The color green is important here.
If you are alive today and watched any kind of television in the last 20 years you’ve seen the green screen of night vision recording: war reporting, “ghost hunters”, traffic helicopters, numerous movies. The pictures are instantly recognizable as having mediocre resolution, but clear enough to see the creepy reflection of light from retinas of the filmed subjects.
The color red is important here.
One of my favorite action movies growing up was “Ice Station Zebra”, a Cold War espionage thriller based on the 1963 book by Alistair MacLean.
One of the scenes that stuck with me was when the crew made preparation for night watch on the conning tower bridge. Before the watch crew went on duty, everyone was wearing red-tinted goggles to protect their night vision. The memory is vivid and it was reinforced through to adulthood: red flashlight filters and maps designed to be readable at night with a red filter (quick explanation: night viewable maps have features depicted in red ink, the assumption is that everyone will use red filters at night and the red ink becomes near invisible when viewed with red light).
Spies, submarines, arctic setting, Super Panavision 70, no kissing… woooohoooo! The perfect Saturday afternoon movie fare for a kid. (It is rumored that Howard Hughes watched the movie 150 times on a continuous loop, if it was good enough for Howard… well, I digress.) Continue reading →