Dream Machine to be Shown at SIGGRAPH

Well, SIGGRAPH, the big computer-graphics convention in Boston has announced there will be a special showing of “The Dream Machine”, the documentary I produced about the Scanimates!  Here’s the press release:

Its impossible to watch television without our senses being nearly overwhelmed by computer-generated motion graphics. Products and brand logos tumble and flash and grab our attention. But there was a time, not too long ago, when the thought of using a computer to make graphics move was revolutionary.

The story of some of these visionary inventors and artists has been documented in “The Dream Machine”, a 2-hour DVD produced by David Sieg.  The film will be screened in a special showing at SIGGRAPH 2006, the Special Interest Group for Graphics convention July 30 through August 3 in Boston, MA.

Inventor Lee Harrison’s, Denver-based Computer Image Corp developed and built 8 Scanimate analog computers in the 1970’s. For nearly ten years,  these machines produced most of the electronic animation seen on television.

Sieg worked for Image West, in Hollywood, where 2 Scanimates and a team of engineers and artists produced thousands of animated graphics for network TV shows,  commercials, even a scene in the first Star Wars film.  Today many of those people are leaders in cutting-edge special effects work at companies like Digital Domain and Industrial Light and Magic http://ukviagras.com/ed/kamagra-uk/.

“The Dream Machine” puts their stories together with some of the imagery they produced.  From news opens, superbowl titles, to  the signature look of “The Electric Company”, these artists and engineers talk about the challenges and triumphs they encountered as they brought to life what has become a multi-billion dollar industry.

“Technology moves so fast, we forget sometimes how things ever got started.” Sieg said.  “To me, the real story is not the machines, but the people.  I feel like I’ve helped put a human face to this amazing period of time, and perhaps helped tell a story that would have been lost otherwise.”

More information on the Scanimate computers and “The Dream Machine” can be found at http://scanimate.net .

6 thoughts on “Dream Machine to be Shown at SIGGRAPH”

  1. Does anyone remember the system at Computer Image before Scanimate? It was called Animac, if my memory serves me right. In 1969 I was a producer director at Encyclopaedia Britannica Educational Corporation and had the pleasure of meeting Lee Harrison. The end result was the creation of “Growing”, the first Animac-produced film….maybe one of the first computer animated films ever. What an experience..shot in 35MM…something like 16 hold back and print though mats in the optical printing process. Anyway, the film won the Gold Hugo at the 1969 Chicago Film Festival for educational films. Would love to know if anyone is still around from those days in 1969.
    Gary Bergland

  2. I joined the team at CI 18 months prior to the chapter 11, my first layoff. What an exceptional group of people I had the chance to work with. I learned so much and felt that I could actually contribute toward a common goal. Dave Holman, Chuck Sade, Phil Z, Loren Decoster and I spent some long nights making wonderful memories. I have been out of touch with everyone at CI and would welcome the opportunity to say THANKS.

  3. Like a visit to a long nearly forgotten past. I stumbled across the Scanamate site and found my way to this blog. Along with Joe Julianno, Rus Mahle and Domiic Iaia I was the video tape editor that went from CI to Hollywood to open Image West. Highland Blvd. what a place. It was my pleasure to be the first editor on the IVC Helical vidio tape machines. I happily forget the Ampex 1200s. So many names that I can still put with faces. Long hours, inumerable frustrations but good friendships with people like Red, Bill, Lee, Bob and Ron McColgan. I hope that this slice of broadcast history is remembered and studied. It laid a foundation that even today is still expanding. Thank you for reminding me just how magical that period of my life really was.

    Ray McDaniels

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