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  • Artistic License Physics:
    • When Floyd drinks out of a straw in zero-g, the liquid moves back down.
    • One of the flight crew leans on a chair (in zero-g) to talk to Floyd.
    • The Aries lands with its cockpit windows facing upward, so the pilots shouldn't be able to see the Earth moving up past the windows. (Perhaps the windows have some kind of transparent display overlay?)
    • When the Earth is seen from the moonbase at Clavius and the Monolith dig site in Tycho, it's oriented with north pointing upwards. However, Clavius and Tycho are in the Moon's southern hemisphere, so the Earth should have been upside-down (and angled proportionately to the viewer's lunar latitude).
  • Doing It for the Art: Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke spent enormous efforts into making everything as realistic as possible. The earth moving equipment seen on the Moon would actually work on the real Moon. Quite a few experts from NASA and IBM were asked to help design the sets.
    • Clarke published a few lines from his diary from pre-production in the introduction of a re-issue of the novel. They include "rang Isaac Asimov to ask him about the biochemistry of turning herbivores into carnivores." (Asimov, besides writing science fiction, was a professor of biochemistry.) And they never even did anything with that...
    • Kubrick required the compositing work to be done by a team of British animators painting traveling mattes by hand, frame-by-frame, to mask out each element, rather than using bluescreen. When production ended, most of them signed onto Yellow Submarine in order to work on something colorful after spending two years painting little black blobs.
    • Instead of storyboarding the docking sequence, multiple model sequences were shot so Kubrick could edit them down.
  • Enforced Method Acting: Douglas Rain was only given HAL's lines, not the full script - thus keeping the Creepy Monotone at all costs.
  • What Could Have Been: Kubrick had allegedly asked Osamu Tezuka to work as a production designer for the film, but sadly, The God of Manga was far too busy with his own projects to oblige.
    • Also worthy of note is that Kubrick approached the rock group Pink Floyd to do the music to the film (as well as the later Clockwork Orange), but they declined. Roger Waters later said not scoring 2001 was one of his biggest regrets. (Supposedly "Echoes" syncs up to the third act of 2001, try it out.)
    • Early drafts had the ship powered by an Orion Drive.
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