Re: 16mm purchasing

Stan Gilliam (
Wed, 17 Jul 1996 12:42:54 -0700

At 11:57 AM 7/17/96 -0700, you wrote:
>Dear friends--Perhaps this sounds a bit crazy, but I was wondering if anyone
>out there in the academic sector is still purchasing (indeed, if it is still
>possible to purchase) mainstream feature film titles (like Godfather and
>Lethal Weapon)in 16mm format to accommodate faculty who insist on widescreen
>format for their film studies courses. I'm asking because we have, in the
>last three years, spent perhaps in the neighborhood of $6,000-$7,500 on 16mm
>rentals for one faculty member for one course offered every semester. I
>have purchased laserdisc widescreen versions for as many of the films on the
>syllabus (there are 25) as I have been able to, but we are still looking at
>having to spend perhaps $1700.00 on rentals for the upcoming fall semester.
>Aside from the fact that we have nothing to show for all this money, we are
>obliged to pay public performance rights on 16mm rentals (is there any other
>way to go?) for one shot face-to-face teaching situations. Also, in order
>to afford the professor some flexibility in working with the films in class
>and to allow the students to study and review the films in the library
>outside of class, we must also have vhs or laserdisc (albeit in cropped
>format) versions in the collection.
>Is anyone drawing the line in some way on this issue? We are a small liberal
>arts college, with no film studies program per se. We aim to be supportive,
>but are we going overboard, or is there some better way for us to deal with
>this? We also aim to be fiscally responsible and equitable.
>Many thanks in advance for your insights and advice.
>Suzanne Risley
>* Suzanne M. Risley
>* Music and Media Services Librarian
>* Trinity College Library
>* Hartford, Connecticut 01606-3100
>* E-mail:
>* Phone: (203) 297-2193
>* Fax: (203) 297-2251

I understand your concern about the cost of this course. Whose budget is it
out of? Who approves the expenditures?
Could the Academic Dean's office weigh in on the issue?
One argument against the need for the students to see the full-cinematic
is that they have already experienced that in movie houses, and that they
should be
able to transfer or remember that experience when they watch the small screen.
Maybe the prof. could be convinced to show a smaller number of
large-screen features
each semester. Good luck.