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Author Topic: Bad 16mm TV viewing experiences
David Coppola
Film Handler

Posts: 75
From: Rochester, NY, USA
Registered: Mar 2014


 - posted September 21, 2015 01:24 PM      Profile for David Coppola     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
For those of us at a certain age, we all used to view 16mm movies and shows on local TV stations.
In the 70s, even as a kid, I always was critical of projection and quality of the prints.
For instance, I recall watching a TV print of the movie Mash on a Saturday night. The station must have felt it profitable to pre-emp the classic CBS line up to show it.
The print was atrocious and the projection even worse. Lines, splices, muddy audio, and to make matters even worse they ran the reels to the very end showing end leaders and the green ends.
I also recall watching the Banana Splits on 16mm, faded so badly that you could barely make out what was going on, along with the lines and splices.
Some telecines were good, especially on certain channels.
I also recall when a scope film was shown, the beginning credits were shown in adapted scope with a "curly cue" above and below.
Weird how I started thinking about these things.

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John Hourigan
Master Film Handler

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


 - posted September 21, 2015 03:05 PM      Profile for John Hourigan   Email John Hourigan       Edit/Delete Post 
You're right, David -- even when I was a kid in the 1970s, I thought the beat-up, poor-quality prints were atrocious on feature films and syndicated programs that aired locally.

Just goes to show you how spoiled we are today with restorations, etc.

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Paul Mason
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 540
From: Aldershot, Hampshire, UK
Registered: Nov 2013


 - posted September 22, 2015 04:53 AM      Profile for Paul Mason     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Interesting that 16mm was so widely used by local stations in the US. In the UK in the 70s and 80s 35mm was usual for showing feature films and some programmes such as The Saint, The Avengers etc. 16mm was used by the BBC for their own filmed series in colour. Before Super 16 came along there was often a disturbing drop in picture quality between studio video tape and film segments on the telecine.

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Paul.

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David Coppola
Film Handler

Posts: 75
From: Rochester, NY, USA
Registered: Mar 2014


 - posted September 22, 2015 06:26 AM      Profile for David Coppola     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have gotten rid of all of my 16mm equipment and films. But I kept the TV original 16mm movie pilot of Starsky and Hutch from 1975. Funny even though it had run the TV circut it was still in excellent shape, no lines, splices, etc.
Even more amazing it still has beautiful color. Eastman 2B? I believe.

BOT, I also recall very beat up Space 1999, Star Trek, Happy Days, Odd Couple 16mm prints shown in the late 70s.
In contrast, I recall going to Rochester Institute of Tech for film showings and the 16mm presentations were beautiful. I recall in the early 80s going to see "Times Square" (1980) and was amazed what 16mm could produce. I honestly thought it was 35mm, till I made my requisite stop in the projection booth.

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Steve Klare
Film Guy

Posts: 7016
From: Long Island, NY, USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted September 22, 2015 10:25 AM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Our local independent station had a title card with "Technical Difficulties" that popped up quite commonly, especially during The Andy Griffith Show.

the Narrator said "Please stand by: we are experiencing technical difficulties.", and he'd repeat this roughly twice a minute.

I actually started to enjoy it, the music was kind of catchy! (There was a second song you very rarely heard: when it started you knew they were in deep!)

Lately I'm starting to guess there was some frantic splicing going on the whole time I was seeing this!

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All I ask is a wide screen and a projector to light her by...

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Douglas Warren
Master Film Handler

Posts: 282
From: West Chester, OH, USA
Registered: Feb 2008


 - posted September 22, 2015 04:28 PM      Profile for Douglas Warren   Email Douglas Warren   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Being kids at the time,my brother and I always got a kick when they would have technical issues with prints.Usually it meant that some funny glitch would happen prior to that title card going up!

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Turn out the lights,the movie is starting!

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Steve Klare
Film Guy

Posts: 7016
From: Long Island, NY, USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted September 22, 2015 05:35 PM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I remember some gargling sountracks and fluttered images before it went black a couple of seconds and then "We are experiencing technical difficulties..." came up.

-pretty much the same sights and sounds that bring a rush of adrenaline to any film collector!

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All I ask is a wide screen and a projector to light her by...

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Clinton Hunt
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 845
From: Waharoa,North Island,New Zealand
Registered: May 2010


 - posted September 22, 2015 06:09 PM      Profile for Clinton Hunt   Author's Homepage   Email Clinton Hunt   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Wow! while reading this thread I suddenly remembered watching TV in the 1970s in New Zealand and especially Star Trek TOS and one episode didn't have the opening credits, it started with an obvious overlay of the words Star Trek with stars added!
AHHHH memories eh guys [Smile]

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Cheers from me in New Zealand :-)

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