Gadgets 'ruin' film, claims Scott

British director Sir Ridley Scott has claimed technology which allows people to watch films on mobile phones and computer screens is killing cinema.

"We try to do films which are in support of cinema, in a large room with good sound and a big picture. But we're fighting technology. While it has been wonderful in many aspects, it also has some big negative downsides," Sir Ridley told reporters. The director was among a host of stars attending the Venice Film Festival.

The film-maker, whose credits include Gladiator, Thelma and Louise, and Alien, was at the annual Italian event to introduce a digitally remastered version of 1982 cult classic Blade Runner. The 69-year-old, whose new film - American Gangster - is released in November, also took a swipe at Hollywood studios.

"I think movies are getting dumber, actually. Where it used to be 50/50, now it's 3% good, 97% stupid. I'm not criticising Hollywood because I work there. But I'm saying this is the way it is, commerce is taking over art."

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What's killing cinema is spending millions on making a film for special effects. It's pretty freaking sad when something made in the 70's (Close Encounters) looks just as realistic as CG. This is what's also killing the video game industry. They spend waaaaay to much on graphics and very little on actual content. If the story sucks and the special effects are amazing, the movie is still going to suck in the end.

David Lynch had some pretty pointed remarks on the DVD version of INLAND EMPIRE concerning this as well. Its not so much the Cinema vs Home Theater debate as Cinematic presentation vs ****ty reproduction. If you don't have a reference system at home then, if you want to experience the movie (i.e. a work of love/art) as the director intended then respect their work enough to go to the see it the way they meant it to be experienced.

The point though isn't that you might have a bad day at the theater, but that you have a chance of feeling the emotional impact of the film that just isn't possible with certain types of equipment. The theater at least has a chance, unlike an iPhone or that vintage 27" TV in the corner of a 10x15 room with stock sound. I guess I'll count myself lucky that somehow a dirty river town in the middle of the US has better theaters, staff, and patrons than apparently the rest of the world.

No, it is not OUR technology that has led to crappier movies. It is THEIR technology. To be more specific, what leads to crappy movies is the high cost of development. Technology is just one major factor in the high cost.

But a crappy movie is going to be a crappy movie whether I watch it at a theater or on my mobile phone.

In a sense I agree: Movies on a mobile phone are just sad.

I believe the responsibility lies solely with Hollywood to create and deliver the "art" of movies. Then it is up to distributors to deliver it: to theatres, DVDs, online, or on phones. And then it is up to consumers to decide how they want their entertainment. If there is a market for movies on cell phones don't blame the producer for delivering to the market.

Hollywood should concern itself only with making quality entertainment and story-telling. Leave it up to consumers to decide how they want it delivered and leave it to the distributors to make it happen. If Titanic doesn't look so hot on a 2" screen (and the battery sinks before the ship does) well then too bad. Get a DVD

He's absolutely right. About everything that comes out of Hollywood nowadays is the same pure garbage over and over again, produced to make a quick buck.

ps.: Nice misleading title on this Neowin article as usual. I don't see where Scott even remotely hints that "gadgets are ruining film". :rolleyes:


Edit: Well DUH @ me for over-reading the bold part in that article. My apologies. =p

pps.: He's not actually quoted as saying so, but the first line of the article claims as such.

Yep, the first line. That you apparently missed. I've conveniently highlighted the relevant part for you.

"British director Sir Ridley Scott has claimed technology which allows people to watch films on mobile phones and computer screens is killing cinema."

ppps.: next time, read a little closer before you post.

pppps.: This is not a letter. You don't have to use post-scripts.

ppppps.: But it's fun, so forgive you.

pppppp.: Help! I'm addicted to post-scripts now!

Yes, but this has nothing to do with cell phones. I blame corporate greed.
(And George W. Bush. Because I blame everything bad on George W. Bush. It's so much easier that way).

Look, if people are dumb enough to want to watch movies on your cell phone, someone will happily sell them the technology to do so. But for those of us who have brains in our heads, we'll be watching our movies on a slightly larger screen.

Axon said,
Commerce Vs. Art.

