why we need electronic transfers of the film you shot

From: jarrod whaley. (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Mar 05 2006 - 11:40:01 PST

Freya wrote:
> I mean if the filmmaker
> wants to make a 16mm print then they make a 16mm
> print, and if they want to make a video for projection
> then they do that. How is this an issue? People do
> this all the time and are very happy about it. How can
> that be a problem at all!???
If it were that simple, it wouldn't be a problem. The problem arises
when certain works attain a level of cultural significance to the extent
that many people would like to see them, but cannot do so without a
great deal of (often prohibitive) expense and hassle. The usual forms of
curiosity are not enough to justify such expense and hassle for most
people. Yes, there are plenty of video transfers already, but there are
just as many films that have never been transferred to video, often
because the artist deems video to be an unworthy medium. While I have
always maintained that I understand that an artist has a right to say
"no," to video transfers of his/her work, I have also maintained that
potential audiences have a right to want to see something. If you make a
piece of art and release it "into the wild," so to speak, it belongs to
the culture as much as it belongs to the artist.
>> simple availability
>> does not guarantee an increase in audience, but it's
>> definitely and
>> demonstrably a crucial first step.
> Availability definitely helps but I don't think that
> video projection has anything to do with increasing
> availability really. More filmmakers are able to get
> their work out there this way it is true and it a
> great option to have and people are using it and they
> have been for ages. So in this sense it is wonderful.
> However If everything was available only on video
> tommorow it wouldn't suddenly make people be
> interested in the work or enable them to know about
> it.
Agreed. But again, it wouldn't hurt. People are more likely to become
interested in things that they have a _prayer_ of seeing someday, I
would argue. If work simply is not available to 99% of the population,
then there's very little hope of widening the audience for it. You're
right to argue that much would have to be done in other ways (perhaps: a
larger number of screenings, screenings of higher visibility, localized
initiatives to screen work in non-traditional and "non-stuffy" spaces,
active courting of mainstream press, etc.), but I would counter-argue
that very little at all can be done until there is some form of at least
marginal availability--one that does not cost an arm and a leg for the
viewer(s). If one can't even hope to ever see a piece of work, then what
good does it do to simply know of its existence? That said, availability
is a _prerequisite_ to any of the heightening of visibility that you're
talking about.

-->jarrod whaley.
filmmaker. videographer.
web designer. educator.

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