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Predictions from 1947

Leon Shamroy
1901-1974; American cinematographer (The Robe, The King and I, The Girl Can't Help It, South Pacific, Cleopatra, Planet of the Apes)
Not too far off is the 'electronic camera'. A compact, lightweight box no larger than a Kodak Brownie, it will contain a highly sensitive pickup tube, 100 times faster than present-day film stocks. A single lens system will adjust to any focal length by the operator merely turning a knob, and will replace the cumbersome interchangeable lenses of today. … The camera will be linked to the film recorder by coaxial cable or radio. The actual recording of the scene on film will take place at a remote station, under ideal conditions. Instead of waiting for a day—or days, in the case of shooting with color—electronic monitor screens connected to the system will make it possible to view the scene as it is being recorded. Control of contrast and color will be possible before development.
    It is not difficult to predict the effect of such advancements on the production of motion pictures. Economically it will mean savings in time and money. Since the photographic results will be known immediately, it will be unnecessary to tie up actors and stages for long periods of time. The size and sensitivity of this new camera will make photography possible under ordinary lighting conditions. Shooting pictures on distant locations will be simplified. Generators, lighting units and other heavy equipment will be eliminated, thus doing away with costly transportation.
American Cinematographer, October 1947

John Grierson
1898-1972; British film producer; founder of the documentary film movement
What now appears likely is the creation in every community of community visual councils, centred probably in the public libraries. As I see it, the universities, schools, churches, youth organisations, business and service clubs, trade unions, women's groups, and professional associations would be represented on these councils, and each council would maintain an information service by which all documentary and educational films, and from all over the world, which are of pertinent interest to any of the contributing groups, would be described and routed to it. I imagine these visual councils of the communities as having, in turn, a national council, through which producers would be told what films were most required. This pattern of development is already apparent in England and Canada, is under examination in other countries, and becomes more likely everywhere, as the United Nations reaches out for national and community instruments through which its overall international service can effectively operate.
‘Report from America’ in Informational Film Year Book 1947


Chronomedia 1947

Page updated 7 April 2008
David Fisher