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Author Topic: A Question for Castle Films PROFESSIONALS!!
Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 10204
From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted August 23, 2005 12:09 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I just bought a standard 8mm print of a "Castle Color" title called "the Big Bad Wolf", it's just one of the old Ub Iwerks cartoons, but thew auction said color so I thought, what the heck, no one else is bidding on it, and it's only a buck, if the eastman color is totally gone, what's a buck anyhow!!!

BOY!! WAS I SUPRISED!!

It wasn't eastman color, it was pure "Kodak Safety Stock" color, and it hasn't faded AT ALL!! Not a bit. My only sad point is that it doesn't have the original credits on it, at the beginning, but the original credits are on the end, with the earlier Castle logo. Even the color title cards have a "granite" style backing in gorgoeus light blues! As far as I'm concerned, this is a real find, and I'm seeing if he has anymore available.

My question is, due to the fact that this is "Kodak Safety film" color stock, what age is this standard 8mm film print? As far as I can remember, Castle films used Eastman stock, so I'm betting that this has to be at least the early 60's or much earlier. Please note, the edges of the film have a slightly bluish hue to them.

CASTLE FILM PROFESSIONALS, LEND ME YOUR YEARS OF EXPERIENCE!!

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Tim Christian
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 219
From: Norfolk, UK
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted August 23, 2005 12:35 PM      Profile for Tim Christian   Author's Homepage   Email Tim Christian   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The Castle colour version of The Big Bad Wolf is Cat. No. 910 (early colour stuff was all in the 900 or 9000 series).

It is listed in the 1946 catalogue, where all colour films are stated to be 'cinecolor', thus, Kodak.

The colour process used was not mentioned in the 1957 amd subsequent cataloges.

Hope this helps.

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Tim

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Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 10204
From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted August 23, 2005 02:32 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Wow, that was quick! That means this would have to be between 1946 and 56, which means that it's dang good color for it's age. I guess that shouldn't be suprising, as I have seen a number of old home movies from the 40's in standard 8mm, that have incredibly good color as well.

I read up on cine-color in the past and one site had some stuff on it. The problem with the cinecolor, (and it appears that this print has the problem as well), is that, though it has perfect color, it's very grainy and not as sharp as your average Castle film.

What's interesting to me is that , lets say that this is one of the 1946 prints. That would make it less than ten years since this film was actually made! (as this film was made in 1936, I believe), and may be some of the earlier examples of early home movie color.

In have a number of early prints that are color and all of them, before Eastman, have very good color. It's interesting that A.A.P. put out a series of color SOUND standard 8mm in "Ansco color" and the color on this print of "Hair Raising Hare" is excellent.

The same can be said for a "Hollywood Exchange" print of the Disney Mickey Mouse "Tugboat Mickey" (Standard 8mm color silent)which is also Ansco color, and is excellent. It was amazing, it must have been stored somewhere and still, to this day, never played! Not even by me, but upon looking at it frame by frame, once again, this earlier color tends to be grainy and the sharpness suffers slightly.

In a way, it seems like when home movie distributors turned to Eastman color instead of these other competing brands, they may have saved money in processing and such, but we collectors, in general, have payed the price years down the line!

The fellow who sold it said that they will be posting more of these in the next month, so I'm going to try for them.

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Joe Balitzki
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 529
From: Charleston, SC, USA
Registered: Aug 2005


 - posted August 24, 2005 06:04 AM      Profile for Joe Balitzki   Email Joe Balitzki   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Osi, the Graininess is due to the CineColor process itself. Sharp Focus is difficult because there is Emulsion on both sides of the film. The good news is that you are seeing the Cartoon in its true Colors because CineColor made the print for Castle Films. If you look at a EastmanColor print of a CineColor film, the focus is going to be somewhat soft or exhibit Grain. I have the Cartoon in 16mm Sound, and the fidelity of the soundtrack could be better but again its because of the double emulsion and the Color of the track itself.

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Movie Lovers Do It in the Dark

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Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 10204
From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted August 24, 2005 11:21 AM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I noticed that! I have a number of unfaded Ub Iwerks cartoons, (That were put out by Blackhawk in the early 80's) and while the color is okay, it's not up to the standards of a regular color combination, so I just wrote that off to Ub Iwerks working with an inferior color scheme.

But, upon looking at this standard 8mm print, the colors of this "Big Bad Wolf" are truly stunning, unfaded, and a full color spectrum. I tell you, it really is a revelation! Add to that the original Castle film logo's at the end and it's quite a prize, and that, at only one dollar! But then, alas, "Gold is where you find it!"

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Kevin Faulkner
Film God

Posts: 4071
From: Essex UK
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted August 24, 2005 12:17 PM      Profile for Kevin Faulkner         Edit/Delete Post 
Osi, Give this link a try. It's a good read and tells you all about the process of CineColor.

http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/oldcolor/cinecolor2.htm

Tim, CineColor adopted the Eastman material in 1950 -51. They only used Kodak or Dupont B/W materials up till then but was nothing to do with Kodak.

Kev.

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GS1200 Xenon with Elmo 1.0...great combo along with a 16-CL Xenon for that super bright white light.

