Tiny Tiny movie

Something I worked on  has popped back up in a finished form. Does anyone remember this picture from 1989 in the newspaper?


(Am I dating myself?)  That was when they figured out how to nudge individual atoms around on a plate of copper in a very cold vacuum.  Since then, they’re still using the same type of equipment, the scanning tunneling electron microscope, but they’ve set their sights a lot higher- making a stop-action animation movie using individual atoms as the pixels. The atoms are actually carbon monoxide molecules, but those are smaller than most atoms, so I figure we should let this one pass.
Here’s the 2 minute movie:

Why is IBM doing this?  It’s all about smaller data storage size. The quote from Andreas, the lead scientist, is that if this works out, you’ll be able to store all the movies ever made on your iPhone.

So IBM booked the prestigious Ogilvy agency out of new York to come and make a behind the scenes doc about this microflick, and they came out from New York, but they needed another local guy to shoot some more stuff for them. And then some stuff was missing, and out I went to Almaden again.  And hmm how about some more nice shots of the microscope? Worked out pretty well in the end for me. The scientists in the Atom Lab were all really cool.  Each of them was from a different country, and you get the sense that each was one of the best in their field in that area, to land this apparently cool job at the IBM research facility. Who even knew that IBM was still around! I’m exaggerating, but they’re out of the limelight.  Nevertheless, they have this massive high tech campus in southeast San Jose.  The Science-per-square-inch readings were off the charts.  Their chemical laboratories would have made Breaking Bad jealous.

Anyway, here’s the flick.  I shot a lot of the B-roll, everything of the microscope, and some of the interviews.  Can you tell the 5D footage from the hacked GH2 footage?


by Airbox lights

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