Lesson 7 Reading Assignment
Off the Set


How to Read a Film

In Chapter 2, Technology: Image and Sound, read the sections titled, "Post-Production," "Video and Film," and "Projection."

In Chapter 4, The Shape of Film History, read the section titled, "'Movies': Economics."

In Chapter 6, Media: In the Middle of Things, read the section titled, "Television and Video: ‘Broadcasting’: The Business."

Time Estimate

1 1/2 hours


Sixty years ago, the economics of movies were relatively simple: a company made the film in its studio, and then showed the film in its theater. Very occasionally, the film studio was able to revive it a few years later and earn a few more dollars. Now, there are numerous ways to exploit a film and, indeed, Hollywood makes a lot more money from ancillary rights than from theatrical admissions.

Please post your responses to the following questions on the class message board.

  1. Do you think this seismic shift from theater-only to multiple exploitation windows has helped or hurt the esthetics of film?
  2. Does it matter to you whether a movie is shot on film or digitally? Does it matter if you see it in a theater or at home on your TV? Is your TV screen almost as large as the average multiplex screen?