This last week has been progressing nicely. A bunch of ‘special’ sets just got finished, with others close. Three ’official’ sets are in progress right now daily with most of my own time devoted to Flip The Frog. Seeing things scanned from so many sets, including Aesop’s Fables, Stop Motion Marvels, Tom and Jerry, Mid Century Modern 3, and Vintage Education 2 in a short period of time is dizzying, a whirl of things going to different freelancers to clean up while I’m concentrating on Flip details. A few other things came back from scanning this week too, including some things from a project I won’t be talking about until its all done. When I announce it I promise I’ll be properly dressed for the occasion.
There’s never been so many things going on here at the same time. Dave and Becky have been keeping up on all the orders from Amazon and the Thunderbean shop, while Becca has been concentrating on getting all the new special orders dubbed and packed. She was up there until nearly 2am Tuesday night, finishing everything before heading out of town for a week. Vikki finished steadying a bunch of already cleaned up Flips, and they’re looking super spiffy. I’m super happy to have the list of in progress stuff get shorter as other things can start to get worked on.
It was a great surprise today when one of the scanner studios said we could come over to scan a bunch of little pieces from various prints of Flip the Frog cartoons-all things to add back to the films that are usually missing these segments. I was worried I’d have to scan entire prints of each to get these tiny pieces of soundtrack or picture on each!
I’m pretty sure the Flip the Frogs have more versions of the films than any others, each version missing something another has. We’re finally near the end, and the big trick now is to be extra diligent in looking at each— and looking at as many prints as possible to see if there’s anything I missed. Some things were cut by MGM *before* being relased, so using their master positives (or, where they are damaged at least being able to see them) eliminates some of the titles from the list to scrutinize. I think we’re at the point where it’s getting down to the *smallest* things to still do on the project.
I was able to sit in one of the scanner studios for the first time to point out pieces to scan on various prints. Scanning the missing 23 frames of ‘the grab’ from The Circus (1932) was especially fun. There’s a scene missing from most prints where the villain tries to grab a bag from the spinster character. The usual cut has the villain walking over to her followed by a struggle for the purse. Missing from the sequence is a scene of him trying to grab it, with each attempt being mistaken as flirting by the spinster. One of the prints, unearthed by project partner, frog leg and Flip the Frog aficionado David Gerstein, had the flirting sequence intact, and with the help of Tommy Stathes, another print was obtained and lent this past week. So, both pieces are back and will be used to make as complete of a print as possible. It’s a bunch of work for 23 frames (actually a little more with the next shot) but we’re happy to have it! Here’s the ‘flirting’ scene, followed by the ‘grab’ and the spinster yelling ‘help! help!’ missing from nearly every print. Not edited together yet, but you can see how it should look from these two clips. Both these prints were pretty unusual, and I’m so grateful for all the help finding this stuff and putting it back.
This next week, a beautiful (and beautifully smelly) print of Easy Does It will be getting scanned thanks to Craig Davison, A plethora of Van Beuren Tom and Jerrys and other Van Beurens, and more elements on Comi-Colors. I’m having a great summer, but I’m tired!
Speaking of Comi-Colors, I’m not ready to show what we’ve been up to just yet, but thought I’d show something you’ve never seen: a frame of the black and white original neg from Jack Frost. The Comi-Colors were shot with a prism system, so there are two separate color records. Here’s the separations and a frame combined (not the final color correction yet). More on these soon — I promise!
Back to scanning and editing. Sigh. Have a great week everyone!