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REEL LIFE / FILM & VIDEO FILE : Picture Brightens With New Movie System : The projection method will give a sharper image. But it is also expected to eliminate jobs.

August 18, 1994|PANCHO DOLL | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The future of film and video projection will get switched on at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza when the city's new light valve projector goes on-line.

Unlike analog projectors that shine a light through a positive image such as a photographic slide or a movie print, a light valve projects directly from a digital format.

"You hook up your videotape or satellite feed and the projector throws an image 65 feet across the theater onto an 18-foot-wide screen," said Robert Morris, the audiovisual consultant for the soon-to-be-completed Civic Arts Plaza. "A standard video projector would be 1/10th as bright."

The technology's potential has not been lost on theater owners. Current wisdom has it that distributors of first-run films will deliver them over the high-speed wires that will compose the "information superhighway," hereafter referred to in this column as the "I-Way."

The advantage is that the projectors can run virtually unattended and the audience doesn't suffer the frustration of a too-dark screen or a scratchy print. Every showing is as crisp as the original, projectionists say.

The downside, also according to projectionists, is that many of them will be out of a job. But there's plenty of time for lamplighters to save for that dark moment. Morris said the price tag for the Thousand Oaks projector approaches six figures--beyond the means of most theaters--unless, of course, ticket prices increase to $15.

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When are three words too much? Apparently when they're in Spanish.

The Mann Buenaventura is showing "Mi Vida Loca" a film about Latina gang members in Los Angeles. But the theater decided the film would be more approachable if they translated the title into English on the marquee.

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Early sign-ups are being accepted for a seminar offered by the Ojai Film Society to study screenwriting with a well-known writing teacher. Katherine Ann Jones, an award-winning actress and writer, will lead a two-day intensive film and TV writing workshop at the Ojai Art Center. Early sign-up ends Sept. 15.

The hands-on course, aimed at both beginning and advanced writers, will cover such topics as how to choose a good story for a film or TV show, screenplay structure, plot and character development, constructing good dialogue, possible sources for stories, adapting from one medium to another and how to sell your screenplay.

Clips from well-known films will be used to illustrate specific points and frequent round-table discussions will provide the student with feedback from both the teacher and the other participants.

Jones, an Ojai resident, is on the faculty of the USC Cinema and Television School, where she teaches advanced screenwriting for graduate students. The course costs $125 for anyone signing up before Sept. 15 and $150 after that date. For more information call 646-8946. Classes will be held Oct. 8 and 9.

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Rancho Simi Park and Recreation District will show "Snow White" Sunday at Mae Boyer Park, 130 Kanan Road in Simi Valley. The film starts at 8:15 p.m. Admission is free.

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