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A Christmas Carol 1984 ... Super 8?

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  • A Christmas Carol 1984 ... Super 8?

    Hey! I know that 1984's " A Christmas Carol ", was a co-production of the U S and U K, and it was first shown on U.S. television, but in the UK, it was released theatrically. Now, I know that there were 16mm prints struck, but I wonder, being that it was released theatrically in the UK, if super 8 optical sound labs, such "Sunstrand", may have released it as a super 8 optical airline feature? Does anybody have any info on such?

  • #2
    It seems unlikely since airlines were moving from film to video by that time.

    In 1971, TRANSCOM developed the 8mm film cassette. Flight attendants could now change movies in-flight and add short subject programming.

    In the late 1970s and early 1980s, CRT-based projectors began to appear on newer widebody aircraft, such as the Boeing 767. These used LaserDiscs or video cassettes for playback. Some airlines upgraded the old film IFE systems to the CRT-based systems in the late 1980s and early 1990s on some of their older widebodies. In 1985, Avicom introduced the first audio player system, based on the Philips Tape Cassette technology. In 1988, the Airvision company introduced the first in-seat audio/video on-demand systems using 2.7 inches (69 mm) LCD technology for Northwest Airlines.[citation needed] The trials, which were run by Northwest Airlines on its Boeing 747 fleet, received overwhelmingly positive passenger reaction. As a result, this completely replaced the CRT technology.‚Äč
    If it was ever printed on S8, it was probably on that fading Eastman stock. If you "lucked out" and found one, it might be unwatchable and since the audio was optical, it might be silent as well.

    The 1984 version of A Christmas Carol is my favorite. I prefer it over the classic 1951 version. The director of the 1984 version, Clive Donner, also worked on the 1951 version as an editor.

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    • #3
      Well, that fits, as the UK and elsewhere were printing super 8 optical features up through very early 1988, as a few I have ran into were 1988 features, such as "Stand and Deliver", Fish called Wanda", and "Lethal Weapon" and some others. "A Christmas Carol" was 1984. You may we'll be right about color loss. While there were some low fade optical sound prints late in the day, most were sadly being printed on the more available Kodak SP, which LPP quickly replaced and there was a large amount of SP stock available, and probably pretty cheap to come by.

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      • #4
        And as the prints were meant to be destroyed after a relatively short time, fading was not important as they would have been bandsawed long before it happened. We were just lucky some were "released" for domesttic use.

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        • #5
          Very true! It's one of the reasons why I love them so much! Not only that, but some features from 1967 to 1988 would never have made it into super 8 if not for the optical sound airline feature business. To this very day, some features that made it into super 8 are quite rare in any format to this very day. Not all super 8 optical prints were printed on quick fade. Some, due to being printed at various labs, could have made it onto low fade, as is sometimes the case, but it can be a hard find. Every year, I run into at least one feature that I never knew was on super 8. This last year or so, it was the classic UBoat feature from 1980, "Das Boat".

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