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Sheldrake
Jul 19, 2006


Yeah, I saw your site about a week or two ago and have been following your posts with some measures of demented glee. Good on you, sir.

If Criterion gets it, we've already got a cover for them too:

Sheldrake fucked around with this message at Nov 24, 2011 around 01:56

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Mister Kingdom
Dec 14, 2005

And the tears that fall
On the city wall
Will fade away
With the rays of morning light

I just bought a BR player. Somehow I knew this was going on.


Now if you could just get a hold of the Coleman Francis trilogy.

Cinnamon Bastard
Dec 15, 2006

But that totally wasn't my fault. You shouldn't even be able to put the car in gear with the bar open.

Yeah, on the ever-diminishing odds that this is some kind of limited release, put me down for a copy.

But seriously, this is a few days or hours from exploding all across the internet.

RandolphCarter
Jul 30, 2005




This is crazy news, if I had any extra cash I'd throw it your way. Looking forward to owning a copy of this.

mastershakeman
Oct 28, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 26 days!


You need to submit this to Criterion ASAP, just so that millions of pages of debates can occur on whether Armageddon or Manos deserves inclusion in the Collection less.

Detective Thompson
Nov 9, 2007

Sammy Davis Jr. Jr. is also in repose.

stinkyhole AND PASTE posted:

The feature is 70 minutes long, there's plenty of space on a DVD or BluRay to do something fun with this.

Oh wow, I don't know how I missed that. Sorry.

Ben Solo
Oct 22, 2004

I take care of the place while the Master is away.

I'm back in my home town with my family for Thanksgiving, which of course means I spent all day with a pickaxe helping dig up a brick patio that needs redoing. Coming back to see the thread stickied and a whole lot of support like this really blew me away! Clearly I have shared this project with the right people.

Since I started this I've met quite a few individuals who have been touched by Manos, such as the incredibly nice Jackey Neyman Jones, who played the little girl Debbie. As her father did all of the production design and acted, her dog Shanka played the Master's Hound, and her mother was the mysterious 'Jacqueline' in the credits, I feel like her family had a bigger stake in the film than even Hal Warren himself. It's been worth it to hear her reactions to the scans of her father's sculptures (none of which he was allowed to keep).

I'm flattered that people feel this movie is Criterion worthy or even Synapse worthy and have tipped me off to lots of topnotch people to contact. The big question mark for me, and something I will be consulting more experienced people to answer, is whether the restoration of the workprint will be sufficient to earn a copyright as a work in its own right. The fact that the film is public domain is a turnoff for many legitimate distributors, who don't feel the investment into a restoration would have a sufficient return when anyone is able to duplicate and distribute the result. That's why I'm looking into releasing it myself.

But to look at it another way: if Manos is in the public domain, it belongs to the public- you, me, and everyone. Any film student can use footage from it or remix it in any creative way they please. If the film belongs to the public, the public could and should have a hand in the restoration. Kickstarter seems like a good bet, but I need to line up some worthwhile incentives first because I estimate a minimum of $10k to bring us from raw materials to a Blu-ray (and yes, a DVD too).

Egbert Souse posted:

MST3K at least used a proper video master, probably made from one of the 35mm prints in Emerson's holdings.

Confirming this because I also received an official Emerson NTSC video master on both reel-to-reel and beta. Even contacted Shout Factory about it because at the time their special edition Manos release was still forthcoming. Unfortunately I was a little too late and their discs had already gone to print.

penismightier posted:

So, wait, does the title screen in the print also say "Fingers (finggers) of Fate"?
There are no title screens, credits, or optical dissolves in this workprint, just raw footage straight from the camera. Any optical work needs to be digitally recreated. Fortunately, using the spare 16mm as a reference I can match it as closely as possible.

Noxville posted:

This looks fantastic and I'll definitely be getting a copy of the Blu-Ray when it's done. How long are you expecting it'll take for the restoration?

Egbert Souse posted:

This needs to have new 16mm and 35mm elements created as backup, along with digital files.

iCloud Strife posted:

You're gonna get paid for redeeming Manos The Hands of Fate.

CrimsonAuthor posted:

Please do a kickstarter or something. I want in on this. Any chance you'll work on blus for some of the other movies too? Atomic Brain, Hamlet, etc?

It's looking like a six month job from start to finish, unless something crazy happens. There is some damage that I haven't shown off that will require some real work with After Effects and PFclean.

