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0285 A Movie Collection

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Complete Transcript
Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 285: A Movie Collection.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 285. I'm your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

Our episode is called “A Movie Collection.” Movies are, of course, a very important part of Los Angeles culture. Today we’re going to talk about someone who collects movies, and all the different vocabulary related to that. Let’s get started.

[start of story]

Some people collect stamps. Other people collect CDs. I collect movies.

I’m a film buff and I have a collection of my favorite movies of all time. I usually buy a movie when it comes out on DVD, even if I’ve seen it already on the big screen. I have a high definition TV and I like watching movies in the comfort of my own home.

I prefer the widescreen editions and the DVDs with a lot of bonus features. I pride myself on finding every Easter egg on every DVD I own. My friends think I’m crazy. Even if I already own a movie, I’ll buy it again if there’s a special edition or box set with extra bloopers or deleted scenes.

Even when I’m on vacation, I look for DVDs. Last year, I was traveling abroad and I bought some DVDs. When I got home, though, I found out that I couldn’t play them in my DVD player because they had a different region code than the one we use in the U.S. I also bought a bootleg DVD on the street and the quality was terrible. I really learned my lesson on that trip!

[end of story]

This episode is about someone who collects movies. “To collect” means to get many of that particular thing because you like to have many things. For example, people collect stamps; they try to get different stamps from different countries and put them all in a book. Other people like to collect CDs, different types of music.

This is a story about someone who likes to collect movies. He says that he’s a film buff and has a collection of his favorite movies of all time. A “buff” (buff) is a big fan, someone who likes something very much and knows a lot about it. You could, for example, be a “history buff”; you like to study history and you read lots of books about history. I’m an ancient history buff; I like to read lots of the old Greek and Roman books and texts. A “collection” is a group of similar objects that you usually keep in one place. We usually use this term when we are talking about something that is very interesting or “valuable,” worth a lot of money.

This person usually buys a movie when it comes out on DVD. “DVD” is like a CD, but you can watch a movie from it. It has digital information, sometimes called the “digital video disc.” He says that he gets the DVD, even if he has already seen the movie on the big screen. The expression “on the big screen” means in a movie theater – not at home on your television, but in a big theater.

This person has a high definition TV, and likes to watch his movies at home, also. A “high definition,” sometimes called an “HD,” or “high def,” is a very high video quality TV. It’s fairly new; in the last couple of years, you can buy these better looking, in terms of the picture, high definition televisions. I don’t have one; I have an old, black and white TV – no color!

The person in our story says that he prefers the widescreen editions of the movies. When something is in “widescreen” (widescreen – one word), we mean that it is a “version,” or copy, of the movie where the picture is much wider than it is tall. So, there’s usually a black box – a black line on the top and on the bottom of your TV screen. That would be the “widescreen edition,” or version.

Many DVDs come with bonus features. A “bonus” (bonus) is something extra. So, a “bonus feature” is something that is in addition to the movie. Often, these are comments from the person who directed the movie or other information about how the movie was made.

The person in the story says, “I pride myself on finding every Easter egg on every DVD I own.” The expression “to pride yourself on something” means to be proud of something, proud of something that you can do. For example: “Jim prides himself on being the fastest runner on his high school track team.” I pride myself on being able to eat three hot dogs in ten minutes. That’s why I need to lose some weight, too many hot dogs!

An “Easter egg” is usually something that is an unusual message, or image, or sound that is hidden in the movie. It’s something that you have to find; it isn’t easy sometimes. These are extra things that are added by the people who make the DVD. An “Easter egg” also has some other definitions; take a look at our Learning Guide for that. Some people also use the term “Easter egg” for anything that is hidden inside, for example, a book, or a painting, or a computer program. Usually, these things as are hidden as a joke; they are something that is funny.

In the story, this person says that “Even if I already own a movie, I’ll buy it again if there’s a special edition or box set with extra bloopers or deleted scenes.” Couple of terms there to go over:

A “special edition” is a version of something that is usually available only for a short amount of time, and includes things that are not in the regular version. So, there could be a special edition of the DVD Sleeping Beauty – the Walt Disney movie – that has, maybe, better sound or better color than the original movie. That would be a “special edition.”

