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TOPIC: why metric?

why metric? 17 Nov 2003 12:16 #21710

  • janet
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I was wondering if anyone know why film measurements are in metric units, considering much of the technology of cinema was invented in the US? Metrics make more sense to me personally, but I was if anyone knew...
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Re: why metric? 17 Nov 2003 13:06 #21711

  • auggie
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Because the rest of the world uses metric. You folks in the US are behind the times.
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Re: why metric? 20 Nov 2003 20:58 #21712

  • outaframe
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JANET <> I hate to "hog the ball" and do all the talking here, but no one has answered your question, so here goes... Moving pictures, like so many other things we take for granted, was not entirely an American innovation: there was a lot of simultaneous work being done in Europe (France, Germany, and the UK, in particular) and even in the Orient, and there was a lot of "borrowing" (stealing) of ideas being done by ALL involved... The 35mm film was an economical way to split the newly developed (and very expensive, at that time) roll film which had to be made to enable movies to be filmed... 8, 16, 32, 35, 50, 65, 70mm widths have all used at various times (and probably others, as well) but 35mm was selected in part because of cost-vs-results ratio... Lenses and many other projector parts were metric, even the earliest US made cameras & projectors, in part to allow the use of parts which came from other areas of the world where metric was the standard...

AUGGIE <> The US is (or was) using a measure/weight system we inherited, in part, from originally having been an English colony... Movies, and many other technical fields have always used metric systems, or at least partial metric standards... The metric system is not superior in any way to the foot/pound/gallon system the US used, other than in the fact that metric is all based on the common factors of ten, which is easier to remember than the hodgepodge of units in the US system... We could all have just as easily used a system based on the length of Caveman Ugg's shinbone, and the "standard" watermellon...
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Re: why metric? 20 Nov 2003 22:07 #21713

  • auggie
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The metric system was invented by the French at the end of the 18th century. So if the US inherited anything metric it was from the French. I was just poking fun when I said the US are behind the times. Cheers
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