- Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014
The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®), the worldwide leader in motion-imaging standards and education for the communications, media, entertainment, and technology industries, is producing a documentary on the intriguing history of motion-imaging technology to celebrate the Society's centennial anniversary in 2016. SMPTE has named motion-imaging technology and creative visionary Randall Dark as producer. Howard Lukk, former vice president of production technology at The Walt Disney Studios, will serve as director on the initial project. Chris Kenneally, who is best known as the writer and director for the acclaimed documentary "Side by Side," produced by Justin Szlasa and Keanu Reeves, already has completed the initial treatment for the film.
"For this project we specifically selected a team with both production expertise and firsthand knowledge of the innovations and inventions that have influenced the art and science of the motion-imaging industry ecosystem," said SMPTE Documentary Committee Chair and Past President Peter Ludé. "I am excited that the unique personal perspective that Randall and Howard bring to the project will bring this exciting story to a large general audience, as well as cinema buffs, history enthusiasts, and industry experts."
The documentary, which goes by the working title "Moving Images," will explore the excitement surrounding the development of motion-imaging technology from the turn of the 20th century through the present while inquiring about what the future has in store. Through interviews with top filmmakers, historians, entrepreneurs, and engineers, the documentary will investigate the influence that art and science have on one another.
"SMPTE has played a vital role in the advancement of movies and television for nearly 100 years," said Dark. "I'm so honored that I get to help tell the story of the people who literally invented the technology that I've built my entire career."
The film will expose the human element behind epic engineering feats and technological achievements, examining the ways it has advanced the artistic element of content creation. The documentary will serve as a celebration of the ingenuity, invention, and personalities that are responsible for many important works of art while demonstrating how SMPTE's important work on industry education and standards has guided the technology.
"Technology inspires, thrills, and defines us. It teaches us to dream and helps us communicate," said Lukk. "Through this film, we will honor those engineers and technologists who have enabled producers and directors to tell their stories and push the boundaries of their craft."
The SMPTE Board of Governors has authorized initial funding for the project, which has included Kenneally's treatment and Dark's initial production work. The intent is to produce a 90-minute theatrical feature, as well as an abbreviated television version.
SMPTE is now seeking supporters to underwrite the project to fulfill this intention. Supporters will become part of the SMPTE legacy of setting the standard for motion imaging. The Society has set up a verified nonprofit crowdfunding campaign with Indiegogo. Contributions to the campaign will be processed by FirstGiving and may be tax deductible. Learn more about the documentary and become a supporter at http://igg.me/at/smptedoc.
About Randall Dark
Randall Dark is a pioneer within the digital media industry and renowned expert in emerging technologies. Dark and his companies, including Randall Dark Productions, have been involved in more than 2,000 high-definition (HD) projects including feature films, documentaries, commercials, music videos, corporate presentations, product launches, and live events, and he has received one of the International Electronic Cinema Festival's (IECF) top honors, The Pioneer Award, in recognition of extraordinary contributions to the success of HD. HD programs directed by Dark have received awards from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), Telly, IECF, Communicator, Aurora, Axiem, WorldFest Houston International Film Festival, Videographer, The American Corporate Video Awards, and Cinema Chicago. In 2007, during the making of "Closing Escrow," Dark earned an Independent Filmmaker Award for Achievement from the Maxell Corporation. He also served as executive producer of the independent feature "Angels Sing," released in November 2013. Dark is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS).
About Howard Lukk
Howard Lukk is a SMPTE Standards Director and former vice president of production technology at The Walt Disney Studios, where he was responsible for helping to incorporate new technologies into the workflow of the studio. Prior to Disney, Lukk was director of technology for DCI, where he was responsible for researching and documenting Digital Cinema System Specifications. Lukk has always had a deep passion for film. While earning a living as a motion picture engineer, Lukk, in his spare time, shot short subject dramatic and documentary footage over the years and is now pursuing the craft of filmmaking full time. Lukk has just completed directing his second short film titled "Emma" (2014). This comes on the heels of his directorial debut "Make Believe" (2013) that was shot in 3D with the prototype hybrid 3D camera rig in Berlin. Lukk is a SMPTE Fellow and an associate member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC).
About the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®)
The Oscar® and Emmy® Award-winning Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®), a professional membership association, is the preeminent leader in the advancement of the art, science, and craft of the image, sound, and metadata ecosystem, worldwide. An internationally recognized and accredited organization, SMPTE advances moving-imagery education and engineering across the communications, technology, media, and entertainment industries. Since its founding in 1916, SMPTE has published the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal and developed more than 800 standards, recommended practices, and engineering guidelines.
The Society is sustained by more than 6,000 members — motion-imaging executives, engineers, creative and technology professionals, researchers, scientists, educators, and students — who meet in Sections throughout the world. Through the Society's partnership with the Hollywood Post Alliance® (HPA®), this membership is complemented by the professional community of businesses and individuals who provide expertise, support, tools and the infrastructure for the creation and finishing of motion pictures, television, commercials, digital media, and other dynamic media content. Information on joining SMPTE is available at www.smpte.org/join.
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