A “box set” (box set – two words) is when you have several DVDs that come in one “package,” in one little box. For example, if you like the American TV series Friends, you could buy a box set with all of the episodes of that TV series. That’s a “box set.”

“Bloopers” (bloopers) are funny mistakes that the actors make when they are making the movie or the TV show. Usually, these are things when the actor laughs because they forget what they are supposed to say, or they may fall down. You normally don’t see these things in the movie or TV show, but some DVDs will show you these mistakes that were made when they were making the movie. These are usually funny, so a “blooper” is a funny mistake from a TV show or a movie.

“Deleted scenes” are parts of the movie that the director or editor decided not to put into the movie. Maybe they weren’t as good, or the movie needed to be shortened – it was too long, so they had to “delete,” or cut out certain parts, or “scenes.” That would be a “deleted scene.”

At the end of the story, we hear about the problems that this person had when they bought a DVD “abroad,” meaning in another country. The problem was that the DVD had a different region code. A “region” (region) is a certain area. A “region code” is the way that the DVD is made. There are some codes that can only be seen in some parts of the world, so if you buy a DVD in Europe and you bring it to the United States to watch it, sometimes the DVD player won’t play the DVD because it’s from a different area – a different region – and has a different region code.

Finally, the story ends by the person saying that he bought a bootleg DVD on the street and the quality was terrible. A “bootleg (bootleg – one word) copy” is an illegal copy of something. You can have a bootleg DVD, a bootleg CD; anytime that you have something that is illegally copied – it doesn’t come from the company that sells the movie, but someone else copied it and is selling it – that would be a “bootleg copy” of something. Hopefully, you do not listen to any bootleg copies of ESL Podcast, but only the original!

Now let’s listen to the story, this time at a normal speed.

[start of story]

Some people collect stamps. Other people collect CDs. I collect movies.

I’m a film buff and I have a collection of my favorite movies of all time. I usually buy a movie when it comes out on DVD, even if I’ve seen it already on the big screen. I have a high definition TV and I like watching movies in the comfort of my own home.

I prefer the widescreen editions and the DVDs with a lot of bonus features. I pride myself on finding every Easter egg on every DVD I own. My friends think I’m crazy. Even if I already own a movie, I’ll buy it again if there’s a special edition or box set with extra bloopers or deleted scenes.

Even when I’m on vacation, I look for DVDs. Last year, I was traveling abroad and I bought some DVDs. When I got home, though, I found out that I couldn’t play them in my DVD player because they had a different region code than the one we use in the U.S. I also bought a bootleg DVD on the street and the quality was terrible. I really learned my lesson on that trip!

[end of story]

The script for this podcast was written by a film buff, Dr. Lucy Tse.

From Los Angeles, California, I'm Jeff McQuillan. Thanks for listening. Come back and listen to us next time here on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. This podcast is copyright 2007.

Glossary
buff – a big fan; a person who likes something very much and knows a lot about it

* Lynette is a music buff who owns thousands of CDs.


collection – a group of similar objects that are kept together, usually because they are interesting, beautiful, or valuable

* My grandfather had a large stamp collection, with stamps from almost every country in the world.


DVD – digital video disk – a flat disk (circular object) similar to a CD, made of metal and plastic that is used to store digital information or video

* In the early 1990s, people were using video cassettes, but today DVDs are much more popular for movies.


on the big screen – in a movie theater, not on a TV at home

* The Lord of the Rings is a movie with a lot of action, so it’s better to see it on the big screen than on TV.


high definition – high resolution; high video quality; clear and easy to see on a TV or computer screen

* You can see a lot of more detail on a high definition TV than on a regular TV.


widescreen edition – a version of a movie or show where the picture is much wider than it is tall, so that a black bar shows at the top and bottom of the TV screen, but all the images can be seen

* If you don’t watch the widescreen edition, sometimes you can’t see all of the things happening in a movie, because images get cut off on the sides of the screen.


bonus feature – an extra thing that is related to a movie and included on a DVD, but not part of the original movie, such as comments from the director or information about how the movie was made

* This DVD has a bonus feature where the director speaks throughout the movie, talking about why he filmed it the way he did.


to pride (oneself) on (something) – to be proud of something that one does; to be very pleased that one does something

* Drake prides himself on being the fastest runner on his high school track team.


