Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Powers of Ten Film

Powers of Ten by Charles Eames set a number of standards for a superscale survey of length and remains in many ways the finest one ever made.

Two of his innovations have been adopted by many imitators since:
  • Marking the units by powers of ten. This seems obvious today, but was introduced by Kees Boeke, and popularized by Eames
  • Zooming from the macro- to the micro-scale, like a roller coaster ride, adding a visceral, emotional "rush" to the ideas being presented.
The film does not indicate how much reality changes, the further you get away from the "zero" human scale of the picnic blanket. To portray this departure from reality, I list each scene from the film wrapped in a sigmoid scalometer curve:

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