If there's any reason for me to look for a profit in this, it's so Manos can be transferred from 2k to 35mm film for preservation. That process will cost more than the entire rest of the project combined, so the 2k clean up / remaster comes first. Maybe selling Blu-rays and DVDs will be enough to foot the bill, but either way when I have something to show it will be easier to obtain the resources to secure the future of the film.

Something Weird Video has a pretty clean DVD of The Atomic Brain derived from 35mm that beats anything I could do with my 16mms. However I do have the internegative of Hamlet, both the english language and german tracks, and a fine grain positive, along with similar elements for a Finnish film called Make Like A Thief that I can't seem to find on video. Unlike Manos they are all 35mm and when it comes to storage they are kind of an albatross around my neck. I'd like to do something with them, but at the moment restoring Manos is both more affordable and more appealing.

I'll be putting the first post from this thread on my website when I get a chance, with some edits. Here I can talk a little more freely about opinions and hypotheticals (like exactly where Hal's budget might have gone), while there I think it's best to stay as neutral as possible, like Switzerland.

Discount Viscount
Jul 9, 2010

FIND THE FISH!


Ben Solo, make sure to document and film the restoration process for a possible documentary, preferably edited to be a note-for-note parody of the one about the restoration of Metropolis.

Do all this hard work just to amuse my whims. Dance! Dance!

Seriously though, this is fantastic.

penismightier
Dec 6, 2005

What the hell, I'll just eat some trash.



Ben Solo posted:

Something Weird Video has a pretty clean DVD of The Atomic Brain derived from 35mm that beats anything I could do with my 16mms. However I do have the internegative of Hamlet, both the english language and german tracks, and a fine grain positive, along with similar elements for a Finnish film called Make Like A Thief that I can't seem to find on video. Unlike Manos they are all 35mm and when it comes to storage they are kind of an albatross around my neck. I'd like to do something with them, but at the moment restoring Manos is both more affordable and more appealing.

Which Hamlet is it?

Sheldrake
Jul 19, 2006


Ben Solo posted:

I'm flattered that people feel this movie is Criterion worthy or even Synapse worthy and have tipped me off to lots of topnotch people to contact. The big question mark for me, and something I will be consulting more experienced people to answer, is whether the restoration of the workprint will be sufficient to earn a copyright as a work in its own right. The fact that the film is public domain is a turnoff for many legitimate distributors, who don't feel the investment into a restoration would have a sufficient return when anyone is able to duplicate and distribute the result. That's why I'm looking into releasing it myself.

That's your call, but Criterion and Kino have both released blu-rays of public domain movies-- Kino is doing Nothing Sacred and Criterion put out Charade. I don't know if they'd be interested, but I wouldn't say it's not worth looking into.

penismightier posted:

Which Hamlet is it?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053888/

Mister Kingdom
Dec 14, 2005

And the tears that fall
On the city wall
Will fade away
With the rays of morning light


An English play translated into German and then dubbed back into English.

What could possibly go wrong?

snipermonkey
Jun 30, 2010


Make like a thief (juokse kuin varas) is already digitised and archived by YLE, but YLE might be interested in any film you have, might be worth it to contact them.

duz
Jul 11, 2005

Excellent. The Arkham Asylum shower cam is operational once more.


Sheldrake posted:

That's your call, but Criterion and Kino have both released blu-rays of public domain movies-- Kino is doing Nothing Sacred and Criterion put out Charade. I don't know if they'd be interested, but I wouldn't say it's not worth looking into.

Reefer Madness and Night of the Living Dead still get re-releases now and then.
And no, a restoration wouldn't get a new copyright. You might be able to on a new, original edit and certainly on a new soundtrack.

TheBigBudgetSequel
Nov 25, 2008

It's not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.


Well, this was featured on Badass Digest, so it's getting press. I hope it gets picked up by more people, because even though I don't really like it, even as a bad movie, I think this is a noble project.

Electric Bugaloo
Oct 20, 2007



Get enough coverage of this (stumbleupon and any film blogs/sites you might know), do a Kickstarter, and you'll get more than enough people willing to give you sweet, sweet cash to fund your glorious mission.

