The Scrapbook of Jason Arthur Sapan


Click to see more of my laser light effect images. – That guy in shadow is me working the laser!


Check out some of my acting jobs. This is a shot of me in Boardwalk Empire’s fifth season.


Here’s a collection of some of the more outstanding people I’ve had a chance to meet and work with in my career in holography.



Prime Minister Edward Heath, UK

After filming the holography portrait of Edward Heath, we are pictured here trading jokes. He was quite the kidder.


Mayor Ed Koch, New York City

Filming the hologram of Ed Koch was great fun. Afterwards he made a point of shaking the hands of everyone on my crew.


President Bill Clinton, US

Here I am at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City on March 21, 2003 just after President Clinton had posed for me for his hologram portrait.


The Smothers Brothers, Musicians, Comedians

Right after posing for me, Tommy Smothers surprised me with his knowledge of holography.


Billy Idol, Musician

Billy came to me to ask to use my studios as the backdrop for an interview he was having with Entertainment Weekly Magazine. I’m glad I got the chance to film Billy’s hologram. I found him to be thoughtful and very personable.


Phyllis Diller, Comedian

I was doing a laser show at the Boca Raton Hotel for the Philadelphia Stock Market. Phyllis was the opening act. I filmed her hologram backstage before I went on.


Isaac Asimov, Author of Science Fiction and Fact

I first met him when Radio Shack had commissioned me to do laser effects for their computer ads with Isaac. At a later date I asked him to come visit my studios and pose for his portrait. He knew I was a big fan of his writing and brought me an autographed book.


Phil Donahue, Television Talk Show Host

Phil showed up at my studio in a baseball jacket and cap but changed for the shoot into his familiar suit. His producer had retained me to do the hologram for their trade shows.


Sally Jessy Raphael, Television Talk Show Host

For some reason Sally thought I looked like John Malkevich. Her husband teased me about it as I filmed her holographic portrait.


Joe Franklin, Television Talk Show Host

Joe is the father of all talk show hosts. I took him over to my home, which was next door to the studios at the time. He asked me if I could connect him with my landlord to see if he could get the adjacent one with an adjoining garden to mine. The landlord didn’t want to rent it just then. But I did film his portrait all the same.


Oksana Biaul, Olympic Gold Medalist Ice Skater

Oksana was fun to work with. She had a playful sense of humor and laughed between takes. She never spoke of winning the gold medal at the Olympics, but the moment she went into her pose it was written all over her.


Tommy Moe, Olympic Gold Medalist Downhill Skier

After his winning performance at the Winter Olympics, I was commissioned to film Tommy’s hologram as one in a series of gold medal athletes. Tommy autographed my ski.


John Cage, Avant Guarde Composer

I shot John’s portrait hologram at a piano showroom in Manhattan for his publisher. The man who assisted us in setting the piano onto my rotating turntable was blind. Truly a case of the blind leading the blind. John was quite professional. Its not just a portrait, it was one of his silent compositions.


Andy Warhol, Artist

Here’s a picture of me as I was telling Andy how to pose for the portrait I was shooting of him back in 1977 when both my hair style and taste in clothing were a bit different than they are today. Andy was a great model.


James Turrell, Light Artist

I met James through a project that took me to Chile to shoot grapes in a vinyard in the Andes Mountains. I found James to be a man of great experience and insight. His work in light has been pioneering. At the end of his visit to my studios we walked outside where a passer by took this picture of us together. Interestingly enough, it is a study of light and darkness.

Pete Seeger3

Pete Seeger, Folk Singer, Composer, Environmentalist, Activist

I first met Pete in 1969 at the Clearwater Concert that he organized to clean up the then polluted Hudson River. He used music as his paint brush to show what was and what could be. Today the river has returned to its former vibrancy thanks to his efforts. As a boater on the river, I can really appreciate the difference he has made. This picture was taken at one of his last Clearwater Festivals when he was 93, and while chatting with him about the first festival, I was amazed at how sharp his memory was.


Rosanna Scotto and Greg Kelly, morning talk show co-anchors on Good Day New York

The show’s producer asked me to create an illusion of Rosanna appearing as a “hologram” talking to Greg on his desk while she was away on vacation. They were great to work with and we all had a lot of fun doing this little stunt. They even gave us some airtime and a nice plug for the studio.


