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Author Topic: 16MM feature catalog.
Andrew Armstrong
Junior
Posts: 5
From: Galveston, TX, USA
Registered: Jun 2015


 - posted June 18, 2015 10:58 PM      Profile for Andrew Armstrong   Email Andrew Armstrong   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I know 35MM has a catalogue of the movies in/were in print. Being new to 16MM, is there a site that lists all 16Mm catalogue titles movie/educational/cartoon/TV? I am curious to know what is available on 16MM.

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Robert Crewdson
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1031
From: UK
Registered: Jun 2013


 - posted June 22, 2015 04:23 AM      Profile for Robert Crewdson     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If you go on to archive.org, they have one or two old catalogues, British and American. I can remember that one was the GB Library, and there was a Kodascope catalogue. You will also find old cine mags there.

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Adrian Winchester
Film God

Posts: 2870
From: Croydon, London, UK
Registered: Aug 2004


 - posted June 22, 2015 10:29 PM      Profile for Adrian Winchester   Email Adrian Winchester   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm afraid it's more a matter of what WAS available than what is. In fairly recent years the quantity of 16mm feature prints that have been destroyed is staggering and appalling - quite possibly in the region of 20,000 in the UK alone. Even the one remaining library in the USA that has modern prints has been decimated beyond all recognition.

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Adrian Winchester

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Ken Finch
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 528
From: Herne Bay, Kent. U.K.
Registered: Oct 2011


 - posted June 23, 2015 01:24 PM      Profile for Ken Finch   Email Ken Finch   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Andrew, I used to have a number of 16mm film library hire catalogues but the libraries closed down years ago when VHS took over. Adrian is right, I remember reading that most of the films were scrapped or went for silver reclamation. What you have available today are those that dealers managed to acquire from TV companies, Council educational libraries etc. I think the last one to close down was the "Guild" library. Perhaps some one can confirm this. Prior to the advent of VHS most of the big film companies had there own 16mm film distributing libraries. Ken Finch.

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Robert Crewdson
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1031
From: UK
Registered: Jun 2013


 - posted June 23, 2015 03:03 PM      Profile for Robert Crewdson     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What a terrible waste Adrian; the film companies or libraries could have made a nice bit of money selling off the prints; or was there some reason they wouldn't do it? I see on Ebay, someone has a copy of the Ealing Film 'Dead of Night', this appeared in the 1951 GB Library catalogue. I have noticed in the 7 or 8 years that I started collecting 16mm that many titles have only come up the once in that time; I sometimes wonder how many copies survive of a particular print.

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Dave Groves
Master Film Handler

Posts: 494
From: Southend on Sea, Essex, UK
Registered: Feb 2015


 - posted June 23, 2015 05:06 PM      Profile for Dave Groves   Email Dave Groves   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In the hey-day of 16mm libraries in the U.K. film sales barely existed. Big libraries like Ron Harris who offered several studios productions knew how to charge for them and wouldn't allow you to hire if near a local cinema without the managers permission. Doubt they ever sold anything into the collectors market. Few, if any, owned the prints they hired out and they usually agreed to the return or destruction of any prints held at the end of the licence period or if damaged beyond use. Confirmation of destruction was often demanded by the print owners. Odd prints got 'lost in the post' or belonged to producers/directors/actors which, at death became available. Owning 35mm prints was illegal and some sturios seemed almost paranoid about enthusiasts owning anything. Now we've got dvds!!

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Dave

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Adrian Winchester
Film God

Posts: 2870
From: Croydon, London, UK
Registered: Aug 2004


 - posted June 23, 2015 06:00 PM      Profile for Adrian Winchester   Email Adrian Winchester   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Robert, it's impossible to generalise with regard to the number of features printed of a particular title - it could vary from one to possibly even hundreds.

It's sometimes said that libraries never sell prints but that's a generalisation. Someone explained on this forum that he once asked a distributor direct about buying a film in the former Filmbank library and they agreed. That saved it from destruction later.

