Ted Hovet

November 8, 2007

"Best Practices in Fair Use" from The Society for Cinema and Media Studies

The Society for Cinema and Media Studies has just posted a Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use in Teaching for Film & Media Educators. This statement can be accessed here.

C3 Consulting Researcher Jason Mittell, a member of the SCMS sub-committee on fair use responsible for this document, was one of its key authors.

This document establishes clear guidelines, including limitations and clarifications, for educators covering the areas of classroom screenings, broadcast recordings, derivative works, online distance education, and public domain. Of particular interest is Appendix A, which displays a chart of "Responsibilities for Displaying or Performing Film and Media in On-Line Instruction" covering the institution, the faculty, and information technology units.

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September 26, 2007

The "Cluttered" TV Screen in the Context of Screen History

A recent article in the New York Times reports on the concern about snipes, bugs, and crawls that increasingly appear on TV screens and the degree to which they compete for attention with "primary" content

At stake is the industry's effort to shape the expectations of viewers and to test their tolerance of multiple areas of content on a single screen. At what point does promotion become distraction, and at what point does distraction generate backlash? How many different points of content can exist comfortably on the same screen? How effective is multiple layers of content in generating attention?

A historical consideration of screen entertainment can help sort out some of the issues at stake. As this article emphasizes, the first and most obvious comparison of the cluttered TV screen is to a newer medium, that of the computer. This implies, of course, that TV is attempting, perhaps a bit desperately and clumsily, to catch up to a newer and slicker way to display content on a screen. However a more productive comparison might be to older media, especially those that thrived before the dominance of the screen.

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January 20, 2007

"The Museum as Outdoor Movie Screen" or, What IS Cinema?

The January 18, 2007, online edition of the New York Times features a review of a new film by Doug Aitken called Sleepwalkers.

The reviewer, Roberta Smith, discusses the film's content to a degree, but keeps shifting her attention back to something ordinarily overlooked in a movie review: its circumstances of exhibition. This is perfectly understandable, since exhibition involves eight projectors showing the film on three different exterior surfaces of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

Smith asserts this event as a prominent example of an interesting convergence: "archivedio or "videotecture." She points out that the buildings in Times Square already feature "commercial versions of the form" and wonders if "private homes may soon glow with a self-taught variety."

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December 8, 2006

What Is a Media Educator?

Jason Mittell presents a strong case for an exploration of common ground, indeed for a more direct level of communication of any sort, among those of us involved in the Consortium through the newsletter and blog. Fair use strikes me as just the kind of issue that should generate a productive exchange.

However I wonder to what extent the lack of conversation on this and other topics (at least through this format--I have not yet been able to attend conferences where interaction seems much stronger) can be traced back to some misunderstanding or uncertainty about media education and scholarship itself.

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