As for Kickstarter incentives (in relative order of possible value):

-Your sincerest gratitude. ($1 or more)

-Contributor credit (pop their name up on your site or in a "special thanks" section of the DVD. ($5 or more)

-Digital Download of the film in HD. ($10 or more- or maybe less...this is rough, whatever- you haven't paid me for this awesome business advice )

-A copy of the DVD/Blu Ray when it's made. ($25 or more)

-Stuff signed by Ms. J.N. Jones (like DVD's)- it seems like she's already excited about the project enough to maybe help out in that regard. ($100 or more)

-Lithograph print of a given scene made from the film cell. These are absolutely gorgeous if done right- and are frequently sold as collectors items or bundled in special edition DVD packs (pretty small in that case). I guess you could be cheap and just excise a clip from the digital file and get that lithographed- since that's what they do now anyway- but spring for nice archive stock. ($200 or more)

-"We'll throw a private screening for you and your friends!!!" ($1000 or more).

There. Now hop to it. I'll be expecting my consultant's fee in the mail.

Electric Bugaloo fucked around with this message at Nov 24, 2011 around 04:44

Ensign_Ricky
Jan 4, 2008

Daddy Warlord
of the
Children of the Corn


or something...


Cinematic Titanic just tweeted about this, so Joel and Trace are now aware of your efforts, Solo.

Ballz
Dec 16, 2003

it's mario time



This is the coolest thing I've seen on SA since Two Gentlemen of Lebowski. I've grown to appreciate Manos over the years in a way I never thought possible, and I absolutely would be down for buying a blu-ray of this restoration.

Call Me Charlie
Dec 3, 2005

by Smythe


Ben Solo posted:

I'm flattered that people feel this movie is Criterion worthy or even Synapse worthy and have tipped me off to lots of topnotch people to contact. The big question mark for me, and something I will be consulting more experienced people to answer, is whether the restoration of the workprint will be sufficient to earn a copyright as a work in its own right. The fact that the film is public domain is a turnoff for many legitimate distributors, who don't feel the investment into a restoration would have a sufficient return when anyone is able to duplicate and distribute the result. That's why I'm looking into releasing it myself.

This wouldn't be the first time a company has released a public domain movie on home video. I'm pretty sure somebody can't take a commercial release of a PD movie and resell/share it. They can make their own transfer from their own print to share/sell or share/sell a preexisting free copy but they can't take your transfer.

There are two versions of Night Of The Living Dead on Blu-Ray in the UK and they are both sourced from different prints. Can't imagine it would be legal for me to rip one and distribute it.

Seriously, start contacting (phone or email) some small distribution companies that do Blu-Ray and tell them you have the original 16mm workprint. Somebody may bite.

Or you can go the internet route. Create a buzz (like you did here but much bigger - post on reddit, contact every movie news site/blog you can think of, get your own Twitter account, etc), raise the money yourself on Kickstarter for the transfer and do a small run of Blu-Rays/DVDs (look to the Nine Inch Nails fans who released This One Is On Us for inspiration)

Either way, this is definitely doable. You just have to be willing to do the legwork.

Call Me Charlie fucked around with this message at Nov 24, 2011 around 06:32

penismightier
Dec 6, 2005

What the hell, I'll just eat some trash.



Sporadic posted:

Seriously, start contacting (phone or email) some small distribution companies that do Blu-Ray and tell them you have the original 16mm workprint. Somebody may bite.

I stil think Legend Films is a good bet. It's easy to forget in the fog of all their colorization stuff, but they restored the poo poo out of Plan 9 from Outer Space, they have a relationship with Mike Nelson/Rifftrax, and they're just getting into Blu Ray. Seems like they'd absolutely want to snag a high profile restoration of the premiere MST3k title to be one of their flagship Blu Rays.

Egbert Souse
Nov 6, 2008



Here's the main title in vector format if you need it:

Chris Knight
Jun 5, 2002

And I'm only saying this because I care.

There are a lot of decaffeinated brands on the market today that are just as tasty as the real thing.



Fun Shoe

This is seriously cool, and those scans look amazing to what I've gotten used to over the years.

Fatkraken
Jun 23, 2005

Fun-time is over.

This is really cool. I'm not that interested in the movie personally but preserving art is really important, especially something this widely known where existing copies are so poor.

I think Kickstarter would be a fantastic place to raise money for this, I can see it getting a TON of interest. The list of rewards someone posted sounds like a good place to start

Ben Solo
Oct 22, 2004

I take care of the place while the Master is away.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have a real distributor that could put this scruffy puppy I've adopted on the shelves at Best Buy, and there's every reason to believe it is possible. I just want to make it clear that I'm prepared to do whatever it takes to see this material turned into a Blu-ray of excellent quality that anyone can buy, even if I have to do it myself.