He's absolutely right. Art is getting it's ass kicked.

Uh, no. You just don't hear about art in the mainstream media. There's plenty of art, and it remains true art precisely because Hollywood, MTV, Dick Cheney, Bill Gates, and Japan haven't gotten their greedy claws on it yet.

toadeater said,

Uh, no. You just don't hear about art in the mainstream media. There's plenty of art, and it remains true art precisely because Hollywood, MTV, Dick Cheney, Bill Gates, and Japan haven't gotten their greedy claws on it yet.

Since when is Bill greedy?

imo bad films are killing the industry and nothing else. I can't find a decent movie to watch most of the times and thinking about the funds they use to make those movies, it's shocking...

Yeah most of the movies out there these days are pretty lame. Ticket prices are super expensive when I can just say "Eh I'll wait for the DVD."

It's not technology that is ruining things... it's the industry that sucks. I'm not watching 2 hour long movies on my cellphone INSTEAD of going to the theater. To draw the conclusion that any reasonable person would do that is just asinine.

lol...
hey u can watch the film for 7 euros or keep it when forking out "just" about 4 times as much some times even same price if you wait longer...
or digitally download it for again way less...
yea, i do see the point, a shame... WTF... damm...

well what can i say, i guess i simply feel like most others, that this is BS

Glassed Silver:mbl

Traditionalists can die soon, why pay 8$ and fuel money and whatnot else to go to a damn theater when can get just same enjoyment at home for free pretty much. It's dieing in 21st century, i say movie theater can die and bring on home theater full on with digital content it's where we're going not where we have been for past 80 odd years. Hang that idea on the wall and start a new more efficient one. reluctance to develop gets nobody anywhere.

Someone with a setup like Boz could probably have bragging rights as to getting equal or better setup to that of a movie theater.

He's talking about gadgets though, not homoe theaters, frankly I doubt anyone drop the cinema for watching a movie on a screen counted in single digit inches.

People drop the cinema because large screen TV's and decent home theaters systems are everywhere, and you can get a really good surround receiver and nice floor standing (real) speakers pretty cheap today compared to just a few years back as well now.

Good home theaters in every home is what's killing cinema. and when you can get home theater cinema with nice good sized LCD tv's at home, wher eyou are allways in the sound sweet spot. why bother goign to the movies ? and besides in home theaters with good sound and all that, none of the good wok they're putting into the movie is going to waste, So I don't really get what he's whineing about.

HawkMan said,
He's talking about gadgets though, not homoe theaters, frankly I doubt anyone drop the cinema for watching a movie on a screen counted in single digit inches.

People drop the cinema because large screen TV's and decent home theaters systems are everywhere, and you can get a really good surround receiver and nice floor standing (real) speakers pretty cheap today compared to just a few years back as well now.

Good home theaters in every home is what's killing cinema. and when you can get home theater cinema with nice good sized LCD tv's at home, wher eyou are allways in the sound sweet spot. why bother goign to the movies ? and besides in home theaters with good sound and all that, none of the good wok they're putting into the movie is going to waste, So I don't really get what he's whineing about.


I guess you could argue the term gadget but also, i would emphasize that watching movies on your cell phone is nowhere near popular let alone damaging the industry. Really they are shooting themselfs in the foot with the home theater market laughing at them. It's just a more logical move, it's the same direction CD's are moving in a way. I just feel that as we move into the "HD ERA" cinema will not be needed as the demand won't be there and they'd be better off releasing movies on optical/digital from the blocks rather then going to cinemas growing spider webs for a few weeks then get on optical etc then find it's all over the internet and then the industry gets angry, can you shoot yourserf in foot any better..

Quote - "Ridley Scott"
Where it used to be 50/50, now it's 3% good, 97% stupid.

It is because today stupid people can afford professional video camera and PC with video editor. :)

Lt-DavidW said,
Actually, I usually find that the independent films to be of a higher quality that most Hollywood blockbusters.

Because they're scared to take a risk, or rather ask themselves why they should when what they do works. Real shame

balupton said,
i like stupid/bad films, they make me happy :)

I guess that puts you in a similar category to the 97% of films he was talking about.

