Episode 019 April 2015
We chat with animator and VFX artist Robert Swarthe about his work on One From the Heart, The Outsiders, a short film test with an early HD video camera, and his unproduced adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke’s The Fountains of Paradise.
About The Optical
Host Mark Boszko takes you on a journey back through the annals of Cinefex magazine, talking about the movies and topics they covered 30+ years ago. We talk to people involved in the films, people who make movies, and people who love movies, and have a fun time doing it.
Special thanks to Cinefex for access to these out-of-print back issues.
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Academy Award-nominated animator and VFX artist.
- Nominated in 1976 for Best Short Film, Animated for Kick Me
- Nominated in 1980 for Best Visual Effects for Star Trek: The Motion Picture
- If you haven't listened to Part 1 of our interview with Robert Swarthe, it's in The Optical, Episode 018
- One from the Heart (1982)
- The Outsiders (1983)
- Cinefex number 11
- Revisiting Cinefex (11): ET and Robert Swarthe by Graham Edwards
- Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
- Memory Alpha has some great shorts of the V’ger cloud and other V'ger concept art
- Robert Abel
- Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
- Vittorio Storaro, cinematographer on One From the Heart and Apocalypse Now
- Ralph Macchio, star of The Outsiders. And as I cenetly realized, perhaps the inspiration for the line, “I did it… for Johnny.” in Jule Brown’s song, The Homecoming Queen's Got a Gun
- The Fountains of Paradise, by Arthur C. Clarke
- Article and illustration on Space.com about the exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC; featuring a space elevator on the moon.
- National Space Society
- Carbon nanotubes on Wikipedia
- Space Elevator and Space tether on Wikipedia
- CBS, Panasonic, NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation), and Sony demo of the analog 1125/30 HD system, for what later became the Sony HDVS system
- NHK Museum of Broadcasting in Japan
- The SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal did an article on the HD video test. Looking around that time period, I suspect it might be the article “HDTV Standards Considerations for Electronic Cinematography and Post-Production” by Kerns H. Powers in the December 1982 issue, but I'm not certain, as the SMPTE website's search function seems to be broken as of this writing.
- Canon Cinema EOS camera has a top ISO of 20,000, but a recent firmware update upped the sensitivity to ISO 80,000(!)
- Samsara (2011)
- Godfrey Reggio
- Koyaanisqatsi (1982)
- Ron Fricke
- Barry Lyndon (1975)
- 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
- 1981 Lincoln Continental ad — This is not the same one that Robert Swarthe worked on, but it has similar motion control shots.
- Dream Quest Images
- Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967) end titles
- Kick Me (pirated) on YouTube
- Digital Betacam (a.k.a DigiBeta)
- K-9000: A Space Oddity (pirated) on YouTube
- Academy Oral History Projects from AMPAS