William Whittington Chapter 2 C o n t e m p o r a r y F i l m Te c h n o l o g y William Whittington m Introduction 42 m Te c h n o l o g y i n m o t i o n : f r o m i n v e n t i o n t o a g e n c y 4 2 m Theories of technology 46 m Computer graphic imaging systems 47 M Case study 1: District 9 49 m Multichannel sound 50 M C a s e s t u d y 2 : S t a r Tr e k 2 0 0 9 5 1 m 3D exhibition technology 53 M Case study 3: Avatar 54 m Conclusion 56 m Summary 56 m Questions for discussion 57 m Further reading 57 m Further viewing 58 m Resource centres 58 42 C in e m a a s in s t i t u t i o n m C o n t e m p o r a r y F i l m Te c h n o l o g y I ntroduction Film technology has never been fixed within the mode of movie production. The devel- opment of cinema has seen the shift from silent to sound film, black and white to colour, and the move from 35mm film stock to recent formats such as High Definition or HD that capture and project images in digital form. Recent cinematic history includes advances in computer graphics and editing, stereoscopic imaging or 3D, motion capture, and sound recording, mixing and design. This chapter will demonstrate that film technology has developed based on a complex intersection of industrial and aesthetic factors, which include global and industrial economics, advances in other fields such as electronics and computing, shifts in audience expectations, and the needs of specific film productions as well as the preferences of filmmakers. The first section of the chapter will present an overview of the phases of development for recent technology in cinema, and how these have been critically framed by theories of economics and culture. Subsequently, the focus will shift to a close analysis of three specific technological advances that influence film production and distribution today: m The first technology to be considered will be computer graphic imaging systems, which have been used to create innovative special effects sequences and computer animation, and which have influenced all aspects of the visual field from set design to colour.

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The Industrial contexts of film production, Searle Kochberg 2. Getting to the Bigger Picture, Patrick Phillips 4. Film Form and Narrative, Susan Spiedel 5. Spectator, Audience and Response, Patrick Phillips 6. Approaches to Cinematic Authorship, Paul Watson 7. Genre theory and Hollywood Cinema, Paul Watson 9. The Documentary Form, Paul Ward Gender and Film, Jill Nelmes Lesbian and Gay Cinema, Chris Jones British Cinema, Lawrence Napper Indian Cinema, Lalitha Gopalan Latin American Cinema, Linda Craig The book has definitely evolved from its first edition and has a more comprehensive feel, with more detailed summaries of academic arguments and developed references to fields of study that make it useful to return to as your studies advance.

Reading the book I was struck by how things have changed since the appearance of the first edition, and how the editor and contributors have kept up with those changes without losing touch with the rich history of cinema that informs contemporary developments. We will continue to recommend Introduction to Film Studies to our advanced students and it will be required reading at entry level.

Its balance between defining film form terminology and providing a history of film with more current film theories is perfect for the course I teach, which includes film studies concentrators and many generally interested students from other disciplines looking for an elective.

More practically, each chapter serves as a model of analysis and the questions for discussion, and suggested further readings and viewings as well as related internet resources allow me to construct assignments that engage the students more fully in the areas they are interested. The case studies are perfect for smaller assignments, and the broader theoretical models can be turned into term projects. An admirable synthesis of historical, social and theoretical considerations of cinema, presented in an engaging and accessible manner.

The revised edition keeps up with changes in technology and the discussions of Hollywood are particularly illuminating I highly recommend this text. Illustrations are plentiful and all important concepts and terminology are accessibly explained. I encourage students to make it their top priority reading. The extended range of chapters, which are carefully chosen, display up-to-date scholarship using many recent films and provide a fully rounded and extended introduction to film studies.

It offers a fresh perspective on the subject and in an age saturated by the moving image helps us to navigate some difficult terrain. The fourth edition furthers this study through revising existing chapters and adding critical new research of this compelling medium.

Her research interests include gender and film and screenwriting.

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