I can't speak to exactly what is necessary in the U.S. to classify something as a distinct, derivative work of a film originally in the public domain, but it is a fascinating issue that I will look further into. I think it's safe to say, though, that the VHS transfer that can be bought on Alpha Video / seen on Archive.org / found as an extra on the Shout Factory DVD didn't come from nowhere- at some unclear time it was made by an individual or company (not Emerson) in the interest of making a profit, but a lack of legal protections resulted in it proliferating. I have no problem with Manos proliferating, but first I need the resources to secure its preservation- on film, not on hard drives. And before any of that, I'm going to concentrate on the restoration which is much more in my area of expertise.

snipermonkey posted:

Make like a thief (juokse kuin varas) is already digitised and archived by YLE, but YLE might be interested in any film you have, might be worth it to contact them.

Nice! I would very much like to watch it and see if it's any good, but without a flatbed editor I doubt that will be possible (as the soundtracks I have are separate from the image).

Egbert Souse posted:

Here's the main title in vector format if you need it:


Wow, did you just make that or did you... have it lying around? While I could vectorize and copy everything in the end credits, I think it'd be fun to make a font... of fate.

Discount Viscount posted:

Ben Solo, make sure to document and film the restoration process for a possible documentary, preferably edited to be a note-for-note parody of the one about the restoration of Metropolis.

I should actually do this. Ever since I read Brownlow's great book about the making and restoration of Napoleon I've always wanted to be involved in restoring a silent film. Manos, having been shot silent, is the next best thing if you ask me.

Egbert Souse
Nov 6, 2008



Ben Solo posted:

Wow, did you just make that or did you... have it lying around? While I could vectorize and copy everything in the end credits, I think it'd be fun to make a font... of fate.


I should actually do this. Ever since I read Brownlow's great book about the making and restoration of Napoleon I've always wanted to be involved in restoring a silent film. Manos, having been shot silent, is the next best thing if you ask me.

It's traced from a screenshot taken from the Alpha DVD (I was bored at work). The main font in the credits is very similar to Brody.

Qotile Swirl
Aug 15, 2011

Alone In the Dark, A ground breaking horror game.


Sporadic posted:

I'm pretty sure somebody can't take a commercial release of a PD movie and resell/share it. They can make their own transfer from their own print to share/sell or share/sell a preexisting free copy but they can't take your transfer.
You'd be wrong in that assumption. There's nothing preventing anyone from releasing a public domain film on video, whether it's sourced from the negative, a print, a dupe, or from someone else's video transfer. It may be an underhanded thing to do, but perfectly legal. A copy of a public domain work is still a public domain work (in the US, at least -- this does not hold true for the UK and may or may not hold true elsewhere).

That's why on silent film DVDs, you'll often see re-created intertitles even if the originals were still usable. Re-created titles are original works and thus protected by copyright, even if the actual content of the film isn't. Of course, that doesn't stop someone from copying the video and re-re-creating the titles themselves, but the added work is enough to dissuade most. Colorization is also used to assert copyright (the color is original). Re-editing can also be used (creating an original story).

Re-editing is interesting, because it can also be used to get around copyrights. Sometimes a film is in the pubic domain, but the story it's based on isn't (It's a Wonderful Life is a good example). You can avoid infringing on the underlying copyright by re-arranging the scenes to tell a new story.

If you compare videos of public domain films from various dollar bin distributors, they pretty much all just copy off one another. At least in the DVD era, the videos are identical. Back in VHS days, with each successive copy, the picture got worse. It was a real adventure trying to find the ur-tape that had the best quality.

Sheldrake
Jul 19, 2006


Qotile Swirl posted:

That's why on silent film DVDs, you'll often see re-created intertitles even if the originals were still usable. Re-created titles are original works and thus protected by copyright, even if the actual content of the film isn't. Of course, that doesn't stop someone from copying the video and re-re-creating the titles themselves, but the added work is enough to dissuade most. Colorization is also used to assert copyright (the color is original). Re-editing can also be used (creating an original story).

So if he does have to create or recreate new credits, would that get him a unique copyright?

Qotile Swirl
Aug 15, 2011

Alone In the Dark, A ground breaking horror game.


On the titles, yes.

