Re: future DVD?

MileFilms@aol.com
Mon, 9 Oct 2000 13:04:30 -0700 (PDT)

Dear Gary,
First, I think I'm right when I stress the statewide system as it's
comparatively realistic. It's the state arts councils that know the artists
and they do care about them. And since you're in California (and I'm working
on NY), it's worth a shot. I'm bringing it up again at the next NYSCA panel.
I'm not giving up on national funding, but I believe the best way to start is
local. I remember meeting a blonde woman (Carol?) who was head of the
California arts council about eight years ago who seemed very capable.
Perhaps she's still there? And of course, the Bay area seems to have a lot of
good groups to approach on this. (And a guy named something Lucas ... )

I absolutely wish this was like France! When Amy and I go, free dinners are
insisted upon (I don't think we paid for a meal in fifteen days) and deluged
with presents because we are film distributors! This year, the children's
film fest offered us a free apartment in Paris for two weeks. Media as a
whole is respected and those connected to it are considered valued educators.
It's abosulutely wonderful. At the same time, it's not going to happen here
for a long time. (Though, does anyone remember the sixties and seventies? Let
all us ol' timers sit back. Think. Remember. Smile. Okay, back to work.)

As I say, I have no idea what increased bandwith and memory will be in the
future - it's moved at an incredible rate over the past few years. I don't
know where DVD is heading either (it could be the next 8-track for all we
know), but you're right, it's a fact of life and there is a need to work with
the independents to keep their work from disappearing.

I think your idea of a coop certainly is a good idea and Videolib and VRT
might want to be the focal point and gather money together for grants based
on your list of a few months ago. I'm sure that arguments and discussions
should and will follow, but in my eyes, action is better than theory :-)

Dennis Doros
Milestone Film & Video
PO Box 128
Harrington Park, NJ 07640
Phone: (201) 767-3117 or (800) 603-1104
Fax: (201) 767-3035
Email: milefilms@aol.com
www.milestonefilm.com

In a message dated 10/9/00 9:02:22 AM, ghandman@library.berkeley.edu writes:

<< I think that this issue would not be well-served at the state level,
Dennis...

The core issue here (at least as I see it) is really one that's been
rattling around forever: national arts funding. It is incomprehensible to
me (as jaded as I am) that Canada and European countries (France comes to
mind) continue to view film and video as cultural capital as a matter of
course, while, in the US, the support and preservation of the arts receives
spit (or less).

I agree with you: there is an enormous risk of the moving hand of
technology and capitalism (synonyms, no?) wiping large amounts of amazing
stuff off the plate. This may not happen in the next five years, but it is
very likely to happen sometime. Once DVDs reach suitable market
penetration, and once read/write technology makes it onto the shelves of
Circuit City...adios tape. I don't think on-demand video (i.e. streamed
digital video) is going to save the day...we're simply too far from
universal access to the kinds of bandwidth and memory required to pull this
off. So...what? Are there consortial possibilities that would help indie
producers realize an economy of scale? Are there large commercial partners
willing to underwrite conversion? I dunno...

I worry endlessly about this stuff...we should ALL be worrying about it.

gary>>