April 27, 2017 posted by

Flip Negative Scans – and a Cartoon Curio: “The Family Album” (1930)

Thunderbean News:

First, a couple quick ‘Flip’ notes:

Nothing beats a scan of the original camera negative on old cartoons. For the Flip the Frog set, It isn’t that the other material doesn’t look great, it’s just that, when there *is* an original camera neg, it looks pretty unbelievable quality-wise. AND beat up somewhat too.

Of course, I’ve talked about this before- but now that I’m getting some of these together, I have to show some stills! There have been many of these getting scanned right now as Flip gets further into complete production. I’m spending lots of time tweaking. I can get the quicktime to run at 4k on the faster machines here, so I projected some of the original neg scans that way earlier today in the CCS auditorium. I’ve never seen cartoons look quite that good.

Here are a handful of stills from the things on deck this week; note – the dirt was in the original gate:

RAGTIME ROMEO (click to enlarge)



Here’s a little clip from the original camera neg of ‘Ragtime Romeo’ reduced to HD from 4k, synced to the sound from the master positive. Notice that there’s just a bit of increased sharpness from it being one generation up…but not there are some ‘slugs’ where frames were damaged or the film was broken, so it’s been replaced by a few frames of black here and there. Make sure to watch in HD:

This becomes the big challenge now in picking the version to use. The biggest thing I’m working on right now is trying to get them all looking as consistent as possible. It will be a really nice set for sure- just running late!

The current batch still here is all scanned now, and we’re having another sent in the next week or so. We hope to have the last of the 38 Flips all scanned in May- and with any luck the set will be out before the end of summer.

Abbott and Costello should be back from replication next week… so this will be the first one available of the up and coming sets. The ‘special’ Betty Boop and Popeye set is getting its last films scanned Friday.

We’re busy preparing and dubbing various sets here- thanks to all who helped support these projects. I’ve been getting a lot of emails asking to extend the time on the ‘special’ sets that are available at the IAD forum. We’ll offer them for another week, until next Wednesday: The information is here at the IAD forum.

And now, our cartoon for the week: “Family Album”

I scanned this cartoon many years back for the Cultoons, Volume 2 set- but have recently down it again in HD. The Family Album (1930) is a sequel of sorts to the earlier Finding his Voice short, produced by the Fleischer Studio. There are a handful of shorts sponsored by Western Electric to explain to the general public how they newest technology works.They spread well into the 30s. This one was produced by Audio Productions, while Paul Terry had his operation there. It’s an interesting curio – somewhat dry in content but fun at times visually. There seems to be a huge struggle to figure out how to combine information and entertainment in these early educational films. It’s transferred from a reversal print off an old beat up 16mm original that no longer exists. We’ll clean it up and steady it for an upcoming set. I like this little short and the song at the end, dry dialogue and stereotype notwithstanding.

Have a good week everyone!


  • Any update on Fleischer Rarities? I think it was originally scheduled for March. No hurry, I realize you’re juggling many quality projects, just anxious I guess.

  • I notice the voice of Billy Murray in several spots. He’s doing several voices, including the first reporter, and the “talking picture” character.

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