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You Asked For It was an American television show that aired from 1950-1959. Viewers were asked to mail in requests for things they wanted to see on the show. The program showed how things worked, a behind the scenes look at movie effects, curiosities, etc.
The one episode that I remember seeing, was how they made it look like an actor was riding on a moving horse (close-up shot). The horse or fake horse was actually stationary (but would rock back and forth) and the background scenery would move behind the horse creating the illusion that the horse was moving forward. I believe it was in this same episode that they show how they used red colored wax bullets, so when they shot someone in say, a western movie, it would appear as though the person was shot and bleeding.
You know how they say that “Everything old, is new again”. Well, there are a number of current day television shows that take you behind the scenes of how things are done, such as “How It’s Made”. This is a show on the Science Channel and they have a series of episodes that show how just about anything is made. This is somewhat similar, but not quite, because they only show how things are made (hence the title How It’s Made) and they don’t show how special effects are done or any of the other curiosities someone might request. Even good ol’ Mister Rogers on “Mister Roger’s Neighborhood” took you on field trips to show how things were made.
But the one show that comes the closest to the “You Asked For It” show, is a kids show called “Curiosity Quest”. Just like “You Asked For It”, they ask for viewers to send in requests for what they wanted to see. They’ve been to places like, the Vermont Teddy Bear factor showing how the bears are made, how bread, bikes, snowboards are made, to how they train fire fighters. A great show, even for adults that are curious about these things.
A few youTube videos of different You Asked For It episodes:
Wikipedia.com–You Asked For It
So, if you read the teaser post for this posting, did you picture a city park with multiple carousels spinning round and round filled with kids smiling from ear to ear as they rode up and down on wooden horses? I have to admit, that would be a pretty amazing sight to see.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but the carousels that I’m referring to are the Kodak Carousel projectors (which was already given away in the title). During my years in high school in the early to mid ’70s, there was a traveling multimedia show that came to our school to show us a slide show. Now this wasn’t just any slide show with one projector and a tray of slides, and a person speaking in a monotone voice…”now class, this is the Amazon rain forest”…this show utilized multiple projectors timed to an audio track using a computer. It was absolutely amazing to see this presentation, because I had not seen anything like it before that time. If I remember correctly, the theme of this slide show was Japan, so there was images of landscapes, people and animals and more.
The screen that the show was projected on, was nearly the width of the classroom that we were in (we were in temporary bungalows at the time) and they must have had at least 40 Kodak Carousel projectors all mounted in a metal framed rig that locked each projector in place.
If there was a single image that filled the entire height and width of the screen, then there may have been multiple projectors projecting a portion of that image. All projectors together made up the entire image. They also were able to fade one or more projectors out and fade other projectors in to give what they call in video editing, a dissolve transition.
If the complexity of aligning and synchronizing the timing of each projector wasn’t enough, they added music to the mix which just layered on more complexity, because it had to be synced with the images being shown on the screen.
The Kodak Carousel slide show was the predecessor to today’s modern day digital multimedia slide shows. When you were talking about a slide show back in the 70′s, you were literally talking about a “slide” show, where you used slide film mounted in slide mounts and used a projector to show them on a projection screen. With today’s modern computers and software, just about anybody; professional and amateur alike, can put together a multimedia presentation with a fraction of the effort and equipment of these previous productions. Ya gotta love technology.
I’m really surprised that I couldn’t find much information about this on the web, because before digital video editing came to be, this method of presentation was pretty common place. The only thing I found was the black & white photo above which shows a typical projector setup.
Plastic sheet, Light sensitive silver halide salts (photography film) has been almost totally replaced in the consumer market by complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) sensors, or in other words, digital photography.
It wasn’t too long ago that if you picked up a camera, it was no doubt loaded with film, which the camera used to produce the images you shot. If you’re one of those ‘LATE adopters’, you may have not had the opportunity to even shoot photographs with a film camera (wow, that boggles my mind).
It was such a joy to shoot photographs with film (I say this with just a bit of sarcasm). Depending on how old a film camera you had, determined how the film was loaded and how difficult it was, for instance:
There was paper backed films on spools which you had to break this small paper band around the middle of the roll. You would then move the now empty take-up reel to the opposite side of the film holder or camera, you would insert the new roll of film in the camera and unroll a small amount of the paper and wind it onto the take-up reel, then you would close up the camera and start winding the film knob until you got to the first frame of the film.
Single shot sheet films, were even more of a joy to load. In the case of a 4″X5″ size film (that’s big), you would have to load the individual sheets of film into film holders in complete darkness. This was usually accomplished in either a darkroom, or a changing bag, which allowed for doing light sensitive operations when a darkroom was not available, such as loading film in film holders. You would open up the changing bag, place your box of film into the bag, along with your film holders, zip up the bag and stick both your arms into the sleeves of the bag and start loading film. I found this youtube video of a photographer showing how he loads his sheet film holders.
