"Cosmos" behind the scenes
Millions of viewers around the world have been watching and learning about our place in the universe. Each week, "Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey" illuminates more of reality to us. But, in order to shed light for us, the producers of "Cosmos" have had to rely upon some time-tested tricks of movie-making magic.
Proudly made in the world-class facilities of Santa Fe Studios, "Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey" employed greenscreen technology to transport host Neil deGrasse Tyson to Egypt in a recent episode, without actually having to transport the entire crew there from the comforts of beautiful Santa Fe.
Here is a good explanation from Space.com:
Occasionally, the production crew had to get creative with their shooting locations while filming "Cosmos." An area in New Mexico also doubled for Egypt during a recent episode featuring the science of Ibn al-Haytham, one of the first people to understand how the human eye works.
Instead of traveling to the pyramids, visual-effects artists superimposed the ancient structures behind Tyson after he delivered his dialogue from the sands just outside the "Cosmos" set within the world-class Santa Fe Studios. The fake set morphed into what they needed for the show.
Bringing the Ship of the Imagination to life at Santa Fe Studios:
Unfortunately, neither production budgets nor contemporary technology allow for interstellar space travel! Instead, bringing the Ship of the Imagination to life means that host Neil deGrasse Tyson is filmed on a soundstage at Santa Fe Studios by Bill Pope, Brannon Braga and their talented camera teams. The galaxies outside the SOTI windows are later filled in with visual effects.