Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by goodiesguy, Jun 13, 2013.
...What show was this? The video's not available anymore.
Fox doesn't give a damn about their back catalogue and they never remastered Judd, Room 222, Bracken's World and the majority of their other shows from the 60s and 70s. Yes, the 35mm prints and negatives exist but Fox never had any interest in spending the money to remaster them. All they have available are one-inch transfers from old beat up 16mm prints.
I wonder if that will change now that Disney owns that library.
If its possible, Disney is worse at releasing shows than Fox.
Has anyone here heard of the LaserGraphics ScanStation?
I've been told this was the editing machine used for some syndicated TV prints of certain shows, such as Greatest Heroes of the Bible (NBC, 1978-79).
You can tell that this Hanna-Barbera "Swirling Star" logo looks very pristine on DVD. I would guess they were using the original 35mm masters when they released The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo on DVD.
But if you watch the same logo on the Paw Paws and The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show DVDs, I'd guess the 16mm/Umatic video masters were what they went for.
Hanna-Barbera Productions (1986) (1) (from Paw Paws)
Hanna-Barbera Productions (1971/1968/1983) (from The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show)
I am guessing now that The Brady Bunch's first-generation videotaped prints were just the 16mm filmed prints copied onto U-matic tape, a la The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
I think Paramount also transferred Mission: Impossible from 16mm to U-matic in the 1980s, is this correct vidiot?
I can tell you that I've seen late 80s 1" masters for both Brady Bunch and MI, definitely not sourced from 3/4" and looking superb(for SD). If you saw something that looked 3/4"-ish, it might have been a dub for biking/syndication purposes.
Just a few years ago they auctioned off everything above channel 38. UHF is almost gone. It's all to sell spectrum to wireless carriers. Those relatively low frequency bands can travel a *long* way, which is why they were used for TV.
What is more annoying in my opinion, is the huge chunk of spectrum the US military gobbles up. They are still sitting on spectrum for radio navigation that was made obsolete 15 years ago. They are sitting on satellite bands that nobody has used in decades.
I have two questions regarding syndication and thought I would post them here first before creating an entirely new topic.....
I was wonder in 16mm syndication prints were made of tv shows that were not recorded on film, such as Barney Miller and Taxi? I ask because I thought I remembered them broadcast on 16mm prints years ago, unless that was my childhood mind at the time playing tricks on me.
The look of 16mm film prints has a niche market now, so many different video editing software on the market creates the effect, but it just looks mostly artificial still.
But hopefully somebody can answer this question.
The only videotaped shows I know of that were converted on 16mm were the handful of The Twilight Zone's second-season episodes.
Taxi was always 35mm IIRC.
If a show was made prior to about 1975ish, and sold Down-Under, then they'd definitely make a 16mm print of a VT show, but that would be in black and white, a kinescope/telerecording.
Naw, we did transfers from the 35mm IPs to 1" in the 1980s. By the 1990s, we were going to digital formats like D1 and Digital Betacam. I did all the episodes of Ghost and Mrs. Muir myself (from original negative) and also Lancer (also from original A/B roll camera negative). We did a lot of the episodes of Land of the Giants and Lost in Space as well. I think the reason why the other shows weren't done is their syndication potential was zero, while the other shows I just named were in syndication and reasonably popular during those decades.
Actually, Taxi was shot on 35mm film and was syndicated on 16mm film during the 1970s and early 1980s. Eventually, they figured out that transferring the negatives or IPs to tape and syndicating the tapes looked better and was cheaper. Barney Miller was always a videotape show, so my guess is it would be syndicated on 1" or 3/4". 3/4" looked pretty crappy, but some small stations used it for a time.
If we're talking about the series that aired on ABC from 1978-82 and then on NBC from 1982-83, the series was first syndicated in the fall of 1983, so I think it was never out on 16mm film by that time but rather on 3/4" tape.
As far as I know, Taxi was always cut on film and Paramount did not embrace shooting on film and editing on tape until a little later, like 1984-1985. There's no reason they couldn't have syndicated it any way they wanted: we were transferring the Star Trek and Mission: Impossible and Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley episodes from 35mm IP to 1" videotape by 1982 or so. Anything is possible. The 1980s was a period of great change, where it started off 100% film syndication and ended with 100% videotape/satellite syndication, so a lot happened then. And then the 1990s went from 100% analog to 100% digital... and then HD came in during 1999-2000. Lot of turmoil, particularly in production and post. And then film went away pretty much in 2010.
