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Contagion Movie Facts That Will Surprise You

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With over half a million confirmed cases and more than 6,000 fatalities worldwide, WHO declared a global health issue. The spread of the disease has caused global panic and fear.

It is due to its spread that people decided to pay closer attention to the 2011 movie Contagion.

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While so many science fiction movies are centered around the theme of the end of the world, it is Contagion that comes closest to what is happening around the world today.

The epidemiology thriller released on September 9, 2011, features a stellar cast that includes Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Kate Winslet.

The movie was produced by Steven Soderbergh.

In the movie, Healthcare professionals, government officials, and everyday people find themselves in the midst of a new wave as the CDC works to find a cure.

Contagion the movie opens with a woman who returns to Minnesota with a strange illness after a trip to Hong Kong. 

In a matter of days, she’s dead, leaving her husband in a state of shock, before others begin exhibiting the same syndromes, as the outbreak spreads across the world.

Veterinary pathologist Tracey McNamara, who served as a scientific adviser for the film, said she’s not at all surprised by the renewed interest, given the eerily similar depiction onscreen in how the disease spread.

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“If people are watching it again, and if federal and state officials are watching it again, I hope they’re realizing that the movie was really about what can happen with a novel threat, and I think people should have taken it much more seriously,” McNamara told BuzzFeed News. “I wish people had paid closer attention to it when the film came out because it really was a warning to the federal government that this could happen and you need to prepare.”

Here are some facts about the movie that you should know.

The film was shot wholly on an MX digital camera

The MX digital camera which was used has a 4.5K image resolution.  Soderbergh hoped for the premise to be authentic and “as realistic as possible hence choosing not to film in the studio. 

“There’s, to me, nothing more satisfying occasionally than making someplace look like someplace else on film and having nobody know the difference,” he said.

Locals were hired for the water scenes

The movie has a number of water scenes.

Producers hired a number of locals to move the equipment for the casino scenes to the on-the-water location, as they were accustomed to “using sampans like trucks”


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The film was originally meant to be shot in China

The Director, Soderbergh, was originally hoping to also film in mainland China. Moviefone journalist David Ehrlich believed that permission from the Chinese government was unlikely to be forthcoming. Although producers also intended to establish a filming location in one of the many casinos in Macau, the Jumbo Floating Restaurant in Hong Kong’s Aberdeen Harbour was used instead for the casino setting, as filming within the vicinity of a gambling establishment is prohibited by law.


Cliff Martinez composed the film’s soundtrack

American musician and composer Cliff Martinez composed the popular film’s soundtrack. He has worked as a film composer exclusively since 1990.

Before that, he was a renowned drummer for famous bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers and Captain Beefheart.

He has written music for other movies such as writing music for Spring Breakers and The Foreigner. This is not the first Steven Soderbergh film he has composed the soundtrack.

Other of his films he has worked on include  Sex, Lies, and Videotape, Solaris, and Traffic.

Given that the pacing of the music was one of Soderbergh’s biggest concerns, Martinez needed to maintain a brisk pace throughout the contagion soundtrack, while also conveying fear and hope within the music. “I tried to create the sound of anxiety. And at key, strategic moments I tried to use the music to conjure up the sense of tragedy and loss,” he said.

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