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Larry Albright

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

Larry Albright was a self-taught artist, living in Venice, Ca. whose specialty was the manufacture of sculptures. Starting out with making sculptures and toys from steel, he switched in the early 1970s to making neon light sculptures and has since then produced neon and plasma light objects both to commercial ends as well as art and display objects. His expertise with working with neon lighting became a sought after commodity for motion picture productions from the mid-1970s onward, as neon lighting became the method of choice for lighting physical studio models. Neon lighting had the advantage over lighting methods and products used up until then of greater longevity and lower heat emissions. He has provided services on the studio models used in productions like Star wars (1977), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977, supervised by Douglas Trumbull), 1941 (1979, with Greg Jein), Bladerunner (1982, supervised by Trumbull and Richard Yuricich, and working with Mark Stetson and Chris Ross), and Con Air (1997).

In 1978 he was sub-contracted by Magicam to oversee the installation of the internal lighting rig of the refit-Enterprise studio model and the drydock model for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, when it was decided upon to have that executed as neon lighting. His supervisor, Jim Dow has noted in this respect, "Larry Albright and Paul Turner designed the lighting systems for the ship; Larry, the high voltage neon and Paul, the incandescent. Neon was chosen because of the impracticality of the use of fiber optics, due to the armaturing system (five-way) and its ability to throw a great deal of light without the attendant heat, as with incandescents. It was used wherever there was a light source in an inaccessible area and for longevity. The tiny point sources of incandescents were used where needed." (American Cinematographer, February 1980, pp. 178, 186) For that production he has received credit. Eighteen years later, Albright was shortly re-acquainted with the Star Trek franchise, as Gregory Jein, Inc. sought out his (un-credited) assistance in lighting the retro-models for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Trials and Tribble-ations". (The Magic of Tribbles: The Making of Trials and Tribble-ations, pp.37-39)

Albright is currently operating his business as "Larry Albright & Associates" and "Plasma-Art".

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