Editing on video was kind of a controversy for awhile. For example, Murder She Wrote (a show I worked on for a year) went from 1984-1996 and was shot and edited on film the entire time. Angela Lansbury and husband/producer Peter Fisher had the power to insist that everything be left as it was throughout the run of the show. I was told that was the very last show cut on film at Universal, and they mothballed all the Moviolas after that show was wrapped.
I understand that it was filmed throughout its network run on ABC and NBC, except (in the latter case) for one episode that was a clip special (the 1-hour "A Taxi Celebration," hosted by Danny DeVito), but I meant that when it was prepared for syndication, it was distributed on videotape as it was cheaper to market than 16mm, just like you had said about Star Trek, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley and Mork & Mindy.
Thanks for the replies!
Now that you mention Paramount shows being on film, I have a copy of a Happy Days episode recorded in 1985 on WLVI-TV in Boston and it clearly is a 16mm print, hopefully I can find that videotape and convert it to digital to preserve it. The copies of that same episode (perhaps after they were remastered in the mid 80s) look cleaner on all the tv channels it was broadcast from. That copy must have been a first run syndication print of something, I know the episode was "Broadway It's Not" which seems to be from season 8, episode 12. Either way that sounds about right with what you are saying about Paramount and their use of film.
I think there was also a deal where some syndication distributors charged higher fees at some point for their shows. For example, I was visiting a friend's station where they were still showing I Love Lucy from 16mm prints. I said, "hey, there's pristine 35mm remasters that were done a couple of years ago," but my friend shook his head and told me Viacom wanted another $50,000 or something for the new versions. The 16mm prints were already paid for, so they kept showing those. Eventually, they got rid of the 16mm prints and the videotape versions and just had the station record digital files via satellite (or they shipped the station a hard drive), which was cheaper than any other method.
I guess that is what they did. I also just realized Happy Days was moved to WFXT in Boston about a year and a half later, so perhaps they knew they were not going to renew the contract and decided not to order new prints as a result as well.
I remember "Happy Days Again" (which was the syndicated title) being on 16mm film at first. Later they were tape transfers and reverted back to the original title "Happy Days."
"CHiPs Patrol" -- there was always a film splice before and after the title of the show, replacing the original title "CHiPs."
That would make sense. Back in the 1970s we had three main local independent TV stations in Chicago. WGN-Channel 9 was the big one. UHF WFLD-Channel 32 was the upstart and then WSNS-Channel 44 was kind of the "bargain basement" station, which ran the "leftovers," sometimes "castoffs" or syndicated shows which had formerly played on one of the other two independent stations. I always noticed that the print quality tended to be poorer on Channel 44. Their signal was always a little fuzzier too, and that didn't help. They ended up carrying the "ON-TV" pay channel and later became a Spanish station. In the 1980s, WPWR-Channel 60 (later 50) kind of took 44's place.
Yes, after ABC canceled the series in 1984, Paramount then remastered these particular episodes to tape to include the original intro sequences.
One 1977 episode even had its original Blue Mountain logo replaced with a later one, as well as one 1979 episode.
Correction: the 1" 1980s masters were done from 35mm IP's. But they were done in kind of a slap-dash way, very low-budget. It's extraordinarily rare that anybody does any mastering from 16mm for a show shot in 35mm, because it costs about the same money to scan it and color-correct and remaster it, but it looks worse. So you may as well do it from 35mm, since the cost is about the same. In a way, the 35mm is cheaper, because you don't have to do as much repair work, since the 16mm element are often falling apart.
Whenever I asked the VP of Fox Worldwide (who I knew very well for about 15 years), "hey, any chance we can remaster such-and-such?" He'd shrug and say, "Marc, the problem is that nobody gives a ****." Meaning, there's no market, it won't make any money, it won't sell on home video, and there's no cable channels or syndication stations that want it. I'm not saying they're bad shows -- I'm saying it make no commercial sense.
Of course, it were up to me, I'd say, "hey, transfer everything just as a matter of historical record." Nowadays, you could justify it to say, "let's put everything that was ever commercially released and make it available for streaming." Not my decision.
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