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Solar System by Smith, Tom

Solar System takes the viewer on an intriguing journey through space. This impressive film was created by Tom Smith in 1977, using solely visual effects. It took over a year to finish this documentary which was made in a back of a West Los Angeles dress factory. The film was made by shooting one frame at a time, and almost all of the shots involved a moving camera. Using black curtains to keep out light from the factory, and wooden spheres as planets, it was like animation with three dimensional model planets instead of cell images, according to Tom Smith. The combination of Richard Basehart as narrator and classical music from the Soviet Union make this travel through space a breathtaking experience.

About the producer
Tom Smith graduated from Northwestern University in 1960. He studied film in Paris under a Fulbright Scholarship at the Institute of Higher Studies in Film, and in 1965 he joined Encyclopaedia Britannica Educational Corporation as a writer's director. In the next decade he made over 60 films. When George Lucas saw 'The Solar System' in 1979, he hired Smith to run his visual effects facility Industrial Light and Magic 'ILM'. From 1980 to 1986, Smith oversaw the visual effects for many block buster films including:'Raiders of the Lost Ark': 1981, 'E.T':1982,'Poltergeist': 1982, the 'Star Trek' movies 2 and 3 : 1982 and 'Return of the Jedi': 1983. Smith also wrote the bestselling book on visual effects 'Industrial Light and Magic'. The Art of Special Effects, now in its twelfth printing.

Director
Smith, Tom
Copyright Holder
Smile Film Sales
Duration
18 min.
Year of release
1977
Language
English

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