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Old 03-16-2017, 11:21 PM
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Go-to films for demonstration/test bench purposes?

Aside from the very obvious contenders (The Wizard of Oz, etc) what are your favorite go-to films when working on a set, or demonstrating it? I see the Wizard of Oz enough in other folks' restoration photographs/videos, it's nice to sometimes see something a bit different.

For a monochrome set, I usually pull out one of the following:
  • Broadway (1929)
  • 42nd Street (1933)
  • Modern Times (1936)
  • City Lights (1931)
  • The Gold Rush (1925)
  • The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) *Easily one of the greatest films of all time; if you haven't seen it, rent or buy it NOW
  • The Naked City (1948)

For color, I usually grab one of these:
  • DuBarry Was a Lady (1943)
  • The Red Shoes (1948)
  • Singin' In The Rain (1952)
  • Easter Parade (1948)
  • Fantasia (1940) *Only certain sequences
  • House of Wax (1953)

What about you guys?
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Old 03-17-2017, 01:08 AM
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Two more recommendations for the ultimate technicolor demos:
Robin Hood
Meet Me in St. Louis

I also like to play some of the Bonanza episodes. More subdued color, but they still managed to put shirts or vests in primary colors on the stars.
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Last edited by old_tv_nut; 03-17-2017 at 01:12 AM.
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Old 03-17-2017, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benman94 View Post
Aside from the very obvious contenders (The Wizard of Oz, etc) what are your favorite go-to films when working on a set, or demonstrating it? I see the Wizard of Oz enough in other folks' restoration photographs/videos, it's nice to sometimes see something a bit different.
Amen to that bruh. Different is my stock in trade.

I don't bother trying to select films or TV shows with a lot of color, I just go with what I like. I was taking screenshots and trying to make videos of Corner Gas for a while. I love a good thriller, and Orphan (2009) is my favorite to date. There isn't a lot of color but it's good for grayscale demos. For me, part of its appeal is the Winter backdrop and that most of it was filmed in Ontario where the pictured set was made. Also, the year the set was made is mentioned in the film; I won't say why here.

I can't get great screenshots with my camera but it's a lot easier to get a picture without a highly visible hum bar with the new run cap installed.
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Old 03-17-2017, 01:21 PM
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I also tend to go with what I like most.

While I do enjoy the classics they are second tier to anime for me.

Most color sets I find an episode where there is good/interesting use of color.....Some beat SMPTE color bars in that I've got every primary and half tone along with skin tone and quarter tones and such. There are also many cases where a lot of subtlety and detail exist in the image that help show subtle differences when A-B comparing sets.

The Twilight Zone is basically my go to monochrome demonstration...I don't watch a lot of monochrome content since I want to watch all color shows on color sets, and few other monochrome shows do I like enough to sit and sink even 30 min of my scarce time. Many episodes of the twilight zone survived with remarkable picture quality.
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Old 03-17-2017, 01:27 PM
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....Many episodes of the twilight zone survived with remarkable picture quality.
That's because for most of the series, they filmed it with actual film a la "I Love Lucy". They did a brief experiment with taping the show using B/W IO cameras, editing on tape, then creating a "higher quality" kinescope from the final tape and using that. Those episodes generally look terrible.
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Old 03-17-2017, 02:22 PM
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I was taking screenshots and trying to make videos of Corner Gas for a while.
I miss Brent Butt and the gang from Dog River.

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Old 05-25-2017, 05:29 PM
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A writeup about "film" archiving in the digital age.

Mentions "The Red Shoes" and the fact that it costs $20k - 40k every few years to migrate the restored copy to the latest digital data tape format.

http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/i...Alert_05-25-17
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Old 05-27-2017, 11:12 PM
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A writeup about "film" archiving in the digital age.

