On The Thunderbean:
It’s been both a busy a quiet week here at Thunderbean; Lots happening but I’ve been still scuttled away, suffering a small cold and semi-sleepless, trying to get key things to the finish line while the summer is still granting me these free days. I’d like to think I’m winning that battle, sinus issues and all. Did Famous Studios do a cartoon called ‘Not Going Down Without a Fright?”.
The Noveltoons Blu-ray is on the plate all the time right now, and rounding the corner to being finished. Tomorrow I think I’ll have all elements ready now (except that one straggler). Maybe Jerry has the solution! Let’s ask him!
I had meant this week to talk further about Grotesqueries; I will soon. Rainbow Parades 1 is the other major project we’re giving a lot of care to at the moment, and Flip is flipping too. I’m trying really hard to get all the scans for some of the special sets done this month with some luck, and can’t wait for the Comi-Color scans to start happening. I’m traveling to LA for those to personally supervise when it’s time. Another great fan of these films will likely join for that.
Hardest lesson this year: supervise all scans. You never know what a Telecine place will do with original materials, regardless of what you ask them to do (or often beg them to NOT do!). As I’m re-requesting various films to scan for different reasons, it’s clear that one of the scan places both sharpened *and* upped the contrast pretty drastically for many of the scans, increasing grain and changing the overall look of the print materials. With some of this print material in my actual hands now, I’m forced to pull other things and rescan them since I know they look much, much better. There’s always some adjusting done for a final output, but in this case, things are altered really far from what the prints and negs looked like, to a point where I feel they need a redo.
I took a company to court years back that had done well over $1000 worth of Private Snafu scans- ALL really out of focus! I drove out to DC and ended up losing the case because I didn’t have a film scanning ‘expert’ with me to say they’re out of focus. I’m happy that the redo job yielded beautiful results, done by a company that cared deeply about making sure the quality was excellent since the original material was. They had to rescan things pretty often that the other company had did less than acceptable jobs.
Now, onto this week’s participatory conversation:
“What is especially lovely about a favorite cartoon showing – or showing cartoons to others from your collection”
Earlier today a freelancer told me the unabashed truth about her newfound love of Clark Gable. Her comment reminded me of a small group of college students coming out of a showing of ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ years ago, giggling about how wonderful and cute the Beatles are- not ‘was’ but ‘are’. To me one of the most wonderful things about film is that it seems to have the ability to remain both ageless and dated at the same time; the escape into the fantasy world of a film is sometimes as much an escape into the world when that particular entertainment was made as much as enjoying the still-present qualities. Animation has an additional special ability of not having the actors age at all for comparison in later years.In some ways, a large part of the continued life of the films from the golden age depends on people discovering them, often by someone that loves them. Those college campus showings that taught me all about film were presented by film co-ops that consisted of students that volunteered to help because of their love of film. I enjoyed programming some showings as soon as I was old enough to as well. When putting together the various sets of films, I think about the presentation of them more than any one thing. I really wish there was a way to just make all of them a bucket of 16mm films; honestly, that would make me happy. If we can get to the point where we’re able to do that, I might just do it. I love the idea of film presentation continuing through the collectors brave enough to share their rare prints with an audience. In some ways, those that have prints HAVE to show them now since you never know when the ravages of acetate decomposition will start to make your precious print into a film vinaigrette.
So, you collectors out there, I applaud you for lending and showing your prints to others. You’re making a lot of people you’ll never meet happy in allowing the wonderful work on those films to be seen and enjoyed by new audiences as well as a revisit to those that have already had the pleasure of meeting those images.
Of course, there’s also a lot of films that don’t get shared at all, even as they slowly work their way back into the soil. To me the biggest shame is there is the ability to show so much more without great expense, especially things in some of the large archives. Some of this material is physically and/or rights-wise owned by large companies, but some are even owned by small companies. Some of these contain great, even classic voice performances that have been scuttled away. If there kept scuttled too long, we’ll all be peering at them from underground, brushing aside dirt to get a clearer picture!
I actually prefer to hand over the microphone to you folks since I feel like I talk a little too much about what I’m doing here anyway, so let’s have an open topic on cartoon showings. Write a short note about a favorite showing you went to, or a time you showed an audience something that they really enjoyed. I’ll throw some of mine below in the comments as well.
Have a great week everyone!