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John Whittle
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 791
From: Northridge, CA USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted August 24, 2005 07:47 PM      Profile for John Whittle   Email John Whittle       Edit/Delete Post 
Cinecolor was one of several (Magnacolor, American Color) competitors to Technicolor. These were all two color systems and originally used Kodak 5504 Duplizied Positive film which had emulsion on both sides of the film. (Some of the information on the Widescreen Museum website was provided by me).

You have to scrape both sides of the film to do a cement splice.

The drawback for these two color systems was the sound was inferior to Technicolor since they were dye tracks and Technicolor had a silver track. There was a phototube that was specified for these prints but few theatres bothered.

Paramount made a number of shorts in Cinecolor/Magnacolor (Unusual Occupations, Popular Science). Several cartoons normally processed in Technicolor came out in Cinecolor in the late 1940s because of a labor strike at Technicolor (so you'll find a few Merrie Melodies and Popeye cartoons that were in Cinecolor).

Castle only offered the Cinecolor prints for a short period, but the titles remained in the catalog for years, as mentioned elsewhere Castle also offered some Technicolor prints of some Walter Lantz cartoons for a few years as well (Woody Dines Out is one title). The Technicolor cartoons were not "re-cut" with the Castle opening, the Cinecolor color cartoons had Castle openings and I recall a 16mm sound print of "Old Mother Hubbard" that had a burned in logo in the lower right through out the cartoon--an early use of the common tv burn in of today--to prevent theatrical use of the print.

John

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Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 10204
From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted August 25, 2005 12:17 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Boy, that would suck (to have a logo burned in) Thanks to Kevin and John and the others who have contributed to this series of posts.

While Cinecolor wasn't perfect, I must say again that the cinecolor standard 8mm print I have, (and the same cartoon on Blackhawk eastman color) are like night and day, and the amazing thing is that while the Blackhawk eastman color print is only 25 years old, (and already starting a slight fade), the cinecolor print is at least 50 years old, (as Cinecolor, it sounds like, pretty much went bankrupt shortly after 1950) and yet still retains it's full and rich color, which at least tells me that this cinecolor process, while a little grainier, was a much better process. I feel thankful that I snatched this cartoon up and hope that this fella that I bought it from, has some more "Castle Color" titles from the same period, as it's lots of fun to have truly vintage early color films in my collection.

I don't know if anyone can answer the question as to when full color films (as in cartoons, features ect.) were first introduced to home audiences, but I'd love for someone to give some info on the subject.

Note : not the first color home movie film, but the first color film releases of studio films. I woudln't be suprised if these "Castle color" films were among the first.

It's kind of interesting, that perhaps the best color, (until some fuji prints or of course, and Kodak LPP color in the early 80's) was actually in the earliest films released to the public to collect.

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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John Whittle
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 791
From: Northridge, CA USA
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 - posted August 25, 2005 09:30 PM      Profile for John Whittle   Email John Whittle       Edit/Delete Post 
Well the Technicolor Blue Track films from Castle in 1947-48 were probably the first but they were only 16mm sound and pricey for the time ($48.00 I think without getting out the old catalogue).

After the Cinecolor run, I think the first Castle color films I recally were some Woody Woodpecker cartoons and travel films. I got my first regular 8mm "complete edition" color Woody Wooddpecker in 1956 or 57 (THe Great Magician). It was an Ansco reversal color print. Later Castle started selling Eastman color (1958-59) and by the time regular 8mm sound was introduced (1960-1) all the color subjects were Eastman color (which are all faded now).

John

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Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 10204
From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted August 25, 2005 10:09 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
One of the earlier posts, (either on this topic or the other), said that cinecolor did the early "Castle color" standard 8mm films, I can tell you for sure, that the print that i have certianly isn't eastman, but ansco color was certianly around back then.

ANYHOW it's great color and I'm proud to have ti in me collection, (even without complete titles)

The interesting thig about this title, is that I have a super 8 sound Ub Iwerks and it was released under the older Castle Films logo, and it has very good color as well, no fade, but I'm betting it's not a cinecolor print, as the colors on it pale compared to that standard 8mm I recieved.

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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John Whittle
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 791
From: Northridge, CA USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted August 27, 2005 12:54 PM      Profile for John Whittle   Email John Whittle       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
The interesting thig about this title, is that I have a super 8 sound Ub Iwerks and it was released under the older Castle Films logo, and it has very good color as well, no fade, but I'm betting it's not a cinecolor print, as the colors on it pale compared to that standard 8mm I recieved.
You can bet you don't have a Cinecolor Super 8 print since the stock was discontinued (Eastman 5504) and Cinecolor went bankrupt fifteen years before Super 8 was invented. The only Cilnecolor cartoons Castle offered were the Ub Iwerks collection in the late 1940s in all version (Complete Headline, 8mm 16mm silent and 16mm complete sound deluxe). It was from the early 1950s that Castle release the Woody Woodpecker cartoons in full color on Anscochrome first and later Eastmancolor. The reason for the change was simple, Eastmancolor prints were much cheaper--the rawstock was a third the cost of Anscochrome and the processing was much much cheaper so the per foot price Castle paid was much lower. They probably lost money on the first subjects issued on Anscochrome.

John

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