PLEDGE NOW
The Shape-Shifting Future Of Films

The special effects wizard behind Blade Runner, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Tree of Life, and more, on the shape-shifting future of the movies.

This is scene from Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film, "2001: A Space Odyssey," showing a space shuttle, lower right, approching a space station. (AP)

This is scene from Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film, "2001: A Space Odyssey," showing a space shuttle, lower right, approaching a space station. (AP)

Douglas Trumbull just took home an Oscar statuette for a lifetime of incredible work in visual effects.  On Stanley Kubricks’ 2001: A Space   Odyssey.  On Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  Star Trek.  Blade Runner.  Silent Running.  The Tree of Life.

It’s an incredible record.  But it’s the future of cinema Trumbull is worried about.  People are watching on little screens at home.  Movie theaters aren’t pulling them in.  Trumbull wants to make the cinema mind-blowing again.  He’s working on it.

This hour, On Point:  Visionary, pioneer Douglas Trumbull on the future of the movies.

-Tom Ashbrook

 

Guests

Douglas Trumbull, a filmmaker and special effects guru, he is responsible for the special effects in numerous films, including 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Blade Runner, and The Tree of Life. He won both a special lifetime achievement award at the Academy Awards and the George Melies award from the Visual Effects Society last month.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Hollywood Reporter “Within three years of starting his Hollywood career, Douglas Trumbull changed the moviemaking process irrevocably; working with Stanley Kubrick on 1968’s 2011: A Space Odyssey, when he was barely 25, he not only created a landmark cinematic experience, but pioneered special-effects techniques which filmmakers continue to use even today. ”

San Francisco Chronicle “Describing his earlier experiments, Trumbull says, “When we shot test films at 24, 36, 48, 60, 66 and 72 frames a second, we didn’t have words in English that describe the phenomenon. We immediately saw a profoundly different kind of experience happening up around 60 frames: The surface of the screen became like a window into reality.”

Video: Douglas Trumbull On Fast Frames Per Second

At 24 frames-per-second, he says, action movies get blurry just as they get exciting.

Video: Douglas Trumbull On Bladerunner

Here’s Trumbull talking about how scenes from the movie Bladerunner were shot.

Video: Douglas Trumbull On Tree Of Life

Here Trumbull speaking to the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, New York, about his role as special photographic effects expert for Tree of Life, a movie by Terrence Malick.

Video: 2001: A Space Odyssey

The famous “stargate” sequence from “2001: A Space Odyssey” that Douglas Trumbull masterminded.

Playlist

THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA (“2001: A Space Odyssey”)  Richard Strauss

REJOICE IN THE SUN (from “Silent Running”) by Joan Baez

“CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND” THEME by John Williams

“STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE” THEME by Jerry Goldsmith

BLADE RUNNER” THEME by Vangelis

LACRIMOSA (from “The Tree of Life) by Zbiegnew Preisner

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 2, 2015
This file image taken from a militant website associated with Islamic State extremists, posted Saturday, May 23, 2015, purports to show a suicide bomber, with the Arabic bar below reading: "Urgent: The heroic martyr Abu Amer al-Najdi, the attacker of the (Shiite) temple in Qatif", which the Islamic State group's radio station claimed responsibility for.  (AP)

A big, provocative look at the sophisticated online efforts of ISIS to recruit and lure Westerners to their cause.

Jul 2, 2015
In this file photo, Judy Blume attends LA Times Festival of Books, Saturday, April. 21, 2012, at the USC Campus in Los Angeles.  (AP)

Beloved children’s author Judy Blume is writing for adults again – on disaster. Judy Blume joins us.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 1, 2015
In this file photo, a statue stands at the entrance to the women-only Taconic Correctional Facility in Bedford Hills, N.Y., Wednesday, March 28, 2012.  (AP)

Babies born in prison. The numbers are growing. What’s best for baby? We’ll take a closer look.

 
Jul 1, 2015
In this June 26, 2015, photo, President Barack Obama speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. The Obama administration will propose requiring overtime pay for workers who earn nearly $1,000 per week, three individuals familiar with the plan said Monday, June 29. (AP)

Five million workers may qualify for overtime pay. We’ll look at the plan and the pushback.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Election 2016: Who Exactly Is Running For President?
Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015

Who is running for President, anyway? We attempt to help you figure it out.

More »
7 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: June 19, 2015
Friday, Jun 19, 2015

Why our broadcast changed in different markets this week, and a closer look at a puppet theatre vandalism in rural Norway. (Really).

More »
Comment
 
Quick Note On Rebroadcasting Today
Thursday, Jun 18, 2015

A quick note regarding today’s shifting schedule of broadcasts.

More »
2 Comments