Ridley Scott On “The Only Way To See A Film” And Why

Ridley Scott directs Noomi Rapace on the set of Prometheus.

I think we can expect Ridley Scott’s Prometheus to be a grand, big screen experience, rewarding of efforts to go and see it presented in the best possible conditions.

Ironic, then, that the first look most people got of the film was a handicam video of a work-in-progress trailer, shot from a computer screen. Not to put too fine a point on it, the video quality was awful.

Between those two points, there are several other stations. Near the top would be a good home cinema set-up, and as those get better and better, and as the cinema experience gets worse and worse, I fear for the box-office.

Myself, I’d ideally see everything on the big screen, and a good big screen too, with great projection, great audio and a great audience.

So, Ridley Scott was somewhat preaching to the choir as I read his new blog post, The Only Way To See A Film.

Perhaps you won’t stand in the same place.

Here are some of the key parts to his argument:

In my view, the only way to see a film remains the way the filmmaker intended: inside a large movie theater with great sound and pristine picture. Music and dialogue that doesn’t fully reproduce the soundtrack of the original loses an essential element for its appreciation. Simply put, the film loses its power.

Short of that, the technically sophisticated Blu-ray disc, of which I’ve been a supporter since its inception, is the closest we’ve come to replicating the best theatrical viewing experience I’ve ever seen. It allows us to present in a person’s living room films in their original form with proper colors, aspect ratio, sound quality, and, perhaps most importantly, startling clarity.

Which is why it has never made sense to me that those preoccupied with how movies are delivered have for years written off “physical media” (i.e., movies on discs) as “dead” even though the evidence shows it isn’t happening and won’t for years to come. Technology will need to make many more huge leaps before one can ever view films with the level of picture and sound quality many film lovers demand without having to slide a disc into a player, especially with the technical requirements of today’s 3D movies.

Okay, perhaps “many more huge leaps” is not fully accurate.

Anyway, that’s Scott talking from the heart. It’s much more encouraging to read something like this than other popular topics with directors – how the press shouldn’t be allowed to see films early seems like the big hit of 2011, sadly.

The very first 2k digital projection I ever saw was of Scott’s Alien Director’s Cut and it was a great, watershed moment for me. I guess I’m looking forward to Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit with a hope that 48fps projection will pack the same kind of impact.

Either way, I’m going to be watching it in the best cinema I can – and the same goes, of course, for Prometheus.

You can read the other bits of Scott’s post at The Huff’.