Television - Magic in the Air | Artopia

JAMISON HANDY

A Closer Look

The man trying to buy a ticket to a ball game at the beginning of Magic in the Air was an unusual person for his day -- he owned a TV set. This industrial film does a good job of explaining how this new medium of television worked. Who do you think the film was made for? How many people today understand how technology works? Do you know how your cell phone works? Would you like to see a film that explains it?

About the Media

Magic in the Air is an educational film about television, made in 1941 when few American homes had a TV set. For viewers today, living in the world of plasma screens and video phones, the wooden box with a small black and white screen is hard to recognize as a television. And the cameras shooting a football game look more like vegetable crates! But there is information in this old film that still applies to how TV is made and studios haven’t changed very much –- though it is hard to find one with a swimming pool!

About the Artist

Jamison Handy and his film production company, Jam Handy made motivational movies for the U.S. military, General Motors, TV commercials, and many films for schools. During World War II he produced 7,000 films for the armed services. Before getting into the film business Handy was an Olympic athlete who won the Bronze Star for swimming in 1904. He lived to be 97 and at the time was the oldest living Olympian.

Write About It

  • Make a list of what you see and hear in the TV commercial.
  • How does the producer use the elements and principles of design?
  • What is your opinion of the television commercial? How does it make you feel?