Packaging FILM Elements- From the Distribpix Archives

Expose Me Lovely-Packaging FILM Elements for Shipping

It is not uncommon to have print requests for theatrical screenings all over the country, and in many cases we are able to accommodate. About 2 weeks ago, I was told that I needed to send a MINT Print, to a theater in Chicago. I was to send the parcel Fed Ex, with insurance and needed to get it out ASAP.

As for archival elements they can really come in many shapes and sizes, some are in suitcase style film carriers, others in tins, some on spools, and some just naked( plastic bags). To be blunt, if you care about film in general, regardless of what  the content, you must be gentle when transporting, handling, and or transferring.  Although one can only do so much to protect their film elements during transfers–, accidents happen—  deliver guys drop boxes, parcels get wet, they get delayed, etc, etc.

Being the nutty/anal retentive/OCD- that I am, I tend to take everything I do to the max, but in many cases, this is not a detriment, but just the opposite. My packing method shows that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing right.  There may be some that disagree with my technique and think it is overkill, but I think it is essential. So much of American Film has been destroyed, lost and damaged beyond repair, so for the small percentage that still survives, it is vital to treat elements like valuables.

Here is how to pack archival film, to insure that it arrives at it’s location in perfect shape!

DETAILED STEPS AND PHOTOS TO TRANSPORT ARCHIVAL FILM ELEMENTS:

STEP 1. If using a cardboard box to transport elements, make sure the box is in good condition and if possible use an extra thick, corrugated box.  This films is rather long and and contains 5 full reels, weighing about 50 pounds. A strong box is essential, and in my case, I use the double-box method.

Expose Me Lovely Film Print, Mint condition, Wound tight, on 5 reels. Make sure reels are labeled well.

1.Expose Me Lovely Film Print, Mint condition, Wound tight, on 5 reels. Make sure reels are labeled well.

STEP 2.  Stack Reels inside the box and use pieces of cardboard, newspaper and or bubble wrap, to reduce friction and or uneccessary movement. This may seem over kill, but the truth is that many theaters and film festivals, don’t always return the elements with same love as we send them, so the extra steps I take, will help that much more. For example, I make sure to mark my boxes with ” DO NOT THROW AWAY THIS BOX!”, because I want them to re-use them and basically, the work is done.

Elements packed inside corrugated box, newspaper padding at corners, notice extra cardboard supports at sides.

SETP2. Elements packed inside corrugated box, newspaper padding at corners, notice extra cardboard supports at sides.

STEP 3. Complete the packing the box to the top, pack down the paper and make sure it is tight. Cut pieces of Cardboard, so they cover the top of the box, and essentially you are creating a home of protection around the film elements.

STEP 3. Film elements stacked and box covered with Cardboard scraps for extra padding and support.

STEP 3. Film elements stacked and box covered with Cardboard scraps for extra padding and support.

STEP 4. Close the box and continue to secure the box with heavy duty packing tape, I recommend one with reinforcing fibers. This will become your first box and essentially this can be shipped as is, but I like to take it a few steps further.

STEP 4: First box packaged and reinforced, marked clearly, and in many cases, this can ship perfectly in this condition.

STEP 4: First box packaged and reinforced, marked clearly, and in many cases, this can ship perfectly in this condition.

STEP 5:  Take a heavy duty garbage liner, or plastic packing, and wrap the box, creating an extra barrier for accidental liquid encounters. Cardboard is like a sponge and if dropped in a puddle, or left wet for a few days in travel, it can soak through to the film inside.

STEP 5: Film Elements wrapped in heavy duty plastic, creating a moisture barrier.

STEP 5: Film Elements wrapped in heavy duty plastic, creating a moisture barrier.

STEP 6: Take another cardboard box, that is a bit larger than the film element box. Use bubble wrap to create a padded nook for your elements box. This is easy to do, only takes a few minutes and something I have adopted recently.

STEP 6: Take a larger box, use babble wrap to make a nook, and place archival film element box #1, into the larger box. this creates a padded nook for your elements.

STEP 6: Take a larger box, use babble wrap to make a nook, and place archival film element box #1, into the larger box. this creates a padded nook for your elements.

STEP 7: Continue to further pad and close the second box or OUTER BOX, as you did the first, use the same tape to mark the outer box and you are ready to ship!

STEP 7:  Complete the packing of the OUTER BOX, use extra bubble wrap for top padding. and close with heavy duty tape.

STEP 7: Complete the packing of the OUTER BOX, use extra bubble wrap for top padding. and close with heavy duty tape.

STEP 8: Your films elements are as safe as they can be for their journey. It is recommended to put a note in the box, for the projectionist, with any requests or comments.  It only takes about 8-10 minutes to do this properly and if you have all of this material laying around, like I do, it is that much easier.

