Videokarma.org

Go Back   Videokarma.org TV - Video - Vintage Television & Radio Forums > General Off Topic Forums

We appreciate your help

in keeping this site going.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #31  
Old 07-17-2018, 05:53 PM
benman94's Avatar
benman94 benman94 is offline
Resident Lunatic
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Detroit, MI
Posts: 1,080
I recently discovered the Fitzpatrick Traveltalk series of short put out by MGM from the mid-1930s into the early 1950s. All shot in glorious Technicolor (or what I suspect may have been 16mm Kodachrome, used to make 35mm three strip separations by Technicolor for subsequent dye IB release printing) they're visually interesting, and the perfect length for showing off a color roundie. By the time your guest is getting bored with the set, the short is wrapping up.

The transfers aren't the greatest, and the surviving print quality is variable, but all of the shorts are definitely watchable, and they look stunning on a vintage color set.

Attached are screenshots from "Calling on Michigan" from 1949, showing shots of Lansing, Detroit, the Au Sable river in the Northern Lower, a shot or two from the Grosse Pointes, and a shot or two from Greenfield Village in Dearborn.















Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 07-17-2018, 05:54 PM
benman94's Avatar
benman94 benman94 is offline
Resident Lunatic
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Detroit, MI
Posts: 1,080
More screenshots:










Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 07-17-2018, 06:26 PM
benman94's Avatar
benman94 benman94 is offline
Resident Lunatic
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Detroit, MI
Posts: 1,080
And some screenshots from "Mackinac Island", circa the mid-1940s, showing about the worst picture quality I've seen on any of the nine DVDs across the three volumes.

Available here on Amazon and also on eBay:
https://www.amazon.com/FitzPatrick-T.../dp/B01F19W4SA















Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 07-17-2018, 06:41 PM
old_tv_nut's Avatar
old_tv_nut old_tv_nut is offline
See yourself on Color TV!
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Rancho Sahuarita
Posts: 4,690
These look great. I'm ordering now. I can tell I will enjoy them.

The only hesitation I have is that showing these to people on a roundie may give them the impression that these were contemporary with early color TV.
__________________
www.bretl.com
Old TV literature, New York World's Fair, and other miscellany
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 07-17-2018, 06:57 PM
benman94's Avatar
benman94 benman94 is offline
Resident Lunatic
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Detroit, MI
Posts: 1,080
Quote:
Originally Posted by old_tv_nut View Post

The only hesitation I have is that showing these to people on a roundie may give them the impression that these were contemporary with early color TV.
A good number of them could easily be confused with contemporary material when shown on a roundie, but there's also a large number of them that would clearly pre-date the roundie to even the least informed viewer (shorts showing King George VI and the eventual Queen Mother, one showing Adolf Hitler, etc).

They're really quite fascinating, if you're into the travelogue genre to begin with. I discovered them on Tuner Classic Movies; they'll run one between two pictures from MGM on occasion.
Reply With Quote
Audiokarma
  #36  
Old 07-17-2018, 07:06 PM
benman94's Avatar
benman94 benman94 is offline
Resident Lunatic
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Detroit, MI
Posts: 1,080
I know this is a long shot, but can anyone tell from my screenshots if these were likely shot with the three-strip 35mm Technicolor cameras, or if they used the same process that Disney had used for "Seal Island" from 1948? Namely, that a smaller, lighter 16mm camera loaded with Kodachrome film was taken on location, the resulting footage was then blown up to create three 35mm separation internegatives, one for the red record, one for the green record, and one for the blue record. These then took the place of the camera negatives in the Technicolor process, and the process from that point on was more or less identical to that of a film shot with the three-strip camera on a Hollywood sound stage.

The images are too grainy looking to be from 35mm negatives IMO, but then I suppose the transfers for the DVD could have theoretically been culled from 16mm reduction prints.
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 07-17-2018, 08:11 PM
old_tv_nut's Avatar
old_tv_nut old_tv_nut is offline
See yourself on Color TV!
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Rancho Sahuarita
Posts: 4,690
Surely made from 16mm originals. The three-strip cameras were owned by Technicolor and required by contract to use Technicolor operators, etc., etc., which woud have been far too expensive for this sort of short subject.

