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Trumbull: Local Film Could Boost FX Industry

Staff Reports

Digital FX pioneer Douglas Trumbull is planning a sci-fi film in the Berkshires that he hopes will restart the fledgling special-effects industry here that never quite got off the ground.

The news was reported last Wednesday in the Journal of New England Technology. Trumbull, who left Hollywood for the Berkshires three decades ago, continues to operate out of his Southfield studio. But many of the special-effects producers who followed him closed up shop during the 1990s.

He told the Journal:

With luck, the project will inspire new interest in the visual effects cluster in the Berkshires, and perhaps lead a broader film and media industry to take shape in the area, Trumbull said. "People find it so stunningly better than living in New York or LA," he said. "Once you get someone to come and work, they tend to bring their wives and kids. And they all fall in love with the community and don't want to leave."

Last year, Jeff Kleiser of Synthespian Studios in North Adams indicated he was mulling an animated feature that could create hundreds of jobs and help boost the FX industry in the Berkshires.

Trumbull is best known for his groundbreaking work on "2001: A Space Odyessy" and "Blade Runner." The FX maestro talked about his work on "Blade Runner" a couple of years ago at the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington before a screening of the restored film. 

Tags: film, special effects      

Crane Gives $100 Bill High-Tech Touch

Staff Reports

DALTON, Mass. — Crane & Co. officials were on hand this morning as the new $100 bill was unveiled in the U.S. Treasury Department's Cash Room in Washington. The Dalton printer has been making the specialized paper for the nation's folding currency for more than 100 years.
 
The bill includes a variety of high-tech additions to help defeat counterfeiting; the U.S. $100 bill is the most widely counterfeited note.

Find out the cool things happening on the new $100 bill.

"As the supplier of the paper used to produce the redesigned $100 bill, Crane & Co. worked diligently to provide the Bureau of Engraving & Printing with paper that contains an updated suite of security elements," said Douglas Crane, vice president, in a statement. "These features were designed to address the government's twin objectives of elevating the security of the world's most recognized banknote, while at the same time enhancing its ease of use — both of which serve to support and extend the public’s confidence in the banknote."

The security includes a micro-optic "Motion" feature that creates simulated images on the security thread that appear to move as the bill is tilted and also switches from one image to another — from $100 to the Liberty Bell — in an stylized inkwell. That should create a major challenge to potential counterfeiters, said Crane.

The bill also has the traditional anti-counterfeit devices like scattered blue and red fibers, a facial watermark of Ben Franklin, embedded security thread that glows under ultraviolet and darker number watermarks.

Crane officials will be demonstrating the bill's new attributes at the Dalton mill on Friday to a select group of officials and press that includes iBerkshires.

Tags: Crane & Co., currency      

Excelsior Offering 'Flip' Technology

Staff Reports

A local custom printer is partnering with a technology startup to offer customers in Berkshire and Hampden counties a new way to publish their printed material online.

Excelsior Printing Co.  in North Adams will be the exclusive provider of Flip Page Publishing's 3D publishing technology. Excelsior will be able to offer customers a three-dimensional version of printed collateral on their Web sites through a plug-in created by Flip Page and delivered through Excelsior.

It will allow customers to "effectively communicate in cross-media channels," said David Crane, Excelsior's owner and president.

The technology allows the read to zoom in and out, print and share documents as well as, of course, "flip" the pages. Flip Page Publishing is based in Branford, Ontario.
 
"The Massachusetts marketplace is a new venture for Flip Page Publishing and we feel it is full of opportunity," said Flip Page's President Brent Palmer.

Excelsior has been in business for 118 years and is a provider of custom and innovative print and distribution programs throughout North America. Excelsior became Berkshire County's first Forest Stewardship Council certified "green" printer in 2008.

Tags: Excelsior      
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