STEP 8: OUTER BOX, ready to ship, I like to add FRAGILE stickers and write "HEAVY", the total box weight is 49 pounds.

STEP 8: OUTER BOX, ready to ship, I like to add FRAGILE stickers and write “HEAVY”, the total box weight is 49 pounds.

Barbara Broadcast- Film Restoration Grabs- AMAZING!

BARBARA BROADCAST FILM RESTORATION COMPARISONS- BEFORE and AFTER!!

before_after

This latest project and one that is almost complete has taken longer than usual, partially due to the overwhelming success of The Opening of Misty Beethoven campaign and release. Also, I spent quite a but more time that i expected on digital film restoration, not that it was in terrible shape, but my OCD kicked in hard and when dealing with these 35 mm blow up internegatives, there are thousands of instances of scratches and dirt, etc. With these Henry Paris films, the original processing and blow ups were done at the same lab, which is known for it’s sloppy handling and inconsistent transfers, etc. This is going back to the 70’s. Anyway, since I was taking Barbara to Blu, I wanted her to look as good as she can and while it took a bit longer, the results speak for themselves. Those long drives to the film lab, being totally engulfed in the restoration of the pix and track, and immersing myself into every detail of this project, will prove to be the key to Barbara. I intend on posting the final details of both Barbara packages, the official release and pre-order dates, as well as answers to many FAQ’s I have been getting.

Without going any further, I just wanted to post some of these screen grabs from the standard DVD version of Barbara Broadcast(VCA/Hustler), that has been circulating and sold for the last decade or so. I will also post the brand new screen grabs from the fully restored version of Barbara Broadcast for DVD/BLU from Distribpix Inc.  The comparisons between the 2 are simply incredible. As usual, the color, clarity, grain and of course aspect ratio are all corrected. If this does not convince anyone that it is essential to upgrade to the new versions, I am not sure what will. It is UNCUT, and now each frame is in the proper aspect ratio, where before you did not even get the entire frame, it was cropped and masked at the wrong ratio and clips much of the frame. I am not sure why they would have even done that, in many cases it is to save money and or lack of knowledge on the part of the transfer/authoring house.

While you are looking through the before and after shots, please keep in mind that none of this amazing restoration work would not be possible if it were not for the tireless efforts and commitment to dedication on the  part of Process Blue Labs, in Bridgeport, CT. Thank you so very much Ryan and Joe!

I hope you enjoy these comparisons.

old version, standard transfer, incorrect framing, a fake copyright added on after the fact as well.

old version, standard transfer, incorrect framing, a fake copyright added on after the fact as well.

New Version- HD GRAB, color correction, digital restoration.

New Version- HD GRAB, color correction, digital restoration.

Old versions, wrong aspect ratio, although color looks rich, it is not even close to accurate. The dining room was very bright, as this film was shot at nights. Also, Zebedy Colt's suit is dark grey, but it is really light grey!

Old versions, wrong aspect ratio, although color looks rich, it is not even close to accurate. The dining room was very bright, as this film was shot at nights. Also, Zebedy Colt’s suit is dark grey, but it is really light grey!

HD Grab, color is on point, grain is very rich(super16mm), and of course we can see the 1.85:1 proper framing.

HD Grab, color is on point, grain is very rich(super16mm), and of course we can see the 1.85:1 proper framing.

Old VCA version, same old song and dance, improper aspect ratio.

Old VCA version, same old song and dance, improper aspect ratio.

New HD grab, look at how nice his facial colors are represented. Alan Marlow, a Metzger stalwart, as a friend of Tony's

New HD grab, look at how nice his facial colors are represented. Alan Marlow, a Metzger stalwart, as a friend of Tony’s

OLD VCA version. I think the fact that the entire film is presented in the wrong aspect ratio is most bothersome- this is  very close to a square??

OLD VCA version. I think the fact that the entire film is presented in the wrong aspect ratio is most bothersome- this is very close to a square??

AAAH, finally,  the way it was shot and meant to look. Bringing a film or scene back to life, is such a satisfying feeling, although it can be very unrewarding at times, as people tend to overlook the hard work.

AAAH, finally, the way it was shot and meant to look. Bringing a film or scene back to life, is such a satisfying feeling, although it can be very unrewarding at times, as people tend to overlook the hard work.

Grab from VCA DVD, wrong aspect ratio, very dark, sort of flat. What bothers me the most, is that for 10 years, no one complained about the framing, but if I go ahead and do that, holy shit, the fans go fucking nuts!!LOL.

Grab from VCA DVD, wrong aspect ratio, very dark, sort of flat. What bothers me the most, is that for 10 years, no one complained about the framing, but if I go ahead and do that, holy shit, the fans go fucking nuts!!LOL.

