II ASSAULTED BY THE DEVIL AND HIS COMPANIONS
OR THE PROJECTION
OF PHANTASMAGORIA SLIDES WITH THE AID OF A MECHANICAL
The Moisse Fantascope and slides found a new permanent
home and resides in the International
Media Museum / IMM - QMA Qatar.
The museum is scheduled to open in a few years.
using the relevant equipment, our ghost's attain
that “authentic” look because we use a Fantascope
to create a ghost in the way that we expect to
see it: “imperfect, flawed and blurred.” For
the same trustworthy reason that we expect Martians
to be green! In other words:
creditworthy or not, plays an important role in
the perception of an effect / illusion.
Throughout the history of audio-visual media -
from shadow projection to the Nipkow disc and
finally virtual reality of today - many people
have been easily mislead by clever “charlatans”
using various techniques. Schröpfer, Philidor,
Robertson, Philipsthal, Ollivier, etc. are only
some of those clever showmen who took advantage
of the tumultuous times caused by the French Revolution,
they saw and used this excellent breeding-ground
to their benefit!
It's important to emphasis again that this and
the following techniques where originally performed
by back-projection through a translucent screen.
In this way the origin of the projected ghost's
remained hidden from the spectators. Unfortunately,
because of a practical difficulties, such as lack
of space, I was unable to experiment in this way.
However, this has in no way hindered the results
in the reconstruction of spectacular 18th.
& 19th. Century Virtual reality
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is currently on display at the
in the permanent exhibition
Fantascope & accessories
was on display in
Magique et Film Peint
a temporally exhibition organized
by the Cinémathèque
Nazionale Del Cinema.
different parts of the mechanical autofocus system
and how it is synchronized with the front optical
element of the Phantasmagoria lens, eventually
leading to the wheels.
Because the system regulate the focus, the result
in total darkness is a projected zoom-effect.
To improve the
impact of the autofocus effect the phantasmagoria lens is
equipped with a simple diaphragm, known as the
Cat-Eye, mounted in front of the
phantasmagoria lens. This simple changeable aperture, with
only two blades, regulates the brightness of the projected
image depending on the projection-distance.
Only during the effect of a “virtual
screen” featuring a close-up of a subject (with the
greatest distance between the screen and fantascope and the
largest image), the cat’s-eye at its maximum opening. It
needs to be closed gradually while the projection distance is
shortened, to avoid an over-exposure of the virtual image as
the projected image size is reduced.
If this procedure is not respected, the projected image would
illuminate the darkened room and destroy the
“approaching” effect, which is of
the "utmost" importance! To make the ghost vanish, the
cat’s-eye, which is string-operated, is simply closed by hand.
As a result, the members of the audience are disorientated and
on their guard. The cat eye is one of the most essential
The Cat Eye of the phantasmagoria lens.
is a primitive diaphragma, using only two blades
to regulate the intensity of light when projecting
distances are changing. this operation is done
by hand, because it's not connected with the auto-focus
The manipulation is done by a string. A good synchronisation
with the projection, open & close distance needs a lot of
practice and expierience.