About 2400 hours of footage was collected. Director Teller had trouble editing the footage down to feature film length and consider stopping the editing process all together. He consulted his friend Penn on where to go next, and Penn gave him a one sentence plot summary: "A man discovers how to create art without knowing how." This was all Teller needed to get the film down to feature film length. See more »
There's also this modern idea that art and technology must never meet - you know, you go to school for technology or you go to school for art, but never for both... And in the Golden Age, they were one and the same person.
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Watching this film is a virtual art course in itself. Tim Jenison takes us on a search for the secrets of Dutch artist Vermeer's tremendous use of light in his art work. He researches early applications of the so called camera obscura and the use of lenses. He comes up with a possible theory of how Vermeer painted and then gets to work confirming his theory. His first test is a simple mirror reflecting an object onto a canvas. He experiments with this and confirms his thesis. He then decides to apply his model to recreating one of Vermeer's masterpieces. The outcome is sensational. The movie shows all the various constructional aspects, which as an engineer I really love. I kept wanting to get up out of my seat and start building a similar model. The detail which he went to in order to recreate the scene of the painting was astounding.
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