Brand new HD grab from Distribpix Inc. I must say, very accurate color, (thanks to  Joe and Ryan at PB), correct framing, detail, and totally director approved.

Brand new HD grab from Distribpix Inc. I must say, very accurate color, (thanks to Joe and Ryan at PB), correct framing, detail, and totally director approved.

OLD version, poor framing, no one cared that they were cutting off much of the frame? Constance is faded and dark.

OLD version, poor framing, no one cared that they were cutting off much of the frame? Constance is faded and dark.

Brand new HD screengrab, we see Constance in the bondage scene with proper aspect ration, color grading, and richer grain detail.

Brand new HD screengrab, we see Constance in the bondage scene with proper aspect ration, color grading, and richer grain detail.

Old VCA DVD grab, from the night club/disco scene, a bit dark, wrong aspect ratio, and again, looks flat.

Old VCA DVD grab, from the night club/disco scene, a bit dark, wrong aspect ratio, and again, looks flat.

Brand new HD Transfer, roberta and Barbara in the disco. This is how Henry Paris envisioned this scene.

Brand new HD Transfer, roberta and Barbara in the disco. This is how Henry Paris envisioned this scene.

Old version, wrong aspect ratio, not true blacks, no grain. Bobby Astyr looks so much better than this.

Old version, wrong aspect ratio, not true blacks, no grain. Bobby Astyr looks so much better than this.

Brand New HD transfer, correct aspect ration of 1.85:1 and color corrected. Now it looks great. Check Please!!

Brand New HD transfer, correct aspect ration of 1.85:1 and color corrected. Now it looks great. Check Please!!

Old VCA version, ending credits- what more can I say?

Old VCA version, ending credits- what more can I say?

Brand New HD Screen grab of the credits at the end of the film. THE END!

Brand New HD Screen grab of the credits at the end of the film. THE END!

The Opening of Misty Beethoven- 2 DVD set, Dual Layer Blu Ray and CD Soundtrack

This is the ultimate, the tops, the absolute best treatment to any re-release of an adult film. The amount of love and passion that went into restoring the film, the art, the campaign, producing top notch extras, culling and licensing music tracks, etc. We have truly uncovered much of the story behind Misty, and have restored the film to look better than the day it was released theatrically. It has been the most involved project ever taken on by Distribpix Inc. and the DVD and Blu packages, have taken about 6 months, and even longer in cases of the CD, but we are finally preparing to bring all 3 of these epic packages to market!

Sorry for the wait, but like anything that is treated with love and care and passion, it can never be rushed, once you rush, you take the risk of jeopardizing the task at hand. We stuck to our gameplan from the very beginning of the Metzger restorations, and for Misty, we did the same, although we were a bit ambitious in some of our goals, it totally paid off. The idea as many of you know, is to treat these releases with the same gusto as a company like Universal or Criterion, many people say we are like the Criterion of adult and sexploitation, because we treat the films the same way and do even better restorations than some of the majors, and not too mention the extras. Are they the best, most professionaly produced videos ever made, of course not? But they are fucking awesome extras and if you are a fan of learning about a film and you enjoy extras, you are in luck. We have a mix of so much content, it was a very difficult authoring procedure for both the blu and DVD’s- as there are lots of menus and sub menus, but the content is kick ass!!

Remember, if this was just about turning a quick profit, I could have had all of these transferred in HD and put on single economy version DVD-5’s-with no extras, to whore out to the adult market, but anyone can do that, and they do it every day. Where is the fun in that? Where is the challenge? Those guys don’t love film, and they don’t care, it is about a dollar, and that is fine. It works for them. I was in that market for a long time, and it is not a fun place. For the most part, the DVD buyers are clueless, and would not know a Metzger from a Max Hardcore!!

For me, I would rather create something unique, special, and harvest the best package I can to offer the film fans, who enjoy these types of releases- over the top, done with love and care, every aspect of it – right down to the nitty gritty details, it is like you become intimate with the prodcut and borderline obsessed with all aspects of it, no matter how insignificant.

With all of that said, I am proud to say that we are in the final process of production/manufacturing…..material is coming back to the warehouse and project misty packages are being assembled. We are still waiting for the Blu-Ray, which is in production, and it is REGION FREE, as we have customers all over the world and never lock it to any single region.

I am happy and also very burnt out on Misty Beethoven, I love her so much, this film is so amazing. I have literally spent about 5 months straight doing nothing but working on some aspect of Misty Beethoven, hundreds and hundreds of hours(not too mention my partner Ian Culmell, who has a full-time job as well)-(the film transfers, the documentary-scripting, shooting,editing, artwork, weeks of authoring/encoding for Blu-Ray, countless hours of QC, the project misty campaign,etc.). No matter what I will be able to look back at this experience in the future, knowing that I gave it my all and tried very hard, and we think we succeeded on finally showing the world, how a small- independent film company with no funding, can produce amazing packages, on par with other great Hollywood restorations.