Cinema film has some 4 times the resolution of 1080p, why do you think old films can be digitized into HD formats ?

and witht he new digital cinema projectors at 4x or whatever the format is called, it's not that likely. though ebcause of the screen size,cinema movies may appear mor grainy, bt tey have far more detail than your HD movie of choice.

As for movie souds, uncompressed audio compared to compressed HD 5/7 chanel audio.. you won't know a difference, for music, yeah if you're an audiophile you might, but for movie sounds...

Galley said,
1080p Blu-ray Discs with uncompressed 7.1 surround sound will be what finally kills cinema. :cool:

Nah m8.

HD-DVD is what will kill Blu-Ray. I hope Blu-Ray dies a miserable death.

Cinema will always live on. The cinema experience was/is always brilliant.

They are refitting cinemas to take on the new 3D films (£10,000 to refit). Just waiting for the films to be made.

1080p on a TV can't compete with film quality on a giant screen with a thundrous sound system. Plus it gets you out of the house for a change.

HawkMan said,
Cinema film has some 4 times the resolution of 1080p, why do you think old films can be digitized into HD formats ?

Theoretically yes but in reality you don't get close to that in most theaters because of the poorly adjusted projecting equipment.

Honestly I prefer watching a DVD at home then going to the theaters.

First: Annoying little ***** making too much noise during the movie.

Second: Cost. To go at night at the closest theaters are 10$ a ticket. Unless I go with someone else I have to go by bus (5.50$) so 15.50$ to go see a movie. Plus if I want to eat/drink something that another arm and a leg. for 15.50$ I can buy a second hand recent release, spend 10$ more for a new release or buy 3 5$ DVDs from the bin at Walmart. And I get to keep the movies forever. I only drink water so 30 cent for a liter, and I buy 10 bags of popcorn for 6$ (60 cents/bag). 90 cents for snacks. Economically it makes more sense for me not to goto the theaters.

Alternatively I can rent 2 new release movies for 6$.

Third: Quality. I find the image looks much better on a regular dvd on my 32 inch LCD HDTV. In the theaters the image isn't nearly as sharp and is fairly grainy. For example, 300 looked so much better on my TV than in the theaters.

I only goto the theater now if I am dying to see the movie or if its a special occasion like a date or to go with some friends, but I rarely ever go anymore compared to when I was younger when i'd go see some movies up to times in the theaters.

You need to go to a movie in IMAX. It's fantastic in my opinion. It's at least 1080P and I'd argue higher.

But yeah, why am I going to pay $8 a ticket (in CO) and then have to sit through a million previews and then to add insult to injury commercials! Screw THAT.

Cinemas are really expensive nowadays but the cost aside, I don't want to go in there and have my film ruined by a screaming group of teenagers all seeing who can play the latest ****-hop song through their **** poor mobiles.

I actually agree on some level....alot of movies don't feel right on a small screen and little speakers..... things like cartoons work great on them however... but the whole cinimatic experiance I feel is dieing.. and I miss it.... I don't goto cinimas simply casue they are WAY to expensive here.... also... I think alot of people are taking the easy way out with special effects these days.... (I'm a 3D modeler) and forgetting story is importaint also.... and some things really kill stuff.. and thats a small screen

*rant mode off*

Yeah, it's more likely that the movies just suck. I haven't seen anything worth seeing in months. To me, there are a lot of potentially good movies but the aweful language and gratuitous violence and sex puts me more than way off. I won't even watch that crap. It's like dirty comedians. Anyone can make people laugh (nervously) using filthy language etc. and any comedian worth his salt will tell you that clean jokes are a lot harder to write (even though the laughs they generate are a million times better). Clean movies are usually a lot better and will generate more cash simply because people of all ages can watch them. This is why Pixar movies do so well.

QuarterSwede said,
Clean movies are usually a lot better and will generate more cash simply because people of all ages can watch them. This is why Pixar movies do so well.

It's more to do with the size of the audience for clean movies rather than an inherent better quality to them.