Museum of the Moving Image
The Museum of the Moving Image, next to Kaufman Astoria Studios, was a total surprise for us. I found it also amazing how much this part of Long Island City now looks like TriBeCa in Manhattan. Can you say loft space everywhere?
A learned about kinetoscopes and Augustin and Louis Lumiere. He also learned about the marvel that is the film camera and sound microphone - with specimens of each from the late 1800s to today. Demonstrations by a wide-eyed NYU Film School graduate taught us sound and soundtrack editing, sound effects editing, dubbing, digital editing vs. traditional reel editing, and why the filmmakers' clapboard is so necessary in a film shoot. There was plenty of hands-on stuff to do. A re-mastered the sound effects for a scene Jurassic Park and I tried out different music soundtracks for a scene in the movie Twister. My voice was dubbed over Audrey Hepburn's in My Fair Lady, and A's was Denzel Washington's voice in the movie Glory. We created our own stop-action animation, and starred in a flipbook animation (you can actually purchase the 40-frame flipbook of your antics in front of the camera, at the Museum shop for $3.00).
Among the many collectible pieces - including an actual Yoda created for The Empire Strikes Back, A Chewbacca headpiece worn by Peter Mayhew, an original Gumby costume worn by Eddie Murphy for SNL, and Catherine Zeta Jones' costuming for the movie Chicago - were cheezy/pop culture t.v. and film memorabilia collections from the 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's and beyond.
The Museum puts those tours at Universal Studios to shame. In addition to the demonstration film rooms, there is a small old-style cinema (see image of Tut cinema), and a screening room that seems to draw a dedicated cinephile audience.