SMPTE eyes funding for documentary

SMPTE film project aimed at documenting the history of motion-imaging technology
The proposed documentary will explore the history of film technology.
The proposed documentary will explore the history of film technology.


The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), a US organisation that oversees motion-imaging standards and education for the media, entertainment, and technology industries, has released the trailer for "Moving Images," a film project aimed at documenting the history of motion-imaging technology.

The production team has captured more than 48 hours of interview footage and gathered archival material from the past 100 years, and drew from these extraordinary sources to create both a “first-look preview" for screening in 4K at the 2015 NAB Show and, more recently, a recut version newly released for public viewing at

"I'm extremely proud of what we've accomplished with this project — the wealth of video, audio, still images, and historical records we have gathered so far is remarkable," said director Howard Lukk, who is a SMPTE Fellow and standards director, as well as a film director at Pannon Entertainment Inc. "We are grateful for the contributions that have allowed us to aggregate rich resources documenting the epic engineering feats and technological achievements within the motion-imaging field."

The goal of the SMPTE ‘Moving Images’ documentary project is to investigate the influence of art and science on one another, to introduce the engineers and artists working behind the scenes over the course of the industry's evolution, to highlight the craftspeople who have changed the way media is consumed, and to explore future possibilities for innovation.

Writer and director Chris Kenneally developed the initial treatment for a feature documentary in 2013. Since then, Lukk has completed the ‘Moving Images’ script outline and trailer in concert with executive producers Barbara Lange and Pete Ludé, producer Randall P. Dark, cinematographer Travis LaBella, editor Bobby Hewitt, and associate producers Aimée Ricca and Richard Welsh.

In addition to conducting original interviews with top filmmakers, historians, entrepreneurs, and engineers, the team has unearthed historical and never-before-seen footage that showcases the ingenuity, invention, and personalities that are responsible for many important works of art, as well as how SMPTE's work on industry education and standards has shaped motion-imaging technology over the past century.

Earlier in 2015, SMPTE raised more than $80,000 for the documentary project through a 60-day crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, as well as direct donations from corporations and individuals from around the world. The trailer released, to the public, today acknowledges those that contributed in the credits. Production of the feature-length documentary is dependent on further funding.


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