Yuri Denisyuk, Holographer

Yuri was the first man to ever shoot a hologram with a laser. It was a rare honor to have known him. In the Soviet Union, his work was ignored until an American delegation of scientists visiting the country asked to meet him. After that he was treated like a king. When I was working as consultant for the bankruptcy auction of the Museum of Holography, I found his first hologram in a box that was about to be discarded. I explained how important it was historically and and saved it for the collection now at MIT.



NY Times

New York Times: Holographic Studios and Kalustyan’s Cafe in Kips Bay”


The New Yorker – The Holographer – A profile on my life as a holographer.

Gizmodo – The Art of the Hologram Is Alive in This Underground Laboratory – A visit to the Holographic Studios.

Gizmodo2 – Light Waves and Lasers: A Short Narrated History of Holography – I tell the history of holography to Gizmodo.


“Its Not Me Talking”. – My lead role in the music video from “Flock of Seagulls”. This was their first song. The producer had come to me for laser effects for their video and landed up hiring me to act as well. I’m the radar operator, “Sparks Hopkins”. You can see my red laser ray gun in the alien’s hands when he comes out of his space ship. And if you look really carefully you can also see some of my blue and green laser beams come out of the spaceship itself on the right side for a fleeting moment. When the producer decided to add credits at the end of the video, I became the first person to ever receive an on air credit on television in a music video, first seen on MTV.


CNN Technology documentary on Doctor Laser.

Bloomberg Business week

Bloomberg Business Week: My Office – The 3-D Life

Financial Times of London: Management – The Job/Holographer – A little write up about what I do for a living.


These are some pictures of me working outside the holography lab.


Sailing on the Audacious, Hudson River, NY – Here is a picture of me on my sailboat in October enjoying my precious time out of the laser laboratory.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls – 2006, Niagara Falls, ON, Canada – On my way up to Toronto for a hologram project, I had to stop and spend some real quality time touring one of the world’s true natural wonders. Its just amazing how close you can get to the actual falls. There is so much park land both on the US side and on the Canadian side that you could spend days exploring everything there is to see. Between the American falls (seen behind me) and the larger Canadian falls there is Goat Island accessible by foot bridge from the US side. I went down to the base of the falls from there in what is called the Cave of the Winds and actually stood under the edge of the water falling. Its was both amazing and exhilerating! If you go, do the Maid of the Mist boat, even if you think its lame. When you find yourself dead center of the horseshoe falls and can’t see anything but a curtain of water around you, it truly will take your breath away.

Jason in Chile

Shooting grapes in Chile – 2005 – Working with Light Artist James Turrell, I was sent on assignment to shoot grapes at a vineyard in the Andes Mountains of Chile in April, 2005. I found the country to be just amazing. I worked alone in the vineyards surrounded by the mountains with the native Americans walking past me once or twice a day as they picked grapes. The ground was quite arid. I can’t even begin to tell you how many cabernet sauvignon grapes I ate since there was no where to go for lunch close by. At night I watched the stars in the Southern Hemisphere sky in wonder, feeling as if I was on another world. And when I reached the Pacific Ocean and was still on New York time, I just smiled knowing how different things were. At night I feasted on a meal of gambas from the Antarctic Ocean. It was a wonderful shoot.


Measuring vibration in a clean room – I’m using accellerometers to measure the displacement caused by low frequency vibrations in a computer chip plant. In order to enter the clean room, I had to put on the “bunny suit,” walk through an air shower chamber, step on an adhesive mat, and pass through security. The room where the photoresists of the chips are made with an electron beam had tolerances of less than one thenth of one degree and less than one part in one million of dust in the air.


The vibratory roller – This was me on a vibratory roller in winter in Massachusetts. We were testing a field to analyze its seizmic characteristics. If it tested out ok, our client was goint to build a computer chip making plant there. The temperature was about zero degrees Fahrenheit in January and working all day outside, I actually got sunburned! And I can’t even begin to describe how my guts felt after sweeping the vibration control on the roller back and forth for hours trying to determine harmonic frequencies in the underlying bedrock.


The steam roller – Here I am in Texas riding a steam roller through another field sweeping for vibration. I have to admit, it was fun. But before I could begin I had to heard cattle off the field. So I guess I can say I actually worked in Texas herding cattle. Not bad for a city boy.


© Jason Arthur Sapan 2016