Flick Review < Kaleidoscope | Loyd A. Jones, 1925















Kaleidoscope | Loyd A. Jones, 1925
Production Co. Kodak Research Laboratories
Credit: George Eastman House Moving Image Collection. 
Photographs by Daniela Currò, Preservation Officer, and Barbara Flueckiger.

This preservation was derived from two nitrate film elements donated to George Eastman House
 from the Kodak Research Laboratories in 1961.
During the mid-1920s Loyd A. Jones, head of the Physics Department of Kodak Research
 Laboratories, worked on the production of dynamic color effects using glass prisms and 
glass discs irregularly coated with dyed gelatin. These moving discs were to be reproduced 
with the two-color Kodachrome process, a negative-positive process not to be confused 
with the later Kodachrome reversal principle.
Kaleidoscope was the result of one of those experiments. As Jones explains in The Reproduction
 of Mobility of Form and Color by the Motion Picture Kaleidoscope, a paper published in 1928 
by the Society of Motion Picture Engineers: ‘By using the kaleidoscopic principle, highly 
perfected from the optical standpoint, in conjuction with a colored patternplate moving at a 
relatively slow uniform velocity, dynamic designs of extraordinary beauty and symmetry can
 be obtained which show a succession of evolutionary changes that are indeed remarkable. 
The effects thus obtained can be recorded by means of color motion photography and then 
projected on a suitable screen in the ordinary manner.’
Kaleidoscope may have never been shown to a paying audience, but in those same years similar
 experimental films produced by Kodak reached the public. Jones himself mentions that “a film 
entitled Mobile Color showing these moving kaleidoscopic patterns” was projected at the 
Eastman Theater in Rochester during one of its regular programs. Also, the New York Times 
reports that on 19 March 1926 Color Dynamics, “an inspiring study in prismatic patterns” 
produced by Eastman Kodak Laboratories, was on the supporting program at the Cameo 
Theatre in New York preceding the projection of The Three Wax Worksby Paul Leni, along 
with The Pilgrim by Charlie Chaplin and Ballet mécanique by Fernand 
Léger and Dudley Murphy.

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