The WPI Films Committee, with a great deal of support from the Instructional Media Center, has been very happy to provide this service to the WPI community, but we are interested in feedback from you.
So, before the critiques come rolling in, I'd like to explain the process of ordering the films and how it's made possible. Each film costs roughly $50 for 30 days of possession by the IMC. The films for a given month must be ordered about two months in advance to assure availability and adequate time for advertising.
We obtain the tapes from a distributor, called Films, Incorporated. This distributor, like many others, only deals with certain motion picture companies, namely Paramount, Fox, Columbia, New Line Cinemas, Mirimax, and others. Some companies Films, Inc. DOESN'T deal with include Buena Vista Pictures (so no Disney Films), Warner Brothers, and Grammercy. Some films, such as the Star Wars Trilogy, are simply not available at all.
It's not as simple as driving down to Blockbuster and picking up some tapes. We have to pay so much because we need a license to show the movies to so many people at once. If we can't get a movie you want to see, all we can do is apologize - sorry!
A month or so in advance, a schedule is made, with as many theme nights as possible scattered throughout the month and each movie is repeated an average of three times. A lot of you have expressed a desire for more theme nights - stay tuned in March for Tom Hanks Night, Steve Martin Night, Really Bad Sci-Fi Night, and Ladies' Night. I've also received request for more trilogies. In February, we will be showing the Naked Gun Trilogy, along with Die Hard I and II and Wayne's World I and II. In March, lo ok for The Karate Kid I-III and The Godfather Trilogy.
A total of three films are shown per night, with each film beginning on the hour or half-hour, and the first film being repeated after the third one ends. Channel 12 switches over from SCOLA automatically at 6PM when the first film begins, and switches b ack after that same film has repeated, usually at around 2AM. It's an automatic process, with the VCRs being programmed a month in advance so that all the IMC employees have to do is switch the tapes before 6PM. The VCRs are even programmed to rewind th e tapes after each showing! This means that no student ads or films can be run at this time. We currently only have three VCRs and a backup in case one fails us. I have heard that plans are in the works for channel 38 (no, it's not Spice here at WPI) t o become a student channel, on which student works can be run, but that appears to be a long way off.
If you are an off-campus student, the third floor lounge in Fuller Labs has been designated as a viewing area for the SocComm Movie Channel. That area was chosen because Fuller is already a 24-hour building, so it's always open. Schedules will be availa ble to on-campus residents for February and March soon, but you can stop by the SocComm office and pick one up if you live off-campus and want to know when films will be shown.
As you can see, we are looking for your input. You can send suggestions and requests to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop them in inter-campus mail addressed to the Films Committee, Student Activities Office. Also, the Films Committee is looking for more members. Ou r next meeting will be Thursday, February 9th at 8PM in SL105, so if you are interested in joining, please show up to the meeting or contact email@example.com.