Have you seen this 1949 sales film from Technicolor promoting the use of their printing methods for industrial movies made on single-strip films?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyiH_r7YCvU

There may also be clues in the material itself, for example, do the titles say "Print by Technicolor" rather than "Color by Technicolor?"
__________________
www.bretl.com
Old TV literature, New York World's Fair, and other miscellany
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 07-17-2018, 08:14 PM
old_tv_nut's Avatar
old_tv_nut old_tv_nut is offline
See yourself on Color TV!
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Rancho Sahuarita
Posts: 4,690
Another thing: since these are on DVD and not Blu-Ray, they almost surely change the nature/texture of the film grain, where Blu-Ray usually reproduces it more or less accurately.
__________________
www.bretl.com
Old TV literature, New York World's Fair, and other miscellany
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 07-17-2018, 08:20 PM
old_tv_nut's Avatar
old_tv_nut old_tv_nut is offline
See yourself on Color TV!
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Rancho Sahuarita
Posts: 4,690
Quote:
Originally Posted by benman94 View Post
... but there's also a large number of them that would clearly pre-date the roundie to even the least informed viewer (shorts showing King George VI and the eventual Queen Mother, one showing Adolf Hitler, etc)...
You have a lot more faith in the average knowledge of history in this country than I do.
__________________
www.bretl.com
Old TV literature, New York World's Fair, and other miscellany
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 07-17-2018, 09:20 PM
benman94's Avatar
benman94 benman94 is offline
Resident Lunatic
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Detroit, MI
Posts: 1,080
Quote:
Originally Posted by old_tv_nut View Post
Surely made from 16mm originals. The three-strip cameras were owned by Technicolor and required by contract to use Technicolor operators, etc., etc., which woud have been far too expensive for this sort of short subject.

Have you seen this 1949 sales film from Technicolor promoting the use of their printing methods for industrial movies made on single-strip films?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyiH_r7YCvU

There may also be clues in the material itself, for example, do the titles say "Print by Technicolor" rather than "Color by Technicolor?"
The titles all show "Color by Technicolor".

I think the only single strip stocks available would have been from Kodak, Ansco, and Agfa. I suppose I should also include Dufaycolor, but I'm not sure if creating the 35mm internegatives from a 16mm print with a réseau would have even worked... or rather worked well enough. It would have "worked" with grain roughly the size of cannonballs...

Thanks for the link to that sales film; that fills in a lot of gaps for me on how the short subjects and industrial films commonly found on dye IB prints were originally shot.
Reply With Quote
Audiokarma
  #41  
Old 07-17-2018, 11:31 PM
old_tv_nut's Avatar
old_tv_nut old_tv_nut is offline
See yourself on Color TV!
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Rancho Sahuarita
Posts: 4,690
In looking at that 1949 promotional film again, I see it really doesn't specify printing only, so maybe in that film they were proposing shooting with 35mm 3-strip and reducing to 16mm for prints. And maybe they were carefully avoiding the subject until the client came in and saw the difference in cost between 3-strip and single-strip shooting.
__________________
www.bretl.com
Old TV literature, New York World's Fair, and other miscellany
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 07-18-2018, 05:53 PM
old_tv_nut's Avatar
old_tv_nut old_tv_nut is offline
See yourself on Color TV!
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Rancho Sahuarita
Posts: 4,690
Technicolor Movies by Haines:
https://www.amazon.com/Technicolor-M.../dp/0786418095
explains that Technicolor had developed a 35mm monopack in 1939 that was essentially a low contrast version of Kodachrome. Haines says it was developed in concert with Kodak by Technicolor staff member Leonard Troland, and had been available in 16 mm since the 1920s (although he implies it was only used in 35mm size and after 1939). Aerial scenes in the 1941 film "Dive Bomber" were the first to use monopack.

"Glorious Technicolor" by Basten says that the improvement of the monopack was stalled during WWII due to the labs being taken over by the war effort.

