MPAA chairman Chris Dodd gave one of his first major speeches to the Media Institute in Washington today in which he highlighted what may be his biggest challenge: Changing the perception of Hollywood from that of an dinosaur industry of pampered, rich celebrities, to that of an innovative biz populated by rank-and-file workers with valuable middle class jobs. Obviously, it’s going to be a tough message to get across, but it’s a strategy to make piracy, or as Dodd calls it, “looting,” relevant to middle America.

He also addresses the controversial effort by some studios to offer “premium VOD,” in which certain releases are available in homes just 60 days after they debut in theaters, but at a price of $30. Theater owners are upset with Home Premiere, with movies coming from Warner Bros., Sony, Universal and Fox.

“Nothing about this plan changes the fact that the best way to see movies is in the theater setting.  I believe that very passionately—but far more importantly than how I feel—the studios feel that as strongly,” said Dodd, in a text of his remarks provided by the MPAA.  “They don’t produce movies for small, flat, plasma screens.  The movies are made for large screens in movie theaters.  But this option could provide an alternative for those people, especially seniors, families with young children and those living in rural areas far from a movie screen, with an opportunity to view a recently released movie at home.”

The complete speech below: