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>It seems to me that this thread takes it for granted that film instructors
>need a textbook. I wonder if this is true. Perhaps FILM ART is the only
>vaguely workable textbook because their isn't a great need for such books.
>They seem to be mostly labor saving devices used to cut down on time spent
>developing a class. A few charts on handouts and some competent lectures
can
>accomplish the same thing.

Hell, according to "best director" Steven Sodenbergh, he can teach
anyone "with a brain" to be a director in an hour:
http://us.imdb.com/PeopleNews/2001/20010328.html#1

Oh, and a bunch of DVDs help too.

Personally I'm quite grateful to have had Film Art and Understanding Movies
back in the 80s. But does anyone actually read them anymore? I ask because
in recent years I've heard a lot of noise from people saying "I want letter-
box! I want widescreen TV." Especially film students (who usually have
these as standard texts). And it seems, while I was sleeping, widescreen
digital will soon become standard (assuming everyone can afford $7000 TVs).

Now I haven't seen the latest editions but I remember some good
explanations about various film formats, including soft-matting. Yet even
supposably educated film students and instructors still believe that you
always see more of a movie in "letterbox." And most full-frame films are
considered "pan-and-scan" even though there's no panning or scanning or
cropping.

Being one who supports democracy I wonder, can anyone explain why we're
switching to a new TV standard when the current standard is already
embraced by most Hollywood movies, and certainly about 100% of all currrent
programming? Is it necessary to see Scully & Mulder's foreheads and chins
be cropped off when we watch re-runs of the X-Files on our new digital TVs?

I guess we'll have to develop a "doorway" process to insert black bars on
the side.

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