This is topic Star Wars 200' vs 400' and my film collecting in forum 8mm Forum at 8mm Forum.

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Posted by David Coppola (Member # 4209) on January 21, 2015, 06:31 AM:
Wayyyy back in the 70s when this was released by Ken Films and my Super 8mm interest was at it's peak, Star Wars was released.
Local Two Guys stores had the 200' B&W silent/Color silent/ and Color Sound versions. These were also offered in the Famous Monsters magazines.
I started with the B&W one. Soon after I got a sound projector. Keep in mind that anything I got, my mom bought for me, as I was a very pre teen.
Eventually I was lucky to get the Color/Sound version and thought it was like the second coming!
Soon after the 400' version was mine with much more footage.
But I noticed that the discussion between Luke and Obi Wan had been drastically altered. Me, having very rudimentary knowledge of splicing and editing, used my Hervic splicer and added the much longer sequence from the 200' onto the 400' version and it came out perfectly.
I must have shown that 400' film countless times indoors and outdoors to very enthusiastic viewers.
My Super 8 interest lasted till around 1980 when teenager interests took over... ;-)
What I find interesting now is that a second 400' version was made as well as a scope version and 2 Empire releases.
I always wondered why Ken, Castle/Universal 8 never offered full length versions of the films in their catalogues. Granted, it would have been expensive, but still, I am sure that some would have been purchased. I remember in 79 or so, a company called Marketing Films came about offering Paramount films in 22', 400', 3x400' and full length features. Of which I drooled over the prospect of owning Saturday Night Fever (feature), which was and still is one of my favorite films.
In the late 80s/early 90s, I started working at an AV staging Company and got into 16mm collecting and eventually acquired an Eiki 4000p Xenon projector and many features from the Big Reel. Seeing that film was really dying out, I unloaded all of my equipment, while I could still get a good price for it all. In some ways I regret it, but in others, I made the wise choice at the time.
I did hang on to a few things, like the Starsky and Hutch 16mm pilot movie (one of my all time favs))....
and my 400' ,Super 8mm, self edited, Star Wars......;-)
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on January 21, 2015, 07:36 AM:
My peak interest time era in Super 8, David, is today, and then tomorrow, it will be even stronger. For me the fact that it is all now becoming so rare to get the best films out there on the gauge, only adds to my intrigue, interest and determination to one day, seek them out
Posted by Winbert Hutahaean (Member # 58) on January 21, 2015, 08:05 AM:
David, Ken and Universal 8 as well as other companies did release full length feature of several titles.

But for certain titles (such Star Wars) I believe this fell into contract agreement issues coming from several reasons, e.g :

- Studio had given the right for releasing the full length version to another company,

- Copyright owner did not allow that ttitle be released in full version due to the fact that 8mm is for home use only,

- Not too economical since lab had to make the negatives on 8mm x 2 stock, while it has low interest in the market

- etc

In fact something that I could not understand, a very popular title like James Bond 007 was not released on Digest or three parter. Can anyone explain?

Posted by Brian Fretwell (Member # 4302) on January 21, 2015, 11:33 AM:
Never Say Never Again was releases as a 2 c 600ft digest, but that was from a different production company/distributor. I imagine that at the time the official films were either too expensive or the company didn't want to a deal
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on January 21, 2015, 01:36 PM:
Never Say Never.. was released by Derann. It has a much longer running time than any 3x400ft cut down I have ever seen.
It was on two very full 600ft reels and retains the outline of the story really well while remaining very action packed.

This was very much within Dereks "hey days". Pre striped stock was still very much alive and kicking, and just as with other 2x600ft cut downs of the era such as "Gremlins", I don't think the Spielbergs of this world were allowing the full features to be released given the relatively low return to the film companies.
Posted by Winbert Hutahaean (Member # 58) on January 22, 2015, 04:05 AM:
I knew Never Say Never Again, but this was released on the second period of super 8mm.

What I meant was the first period (1970-1980) and we did not see any James Bond digest.
Posted by Brad Kimball (Member # 5) on January 22, 2015, 01:40 PM:
What I can tell you from having a very in-depth discussion with friends of mine who have actually worked for some of the major studios is that the primary reasons for not releasing certain titles full-length were (1) licensing a certain title would be extremely expensive and far out weigh the cost of reproduction and marketing (2) the creators of the property demanded a certain "wait time" before a contemporary release is issued in its entirety to the home movie market and (3) the creators were too concerned with the potential to bootleg and sell prints through a black market.

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