The Moviola and Other Analog Film Editing Machines

Authored by: Lori Landay

The Routledge Companion to Media Technology and Obsolescence

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  November  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138216266
eBook ISBN: 9781315442686
Adobe ISBN:


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It lingers in the corner of the big film classroom, its soothing retro green at the edge of my visual field as I teach. Over a decade ago, the Moviola was still at the front of the room, and I probably moved around it in a way I thought was dramatic, and although I hope not, might have even caressed it once or twice. I confess: I love the Moviola, its funky upright shape, the place of privilege for film reels, and the way it involved the whole body, from eyes, to hands, to feet, and pains in the neck. It reminds us of a time before digital production whooshed away physical objects and skills into intangible code. Today, my students use the Moviola as a prop in their final movie project. Last year they cast it as a dream machine, but it used to be a machine that editors used to make dreams.

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