The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

MTV's The Real World: “The Responsible Party”

Yes, I'm still watching MTV'sThe Real World.” And there were only two things that stood out in this week's episode: Katelynn and Ryan.

Katelynn, honey, I understand that Scott isn't your father, brother or boyfriend, but still, he is your roommate and it would behoove you to at least clean up your mess in the common areas. You do not come across well here (heck, none of the girls come across well in this episode). I'm just saying …

And second, Ryan. It wasn't Ryan per se, but his film class. I was amazed to hear that the film school was having the students film in 16mm, which I didn't agree with, and lead to a large discussion between Bunny and me (and became an extention of our art discussion).

I felt that the use of 16mm was a stupid choice as it's clear that everything is going digital. Standard commercial photography is pretty much all digital now, leaving Hollywood the primary user of 35mm film. I argued that yes, you still need to concern yourself with f-stops, color balance, composition, story (in the case of film) and editing, why bother with celluloid strips when it's clearly on the way out?

Bunny argued for film—don't you learn more about the craft by learning how it was done? And Hollywood still uses film, so why not learn about how it's currently done? And (to shift the argument away from things artistic) wouldn't learning assembly language, which isn't generally used any more, make one a better programmer?

She had a point. I countered that argument with the fact that assembly language is still there—regardless of the language used, the computer eventually executes machine code (for which assembly is just a thin abstraction) whereas digital filming replaces the celluloid strip for a CCD and a huge bank of memory, yet everything else (lenses, f-stops, focusing, color balance, editing, story) remains the same, so in that case, why learn something that won't be used any more? I don't know how to drive a car with a manual transmission, and in the twenty years I've been driving, it's never been an issue for me.

My point was further made when Ryan was shown editing his film on a computer and presenting a DVD to the instructor. So, obviously, the 16mm film he made was digitally transfered anyway. Bunny then said that the school probably had a ton of 16mm cameras, so why spend the money on digital cameras?

Other than those two points, the episode was there. The girls are slobs. The boys got upset. Furniture was broken. Phones thrown into the water. Angst. Angst. Angst.

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