Disc films and easy-load metal cartridges, were as easy as opening up the camera, and dropping the film in and closing up the camera. Although many of the 35mm, single lens reflex (SLR) cameras, you still had to drop in the metal cartridge, pull the film over to the take-up reel and wind it onto the reel.
Back in April, 1880, a small company was born on the 3rd floor of a building in Rochester, New York. That company was started by a high school dropout by the name of Eastman Kodak. Kodak was the pioneer of photographic film, and anyone who has taken photographs with a film camera, has probably used Kodak film at one time or another.
Kodak was not only the pioneer of photographic film, but they were the first to introduce a digital camera. The Kodak DCS 100, was the first commercially available digital camera. The 1.3 megapixel Nikon F3 based Kodak DCS (Digital Camera System) was announced by Kodak in 1991. The camera consisted of an unmodified F3 HP camera body attached to a custom made winder and a digital back. Captured photos are stored on a separate digital storage unit (DSU) that connects to the camera winder via an interconnect cable. This early digital camera would set you back $25,000, that’s a sizable chunk of change for a 1.3 megapixel camera, considering we are selling high-end Digital SLR cameras with just over 21 megapixels, for under $7,000. These high-end digital cameras of today, are just another example of smaller, faster, better, cheaper.
The transition from film to digital photography was a fairly swift one, considering that film photography has been around since the early 1800′s and digital cameras have only been around for about 21 years. The digital revolution hit fast and hard. Film was being passed over more and more in favor of the digital format. Digital SLRs, digital point & shoot and mobile phone cameras all contributed to declining sales of photographic film. Even the single-use film cameras that use to be prevalent on the tables at many wedding receptions have a digital replacement, and yes they are single-use as well.
Despite all that Kodak has contributed to the photographic world, they couldn’t keep up with all the competition from its competitors in both the film and digital fields. Kodak filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on January 19, 2012 so it can reorganize it’s finances and hopefully come back stronger in the years to come. On February 10, 2012, Kodak also announced that it would cease production of its digital cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames this year to focus its consumer business on desktop printers, online and retail-based printing, and camera accessories and batteries.
Being a long time Kodak film user, I wish Kodak the best of luck!
As I was growing up, I remember my aunt being what we would call today, an early adopter. An early adopter is a person who is one of the first to go out and buy technology when they first appear on the market. Well she was one of the first persons that I knew that purchased a Polaroid Land Camera back in the early ’60s. It was pretty cool, she would take it on vacations and we would be able to see the photographs within seconds (60, to be exact).
Sure the camera was a bit big and clunky by today’s standards, but it was cutting edge technology back in the ’60s. My aunts camera was the Model 100 which if my research is correct, was introduced in 1963. My dad had purchased a Model 335 somewhere around 1969 and my aunt purchased another camera, the Model 440 around 1971 to replace her 8 year old camera. I happen to know all the model numbers because I was given all three cameras in my late teens or early adult years, and I still have them today. They aren’t worth much, maybe $10-$50 on eBay, so I’ll just hang on to them for a little while longer.
Here’s the steps needed to take a picture with one of these Polaroid cameras:
- You would flip open the plastic cover
- Depending on the model, you would flip up the viewfinder
- You push down a mechanical latch to release the lens bellows and pull it out till it locks in place.
- Then you would take the picture, right!? Nope, not yet, you still needed to use that same mechanical latch that you used to unlatch the bellows, to adjust the focus on your subject.
- Okay, now you’re ready to take the picture using the button on top of the camera. But wait there’s more!
- After you shoot the picture, you push another lever down to reset the shutter release for the next photo.
- Then you pull out the film from the right side of the camera.
- Ohh, not through yet! You had to wait 60 seconds or so.
- Then you peel the development backing off the print.
- Then you use this applicator to apply a goopy mixture on top of the print, I guess to protect it, I believe this was just for black & white prints though.
The procedure wasn’t actually that bad once you got the hang of it.
The Model 100 didn’t have an automatic timer built in, like the subsequent models, so you had to time the film processing on a watch, clock or counting to yourself, 1, 1000, 2, 1000, 3, 1000…
After you peeled the backing off the print, you would shake or fan the print in the air to speed up the drying process, because the print surface was sticky. These early Polaroid cameras were the start of habit that many people can’t ‘shake’ (excuse the pun) today.
Even with the advent of the modern day Polaroid cameras that don’t use the peel apart film, you still see some people ‘shaking’ them as if they are drying them. I guess old habits never die.
I dusted off my model 335 Polaroid Land camera that has been sitting on a shelf for many, many, many years and took these photos with it. I had to buy fresh film for it, but I was shocked that the battery was still working.
Here’s a web page I found from 2004 from CNN, that talks about shaking modern day Polaroid films, and the affect it has on them:
Giant Polaroid Camera–Can you picture waving one of these prints around? http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/photo/essays/vanRiper/011120.htm