RonAmok!

The adventures of an analog engineer and digital storyteller who studies emerging networks and their impact on the great game of business.

I remember a conversation that I had once had with my grandmother. We were talking about our favorite movie stars. Hers was Claudette Colbert. A quick check of IMDB shows that Claudette Colbert received a credit in 87 endeavors in a career that spanned 50 years, from 1927 through 1987.

Claudette ColbertSo, why would a New Media Evangelist bring up an actress from a bygone era? Well, this morning I turned on my television and saw a black and white film called Three Came Home. This isn’t an uncommon experience. For as long as I can remember, if you flipped through the television channels, the odds are that you’ll always find an old movie. However, there was something different about this particular movie — because it was in High Definition (HD).

In the past, we’ve always been able to watch old movies on our standard television sets. But lest we forget, these old classics were intended to be projected onto the big screen, and therefore were filmed at a much higher resolution than our generation is used to viewing them. We have been deprived of the original beauty of these films, not because of a limitation on the original content’s part, but rather on the limitations of our viewing devices. Today, that limitation is gone.

One of my favorite bloggers is Mark Cuban. Back in July, Mark put out a challenge to recommend new Programming for HDTV. To me, the answer is obvious: start digitizing the warehouses of great content that have been lost to generations of consumers. It would be a monumental effort, similar to what Google is attempting with books, but one that would serve the public well, by reconnecting us with the richness of our storytelling past.

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Comments

Your post made me flash back to a college film class in which we studied the Frank Capra classic It Happened One Night, starring the same Claudette Colbert and one Clark Gable.

I recall sitting in the library, watching this film on a 12 inch screen (I might be being generous). The film was great…it was the first to win all five major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, and Screenplay), but I could not help back then but think what a shame it was to miss out on the true experience of watching this on the big screen. It would have been great to be able to get all those “classics” on HD…The SearchersAll Quiet on the Western FrontThe Grand Illusion….and so on.

I hope we do digitize these great movies. Let those at the National Film Preservation Foundation know how you feel.

HarryG
March 26, 2008

Your post made me flash back to a college film class in which we studied the Frank Capra classic It Happened One Night, starring the same Claudette Colbert and one Clark Gable.

I recall sitting in the library, watching this film on a 12 inch screen (I might be being generous). The film was great…it was the first to win all five major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, and Screenplay), but I could not help back then but think what a shame it was to miss out on the true experience of watching this on the big screen. It would have been great to be able to get all those “classics” on HD…The SearchersAll Quiet on the Western FrontThe Grand Illusion….and so on.

I hope we do digitize these great movies. Let those at the National Film Preservation Foundation know how you feel.

HarryG
March 26, 2008

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