Easter egg – an unusual message, image, or sound that is hidden in a movie, book, painting, computer program, or video game as a joke, so that people search for it

* If you search long enough, you may find the Easter egg on this DVD with the very funny video of star of the movie.


special edition – a version of something that is available for only a short period of time and has extra features that aren’t included in the regular version

* The special edition DVD of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty has better sound and color than the original movie did, and it has information about how the film was made.


box set – a box with special packaging that has all the DVDs in a series

* We bought Carolyn the box set of Friends for her birthday because it’s her favorite TV show.


blooper – a funny mistake that was made while filming a movie or TV show, usually when an actor laughs, forgets what to say, or falls down

* Sometimes the bloopers on a comedy DVD are funnier than the movie itself!


deleted scene – acting that was originally supposed to be in the movie, but was taken out before the movie was finished, often to make it shorter

* Deleted scenes are interesting to watch because they can help you understand how the director decides what is and isn’t important in a movie.


region code – one of nine electronic codes hidden in a DVD that allows the DVD to be seen only in some parts of the world

* If you buy a DVD in Malaysia and take it to the United States, you won’t be able to watch it because it will have the wrong region code.


bootleg – pirated; an illegal copy of something that was made without giving any money to the people who made the original

* Bootleg CDs are cheaper than CDs that you buy in a store, but the singers and bands don’t get any money for their work.

Comprehension Questions
1. Which of these is an example of a DVD bonus feature?
a) A commercial
b) A special edition.
c) A deleted scene.

2. What lesson did he learn on his trip?
a) That other countries sell DVDs that are better than the U.S.
b) That bootleg CDs should be bought in stores, not on the street.
c) That you can’t see a DVD if it has the wrong region code.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
buff

The word “buff,” in this podcast, means a big fan, or a person who likes something very much and knows a lot about it: “Antonio is a sports buff who knows which national teams have won every baseball game since 1900.” The word “buff” can also be used to describe a person who is very strong and muscular because he or she exercises a lot: “Kensuke is really buff because he spends at least one hour at the gym every day.” As a verb, “to buff” means to make something shiny by rubbing it with a cloth: “You should get your shoes buffed before your interview.” Or, “The floors used to look very old, but we buffed them and now they look like new again.”

Easter egg

In this podcast, an “Easter egg” is an unusual message, image, or sound that is hidden in a movie, book, painting, computer program, or video game as a joke, so that people search for it: “People say that one of the Star Wars movies has an Easter egg, because when the director threw his shoe across the room they filmed it and used the image as one of the stars seen though the spaceship’s window.” Normally an “Easter egg” is made by boiling an egg until it is hard and then coloring it on the outside. The colored eggs are hidden outdoors and children have to find them as part of the celebration of Easter, the day when Christians celebrate Jesus Christ having returned from the dead. Just like children hunt for Easter eggs hidden outdoors, movie watchers hunt for Easter eggs hidden in movies.

Culture Note
Since 1929, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has been giving “awards” (honors) to the best “motion pictures” (movies) that are made every year. The award ceremony, called “The Academy Awards,” is attended by hundreds of popular actors and directors, and is watched on TV by millions of people. The Academy Awards are also called “The Oscars,” because the awards are gold “Oscar statuettes” (small statues) in the form of a person.

The awards are given in many “categories” (types). The most important awards are probably “Best Picture,” which goes to the best overall movie, “Best Director,” “Best Actor,” and “Best Actress.” There are also awards for the “Best Supporting Actor” and “Best Supporting Actress,” which are for the actors who don’t play the main character, but act very well.

The awards for “Best Original Screenplay” and “Best Adapted Screenplay” are for the best written “screenplay” (the written text that the movie is made from). An “original screenplay” is written specifically to make a movie. An “adapted screenplay” is written to make a movie from a book or story that was already written.

The award for “Best Documentary Feature” honors “documentaries,” or films that give people information about things in real life. The award for “Best Animated Feature” honors an “animated film” that is made from drawings, rather than with real actors.

There are also awards for music, “costumes” (the clothing that the actors wear), “makeup” (the colors put on their faces), and “visual effects” (the use of computers to make the images better, often for explosions).

Comprehension Answers
1 - c

2 - c