Show contents, with start times:
- Industry Trend: Studio System (1:36)
- Trivia Question: Improv Comedy Act That Spawned a High School Movie (20:56)
- Series Spotlight: Disney Animated Features, Part 1 (21:32)
- Top 6: Movies We’ve Seen Over and Over (37:10)
- Film Buff’s Dictionary: Split Screen (53:44)
- Closing: Trivia Answer, Preview of Next Week (60:49)
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Industry Trend: Studio System
Trivia Question: Improv Comedy Act That Spawned a High School Movie
Who would have thought that an improv comedy act about a few clueless high schoolers could be turned into a classic ’80s high school movie about a couple of clueless high schoolers?
Series Spotlight: Disney Animated Features, Part 1
When Walt Disney started to make Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), nobody in the industry believed in the project — not even his own wife and brother. It became known as “Disney’s Folly,” for it was astronomically expensive, and the commercial prospects of a feature-length animated feature were untested in North America. Perhaps people were envisioning the musical gag reels of the short cartoons of the day, stretched out to feature length. If so, it’s easy to see where the doubts came from.
But these doubts evaporated on opening day. Audiences were amazed by something they’d never seen before: an animated movie with a solid story and characters we care about that was artistic and entertaining for audiences of all ages. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs became the highest grossing film of all time, until Gone With the Wind stole the crown a year later.
With Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, a new genre was born, one that Disney monopolized for an amazing 60 years or so, when other studios finally figured out how to do what Disney was doing.
On RinkWorks‘ At-A-Glance Film Reviews feature, you can find this list of Disney Animated Features, with reviews.
Top 6: Movies We’ve Seen Over and Over
Film Buff’s Dictionary: Split Screen
The split screen is a cinematic technique that’s done partly in camera and partly in the editing room. In its most common use, it refers to visibly splitting the screen by somehow splicing two or more distinct pieces of film together. If the part where the splice was made is hidden, it can be used for some low-budget special effects.
Prior to the introduction of digital technology that makes the whole process much easier, split screens — with the split hidden — were famously used to have the same actor play two different characters at the same time. It is done by filming a single scene twice, on two separate pieces of film. Each take records the actor playing a different character. After the film is developed, a third piece of film is used to composite the two together. The third piece of film has one side masked off, and one of the two takes is exposed on the other side of the third piece. Then the now-exposed side is masked, and the second take is used to develop the other half of the third piece of film. When both sides are unmasked, the third piece of film contains the images from both original takes.
In addition to cheap special effects, this process can be used for artistic effect. Directors can use it to show two different events, or two different angles of the same event, happening on-screen at the same time. Famously used during the late 1960s and early ’70s, the process was somewhat abandoned, though it seems to be making a recent resurgence.