Haines says the difference between tripack (star's scenes) and monopack (exterior Africa scenes) is visible in "King Solomon's Mines" (1950).

Haines also says that True Life Adventures were shot on 16mm Kodachrome (implying not the low-contrast stuff).

This all leads me to think that these travelogs were likely shot on the low contrast 35mm monopack. Do you have any of the True Life Adventures to compare to the travelogs?
__________________
www.bretl.com
Old TV literature, New York World's Fair, and other miscellany
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 07-18-2018, 06:37 PM
benman94's Avatar
benman94 benman94 is offline
Resident Lunatic
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Detroit, MI
Posts: 1,080
Quote:
Originally Posted by old_tv_nut View Post
Technicolor Movies by Haines:
https://www.amazon.com/Technicolor-M.../dp/0786418095
explains that Technicolor had developed a 35mm monopack in 1939 that was essentially a low contrast version of Kodachrome. Haines says it was developed in concert with Kodak by Technicolor staff member Leonard Troland, and had been available in 16 mm since the 1920s (although he implies it was only used in 35mm size and after 1939). Aerial scenes in the 1941 film "Dive Bomber" were the first to use monopack.

"Glorious Technicolor" by Basten says that the improvement of the monopack was stalled during WWII due to the labs being taken over by the war effort.

Haines says the difference between tripack (star's scenes) and monopack (exterior Africa scenes) is visible in "King Solomon's Mines" (1950).

Haines also says that True Life Adventures were shot on 16mm Kodachrome (implying not the low-contrast stuff).

This all leads me to think that these travelogs were likely shot on the low contrast 35mm monopack. Do you have any of the True Life Adventures to compare to the travelogs?
I don't, but here's a trailer for a DVD "Best Of" collection including footage from the Disney series for comparison:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwMpbPo4gdc
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 07-18-2018, 06:44 PM
old_tv_nut's Avatar
old_tv_nut old_tv_nut is offline
See yourself on Color TV!
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Rancho Sahuarita
Posts: 4,690
I'm afraid that is too low resolution and bit rate to make a valid comparison of grain, but the difference in color is apparent.
__________________
www.bretl.com
Old TV literature, New York World's Fair, and other miscellany
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 07-21-2018, 10:11 PM
old_tv_nut's Avatar
old_tv_nut old_tv_nut is offline
See yourself on Color TV!
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Rancho Sahuarita
Posts: 4,690
The Traveltalks and King Solomon's Mines DVDs arrived today. I've been doing some quick previewing on the Blu-Ray player and HD set, and I have to say that the processing they have been through makes it hard to guess what the original source was.

King Solomon's Mines shows minor differences between the location and studio shots, but it seems the film was processed to remove grain before putting it on DVD, so you can't really see a difference in that. There is a river/waterfall scene where the white water has a peculiar moire pattern in it, which may be a conflict between random motion in water, grain reduction, and MPEG coding. There is a slight difference in contrast (location shots being contrastier) but it seems to be mainly the difference in lighting rather than film stock. The location scenery is certainly magnificent.

The Traveltalk shorts have visually obvious lower resolution than the feature film, but is it due to the original source, some analog video transfer stage (there is edge enhancement), or down-resing before encoding to get 2.5 hours on the DVD? It's hard to tell what all is going on. All evidence of film grain has been obliterated, although you can see some blotchy effects in the sky at times. There is one segment of one episode that has some obvious misregistration of the three-strip printing process. Fine vertical details like window edges seem to show some aliasing that causes them to brighten and darken as the film weaves, a sign of down-resing. A Tokyo theater street scene with colorful signs has one blue and yellow sign that jitters left and right, probably due to an MPEG coder motion detection failure with low luminance contrast.

Color overall in these shorts is quite good. I get a kick out of looking up some of the locations to see what they look like today.

So, first impression is that these are great demo materials for vintage color sets, but trying to guess the original source format for the travel shorts (35mm or 16mm) is probably futile.
__________________
www.bretl.com
Old TV literature, New York World's Fair, and other miscellany
Reply With Quote
Audiokarma
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:52 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
©Copyright 2012 VideoKarma.org, All rights reserved.