, delight us, make us laugh, make us cry and petrify us. This podcast discovers the stories behind the scenes, and proves how amazing it is that movies actually exist!

Welcome to Verbal Diorama. The podcast all about the history and legacy of movies you know, and movies you don't! Subscribe on your favourite podcast app, and enjoy new episodes every week.
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About your host

Profile picture for Em .

Em .

Hi! I'm Em. I created Verbal Diorama in 2018, and launched the podcast in February 2019 to rapturous applause and acclaim.... from my cat Jess.

The modus operandi of Verbal Diorama is simple: movies are tough to make! The coming together of a team of people from all walks of life to make something to entertain, delight and educate us for 90+ mins is not an easy task, and yet so many succeed at it. That must be something to celebrate.

I'm here to do just that - to celebrate movies. Their history and legacy, and why they remain so special to so many of us.

Episodes are audibly book ended by Jess. She sadly passed away in March 2022, aged almost 18. She featured in many episodes of the podcast, and that's why you can hear her at the end of every episode. The role of official feline producer is now held by the comparatively quieter Evie.

I love podcasts, and listen to many, but never my own.

I unashamedly love The Mummy (1999) and Grease 2. I'm still looking for a cool rider.