No OAR in my film class - should I complain?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ali B, Oct 17, 2001.

  1. Ali B

    Ali B Second Unit

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    I've just started a combined English and Film degree at a University in the UK. Our first film (shown last week) was Capra's It Happened One Night, for which they would be hard pushed not to show in OAR given it was shot 4:3. But this week we saw Total Recall, and it was 4:3 ratio. IMDB says it was shot like this but matted to 1.85:1 for theatrical exhibition. I'm guessing that I saw a P&S version of the theatrical print, not the original 4:3 negative? My of the shots wouldn't have worked with the matts on the copy I saw.
    Anyway, should I complain? I was thinking 'yes', but I thought I'd see what you guys thought.
    ali
     
  2. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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  3. Matt Gordon

    Matt Gordon Supporting Actor

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    In *Film School*???
    Yes, you should complain.
    How else are the students to learn about composing a shot but by viewing work in OAR?
    This is like trying to teach you how to write by having you read the Reader's Digest Condensed Version of "Great Expectations" or some other work of art.
    Matt
     
  4. Ali B

    Ali B Second Unit

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    Any ideas on how I should word it? The course convenor (who I will email about this) is ultimately the person who decides whether I pass the year or not.
    BTW, we watched Total Recall as it relates to the book we're studying this week, Barthes' Mythologies.
     
  5. Fred Galpern

    Fred Galpern Agent

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    I teach part time so take my advice from that perspective. I suggest you ask your instructor a question rather than berate him for showing a pan and scan version of a film. "Why did we watch thsi film at 4:3 rather than the theatrical release ratio?" I always respond well to curiosity from students. The worst situation for a teacher is a student that doesn't want to learn. Granted, your instructor needs to learn in this case but you shouldn't assume that their wasn't a good reason for showing the film in this aspect ratio. Good luck!
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    http://www.galpern.net
     
  6. Bryant Frazer

    Bryant Frazer Stunt Coordinator

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    Are you watching the films in 16mm? Sometimes it can be difficult to secure 16mm prints in their original aspect ratios. It can be done, however -- back in the day, one of my film teachers secured 16mm scope (!) prints of Halloween and the director's cut of The Wild Bunch. This was before the Criterion laserdisc of Halloween, and way before the theatrical re-release of The Wild Bunch, so it was a rare treat.
    I remember also seeing letterboxed 16mm prints of Videodrome and Last Year at Marienbad, but widescreen was the exception rather than the rule. Most of them seemed to be either "open-matte" or pan-and-scan.
    -bf-
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    Bryant Frazer
    Deep Focus
    www.deep-focus.com
    [Edited last by Bryant Frazer on October 17, 2001 at 09:37 AM]
     
  7. Charles Bober

    Charles Bober Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, you should complain, very loudly IMHO.
    How will film students learn about OAR if their own professor's are warping their mind with P&S? To me, this is appalling and a contradiction in terms. They're watching it the wrong way and they're teaching others about film history??? Are you kidding me???
    I'd ask for an audit of the class and/or a refund since they've totally bastardized film class. Not to mention damaged the integrity & reputation of their alleged higher learning institution.
    ------------------
    DTS Laser Disc. Size Does Matter
     
  8. Ali B

    Ali B Second Unit

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    Sadly it would seem they have an old VHS copy of the film - not 16mm prints here.
    On the other hand, the film society here (of which I hav wangled my way onto the committee of) has a lovely 16mm projector and a perfect 2.35:1 screen [​IMG]
    edit - here's a copy of what I sent to the course convenor:
     
  9. Guy Martin

    Guy Martin Second Unit

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    I agree with Fred here. Don't be confrontational about it. Make it a question. Especially since I suspect that the reason for viewing a P&S tape may be either budgetary or bureaucratic (ie professor goes to the University's aquisitions people and says "I need Total Recall" and they go out and order the wrong tape). Used to happen all the time when I was in the film program at William and Mary here in the states. The school had little money and thus had to make do with what they had. Fortunately some forward-thinking profs had managed to get most of the library in OAR either on DVD or LD by the end of my time there. But it can be tough, especially for a state-run school.
    - Guy
     
  10. Kenneth English

    Kenneth English Second Unit

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    Oh, yeah -- you definitely should ask about this. Don't complain, just ask. The professor will probably be impressed that you cared enough to take an interest (at least he will if he's serious about the course).
    I took some film classes in college and the professor made a point of showing as many of the films as possible in OAR. We saw 16mm widescreen prints of BLUE VELVET, THE SHELTERING SKY, BAD TIMING, and THE ROAD WARRIOR (these are just the ones I can recall off hand). Keep in mind that this was back in 1991-1994!
    You cannot expect to seriously discuss film aesthetics if you are only seeing a fraction of the film.
    [Edited last by Kenneth English on October 17, 2001 at 03:45 PM]
     
  11. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Supporting Actor

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    Keep your head down and don't make waves. I had to do this a lot in college whenever lib. arts class professors spouted off some leftist non-sense. You don't want to piss-off someone who could potentially screw up your life. It isn't worth it.
     
  12. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    If I enrolled in a film class, and they used Total Recall as study material, I would drop the class immediately.
    ------------------
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    "Imagine all the people, living life in peace..." - Imagine by John Lennon
    Anyone in the Vancouver Canada area interested in a meet? Click here
     
  13. Ali B

    Ali B Second Unit

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    And the reply was:
     
  14. Steve Owen

    Steve Owen Second Unit

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  15. Rain

    Rain Producer

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  16. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Simply ask when you get to see the remaining part of those films. Ask for a discussion. Interesting film class topic!
    Cees
     
  17. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    quote: The best teachers will aways give examples of what NOT to do along with everything else.[/quote]
    True. In my film class in college we watched The Poseidon Adventure when we were studying acting in film. [​IMG] The teacher made it very clear that this movie was a great example of bad acting. He said that since we were watching so many other films with good acting it would probably be a good idea to see what bad acting was like.
    Ali - if your teacher thought your question was technically challenging, perhaps this class won't be as enlightening as you expect.
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    Bill [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [Edited last by Bill Catherall on October 18, 2001 at 10:40 AM]
     

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