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The Director’s Chair Issue #29 – Sept. 27, 2002 (Television vs Movies)

Free Monthly Ezine for Film and Television Directors

September 27, 2002          Scene 3 – Take 9

Published once a month.

Publisher: Peter D. Marshall
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1.  Introduction
2.  The Busy Person’s Guide to Directing
3.  FREE Bonus for Subscribers
4.  Action-Cut-Print!
5.  Feature Article – Television vs Movies
6.  Back Issues of The Director’s Chair
7.  Film Scheduling Tip – Working with Visual FX
8.  Quote of the Month
9.  Out Takes –  Computers and Electronics
10. Share This Ezine
11. Suggestions & Comments
12. Subscribe & Unsubscribe Information
13. Copyright Information


Welcome to Issue #29 of The Director’s Chair (September 27, 2002).

1) This issue includes a series of 7 articles on the topic
“Television vs Movies”

2) VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – If you would like to contribute articles,
tips, links of interest, industry news, interviews, special event
dates or other resources to The Director’s Chair please email:



Peter D. Marshall


the best Film and Television Directing Websites and keep you
updated on the best Directing Websites in my weekly Directing
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Each issue will include more filmmaking Websites, links to film
and TV directing articles, and a weekly Film Directing Tip.


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5. FEATURE ARTICLE – Television vs Movies

1) Television vs Movies

Before there was television and motion pictures (movies), people
used to spend their leisure time listening to the radio.  They
were offered little variety and often routinely listened to the
same things.  In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, motion
pictures and television were invented, respectively.  In the
beginning, they were considered luxuries.  As time wore on, they
became increasingly more and more popular.  Today they are both
extremely common forms of entertainment. Though they are both
very popular, they are also very different.

Going to the movies offers a complete escape from everyday life
for a few hours at a time.  In movies, a story can usually be
told from beginning to end in a short period of time.  Movies
allow a person to get completely wrapped up in the story without
much distraction.  There is a limited amount of variety in going
to the movies.  There are dozens of different movies to choose
from but once you make that decision, for the most part, you are
stuck with it.  Choosing which movie to see is also often an
issue.  When there are several people involved, deciding on which
movie to see is often difficult.  Also, when people go to the
movies, they do not have the luxury of being in their own homes.
Frequently, people choose to stay home and watch television over
going out to the movies.

Television offers many things that going to the movies does not.
TV offers viewing in the comfort of one’s own home.  When
watching TV, one has the option of doing several other tasks at
the same time.  You might prepare dinner, do some homework, or
talk on the phone, all while watching TV.  The time that you
invest in TV is completely variable.  You might watch a program
for a half an hour or you might watch a TV movie for two hours.
There is no commitment involved in watching TV.  If for some
reason you do not like the program that you are watching, at any
time you can simply change the channel and watch something else.
If something comes up and you are unable to watch a program, you
can easily insert a video tape in to your VCR and record the
program to watch at a later time.  There is always a variety of
programs to watch and there is always something for everyone.
Television shows rely on stories that last for long periods of
time to keep viewers interested.  They keep going on and on,
sometimes for years, but there is seldom an end.

Movies and television are both enjoyable forms of entertainment.
They each present a variety of viewing options that, when chosen
carefully, can make for a very pleasant experience.  For these
and many more reasons, movies and television have become an
integral part of our culture.


2) The Made-For-Television Movie!


3) Brazil: Television provides material for the big screen


4) Bunt Sign


5) The Mediums


6) RGB Dance (Technical Paper)


7) Electronic massage and dismemberment (Technical Paper)



To read back issues of The Director’s Chair, visit:

7. FILM SCHEDULING TIP – Working with Visual FX

Most film and TV programs today utilize some form of special
visual FX (Green screen, motion control, computer screens etc.)
Because of the complexity of these shots, make sure you work very
closely with the Visual FX Supervisor to properly schedule all of
the plate shots, reference shots and green screen shots.


Elwood: “It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we’ve got a full tank of gas,
half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses.”
Jake: “Hit it!”

“The Blues Brothers”


– Word processors never display a cursor.

– You never have to use the space-bar when typing long sentences.

– Movie character never make typing mistakes.

– All monitors display inch-high letters.

– High-tech computers, such as those used by NASA, the CIA, or
some such governmental institution, will have easy to understand
graphical interfaces.

– Those that don’t, have incredibly powerful text-bases command
shells that can correctly understand and execute commands typed
in plain English.

– Corollary: you can gain access to any information you want by
simply typing “ACCESS ALL OF THE SECRET FILES” on any keyboard

– Likewise, you can infect a computer with a destructive virus by
simply typing “UPLOAD VIRUS” (see “Fortress”)

– All computers are connected. You can access the information on
the villain’s desktop computer, even if it’s turned off.

– Powerful computers beep whenever you press a key or whenever
the screen changes.

– Some computers also slow down the output on the screen so that
it doesn’t go faster than you can read. The *really* advanced
ones also emulate the sound of a dot-matrix printer.

– All computer panels have thousands of volts and flash pots just
underneath the surface.

– Malfunctions are indicated by a bright flash, a puff of smoke,
a shower of sparks, and an explosion that forces you backwards.

– People typing away on a computer will turn it off without
saving the data.

– A hacker can get into the most sensitive computer in the world
before intermission and guess the secret password in two tries.

– Any PERMISSION DENIED has an OVERRIDE function (see “Demolition
Man” and countless others).

– Complex calculations and loading of huge amounts of data will
be accomplished in under three seconds.

– Movie modems usually appear to transmit data at the speed of
two gigabytes per second.

– When the power plant/missile site/whatever overheats, all the
control panels will explode, as will the entire building.

– If you display a file on the screen and someone deletes the
file, it also disappears from the screen (e.g Clear and Present

– If a disk has got encrypted files, you are automatically asked
for a password when you try to access it.

– No matter what kind of computer disk it is, it’ll be readable
by any system you put it into. All application software is usable
by all computer platforms.

– The more high-tech the equipment, the more buttons it has
(Aliens). However, everyone must have been highly trained,
because the buttons aren’t labelled.

– Most computers, no matter how small, have reality-defying
three-dimensional, active animation, photo-realistic graphics

– Laptops, for some strange reason, always seem to have amazing
real-time video phone capabilities and the performance of a CRAY

– Whenever a character looks at a VDU, the image is so bright
that it projects itself onto his/her face (see “Alien”, “2001”).


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Peter D. Marshall
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