Illuminating the Future: The Arrival of Solid State Lighting

Illuminating the Future: The Arrival of Solid State Lighting

Presented by the Academy’s Science and Technology Council

Hosted by Science and Technology Council member Daryn Okada

Solid state light (SSL) sources, just now coming onto the market, have the potential to completely transform the color palette of filmmaking. This technology, which promises to significantly reduce energy consumption during production will also profoundly impact the disciplines of cinematography, costume design, makeup and production design.

The characteristics of different types of light sources are well known to those in the motion picture industry. Terms like “correlated coefficient of utilization,” “color temperature,” “spectral power distribution,” “color rendering index” and “chromaticity” are all seemingly complex terms that describe various qualities of the light sources that directors, cinematographers, production designers and costume designers have intuitively understood for decades. Rarely, however, does a new type of light source come along with fundamentally different qualities and the potential to alter how movies are made and seen.

The Academy’s Science and Technology Council is currently researching the potential advantages and challenges associated with this new technology. A goal of this research project is to offer filmmakers clear information on how current solid state lighting technology differs from traditional lighting instruments, and how these differences will impact choices in production.

Hosted by cinematographer Daryn Okada (“Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina,” “Mean Girls,” “Just Like Heaven,” “Baby Mama”), “Illuminating the Future” presented the Council’s preliminary research findings and demonstrated how this new technology will affect many aspects of filmmaking. A panel of creative artists discussed the challenges and advantages associated with this new lighting technology.


  • Rosemary Brandenburg – Set decorator and Academy governor
  • Caleb Deschanel – Cinematographer and Academy governor
  • Arthur Max – Production Designer
  • Robert Ryan – Makeup artist
  • Michael Wilkinson – Costume designer

Event Information

Saturday, May 22, at 11 a.m.
Linwood Dunn Theater
1313 Vine Street
Hollywood, CA 90028
Bill Taylor, Jonathan Erland, Daryn Okada, Arthur Max, Rosemary Brandenburg, Caleb Deschanel, Michael Wilkinson and Robert Ryan

Visual effects supervisor Bill Taylor, visual effects artist Jonathan Erland, cinematographer Daryn Okada, production designer Arthur Max, set decorator Rosemary Brandenburg, cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, costume designer Michael Wilkinson and make-up artist Robert Ryan.

Daryn Okada

Program host Daryn Okada.

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