My life as an advisor to TV and film

A consultant to CSI and other productions shares how to make fictional science seem real, and why sometimes it's okay to sacrifice accuracy for entertainment

Wayne Grody
In Eddie Murphy's remakes of the Nutty Professor movies, the main character had a working molecular biology lab, with real state-of-the-art equipment. But it wasn't the director's job to figure out what the set needed to convince moviegoers of its authenticity -- it was mine.I have had the privilege of serving as a technical advisor on a number of motion picture and television productions, by virtue of my field of expertise (molecular and clinical genetics, which happens to be a hot topic in the news and on film these days), my sideline as a film critic for a national physicians' magazine for ten years, and my location at the University of California, Los Angeles, the natural place for Hollywood filmmakers to turn when they have technical questions. I have found that the filmmakers -- from the directors to the actors to the sound men to the carpenters -- have much...

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