Science of Color

Prepared originally as part of a major presentation on stage lighting, particularly Solid State Light. This segment was intended to provide a ‘primer’ and frame the context of the discussion about the significance of the quality of light needed for cinematography. The title is more intimidating than the content, as the term science connotes something dense and arcane, whereas this presentation is extremely accessible to either a lay audience or a seasoned professional. While not essential, it provides a useful introduction to Chromatic Chaos.

Chromatic Chaos

A comprehensive discussion of the application of Solid Sate Lighting in cinematography. The drawbacks attendant on the use of discontinuous, or “discharge” lighting, are demonstrated. The history of cinema lighting is briefly reviewed and the case for the adoption of the continuous spectral energy distribution of Tungsten Incandescent light is explained. The inadequacy of metrics like CRI and CCT as applied to photography is revealed and alternatives are proposed. A computer modeling program for making accurate characterizations of both lights and cameras is introduced.

Gigantic Ideas

The title is adapted from a contemporary review of Charles Babbage “analytical engine,” a prototype computer emblematic of the plethora of inventions that followed on the heels of the enlightenment and the industrial revolution, of which the cinema was not only central but also provided the first new art-form in millennia.

Trickery and Deceit

Borrowed from the motto of the Visual Effects club of the U.S.C. Film School, “Better Films Through Trickery and Deceit” this presentation provides an overview of the evolution of visual effects.


This presentation was the anchor piece in a SMPTE program on spatial analysis of moving images then emerging as a major topic of visual effects. It provided an historical backdrop tracing the evolution of the science photogrammetry from the very earliest days of the medium.

Stress Syndrome

This presentation detailed the investigation of an anomaly in the evolution of high speed film emulsion causing flickering artifacts. It represents an excellent example of the kind of project the Pickfair Institute envisions undertaking. It identified the cause of the artifact and was able to propose way to ameliorate them.