Technical Context - An Historical Document
In the Year of our Lord 1989, humanity lived in blind ignorance of the Internet, mobile phones, GPS, or even twitter.  It was an Age of Darkness -- now only the ancients dimly recall -- where intimate conversation oft required coarse, guttural flaps of the larynx and unseemly physical proximity.  In this heathen time, movies were laboriously edited by scotch-taping together thousands upon thousands of strips of a celluloid substance called ‘film.’  All by hand!  And special effects?  Even worse.  Exploding buildings, crashing trains, hurricanes at sea -- all were created using real stuff:  real explosives, real water and real fire on actual physical models.  Robots and monsters were mechanical puppets or people in rubber suits.  All hand work.  Crude.  Slow.  Dull.
But from this primordial swamp a new beast was emerging.  The Computer.  Computer Effects.  Computer Editing.  Computer Everything.  And, in the first days of this dawning age, there came “a loud grunt from the underground”: a bootstrap-funded, independent film called ‘Split.’

In today’s world of $100 Million computer effects extravaganzas, that’s an outrageous claim to make.  But, this was back in the final days of The Age Of Darkness, when computers had only half-emerged from the swamp.  The computer used to create Split’s “most effective ever” effects had a total memory of only 64k -- it would take about 100 such computers to store just one modern digital photo.  These old computers obviously couldn’t store all the frames of a special effect, so each frame of animation had to be shot with a movie camera as it appeared on the monitor, freeing the computer to calculate the next frame.  
Spilt’s swirling CGI effects were created by mathematical models for turbulence, part of Robert Shaw’s pioneering work in Chaos Theory Physics, for which he won a MacArthur “Genius” grant...
“The computer-generated images by Robert Shaw are among the most effective ever used in a film.”        Nat Segaloff, The Boston Herald (1990)
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