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14 SEPTEMBER 2012

World's first colour film footage viewed for first time

"'It's very significant indeed, it's the world's first natural colour film and the fact that it's a Brit who invented it is fantastic.'

Bryony Dixon, curator of silent film at the British Film Institute (BFI) National Archives, said the 1902 footage was of international significance for the cinema world.

The films were made by Edward Raymond Turner from London who patented his colour process on 22 March, 1899. Some of the footage features Mr Turner's children in the garden of their home in Hounslow."

(12 September 2012, BBC News)

The world's first colour moving pictures dating from 1902 have been found by the National Media Museum in Bradford after lying forgotten in a tin for 110 years.

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1902BFIBFI National ArchiveBritish Film Institute • Charles Urban • cinema • cinema apparatus • colour • colour effect • colour filmcolour process • colour reproduction • cultural history • Edward Raymond Turner • George Albert Smith • historical importancehistory of cinema • international significance • invention • invention of cinema • Kinemacolour • mechanical deviceNational Media Museumnatural colour • natural colour film • non-standard size • pioneeringprojectorsilent cinemasilent filmTechnicolortechnology innovationUK

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
21 MARCH 2011

Returning to Michael Powell's Peeping Tom after 15 years

"Peeping Tom has been widely celebrated as one of the great films about looking, about consumption, about cinema, about art, about the artist, about the relation between the artist, the artwork and the audience, about the relation between looking and pleasure, looking and desire, looking and death, and so on. All very familiar stuff from Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis and film studies (the film's tailor–made for film studies – bring in some Freud here, some Bataille and de Sade there, add a little Lacan and Virillio, etc). The aggressive and violating camera, as Scorsese put it. And this is partly the problem with Peeping Tom. Like the films of Peter Greenaway or David Cronenberg, Peeping Tom is more like an academic essay about voyeurism and scopophilia, a join–the–dots lecture on the pleasures, risks and dangers of art. Plus, Peeping Tom employs the most stereotypical, cliched thriller/ murder mystery plot you can imagine: a young man, a loner, a misfit, introspective, morbid, an outsider figure, abused as a child, etc etc etc, who murders sexualized women (prostitutes and actresses), and is befriended by an innocent he cannot bring himself to corrupt or kill.

Powell attacks the subject of voyeurism and murder aggressively in the opening scenes: the close–ups on cameras, projectors and eyes, the mirrors and reflections, exaggerated sounds (the rattle of a projector, a dripping tap, a heartbeat, whispered voiceover), and his love of visual rhymes and puns (eyes, drinks, sticks and tripods). You can see Powell having a ball in orchestrating his elaborate camera moves, his erotic, sleazy mise–en–abyme, his film–within–a–film tropes (Powell playing the murderer's father and torturer in home movies which he shot himself), the multiple reflections, mirrors, lenses, cameras, projections and screens (every shot in Peeping Tom seems to have been lit by a raking, unfiltered, unflattering horizontal light). It's not that Powell isn't at the top of his game in Peeping Tom – in its way, Peeping Tom is every bit as inventive as Powell's best work – it's that the plot, the characters, the situations are so cheesy, predictable, and shallow.

Despite all this, though, Peeping Tom does have bite and a nastiness which age hasn't dimmed. Peeping Tom also still feels 'contemporary' in its psychoanalytic treatment of a serial killer plot which draws on prostitution, cinema, acting, and pornography. And the conceit of having a murder in the opening shots which's replayed a moment later over the credits is a tour–de–force (one of the film's best cinematic ideas, this says everything necessary, and economically, in the first five minutes)."