If we were able to get some solid and fair distribution channel, we would be able to produce more packages like this, we really enjoy it. But without a firm distribution channel, it is too difficult to balance the profit/loss for a project of this scale. A film like Misty totaly deserves this treatment and quite frankly, so do many other adult films from the golden age of adult filmmaking.

Misty Beethoven- Cool Version- Bathtub Scene FOUND

So the cool version of Misty is alive and well. While we did not do as much color correction and scratch removal on this version. It is still a wonderful version. The only main difference is that the penetration is edited out, replaced by an alternative angle or additional footage, shot for that reason. One of these scenes sought after for decades, is the infamous scene with Misty and Geraldine in the bath tub. Look no further!!

The Opening of Misty Beethoven–Major Film Restoration underway at Process Blue!

It has been approximately 2 weeks since the actual film restoration has begun and it keeps getting more exciting. I am writing this as I sit beside master colorist and driver of the Golden Eye III Film Scanner, Ryan Emerson. At the moment, we just completed the manual restoration on the 4th and final reel of the Hard version of “Misty”. Basically, that means going through the film, frame by frame and retouching spots that the automatic restoration had missed. It is taking us approximately 2-3 hours per reel, but is well worth the extra cost and effort. We have been removing things like dirt, dust, scratches and fingerprints.

The physical restoration started last week, when I drove all of the film elements up to Process Blue’s Brand new state of the art facility in Bridgeport, CT. The facility has the only Golden Eye III Film Scanner in the United States, which is one of the most comprehensive restoration tools for archival and modern film as well. The scanner has the ability to process 8, 16, 35 and 70mm in 2k and 4k resolution. I asked Ryan about the new Film Scanner, and he was quick to chime in, “We literally traveled the world looking for the best system for archival film and the company, Image Systems(Sweden), which builds the Golden Eye III Scanner, was the obvious choice. Image Systems, has also recently merged with the company that manufactures the Phoenix Finish, which is total image restoration software, that we are using to bring The Opening of Misty Beethoven, back to life!”

For those of you who might not be familiar with a film scanner, it is a more advanced and more modern version of the telecine, allowing greater resolution and more operator flexibility. One of the best qualities of this scanner is that it is incredibly gentle on the actual film, which is so important with older, archival stock. For example, when the operator rewinds the film, the actual film itself is lifted off of the skid plate, and that is a huge benefit.

The film elements that are being worked on for the upcoming release of Radley Metzger’s “The Opening Misty Beethoven”, are the 35mm hard and cool versions CRI, (which stands for color reversal internegative), the 35 mm trailer, and 3 reels of 16 mm silent PIX, containing never before seen footage from the Audubon archives, like deleted scenes, alternative footage and outtakes. The audio sources we are using for the restoration are the original mag track for the hard version and the optic track for the cool version. The hard version will also boast a 5.1 audio mix, for those out there who wish to enjoy that true stereophonic experience. Of course the MONO track will also be included!

The restoration of all of these elements is well underway and we are expecting to have all of the elements back in our post production facility within the next week. From that point, we will be hard at work compiling all of this wonderfully remastered footage, in order to release the greatest adult-based, DVD package of all time.

The package is set to include both hard and cool versions of Misty Beethoven, along with Metzger commentary on the hard version, as well as an immense line up of video based extras, including an in-depth restoration feature, a locations feature, HD outtakes/ with Radley Metzger commentary, A tribute to Jamie Gillis, A feature on the film’s star Constance Money, multiple language subtitles, film facts track, and so much more! And don’t forget our amazing liner note books, available in each DVD. An exact release date has not been set, but it looks like it will be ready to go around May 2012.

Stay Tuned for all new updates, including rumors of a B-Ray??

About Process Blue:

In 2012, Process Blue was established in Brideport, CT, and is operated by Ryan Emerson and Joe Rubin. Ryan Emerson has over 10 years experience as a colorist and is very well versed in film transfers and the technical aspects involved. Joe Rubin, is a well established film archivist and film historian and brings a wealth of knowledge to the new facility. Rubin has also been training on the scanner and restoration software, and will be conducting transfers, as well.

Process Blue, is a fully functional film scanning facility, equipped with the Golden Eye III Film Scanner and also has major plans for further development, to reach all levels of post production( editing suites, green screen, etc.).

It is located only an hour North of NYC and is only a few blocks away from the Metro North train!

for more information go to: Processblue.tv

The Golden Eye II Film Scanner

Ryan Emerson, master colorist at Process Blue