The wormhole scene in “Contact” is clearly a highlight in the movie. Ellie was transported into the unknown world alone and lost contact with the mission controller as soon as she passed through a series of wormholes. The experience is unlike anything humanity has ever experienced: After her vessel ceased to function, Ellie looked outside and witnessed a celestial event. The galaxy is beautiful, and the words let her down for the first time. “Poem! They should have sent a poet“, she said – a wonderful comment that encapsulates the essential truth of the universe.
Understandably, this scene was extremely difficult to film. Foster worked with green screens and had to simulate the experience of traveling through wormholes and witnessing both the beauty and the horror. How does one manifest an experience never seen or felt before? While Foster executed the shot with incredible skill and conviction, practical obstacles made filming lengthy and tedious. In an article celebrating the 25th anniversary of “Contact Us”, Foster said Vulture on how the set caught fire during filming:
“My stuntman, Jill, was caught up. They had to get her out quickly. It was a really horrible fire, it flared up really fast, and it burned down one of the pitches. our stage. It must be some kind of electricity or something.”
Zemeckis made sure that no one was injured as a result of the incident, but they lost a few precious hours. Another hitch was that Foster had to be violently shaken in the space shuttle to mimic fast space travel, and she prepared for this part by doing trips on the back of Magic Mountain. I guess it’s not very pleasant for her, but not all heroes wear capes.
https://www.slashfilm.com/954120/on-set-fires-and-jodie-fosters-costume-made-contacts-wormhole-scene-a-slog-to-film/ The on-site fire and Jodie Foster’s costume made Contact’s Wormhole scene a diary entry for filming.