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Mag Lab Shows Visitors the Science of the Movies

Tom Flanigan

About 8,000 people toured Tallahassee's National High Magnetic Field Laboratory during Saturday's open house. The event focused on the link between science and cinema.

Mag Lab staffers were ready for big crowds, but even they were a bit gobsmacked by the turnout.

"2,000 in the first 45 minutes," one slightly dazed staff member remarked. "That's a LOT of people!"

Those visitors saw demonstrations like Ron Heim's from the FSU Film School. He was explaining the mysteries of "green screen" technology.

"Green screen is extremely pervasive and we're showing how regularly it's used in motion pictures," he said as folks lined up to stand in front of various virtual reality backgrounds.

Mag Lab Director Greg Bobinger, luminous in rainbow-colored clothing and matching beard, saw many of the open house's littlest visitors getting excited about science.

"And there were two girls who were about nine-years old and they ran up to each other and gave each other a big hug and the one said to the other, 'Let's go inside and be scientists.'"