In Thunderbean news:
When Rainbow Parades, volume 1, went off to replication, I made a list of all the things I’d like to do or finish before summer ends, Thunderbean and otherwise. Most of the list is going better than I could have imagined. So I’ll knock softly on a nitrate print and count my hard drives.
More special sets are closer and closer to finish, Aesops Fables is following close behind Flip the Frog now, as are the Van Beuren Tom and Jerrys, so I’ll be in Van Beuren-land before too long. Major progress was made on Flip this week. I finished the final versions on 29 of the 38 Flips, with many of the remaining ones pretty close to done, but all with small issues. I can’t believe it’s almost done.
Sometimes it’s hard to switch gears and write about something *other* than what is in progress here. Other sets are in progress around me with freelancers without me involved much as I concentrate on Flip. The handful of freelancers helping to get the finishing touches on Flip have their hands full as do I. Of the remaining nine, five are really all together, requiring additional dust-busting and cleanup. The other four all have *other* things going on, and those are the ones I’m spending time on personally right now to get them looking great. One film, Puppy Love, actually has *two* different versions of the soundtrack, with one clearly the original and the other with some new dialogue and changed music cues, probably all for rights reasons. It would just be an edit job on the sound, but one of the music cues has a scene with the dog wagging his tail *twice* to match the music. The existing master positive and the German print we’ve scanned for the soundtrack has him only wagging once- with Flip doing a different action on each. So, we’re 17 frames or so away from locking down the final version on that one – but need to scan those darn 17 frames!
Rainbow Parades looks like it will be finished in replication on Thursday, so, if it isn’t too late for Fedex here on Friday, we’ll be starting to send the pre-orders and listing the title on Amazon. We’re including a postcard with the set of the original stock one-sheet from the series (below). Thanks to everyone for supporting this many years venture!
On the Van Beuren ’Tom and Jerry’ set:
One of the hardest things about producing one of these sets, at least for me, is understanding that they won’t be *perfect* really, ever, but *little* details in mastering the films are the things that really bug me. There’s some things I’m better at and some not so much. Things like getting all the spelling right throughout has never been my strongpoint, but luckily my good friends, especially David Gerstein, have been helping proof-read things more these days. Still, the little tiny details, like a fixable mistake in film scan, are the things I just *have* to redo if they’re not *quite* to the place I’d like them to be.
Case in Point: Pencil Mania starring our plucky duo Tom and Jerry. I didn’t get a chance to supervise some of the recent scanning on eight Tom and Jerry prints, and that was ok for the most part – except for this one. The print is pretty nice, but since it was printed a little further to the left it caused an issue. The scanner uses the sprockets to align the picture, and in this case, the picture being slightly further to one side caused it to be in the area used by the sprockets, making a piece of the picture darker. We’ll rescan before too long. Since this one needs to get redone, I thought I’d share the not-getting-used version with everyone this week!
Since we tried really hard to make the Cubby Bear set as good as possible, I felt that we can’t drop the ball on at least trying to get the very best we can find on this series too- and the Little Kings will eventually get that same treatment. The collectors have been wonderful in helping to get there. My own prints of many of this series have been scanned to use. It’s been a little obsessive in trying to find the best ‘Official Films’ print of each of the ones they issued.We have found the silent prints are sometimes the best since they tend to have less wear and splices- and the earlier silent prints are often direct print-downs from 35mm.
One of the cooler things about the Cintel 2/Black Magic scanner, used on some of the newest scans, is that it has a really amazing defused light source, hiding most of the scratches on the base and the emulsion side of the film. There’s no need to ‘wet gate’ most prints any more with this newer system, and it makes a huge difference in how long it takes to clean things up too.
Pencil Mania, maybe more than any Van Beuren cartoon, seems to celebrate creativity and the imagination, and, as in the best of the series, it’s a freewheeling little adventure. There’s funny, enjoyable cartoon drawing throughout. Tom and Jerry cartoons are devoid of any pretension, ever. What are your thoughts on this one?
Make sure to watch in HD. Have a good week everyone!