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Lights, Camera, Connection! A Critical Review of Cinematic Connector Usage – Ghostbusters

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Proton-Pack-Part-Names.jpgOur first Lights, Camera, Connection! review was for Back to the Future, which we gave 3 ½ Sparks on the Amphenol Connector Technology Rating Scale, or ACToR Scale, for its use of connector technology in the film. Thanks to the suggestion of our sister company, Amphenol Pcd, we’ll stay in the mid-1980’s with our next review of the 1984 sci-fi/comedy classic, Ghostbusters

We’re also going to add a second rating within each review moving forward. The SOD Meter, or Suspension of Disbelief Meter, will measure how hard the viewer has to work to actually believe something in the movie is possible (1 being simple to believe – 10 being impossible to believe).

First off, the script just screamed science and technology. The plot isn’t possible in the least, but it’s clear that Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd had fun injecting this story with creative scientific jargon and almost making it seem like capturing ghosts was technically possible. Even though some of their scientific explanations are total gibberish, they just sound cool. When Aykroyd’s character, Ray Stantz, explains that the whole apartment building is made of “cold-riveted girders with selenium cores” and acts as an antenna for “pulling in and concentrating psychokinetic energy”, it sounds a heck of a lot more plausible than the explanation of the flux capacitor in Back to the Future. Saying “it’s what makes time travel possible” sounds like weak screenwriting in comparison.

The most famous prop from Ghostbusters that has connector-related technology all over it is the proton pack. I’m sure you remember this from the movie and it’s likely where your SOD Meter quickly jumped to 10. The proton pack was a piece of machinery the Ghostbusters wore on their back. Here’s where the suspension of disbelief comes in. It had a cable that connected to a wand and released a proton stream to contain the ghosts for capture. It was also very dangerous as explained by Bill Murray’s character, Peter Venkman, when he said it was like they were wearing a nuclear accelerator on their backs.

I can’t help but view the pack 30 years later and imagine the content Amphenol would have been able to provide for the proton pack. Just think of the possibilities. We could supply the filter connectors needed to reduce any noise coming from inside the pack to the wand and beyond. We could manufacture the heatsink on the handle of the wand. We could work with some of our Amphenol sister divisions on the motherboard and replacing the ribbon cable with flex assemblies.  We could build the entire cable assembly from the cyclotron to the clippard. We could even provide hermetic connectors for high-level sealing against all liquids and gases, including ectoplasmic reticulum. 

Let’s be honest, Amphenol Aerospace could just about build this entire proton pack. Too bad they only built four units. Nevertheless, I give Ramis, Aykroyd, Murray and director Ivan Reitman kudos for their creative inventions and putting interconnect technology at the forefront. They came, they saw, they kicked its…well, you know.

Ghostbusters - 4 ½ Sparks

Image Credit: Ghostbuster Fans

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Chris Cappello is the Marketing Communications Manager at Amphenol Aerospace.  He has a Bachelors of Arts in Communications from SUNY Cortland and a Masters of Business Administration from Binghamton University.  He has been with Amphenol since 2003 after a nine-year stint in the U.S. Navy.


  • Guest
    Kirsten Meyer Wednesday, 19 February 2014

    I hate that no one has commented yet on your blog post. It's amazing; totally nailed it.

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