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The Story of Light

1954

The Story of Light (1954)

Light throughout history. "an excursion in science"

In The Story of Light the history of light is told. The story begins in the prehistoric era, when torches were the source of light and end in modern timens is the year 1954.

The Story of Light (1954)The Story of Light (1954)
The Story of Light (1954)The Story of Light (1954)

In The Story of Light the history of light is told. The story begins in the prehistoric era, when torches were the source of light and end in modern timens is the year 1954. Lightbulbs and fluorescent fill the modern home and city. Client is General Electric.
Undertitle is An Excursion in Science.

Trivia

Every product has its own history. However…? Practically in the same period, for competitor PHILIPS: Light and Mankind was made. Plot and concept show a strong resemblance. See also the explanatory statement in the biography. The creative source for this light history is found in a previous film: Story of Time (1951). This time, not by Geesink, but with the same director. Design Jan Coolen for Signal Film in London. Camera: Frans Hendrix. Both had a prominent part in the two Light-films. Do not assume that the Story of Light is plagiary. Neither of the films are. Decors, plot and characters show a strong resemblance with those from other films, but the shots are not stolen.

Sabre tooth and Lightning

Despite the bombast in both films, the openings scene from Story of Light should get a particular attention. In a 12 meter long scenery model, the camera rides through a jungle with a sabre tooth tiger and lightning to end in a cave with huddled prehistoric men.
Do not forget that the whole recording was realised without any help of video-assist or computer.

Story of Light is more illustrative and Light and Mankind more educative in its layout.
Both films have very few puppet animation, but do have many images with complex camerawork and a large orchestral setting. In the same list of “Story of”-titles also belongs Getting Warmer (1963). De working title was Story of Heating back then. U can already guess: art direction was done by Jan Coolen, who was a specialist in this matter. He would also begin with The Earth is Born for Transfilm-Dollywood. But that is another story.

Old Glory

The collaboration between Jan Coolen and Frans Hendrix is no coincidence. Both men had won their spurs in 1951 with the stop-motion film "The Story of Time – By Rolex”,  for the English studio Signal Film. You can see a poetic similarity between these three films, but at the same time, each of them clearly has its own identity.

Credits

Title:The Story of Light - An Excursion in Science
Client:General Electric
Year of Production:
1954
Duration:9 minutes
MusicStanley Bate
Execution:The London Symphonic Orchestra, cond. Muir Mathieson
Format:35 mm, Technicolor
Story:
Joseph (Joe) S. Forest
Animation:
József Misik
Camera:Frans Hendrix
Puppets:Harry Tolsma
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