Update on "The Story of Computer Graphics"
Premiered 8 August 1999 at SIGGRAPH 99, Los Angeles, California USA
The story played well and the HD is spectacular. Variety called it a "parade of striking visuals." The Los Angeles Times said there "is a flood of dazzling color and imagery illustrating the astonishingly protean nature of computer graphics." The Hollywood reporter said: "While the title isn't exactly a slick attention-grabber, 'The Story of Computer Graphics' certainly delivers the goods."
A SIGGRAPH 99 attendee, Steve Markel wrote:
"I can not express enough how much I was impressed with the movie,'The Story of Computer Graphics' at SIGGRAPH 99. It has so much more to tell than what the title indicates. Particularly, how many individuals who made a difference knew in their hearts and minds what they were doing was the wave of the future in spite of skeptics. Their fortitude made a difference and is admirable.
"Also, the struggle between art and computers was captivating. Typically, these individuals are on opposite sides of the brain and have little to do with each other. How this changed over time conveys the story of how different people complement each other if they work together rather than spending their time and energy struggling against one another. It was refreshing.
"I would very much like to pass the story of computer graphics and these individuals on to the computer/art students at Whitehall High School. It is my hope to inspire them to follow the role models as show in this movie. Is there some way I could avail them the opportunity to view this excellent work? I am open to purchase, rental, shown on PBS, or some other option. Any help you could provide would be appreciated. Let me thank you in advance for your time and consideration.
"Also let me thank you and all the individuals who worked on the preservation of this piece of history. It was well done and well worth your time and energy. Thank you all."
It's a project we can all be proud to have been part of.
We had a large audience (about 3,000) at the Shrine Auditorium world premier, and all of the 25 subsequent showings at the Los Angeles Convention Center drew almost-full houses (about 300 each), for a total of about 10,000 viewers during SIGGRAPH 99.
We're starting to formulate distribution plans, which in the near term include possible TV (PBS in the States) showings and several film festivals including Eurographics 99 (September) in Milan, DIGIFORM (October 1999) in Belgium, and probably the Museum of Science (November 1999) in New York City. We expect to offer copies of the tape for sale by mid-2000, and we're developing a plan for distribution to our sponsors, interviewees, SIGGRAPH conference committee members, and others. Please check this site often for the latest info about the film's availability.
We did manage to get some brilliant footage of George Lucas, the early SAGE years, and tons of compelling clips, as listed below.
General Info
Title: "The Story of Computer Graphics"
Length: 93 Minutes
Format: (HDCam, or D5 playback)
Narrator: Leonard Nimoy
Director: Frank Foster
Producer : Steven M. Silas
Executive Producers: Carl Machover, John Hart
Co-Producer: Joan Collins Carey
Writer: Judson Rosebush
Directors of Photography: Robert Carr, Tony Foresta, & Andrew Sobkovich Hi-Def Post Production: Robert Hopkins
Hi-Def VFX Supervisor: Steven Robiner
HD On-Line Editor: Jim Ward
HD Engineering: Rafael Adame, Dale Hunter
Digital Post Production Audio Services Provided By Sony Pictures Studios Post Production Sound
From the Premiere Program
From its early development as an obscure topic of research to its widely accepted role as an important communication tool, computer graphics has exhibited a rich history of human accomplishment. Computer Graphics has changed the way we work and play. This movie documents some of the most compelling stories behind the striking graphics and technology that we take for granted in today's environment. This is the "human" story of representative innovators who have forever changed the way we interact with the world.
The "Story of Computer Graphics" chronicles the history of the industry, its impact on society, and the excitement of future possibilities. As an official SIGGRAPH history project, care was taken to produce a lasting document that will inform and inspire generations to come, and appeal to a broad audience beyond the computer graphics community. One of the main goals of the HDTV documentary is to help educate the general public about computer graphics. It is intended for festival screenings until a broadcast deal can be negotiated.
Some of the People and Clips Included in "The Story of Compupter Graphics"
Interviewees, in Order of Appearance
Fred Brooks Jr.
Ivan Sutherland
Sylvan "Chase" Chasen
Pierre Bézier
David F. Rogers
John Whitney Sr.
Ken Knowlton
Michael Noll
Lillian Schwartz
Charles Csuri
Marceli Wein
Ed Catmull
Jim Clark
Jim Blinn
Martin Newell
J. Turner Whitted
Donald Greenberg
Nick England
Lou Doctor
Richard Shoup
Alvy Ray Smith
David Em
Yoichiro Kawaguchi
Cynthia Goodman
Isaac Victor Kerlow
Phil Mittelman
Robert Abel
William Kovacs
Tim McGovern
John Whitney Jr.
Gary Demos
Art Durinski
Richard Taylor II
Larry Elinv Jeff Kleiser
John Hughes
Douglas Engelbart
John Warnock
Jim Clark
Craig Barrett
Eric DeJong
Donna Cox
Holly Rushmeier
Arthur J. Olson
Norman Badler
Michael Girard
George Lucas
Dennis Muren
Jim Morris
Carl Rosendahl
Dan Sandin
Mark Bolas
Michael Capps
John Romero

Film Footage Included
Footage from Toy Story and TRON courtesy of Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, courtesy of Paramount Pictures
Willow footage courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd.; Willow
Terminator 2: Judgment Day, used by permission of Canal+ Distributors
Antz behind the scenes footage provided by Pacific Data Images, Carl Rosendahl, Sheigh Crabtree courtesy of Amblin Entertainment
CG Clips Included
TRON Excerpts
Daimler Chrysler Neon 2000, Virtual Reality
Avant Garde Festival, Basilar Membrane
Jurassic Park behind the scenes footage
Dinosaur test footage - Tippett Studio
Computer Aided Airfoil Design
Jim Clark in early headtracking gear
Social Virtual Reality
Diamond Park & Spline
Diamond Park: November 1995
Live Demonstration at Fall Comdex '95
MERL - A Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratory
Brilliance (Sexy Robot) television commercial
Trade Secrets of the Violin Masters
Boeing Photos
Boeing Historical Archives
IBM Archives photos
IBM Archives
Lincoln Laboratory photos
SAGE footage provided by MIT
"Counterbalance" - 1954 - provided by MIT
Sun Stone provided by Mrs. Ed Emshwiller
Renault footage
Cornell in Perspective
Metamorphosis, UFO, Computer and the Artist
Ascent of Man
A Simple Method for Extracting the Natural Beauty of Hair
Poliovirus provided by Arthur J. Olson Dept. of Molecular Biology, The Scripps Research Institute
Virtual Vietnam provided by Michael Capps
Sketchpad, LDS-1 Carrier Landing Simulator, Smithsonian Awards Bio
Virtual Archives:30 Year Retrospective, Evans & Sutherland UITA Tribute
Luxo Jr., and Tin Toy, by Pixar
The Visible Human
The University of Colorado Center for Human Simulation
The National Center for Atmospheric Research
Nude, Ken Knowlton
TRON Storyboards, Magi Stills & demo footage
The Scripps Research Institute campus footage
Looking into HIV
Fire Simulations
Experiments from the National Institute of Standards and Technology
Fiat Lux - Paul DeBevec, University of California, Berekely
The Skeleton Animation Systems- David Zeltzer, Sarnoff Corporation
Voyager I & II, Venus and The Sun HD footage - JPL
It looks great projected in HD!!!
And thanks to Joan Collins Carey, co-producer, for organizng the movie description.

The HDTV Strategy