This clip of artist Salvador Dalí appearing on the game show “What’s My Line?” in 1957 is both charming and quite funny. A group of blindfolded panelists ask round after round of yes-or-no questions to help reveal the identity of the special guest. Due to the breadth of Dali’s work, and perhaps a bit of mischievousness, the surrealist painter finds himself answering “yes” to nearly every single question, much to everyone’s total confusion. With millions of views on YouTube this has probably crossed your path, but if you haven’t seen it, it really is a fun bit of TV. (via Mental Floss)
It goes without saying that nearly everything made with graphic design and video software was once produced using a physical process, from newspapers to TV Logos. But some TV stations and film studios took things even further and designed physical logos that were filmed to create dynamic special effects. Arguably the most famous of which is MGM’s Leo the Lion which first appeared in 1916 and would go on to include 7 different lions over the decades.
Recently, television history buff Andrew Wiseman unearthed this amazing behind-the-scenes shot of the Office de Radiodiffusion Télévision Française logo from the early 1960s that was constructed with an array of strings to provide the identity with a bright shimmer that couldn’t be accomplished with 2D drawings. The logo could also presumably be filmed from different perspectives, though there’s no evidence that was actually done.
Another famous physical TV identity was the BBC’s “globe and mirror” logo in use from 1981 to 1985 that was based on a physical device. After filming the rotating globe against a panoramic mirror, it appears the results were then traced by hand similar to rotoscoping. One of the more elaborate physical TV intro sequences was the 1983 HBO intro that despite giving the impression of being animated or created digitally was in fact built almost entirely with practical effects. You can watch a 10 minute video about how they did it below. (via Quipsologies, Reddit, Andrew Wiseman)
Update: It turns out the BBC Globe ident wasn’t rotoscoped or animated, instead it was recorded live using the Noddy camera system and the color was created by adjusting the contrast. Thanks, Gene!
Y’know that moment in every TV show and film ever made where the computer/jukebox/radio/appliance stops working and out of desperation the exasperated lead character gives it a good whack? Duncan Robson scoured decades of popular television shows and movies to find dozens of nearly identical moments and gathered them together in Percussive Maintenance. If you liked this also check out Gravity (the same idea but with people falling). (via Laughing Squid)
Bath-based designer Jack Archer made this fun alphabet using the lit screens of televisions.
A project inspired by the phrase “Turn off your TV” mentioned in a lecture by adventurer Alastair Humphreys. To illustrate this idea I built a shelving unit to house 15 small televisions; creating a dot-matrix grid where individual TV’s could be turned on or off, to produce different letterforms and numbers.
Gotta love that “T”. (via quipsologies)
This is a clip from the Solar Furnace Research Facility in Southern France that has a device capable of focusing the sun’s rays into a giant death laser that reaches temperatures around 3,500 Fahrenheit (or 1,926 Celsius). The real kicker being that it only takes as much sun as would hit three sunbathers to melt rock. Goooo science! (via devour)