Saturday, January 12, 2008

Today's Media and The Future..

Early Adapters, pay through the nose... That said.....all the formats we have now, Mp3. wave, Apple's AAC, ect, Dvd, HD, & Blu-ray will eventually be superseded by whatever new technology is developed over the next years, However, as the film/movie preservationists have pointed out many times, as we move forward much is lost,, I am thinking both of lost films themselves and the the people who actually were there, and, almost as importantly , the equipment to play edit and do anything with the old media. This premise can be extended to many other things such as old computer hardware, there are millions of computer reels of data siting that no one can access because the machines to play the magnetic memory data tapes are not around any more. Soon there will be millions of VHS tapes laying all over the world with no vcrs to play them on, like the fate of 78rpm records, eventually cd and optical disc will suffer a similar fate... Although it will probably take longer.. All this is not counting what is eventually done with DRM and what effect it has on the hardware. All this is is to say, there is something ,to be said, for the printed page. One can still read a 100+ year old book and one may be able to read the same material digitally 1 year or even a week later after it was digitalized..

DRM is Digital Rights management, What it Essentially boils down to is the copyrights holder, be it the studio, author or production co, whoever, controlling what we can do with the content, whether we can record a show/movie to a pvr, or record something to a dvd burner like I have the big deal in all of this is that its digital, which means every copy is as good as the original, and theres no degradation over the copies like we had on the old analog tapes, What they don't want is perfect digital copies getting out in the world uncontrolled so they can't make any money off them The music industry tried DRM in their MP3s they sold and soon found it was a losing battle, People were still decoding the mp3 or most of them just ripped the music off their legal cds and put them up on file swapping sites anyways. So finely they are giving in and stripping all DRM off the MP3s they sell, Heres a link that will give you a general idea of what were talking about with the music. As for movies Broadcasters can put in flags that tell receivers what they can and can't do with certain material, most of this is getting into the HD realm, Essentially, dumbing down and crippling sat and cable receivers, and making content harder to enjoy. However, the Saga is not dead, for proof, I refer you to the following link,
The new battle cry will be watermarking so copyright holders can track a piece of material back to the original buyer and hold them responsible for letting the material getting into the wild.. Of course, privacy experts are having their say about the idea. The whole DRM/privacy issue will continue to boil over for many years to come, and probably will never be completly settled one way or the other, There will alway be a contingent of the population the change the status quo and fight for the rights of the average person, in this case, the right of the average person to play his own media as he see fits on what he sees fit.

Old Movie Studio System

The history of movies is very colorful especially in the black and white and early silent era.
The advent of the studio system and the star making machines and in the process created most of the greatest screen legends of all time, many of which still live on in at in in the hearts and minds of many. While none of the glitz and glamor of the old school movie machine still survive, except in studio warehouses and in very short and chopped clips of stars doing what they did best making appearances and generally creating the romance the public so desperately needed at the time.. The old studio system run their stars like horses in a race, however, the really good ones stood out , when they get to a certain point most were able to write they're own ticket or at least keep good steady work and build a very good catalogue of work,, In the process of building their careers they learned their trade, and earned the right to call their own shots, many eventually formed their own production companies allowing them to what they really wanted, if it didn't do as well as they hoped, that was OK, they were doing what they wanted.
Not everyone lead such colorful lives, many thousands of actors and actress did many parts that are now just being remembered and called to folks attention. Its nothing to find that a certain actor has done 15-20 films in a year, thus bring his total lifetime output of material up close to 100 if not more films over 50-60 year career.. How many of today stars can say their output comes anywheres near that kind of commitment. Theses people came to work everyday knew their lines and did the parts the best they knew how. That's not to say all the material they put out is Oscar material, obviously the greater number of work you do the chances increase that you'll get some of the better material..
The other thing to consider while they were making all those films every year, they generally didn't have a huge budget per film. Which by default means the director had to really have a vision in mind when he shot the film and and sent it to the editing room. If a director shoot it right there was really one one way to edit it so it would work and he Essentially edited while he shot. So he had to be really creative to get what he wanted on a tight budget.

Economics won't allow it, and the movie machine has changed too much to allow it, and its well-known that there were a lot of problems with the old studio system, However, the idea of bring back the old studio system dose have merit. One thing is would help insure actors got the training and dedication,they really need. One may wonder how many of today stars would have lasted in the old system,if they didn't measure up and didn't pan out at the end of their contract they studio could cut them loose and they had they're chance to be big stars.. Thee are a lot of very good reason why the studio system shouldn't be brought back , and equally as many reasons why it should be brought back. The people who are responsible for setting up the original system are long gone, However, the people running toady's systems would be hard pressed to try to get actors to sign multi- year deals with the actors knowing that they were at the beck and call of the studio and had no choice but to do whatever project was given them, and if they didn't they were fined. Not to mention the studios to really go back would have to hire in-house acting coaches dancing and a whole host of other specialized teachers to work with the contract players and keeping a staff a of screen writers busy, and stunt doubles and many other support personal, many of which they still have already.
But the bigger question is will the public accept the old studio system ?
I'm not a film movie historian, so I don't know all the ins and out of the old studio system, and even less about how the system works today, However, I do know that I don't see many movies today that can compare with the old movies of the40's and 50's, I don't know any actors today that I have a connection with, oh theres a couple I like well enough, but they don't have style or charisma the older ones had. They wee no angles back then either, but most of what they did pales in comparison to the stunts some of today "actors" have pulled. But they showed up on the set every morning and did the job. and turned in good performances. So in while the old studio system did have problems it still was able to produce most of the greatest films of all time, certainly some of my favorites, such as "Casablanca" And Boogie & Bacall in in "To Have and Have Not"

"You do know how to whistle, do you Steve,
You just put your lips together....
And Blow"