(Jeremy Robinson)

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1960abuseaggressionartartistartworkaudienceBritish directorBritish film directorcameracinemaclicheclose-upconsumptionDavid Cronenbergdeathdesire • Emeric Pressburger • erotic • essayfilmfilm studies • film-within-a-film • Freudian • Georges Bataille • innocenceintrospectionJacques Lacan • join-the-dots • Leo Marks • loner • looking • Marquis de Sade • Martin ScorseseMichael Powellmirrormise-en-abymemisfitmorbidmurdermurder mysteryoutsider • Paul Virilio • Peeping Tom (film) • Peter Greenawaypleasurepornographyprojectorprostitutionpsychoanalysis • pun • reflectionscopophilia • scoptophilia • serial killer • sexualised • sleazy • stereotypethrillerUKviolation • visual rhyme • voyeurism

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
12 MARCH 2011

SMPTE Universal Film Leader

"SMPTE was founded in 1916 to advance theory and development in the motion imaging field. Today, SMPTE publishes ANSI–approved Standards, Recommended Practices, and Engineering Guidelines, along with the highly regarded SMPTE Journal and its peer–reviewed technical papers. SMPTE holds conferences and local Section meetings to bring people and ideas together, allowing for useful interaction and information exchange."

(Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers)

1). SMPTE Universal Film Leader
2). CinemaScope Release Film Leader
3). Universal Film Leader
4). 'Cincinnatus SMPTE Film Leader Test', Internet Archive.
5). Cincinnatus, 'SMPTE Film Leader (Test)', Internet Archive, Creative Commons license [QuickTime 35.4 Mb]
6). Technical document on the Universal Film Leader by the European Broadcasting Union.

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TAGS

16 SOUND START • 16mm1916 • 35 SOUND START • 35mm • Academy Leader • ANSI • cinema • CinemaScope • countdown • engineering guidelines • European Broadcasting Union • film • film countdown • film leader • foot leader • head leader • motion graphicsmoving image • PICTURE START • post productionprojector • recommended practices • SMPTE • Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers • solutionstandardssynchronisation • tail leader • technical document • technical papers • technologytelecine • theatrical motion picture exhibition • timecode • universal film leader • Universal SMPTE Leader

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
29 DECEMBER 2009

The Digital Stereoscopic Renaissance: Moving from the Artistic Ghettos to the Centre Spotlight of Hollywood Production

"Stereo projection throughout the 1980s and 1990s has often been accomplished with large format film projectors, especially Imax. But because of the high cost and complexity of stereo projection and of 65mm film prints, stereo projection was a niche product. And 35mm stereo projection equipment is just as complicated and unappealing to the average theatre owner as is 65mm stereo.

Digital stereo projection is different. The Real D system works with very little modification to the existing Texas Instruments DLP digital projectors that are becoming increasingly common even in neighbourhood theatres. And because these digital DLP projectors already have a beautiful image similar to film prints (minus film print cost and wear and tear), the combination of Real D stereo and the TI DLP digital projector makes lots of artistic and financial sense for the Hollywood studios and exhibitors. Real D uses circular polarizers instead of the older linear glasses, so the stereo effect isn't lost if the audience member tilts their head. Problems with colour casts from the polarizing glasses have also been improved.

Not to be out done, Imax and Dolby are introducing their own digital stereoscopic projection systems for the general public. And Imax stereo analogue film projection continues to be very popular."

(Michael Karp, Student Filmmaker Magazine v.1.1)

Fig.1 Making of documentary about T2 3–D: Battle Across Time, 1996;
Fig.2 Using twin 65mm Showscan/Panavision cameras to film T2 3–D: Battle Across Time.

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199635mm3D65mmanaglyphcameracinema • cyan • digitaldigital cinemaDolbyfilmHollywoodillusionIMAXinnovationJames CameronPanavision • parallax • projector • Real D • RealDRealD 3D • RealD 3D cinema • RealD Cinema • Showscan • stereo projection • stereoscopic • T2 • T2-3D • technology • Terminator • Terminator 2 • Texas Instruments • Texas Instruments DLP • The Terminator

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
10 JANUARY 2009

Reactrix Systems: walk over interactive floor ads

"Ads served by Reactrix (most often cast on the floor by overhead projectors) responded to consumers' gestures, allowing them to literally jump right into what they were selling. In one example, an advertisement for the Sci–Fi Channel's hit 'Battlestar Galactica' allowed those who stumbled upon it to learn about the show's plot and characters by touching spaceships flying by. Another let 'users' kick around a virtual soccer ball that reacted to their movements in real–time."
(Camille Ricketts, 11th December 2008)

[Reactrix Systems has apparently failed to successfully sell its interactive projection technology despite the technologies potential. The idea that consumers are able to ''walk over'' products has also received some criticism from product manufactures.]

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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