Mentions "The Red Shoes" and the fact that it costs $20k - 40k every few years to migrate the restored copy to the latest digital data tape format.

http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/i...Alert_05-25-17
It was a fascinating read.....I'm surprised the archive industry does not simply demand playback only support out to 10 generations. It would make a great solution. If new hardware can still play a tape up to near the guaranteed shelf life, then they can keep the tapes till near the end of their life then transfer them to the current generation recording method....Yeah the makers won't have as much leverage to force the sale of new tapes for upgrading, but to what extent?...The older tapes hold less data so theoretically there will become a point where any growing archive (or one of fixed size trying to cut costs) has to look at the old tapes and say "I can fit 5 movies on this single gen 15 tape or I can put those same 5 films on 5 gen 10 tapes, why am I wasting space with older gen tapes?". Shelf space has value so even if the makers no longer force archivists to upgrade the archivists will still do it on their own accord once the difference in shelf space consumption between generations financially merits an upgrade.
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Old 05-28-2017, 12:41 PM
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For monochrome stuff - I use Made for Each Other - Jimmy Stewart, and Carole Lombard in her prime. She steals the show. You can find the DVD in the "public domain" bins at discount stores often.

Color? I'm more contemporary - I use a Sharp (TV brand) demo dvd - lots of color saturation and action in the center of the screen - blues and reds, with one green tree frog. It's only 00:02:35 long, but colorful. The 1988 RCA demo tape I have cuts too close to the corners, and even on a flat screen, Nipper looks distorted vertically.

From the VCR feed, Field of Dreams - it's a favorite, if not a bit blah in color.
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Old 05-29-2017, 02:33 AM
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I go to My Man Godfrey 1936.


B/W

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6XhnQ-OuKU

Color

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5ISE4xuHAg

I love Carole Lombard.

Last edited by centralradio; 05-29-2017 at 02:38 PM.
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  #11  
Old 05-24-2018, 12:29 PM
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Here's an excellent choice for color roundie demonstrations, 'A Star Is Born' from 1937:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4h2s1elEYMQ

This copy was pulled directly from a Blu-Ray release done by Kino in 2012, and since the film is in the public domain, it ain't going anywhere any time soon. You can also get around copy right claims when posting demonstration videos to YouTube etc, by using something already in the public domain.

I have a DVD copy of this, and the picture quality on the DVD is terrible. While this still isn't perfect, it is much clearer, and perfectly watchable.
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Old 05-24-2018, 04:22 PM
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I like to show Twilight Zone or Orginal Outer Limits shows on DVD to test grey scale adjustments as they look really good. For color I'm not really a Wizard of Oz fan so much so it's usually sitcoms that were in color. Warner Brothers looney tune cartoons or any of the Disney cartoons of Mickey, Goofy, or Donald Duck. Your old movies mentioned at the beginning are excellent choices but I don't own any of them. Green acres DVD look pretty good for their time.
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:59 AM
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"Down Argentine Way" is another great demo film. 20th Century Fox definitely got every last bit out of the Technicolor process on this one.

Last edited by benman94; 06-05-2018 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 06-05-2018, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benman94 View Post
That's because for most of the series, they filmed it with actual film a la "I Love Lucy". They did a brief experiment with taping the show using B/W IO cameras, editing on tape, then creating a "higher quality" kinescope from the final tape and using that. Those episodes generally look terrible.
Wasn't the Dumont Electronicam a similar process?
That was used on the Honeymooner's and the picture quality was a little lacking.
The Desilou studios productions like The Untouchables seemed to be good quality.
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Old 06-05-2018, 12:31 PM
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Wasn't the Dumont Electronicam a similar process?
That was used on the Honeymooner's and the picture quality was a little lacking.
The Desilou studios productions like The Untouchables seemed to be good quality.
Electronicam was different in that the camera head used a splitter to direct half the light to a traditional film camera (I believe an Arriflex was adapted for this purpose) and the other half to an electronic television camera.

For the Twilight Zone, the episodes were shot with a video camera, the tape was used for network broadcast originally, but then kinescopes were made from the tape for syndication. The experiment was a dismal failure, and was only used for a handful of episodes total.
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