I’m really enjoying this summer more than usual. It’s been a really good mix of around-the-house and getting things a little spiffier here combined with jumping into film and blu-ray projects, often until they’re finished. I’ve been looking at the list of things we’ve started and the steady progress is gratifying. The best thing about Thunderbean is seeing people enjoying the results once they’re out of our hands.
In Thunderbean News:
Here’s the condensed cream-of-wheat version of almost-finished project status: Flip the Frog has the final mpegs made as we wait for the last bonus stuff, Stop Motion Marvels 1 is on the fast track as films come back from cleanup and I spend most of my time tweaking this set, the VB Tom and Jerry is getting lots of love right now, and the Party Disc 2 is thankfully almost done as well.
These two films are the one reel short Death and Sunrise (1962) and the three reel short Were You There (1967). For this project, we did 5k scans of the existing 1962 answer print of Death and Sunrise, and the A/B roll camera negs on Were You There. We then digitally cleaned them up using digital restoration software, including reassembling Were You There following the A/B roll lab notes and lining up the results with the faded answer print for accuracy in the dissolve and timing effects.
It was a huge challenge to get these independent films looking as good as they can. They’re now ready to be output back to film or shown from the digital restorations. I’m not sure when they’ll be available, but here’s a few stills from them (click to enlarge). Special thanks to Rick Law for getting the ball rolling on this project years back – we finally finished!
We have several new special sets available at the Thunderbean shop— but as we’re getting more “official sets” completed, we’ve started to go through the special sets that are completed and are retiring a group of them on Friday. We’ll be retiring more as the year goes on as well. Thanks to everyone for supporting all these projects through these years- it’s helped cover lots and lots of scans as well as all the other aspects of the projects. We may make some things available again, but the plan is to retire many permanently. You can see the list we’re retiring HERE.
…And now, onto the cartoon!
Earlier today I started looking through the Van Beuren Tom and Jerry “status list”, checking the cleanup of various films and adding the latest cleanups to that particular hard drive. The Tom and Jerry set is the next closest to being done at this point. Our own Devon Baxter has been working on The Tuba Tooter (1932) off and on for a little while between many projects. He sent me the file today, suggesting it would make a good Thunderbean Thursday post, so I’m taking him up on that! He did an absolutely great job on this one.
I first saw this cartoon at a film collector’s convention in the early 80s in an astonishingly beat up print that a collector brought but didn’t want to sell. Happily, ailurophile and cartoonist Mark Kausler lent his really beautiful print for the blu-ray set. The scan was just dandy on its own and has some of the most booming sound of any prints I’ve ever heard. A little spiffing later and it’s looking great. I have another print here that I’ll use to fix a splice or two as we often do, but otherwise another film is now ready for the set.
As in the best of the early 30s Van Beuren shorts, The Tuba Tooter is silly and enjoyable, full of dynamic, impossible poses and funny action. It’s hard not to smile at the enthusiasm of this particular cartoon since it’s practically begging you to join in the onscreen festivities. I’m left with wishing I could go to one early 30s Bavarian festival. The best we can get is 7 minutes of artistic interpretation through the eyes of the studio’s artists. I’ll take it!
Have a good week everyone and enjoy the cartoon!