Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/940

This page needs to be proofread.


924

��Popular Science Monthly

��Making Movie Films for Artistic Projection

��IT is a generally accepted theory that art is far removed from anything me- chanical. We are told by artists that where mechanics and matter-of-factness exist,

���A special shutter opens and closes gradually to make a fade-in and a fade-out picture

there can be no true art. But how about the modern film plays? Even the casual attendant of motion picture theaters can not have failed to notice the highly artistic merits of modern film plays, especially dur- ing the past year. One by one, striking photographic tricks have been introduced, until today even the most commonplace scenic film is replete with pleasing effects. Strange to say, these artistic arrangements are produced by simple mechanical devices which in the majority of instances do not form an integral part of the motion picture camera. They are accessories. They are the products of the mechanic's brains and the palette of the film artist — a heresy indeed, for here we have recourse to me- chanics in securing art.

Perhaps the oldest photographic effect

��in the films is the "fade-out," as well as its companion, the "fade-in." In the first, the entire picture, while retaining its origi- nal size and shape, gradually darkens until it disappears in a mass of black. In the reverse operation, the "fade-in" gradually develops a picture out of blackness. The fade-out effect is secured simply by slowly reducing the opening of the camera lens by means of its iris diaphragm, so that successive exposures receive less light. Hence the positive print becomes darker and darker. The second effect is merely a reversal of this operation.

However, it often happens that the iris diaphragm of a lens does not close com- pletely, in which case unusually light sub- jects refuse to fade out thoroughly. For this reason other means are sometimes em- ployed. One of these is a special form of shutter, the opening of which closes grad- ually as the scene is being photographed, the action being entirely automatic and adjustable for a complete "fade-out" or "fade-in" in a given number of feet of film.

���Double exposure work produced by the fade- out and fade-in with the curtain method

�� �