It was a week of nonstop dubbing and sending of special discs- and continues tomorrow. It’s the most things we’ve ever sent within a week— and that was beat by the stuff from the week before. Between just sending things and finishing up duties at the school, I haven’t really had time to sit down to work on any of the almost finished sets. I’m honestly looking forward to seeing what’s there to go through (so maybe a break was good). I think I’ll be way less tired later this week and hope to start tackling more in a full-time way.
There has been a lot of progress that can be smiled about. I’m feeling pretty happy about Rainbow Parades 1 and More Stop Motion Marvels; both are super close to being finally in the can. There’s a bunch of the ‘special’ sets that are just waiting to be assembled.
A recent find of 32 original model sheets from the Rainbow Parades is really wonderful icing on the cake for that set. It also now has the most complete soundtracks that we know to exist on every film. When that title is finally ready I’ll post the model sheet gallery from the first set a majority of them I had never seen before. Stop Motion Marvels has been getting the last films tidied up just a little more, including the Cinegraph Sweepstakes. The scans look great- and I’m looking forward to a little downtime from shipping and getting back to putting these titles on your shelf rather than taking up all these hard drives.
Our good friend, Flip the Frog, has almost all the films in the series completed and cleaned up from the best possible elements, save a few films and little pieces here and there. A few whole films are still delayed from being scanned (since March!) but I hear they’ll actually be able to finally be done soon, at least the ones here in the states. There’s pieces of things in DC, Boston and Florida to get up here too, but I’m hoping over the break from school to get all those in the can. There’s also a print in a European archive that I just cross my fingers about, weekly. I will let us scan the single print left there soon. Flip has been one of the longest in progress titles ever here, and a huge challenge to get the best material, as has been semi-documented here. We’re doing right by Flip and all his assistants.
I think it’s safe to say I’m in for the long haul on all this stuff.
Now, onto the film!
That said, it seemed like a little pre-code fun for the holidays is in order, and everyone deserves a little gift – so here’s our (nearly) done version of the Flip the Frog classic, Room Runners (1932).
It’s from the only 35mm elements that survives in the master materials. The track must have been damaged many years back; the master on the track (on a separate, track-only reel) has the beginning piece replaced from a dupe of the opening track, with an abrupt splice into the opening music. So far, we haven’t been able to find a master track that appears to be much more complete, although there are 16mm tracks that seem to yield a sightly better transition at the beginning. I’m still looking, so if you have a print that you can easily pull out, please take a look for me!
Our own Devon Baxter did a really nice job giving this film a good amount of care and love. It’s all the better for it. ASIFA Hollywood helped to fund this and six other Flip the Frog scans and cleanups.
I hope as each of these projects help to keep these wonderful films accessible to those that love them as well as gaining a new audience. As I work on these things I get the same thrill I got when I first saw the Black and White Popeyes on television, or first saw a silent Felix the Cat on 8mm, or first saw the Little King in Christmas Night, from the first 16mm print I bought from Clifford Thomas in 1982 for $5 (and $1.75 postage).
I’d love to hear your thoughts on Room Runners, one of my favorites of the series. I hope you enjoy it and make better choices than Flip seems to make.
Have a good week everyone!