The destroying 'culture' seems to be a throwback to the time when the industry was worried about piracy and/or unauthorised public screenings involving film prints (including 16mm). They seemed unable to snap out of that mentality, even when DVD became the main threat and 16mm became insignificant. I even once heard of bandsawed trailer to 'Cars' (2006)!

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Adrian Winchester

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Andrew Armstrong
Junior
Posts: 5
From: Galveston, TX, USA
Registered: Jun 2015


 - posted June 29, 2015 09:06 PM      Profile for Andrew Armstrong   Email Andrew Armstrong   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thank you for the information. There is still a lot of film titles that are still not available on anything other than film. I know here in the U.S. 8MM was a home movie format and has no laws banning it. 16MM was common in every school and a lot of features were released on it, mostly overseas. 35/65/70MM here, is illegal to own as it is for commercial distribution. With the final swoop on film by DCI, i have been told owning 35MM film is now a gray area, but not for 65/70MM. I was a projectionist until 2001. Like a lot of others the digital change over did not affect my job, but it did make it extremely boring, so much i left for other work. I have seen plenty of prints literally ran until the would fall apart in the projector. The cinema i worked for went through 2 35MM titanic films, both of them were new prints, but after almost 16 hour a day showings for weeks, it took a heavy toll on them. The last prints we sent back was missing about 10 minutes and had over a dozen splices. The first print had the digital dolby soundtrack literally separated from the film. I had to set there with scissors and cut it off after so many feet. But the show went own. After that we were down to one showing. The last time i saw a print literally get ran out was with Return of the Jedi. From what i see that is not a big problem with 16MM, but a lot of it is due to poor storage in a attic or closet.

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Joe McAllister
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 177
From: London England
Registered: May 2007


 - posted August 16, 2015 08:43 AM      Profile for Joe McAllister   Email Joe McAllister   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Apart from the catalogues issued by the many 16mm Libraries that operated in the UK the BFI published "Films on Offer" which was essentially an alphabetical list of all 16mm films currently on offer.
Sadly its appearance coincided with the demise and curtailment of many libraries so it was pretty thin by the time of its last appearance.

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Always interested in privately produced amateur and home movies.

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Maurice Leakey
Film God

Posts: 5609
From: Bristol. United Kingdom
Registered: Oct 2007


 - posted August 16, 2015 11:11 AM      Profile for Maurice Leakey   Email Maurice Leakey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Joe
"Films On Offer" was primarily aimed at Film Societies and as such the films were generally those which would attract their members.
The BFI offered a booking service for Film Societies, the secretaries of such who were too busy to peruse all film catalogues could find films of interest in this publication and let the BFI do their whole season's booking, the suggested films were often moved around to coincide with exhibition dates given.

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Maurice

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Dave Groves
Master Film Handler

Posts: 494
From: Southend on Sea, Essex, UK
Registered: Feb 2015


 - posted August 16, 2015 11:14 AM      Profile for Dave Groves   Email Dave Groves   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We also had a monthly magazine that ran many years called 'Film User'. When I bought it it was a glossy item that reviewed anything and everything 16mm from equipment to prints. It also published yearly a small format booklet called 'The Years 16mm Films 19!!' intended for anyone needing detailed info and reviews on the years releases. I have 1956 and very useful it is. Wish I could have got hold of others. Found it in a charity shop!

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Dave

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John Hourigan
Master Film Handler

Posts: 301
From: Colorado U.S.A.
Registered: Sep 2003


 - posted September 21, 2015 03:24 PM      Profile for John Hourigan   Email John Hourigan       Edit/Delete Post 
Probably a majority of films in those libraries were copyrighted works, and it doesn't surprise me that the prints were destroyed as a result. Whether one likes it or not, copyright is something that can't (and shouldn't) be maneuvered around.

Also, Andrew's comments are further evidence (that hobbyists tend to glaze over) that film prints got fairly battered during their cinema runs in the day. I destinctly recall seeing many battered prints across multiple theaters. With the high costs associated with the printing and distribution of physical film prints, is there any wonder why the conversion was made? One has to remember -- it's a business, and the economics of it have to make sense.

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