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Light Years

Wesley Shrum

26 January, 2015

We were invited to make a 5 minute, “experimental" film to help launch the 2015 International Year of Light at UNESCO.

"Light Years" celebrates the work of the physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel, who invented a lens commonly used in theaters, lighthouses….and movie-making.  So we needed a plot.  If you know the old film noir genre, that’s the main reference.  Greg Scott and I used several movies during the half century from 1930 to 1980, set to an original (electronic) score by LSU composer Brett Dietz.  A series of murders is taking place, so whodunit?  We see some of the classic film noir murderers going back to Peter Lorre in 1931.  the film credits reveal that five old cameras are actually being “murdered” by a Fresnel lens.  

They were burned up, while still filming, by a Fresnel lens pulled from an old overhead projector.  It collected sunlight & focused it on the cameras and melted them. But their time was up, so to say--except for the Russian camera--so sturdy it refused to burn up at all.   

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