Recently-unearthed video of Dr. Edwin Land introducing the then-new Polaroid manufacturing complex for the shareholders. Like most thing of Land’s, everything looks grand and ahead of its time, even for today’s standards.
Bill Warriner, the director of the film had this to share:
It hits me now that although he ad libbed it, there’s a stiff, uptight delivery style in front of the camera that he never had on stage. It’s an odd self-consciousness. Onstage in front of 3,000 people he was truly in command; here it seems like the camera was in command. By the time we shot the scene where he made “the iPhone prediction,” the day had worn on and he had loosened up a little. And he became profoundly eloquent during The Walk. He was also, in his favorite word, elegant. […]
It’s really instructive to revisit Dr. Land’s slow pacing, reflecting down to Mother Earth; it was his signature even on stage. He would sometimes keep an audience breathless through a long silence; the longer it was the more dramatic it became. I sometimes wondered whether or not he understood that–and it was thus an affectation–but now I believe he was truly shaping the words during those pauses. I don’t believe it was stagecraft. He cared about getting the phrasing precise, like you do. He wrote the script in real time, and he did not want to commit to the words before that moment came. The title “CEO” seems very odd because his cadence was not like that of any other CEO ever. But today I thought I would still not cut a single sentence out of the continuity of The Walk, even though 16 minutes is a tough slog for today’s spans of attention.
Update: One thing stuck with me after seeing the entire sixteen minute short: Land’s vision for photography, how he strongly believed that it will be one of human’s evolutionary milestone is amazingly apt, down to the ‘take a camera out of your jacket pocket and snap a picture.’