Video upgrade and 16mm rescue

Submitted by Garry on Wed, 11 Oct 2017 - 09:35

Further to the recent website upgrade, nearly all the video on this site is now available in best available resolution with 5.1 Surround Sound.

With HTML5-capable web browsers and by using the MP4 format, I'm now able to confidently take advantage of being able to host the video myself.  This avoids any re-compression by third-party sites like YouTube and gives me complete control over the quality you see.  Sure, you can still find these videos on YouTube, but they won't look or sound as good.  Also, I like being independent where possible, avoiding the advertising baggage, pop-ups, overlays and distraction of annotations and other bullshit.

Also, I've recently invested in scanning the 16mm films my father made some 45-50 years ago.  These were film tests with marionettes and wire-frame puppets, as well as the 1 minute 'possible' Pan Am Airlines Ad now available on this site.  It's cute.  The puppets each stand about 350mm tall, with moulded latex hands, hand-carved wooden shoes and unique costumes.  Watching this again brought back a flood of memories of George creating the sets and characters over several years.  By 1971, our double-garage was a film studio.

I had the opportunity to see the large scanner that rescued these films, coupled with a very powerful computer to process the data. It looked more like an overgrown reel-to-reel audio tape recorder than a film scanner.  The scanner is fairly kind to old and damaged film stock because the film motion is smooth, and two cameras work in tandem to capture image and sound while maintaining registration by 'seeing' where the sprocket holes are as each frame passes through. There is no violent jerky motion.  LEDs ensure that there is far less heat passing through the film compared with projectors and telecines of old. (A telecine was a film projector pointing directly into a TV camera.)

This is a still from the Pan Am Airlines Ad by George Havrillay.

Still from the Pan Am Airlines Ad by George Havrillay