From: Myron Ort (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Oct 18 2010 - 11:01:22 PDT
When I was teaching at Sonoma State University my class made regular
field trips every Thursday evening to Canyon Cinematheque screenings
at the SF Art Institute, but that was in a different era.
On Oct 18, 2010, at 9:38 AM, mat fleming wrote:
> I still think my Idea of showing the films in an existing screening
> room/cinema rocks. It significantly contributes to solving the 3
> barriers you identify with much less hassle and expense.
> 1. the cost of rentals is shared with the - admittedly small but
> not insignificant and growing - public who are happy come to the
> cinema and pay to see something far out and interesting.
> 2. The cinema has projection equipment, expertise and routines for
> recieving and dispatching prints.
> 3. As far as needing a digi copy to go through a film in detail I
> think that's fine for academic scrutiny (and screeners aren't
> usually difficult to get hold of) but I think it's also healthy
> to give time for a emotional responce in the cinema first.
> To make it happen teachers need only go to their local independent
> cinema and say "I'll give you what I can afford and bring a class
> of students in on a quiet weeknight. I'll help you promote the
> screening with a bit of photocopying and campus wallspace. Can we
> come to an arrangement for a monthly experimental show?" I'm ready
> to bet you'd get a really positive responce.
> I'd be interested to hear from teachers what the difficulty in this
> solution is. In the UK universities are given bonus points for
> having an impact outside of the campus but i havn't managed to make
> an arrangement like this yet.
> I did a film module on an otherwsie unrelated course at uni and it
> baffles me now when I think I was seeing all these films on vhs
> wearing headphones in a basement on a a sunny afternoon. I remember
> few of those films but the films I saw at the student film society
> and in cinemas in town at that time form what I now consider my
> film education.
> On Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 1:01 PM, David Tetzlaff <email suppressed>
> OK, let's say we all agree it would be great if college and university
> classes could screen more experimental film from actual film prints.
> Then let us ask what it would take for that to happen. Three problems
> I've identified and others have confirmed would need to be addressed.
> 1. The cost of print rentals is too high for current academic budgets.
> 2. There is no support for 16mm projection.
> 3. Print rental is not an effective means of facilitating scholarly
> How might we change these things.
> 1. Fees. The distribution would have to be subsidized by governmental
> arts agencies, private foundations, etc.
> 2. The distributors could no longer see their role as merely supplying
> prints, but would need to offer a complete 16mm projection service.
> They would need to maintain an inventory of quality 16mm projectors
> and a wide selection of lenses, employ projector technicians, and
> develop programs to train new people in that craft.
> 3. Print rental would need to be accompanied /supplemented by digital
> copies that can be studied in a library or on an Blackboard-type
> That is, whenever a school wished to offer an experimental film class
> with 'real film', they would pay one modest comprehensive fee for
> which they would receive a.) a package of rental prints, b.) rental of
> a freshly serviced 16mm projector or two for the term, fitted with the
> proper lenses for the screen size and throw of the screening room to
> be used. c.) rental for the term of a tape splicer and tape to repair
> damaged prints d.) some sort of video training course in the operation
> of the equipment, care of the prints, and use of the splicer to repair
> broken films. e.) rental, again for the term, of digital copies for
> study after the prints have been screened (to be returned/deleted at
> the end of the course).
> I am well aware that the coops as now constituted have nowhere near
> the resources available to do something like that. What would be
> required, it seems to me, is for Canyon, FMC and MoMo to combine
> operations into some Center For The Personal Film, so there would be a
> single source for all the schools to deal with, a single target for
> all fund-raising and support, a stronger focus point of advocacy. Yes,
> this would be a total change from the independence the coops have now,
> and would not come without certain losses.
> But the reality is that the market for conventional 16mm rental is
> going away, and is already functionally dead in most corners of
> academia. And the only alternative I can think of for the distributor
> is some form of patronage or subsidy. One would start, I suppose by
> getting George Lucas to put up or shut up about his love for Lipsett
> and his self-identification as an experimental filmmaker (and to begin
> to atone for his cinematic sins). If the new organization was called
> the George Lucas Center For Experimental Film, I'd grimace every time
> I encountered the title, but I'd live with it. Scorcese, Coppola,
> DePalma and others are known to appreciate experimental work, and
> while they may not have Lucas's money, they have influence. If all the
> little stakes-holders in 16mm and experimental joined hands and worked
> together, they might be able to accomplish something. Continuing to
> operate in the fragmented manner they do now offers little hope for
> the future. Franklin: "We must all hang together, or surely we will
> all hang separately." Dylan: "Your sons and your daughters are beyond
> your command / Your old road is rapidly agin'/
> Please get out of the new one if you can't lend your hand / For the
> times they are a-changin'."
> Is there an organizer in the house?
> (Before you lay smack negativity of my little plan, realize that I've
> anticipated a lot of it, and think it through OK? Try to make a better
> scheme, not just trash this'un.)
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