Kevin Hamilton and I recently were together awarded Center for Advanced Study positions for 2012-13 as an Associate and Fellow respectively. Our proposed joint project, “The Bomb Studio: Science, America, and Hollywood in the Films of the Air Force’s Lookout Mountain Laboratory,” examines a historic set of motion pictures produced by a Hollywood-based United States Air Force film studio in the 1950s and 60s that documented and helped legitimate the massive Cold War expansion of the U.S. nuclear weapons program.
Lookout Mountain Laboratory was a secret Air Force film studio based in Hollywood during the 1950s and 1960s. Their main responsibility was to document on film America’s nuclear testing ventures, which meant that LML ended up contributing in major ways to the formation of nuclear iconography in America. We have been able to acquire substantial archival material on the facility and its activities, and hope to pursue other research avenues further in the near future, with the aim of writing a book on the facility and its historic work.