Feb. 19, 2013
/PRNewswire/ -- The Academy Awards would be much less colorful without the innovations in 1930s and '40s
filmmaking that the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation will showcase in its upcoming "Places of Invention" exhibition, set to open in 2015.
Initiative and creativity drove
's "Golden Age"—a time of great technological change in the motion picture industry, moving from silent and black-and-white to sound and color. "Places of Invention" will highlight the invention and adoption of Technicolor, detailing the three-strip process used in
The Wizard of Oz
Gone With the Wind
and reveal the people behind its success, inventors
W. Burton Westcott
, who set up shop in
in 1923. Also integral to its success was
, a consultant for Technicolor on many classic films who, in making decisions about makeup, costumes and lighting, controlled the aura of Technicolor.
"Our take on the
story goes behind the camera to examine the inventions that significantly changed both the way movies were made and the complexity and popularity of movies themselves," said
, director of the center. "The
and Technicolor stories exemplify the outcomes possible when creativity and collaboration are allowed to thrive."
The invention and evolution of Technicolor made possible such awards as Best Visual Effects while transforming
into a hot spot of innovation—a place where a critical mass of inventive people, networks, institutions and funding come together and creativity flourishes.
This year alone, six of the nine nominees for Best Picture implemented various Technicolor technologies in their films. Overall, 19 films nominated for Oscars employed Technicolor's various offerings in their respective films.