An overview of the demonstration and discussion of the Dykstraflex motion control camera system at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on May 25, 2024.

Demonstrating the Dykstraflex: May 25, 2024

The culmination of all the efforts that myself, Gene Kozicki, Joe di Gennaro, Peter Anderson, Les Bernstien, Andre Bustonaby, Joe and Miles Lewis, and many of the museum crew, was a live demonstration of the Dykstraflex in the Spielberg Family Gallery on the 47th anniversary of the release of the first “Star Wars” film. On hand at the demonstration were Richard Edlund, Doug Smith, Jon Erland, Al Miller, and myself. Gene led a spirited discussion about the technology that went into developing the Dykstraflex and why it was such a sea change from how visual effects were photographed previously. Les took care of all of our motion control needs and demonstrated for the crowd how the machine moves on all of its axes. An extraordinary recreation of the Millennium Falcon was provided by model maker Sean Sides, and Gene built a fantastic X-Wing fighter that was displayed on the Hartland Model Mover we showcased a few weeks back. Al Miller and Jerry Jeffress built the motion control computers for both Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Peter Anderson generously lent one of the original computers from Close Encounters to complete the display. It was wonderful seeing so many people come out to see this historic piece of movie making technology in person and in action, along with some of the wonderful people that helped bring this iconic film to life. There will be at least one more demonstration of the Dykstraflex in motion on June 15th, and the exhibit is open through July 8th at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. We hope to see you there!