These last weeks of school own nearly all of my time, and since both Jerry and myself were busy with school commitments until late today, it’s a pretty simple Thunderbean Thursday this week.
In brief Thunderbean news: Both “Aesop’s Fables, Volume 1” and “The Other Betty Boops” special set are now finished. The Stop Motion Marvels set (long in progress) is getting close to having everything cleaned up for it too. I’m excited to be able to sit down with the hard drives and go through what’s mastered already for the set and start to work on getting it one closer to finish along with other stuff. As soon as the school commitments are done (in about a week) it’s off to the races, with the small Thunderbean team gathering at the office to help organize me and the chaos of all the material in progress.
Other news will remain a mystery at the moment. I very much enjoy talking about what’s going on weekly in this spot-but I’m doing my best to keep my mouth closed until some of these current things are finished and a few other pieces are in place before talking too much. More soon!
A while back I had talked a little about trying to find the best prints of the Van Beuren Tom and Jerry cartoons, especially the ones that Official Films released. They made so many different prints over many, many years— so you never know what you’re going to get. A lot of the time you end top with pretty nice originals, but with this one I still haven’t found a print I’m perfectly happy with. Since we’re trying to do this set with the best possible prints in earnest, it’s been worth scanning more than one print for many of them- sort of like playing “Go Fish!” Except with films. There are now several that are starting to have a stack of different scans. Fire! Fire! (Original title “Hook and Ladder Hokum”) is one of those.
For the new set, this cartoon has had four scans from four different prints so far-with this being the best print. The first print I scanned was my own- and the same print we used 12 years back or so on the DVD set. It’s a pretty grainy copy but otherwise fine. The second print looked a bit better projected, but really was a lot grainier than some of the better original prints on other Official Films releases. The third print is lent from another collector, but sadly it has advanced vinegar syndrome and didn’t scan well. This print (from the collection of film hero Dennis Atkinson) was really nice, except for a pretty consistent line throughout! We’ll see if we can do anything about that line, but if we’re able to find another clean print before too long we’ll scan it again.
A notable thing about this particular cartoon is that the director credit goes to the team of George Stallings and Tish Tash. The later is of course Frank Tashlin. This appears to be his first directorial credit (and the only one at Van Beuren) and now all we need to do is find a print that has those original credits since all credits are missing from Official Films prints. You never know what is out there, but so far I’ve been unable to locate original titles for this short.
Anyway, here’s a pretty nice scan of a decent print *except* for that persistent scratch. Oh, the joys of film collecting! Have a good week everyone and enjoy this quirky little Tom and Jerry.