If you look on a DVD case and see a line like "Special Content Copyright 2011", that's referring to whatever original works were added to the film. It says nothing about the film itself and is usually (but not necessarily!) a pretty good indicator that the film is in the pubic domain. If you see something like "Copyright 1926 Foo, Co., Renewed 1953 Bar, Inc.", then the copyright on the film was renewed and it's still protected today.

citricsquid
Sep 13, 2010


As others have said, please do some sort of Kickstarter project (or even take money independently -- although the PR and acceptance surrounding Kickstarter would make it more successful imo). I would love to see some sort of diary or log of the process of restoring an old film.

I've never seen the original film (this is the first I've heard of it) but the idea of restoring it fascinates me and I would be happy to throw a few hundred $ in to help make this happen.

contraaa
Jan 4, 2011


Just chiming in to say I would also love to see this come to light. One of the first 'bad movies' I saw that started my love affair with them. A Kickstarter would be a great idea.

PUNCHITCHEWIE
Apr 4, 2009
IF I'M TALKING ABOUT FOOTBALL, IGNORE ME. I'M A FUCKING IDIOT.

Front page of reddit holla.

Xenomrph
Dec 9, 2005

AvP Nerd/Fanboy/Shill


Cinnamon Bastard posted:

9 years from now:


That's the only discovery I can think of to top this one.
I have a copy of ET for Atari 2600. Bought it from a local secondhand store several years ago for $0.25.

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!


I will do laps around my house if I find out a Criterion copy of Manos is being released. But even if Criterion passes I will buy this the day it comes out.

I'd also be in complete support of a bonus re-edit of the film. Something along the lines of Giorgio Moroder's Metropolis. I really wonder if it has the potential to actually be edited into a good film.

Alan Smithee
Jan 3, 2005


Ben Solo posted:

There are no title screens, credits, or optical dissolves in this workprint, just raw footage straight from the camera. Any optical work needs to be digitally recreated. Fortunately, using the spare 16mm as a reference I can match it as closely as possible.

This is an incredible find and I would love to see Ben Solo release the digitized raw footage for editors to play with. We could even have a contest for re-edits, see what people bring to the table. Some people will recreate the psychedelic text, some people give it some snazzy title graphics etc.

the
Jul 18, 2004

by Cowcaster


This is incredible and I wish I was a part of it. Good luck to you.

EDIT: Someone should also edit the Wikipedia page to make a reference to this!

the fucked around with this message at Nov 25, 2011 around 07:06

Gordy
Sep 6, 2002


Discount Viscount posted:

Ben Solo, make sure to document and film the restoration process for a possible documentary, preferably edited to be a note-for-note parody of the one about the restoration of Metropolis.

Do all this hard work just to amuse my whims. Dance! Dance!

Seriously though, this is fantastic.

There was a 30-minute documentary a couple years back, called 'Hotel Torgo'. I don't think very many people saw it when it came out on DVD, but it is on Youtube now.

Edit: Some of the facts fairly wrong, but hey, they mainly talk to the guy who was making out with the girl at the beginning of the film for no reason.

http://youtu.be/sLYIUF4yXqA

Gordy fucked around with this message at Nov 25, 2011 around 09:03

Cinnamon Bastard
Dec 15, 2006

But that totally wasn't my fault. You shouldn't even be able to put the car in gear with the bar open.

Xenomrph posted:

I have a copy of ET for Atari 2600. Bought it from a local secondhand store several years ago for $0.25.

Yes, but you didn't dig it up out of a shallow mob grave in the Mojave desert, so I'm not all that shocked.

Wurlitzer
May 18, 2009


In my wildest dreams, my job is to travel the world and rescue old lost film reels and transfer them to pristine digital copies.
What you found is fascinating and it seem this reel has fallen in the right hands!

bobkatt013
Oct 8, 2006

You’re telling me Peter Parker is ...... Spider-man!?


You didn't happen to get some old episodes of Doctor Who too? Also this is awesome

TheBigBudgetSequel
Nov 25, 2008

It's not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.


bobkatt013 posted:

You didn't happen to get some old episodes of Doctor Who too? Also this is awesome

Mugabe would never let that happen.

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Jeff Wiiver
Jul 13, 2007

So I parallel double park that mutha fucka sideways
Old folks talkin bout "Back in my day..."
But homie this is my day


TheBigBudgetSequel posted:

Mugabe would never let that happen.
Not a Dr. Who fan, but I have studied Zimbabwe quite a lot since High School and I had no idea that Mugabe was hoarding old episodes of the show. Mugabe is seriously just a cartoon villain in real life.

Here's the story on this

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