Originally Posted by Shaded Dogfood It's a mistake to say that all films need to be restored before
release on Blu-ray or showings on HDTV
...and I don't.DVD and Standard Definition TV visibly degrade the presentation
and are a waste of time in this era.
Would you refuse to attend a 35mm screening of an old feature if you
discovered that the print had not been restored?
It sounds like you are saying two mutually exclusive things. Some things seem to exist in such a sad state that Blu-ray would add very little. I still buy DVDs of certain things. But some films seem to exist only in soft-focus 16mm dupes.
It sounds like you would indeed prefer to see the 35mm screening.
When you attend a 35mm screening you get in touch with the state of
the film. We are denied that experience thanks to TCM.
TCM should scan these films as part of regular maintenance.
And the audience that cares should be allowed to witness the
resulting progress in the form of a timely and ever-growing
series of HD presentations.
Where does the money for this come from? Ted seems to have a sincere, genuine interest in film preservation. But when you think of it, how does TCM make money, anyway??
Perhaps I should have said ROUTINE maintenance instead of "regular".
But these films do require some routine maintenance.
And I suggest that they should run the films through HD scanners
as part of routine maintenance, not grandiose restorations.
Any film fit to be screened through projectors is fit to be run
through a quick and painless HD scan.
Your reply about lack of "restoration money"
is an answer to a different question.
If you're saying that TCM can't afford the money for routine maintenance
of these titles, then they don't deserve to have them.
Several decades ago people were surprised to learn of the indifferent
treatment afforded to libraries of the major studios.
Perhaps we will see a repeat of this in 10 or 20 years.
The fact that we are seeing very little from TCM raises
questions about their stewardship of these cultural artifacts.
Perhaps they don't have a strategy grand enough to save
the huge library.
Believe me, their stewardship beats just about anyone else's.
Sadly, we have no way to compare.
There is no strategy.
There is no visible progress.
"Trust me" is the word from them.
Meanwhile we can plainly see that the French TCM outlet is doing
a much better job than the one controlled by TCM USA.
The French version is probably not even under control of TCM.
Everyone needs to realize:
Collecting of optical media going through a nosedive. People aren't voting with their money any more. The beancounters look and find it more and more difficult to justify money outlaid to do restorations.
Blu-ray media are driving the sales of large-screen HDTVs. The behavior of film companies over and over prove that they feel everything must be sharpened and smoothed-out to resemble what the consumer is used to on over-the-air HDTV transmission.
As such, companies may feel that unrestored product may stall the rise of this new standard. I would love seeing stuff like The Happy Years or Lassie Come Home in high def, unrestored, out of register Tech layers and everything. But the film companies may feel differently.
I mentioned distribution via optical *and* HDTV networks.
VOD companies like NETFLIX are desperate for good libraries but TCM
is caught with its pants down unable to make a sale
of their awful-looking catalog.
By the way, most of the films I'm talking about are B&W,
exhibiting no color problems.
The Bottom line from TCM...
Keep watching your awful DVD and SDTV copies of our movies, and
we will sit back in our lush screening rooms and enjoy
35mm screenings of movies you'd like to see.
You wouldn't want to see anything better because it's not Blu-ray quality.
If TCM can't figure out how to make money from
their product then we need to be worried.