Letter: Don’t Call Them ‘Films’

To the Editor:

As recent articles attest, increasing numbers of low-budget movies are now being made thanks to the availability of moderately priced digital cameras and computer-editing applications. No problem with that. However, when reporting on these projects, please don’t refer to them as “films.” Except on rare occasions, contemporary low-budget producers are not making “films.” These days, they’re making “files.” OK, let’s compromise and simply call today’s cinematic output a “motion picture,” “movie” or “video.” The last, a generic term like audio, should not be equated with videotape. As a once popular production and distribution medium, videotape died well before film’s predicted death. In fact, film lives on as the archival medium of choice for high-end digital productions otherwise subject to transient file formats and ever-evolving storage and playback technology.

For those of us who enjoyed producing, editing and distributing in film, a certain reverence remains for that tactile medium. Its name should not be used in vain.

John Karol