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going back to the 1940's and 50's


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#1 alfredoparra

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 09:07 PM

I have a question thats been on my mind for many years! I never went to film school or any type of production school so i dont know the answer but im hoping to find out tonight! here go's

as i understand it video tapes came out in the 70's, so how the hell did I love Lucy, the munsters and all those old tv shows get broadcasted on tv? what format did they use for
re-runs?
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#2 Nick Mulder

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 09:18 PM

As I understand it they were telecined directly from film to the airwaves

nice huh
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#3 Michael Collier

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 09:22 PM

Tapes go back longer than the 70s! I think the first real tape deck was produced in 1948 by ampex, though there might have been earlier units availible. Before that film was used predominatly for play-to-air and they had a real-time telecine machine to feed to air. The telecine stuck around after tapes started making inroads, mostly in the news business who was shooting 16mm all the way up to the late 70s.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 10:01 PM

TV stations had a "film chain" type of telecine, more or less a projector pointed at a video camera. Prints of the TV shows were delivered to the TV stations. Regarding videotape, see:

http://en.wikipedia....uplex_videotape
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#5 Gary Lemson

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 10:52 PM

Tapes go back longer than the 70s! I think the first real tape deck was produced in 1948 by ampex, though there might have been earlier units availible. Before that film was used predominatly for play-to-air and they had a real-time telecine machine to feed to air. The telecine stuck around after tapes started making inroads, mostly in the news business who was shooting 16mm all the way up to the late 70s.


Ampex released their first machine to market, the VR1000 in 1956.
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#6 alfredoparra

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 10:54 PM

Its amazing how you guys know all this and how they did that real time telecine! we come such a long way! WOW! Thanks guys I appreciate you taking the time to answer this question. HAVE A NICE DAY! :rolleyes:
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 11:26 PM

You can read about film chain transfers here:
http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Film_Chain
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#8 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 01:47 AM

I'm guessing that later, in the 70s and 80s, such shows were telecined to some tape format for re-runs (multiple viewing) on television. More recently, would the film negatives of shows like Bewitched, MASH, I Love Lucy etc be scanned again to a higher resolution format - like a HD format for example? Cos I notice that when I watch certain old shows on tv nowadays, there seems to be greater clarity, finer detail and nicer looking colour as compared to viewing the same shows on tv years ago - if memory serves me correctly. And by the way, I am viewing these shows on an analogue tv.
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#9 Matthew Parnell

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 04:07 AM

I was recently out at a regional tv station, and they still had a direct to air filmchain system. Fully functional as well, one of the last left in australia. Never used except on the odd occasion when they might get some local archival footage from locals. The production manager seemed to like having it still arround for the sake of nostalga.
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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 10:21 AM

Many of the popular old shows have been transferred to tape a number of times over the last few decades, recently to HD. Yes, they look better than ever -- modern telecine transfer from the original neg versus a film chain transfer from a print (sometimes a 16mm reduction print.)
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#11 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 01:20 PM

TV stations had a "film chain" type of telecine, more or less a projector pointed at a video camera. Prints of the TV shows were delivered to the TV stations. Regarding videotape, see:

http://en.wikipedia....uplex_videotape


I was on a school tour of NBC Burbank in the mid70s. They had at least two rows of 35mm film chains.

Since the shows were projection prints there were rather restrictive recommendations for lighting ratios to keep the contrast low.

I read John Dystra talking about doing the effects for 'Battlestar galactica' for TV and how important it was to keep to the recommended densities for broadcast. When I saw it at a screening it llooked awful. All flat middle tones.
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#12 Michael Ryan

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 01:51 PM

Hello All,

Just to add: There were lots of shows from the '50s that used KINESCOPE. Shows like Jackie Gleason's THE HONEYMOONERS used a process like Kinescope. Kinescope was the process of a 16mm film camera filmming a video monitor of what the TV cameras were capturing in the studio.

I had heard of this process talked about over the years, but you can read all the reasons they did this if you google Kinescope.


Mike
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#13 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 02:45 PM

Just to add: There were lots of shows from the '50s that used KINESCOPE. Shows like Jackie Gleason's THE HONEYMOONERS used a process like Kinescope. Kinescope was the process of a 16mm film camera filmming a video monitor of what the TV cameras were capturing in the studio.


The seperate series, as opposed to the ones which were segments of the Jackie Gleason show, were filmed with a Dumont rig which had a blimped 35mm camera and a TV camera shooting simutaneously through the same lens. The show went out live on it's initial broadcast, and as prints from 35mm for other markets.

The difference between those shows and the earlier segments is very obvious, could be why Jackie Gleason sat on them for so long.

Often kinescopes looked like and old Xerox®. There were some 35mm Kinescopes.
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#14 Paul Vincent

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 02:51 PM

British Television pioneer John Logie Baird invented a type of film chain telecine for his mechanical scanning Nipkow disk television system in the 1920's and 1930's. This allowed him to avoid the absolutely brutal lighting required by the mechanical cameras. In some cases the sets and costumes caught fire from the extreme heat!
By filming the action in the regular manner and through an ingenious fast chemical film developing tank combined into a wet gate telecine, Baird could broadcast within a few minutes of the actual filmed event. He even performed experiments with use of a film chain/mechanical camera in RAF aircraft for "live" broadcast of battlefield action to military HQ.
Baird also invented the first video recorder - using 78rpm records. Some still exist and have been digitally extracted with astonishing, spookie results! 15fps 30 lines PROGRESSIVE!!!!!
Baird eventually got his mechanical system up to 300 lines 30fps, quite amazing really. The invention of the CRT killed Baird's system and ironically imposed crap interlaced video upon the world for the next 60 years!

Yes, TV was progressive for the first 20 years or so :rolleyes:
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#15 John Sprung

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Posted 17 August 2007 - 12:56 PM

Yes, TV was progressive for the first 20 years or so :rolleyes:

Actually, interlace was also used in mechanical scan. It was patented around 1910 - 1915.

It was the right choice for analog broadcast TV, because it gives you 65% of the effective resolution of progressive while using only 50% of the bandwidth. In effect, it's a very crude lossy compression whose only advantage is that it could be implemented in analog. In the digital world, it only interferes with much better compression methods.

300 line mechanical scan wouldn't be too practical. It would take a disk with a diameter of 8 feet to make a picture an inch high.



-- J.S.
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#16 John Sprung

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Posted 17 August 2007 - 01:20 PM

There were some 35mm Kinescopes.

Actually, there were quite a lot of them. I have a 35mm Acme kinescope movement somewhere. They were used for net delay before there was 2" quad tape. Shows like Gleason and Sid Caesar that were shot live to air with TV cameras in New York made the trip out to LA via 32 terrestrial microwave hops, and were recorded on hot kine's. The film was rushed through the lab, and ran on a film chain three hours after it was exposed to feed the West coast. They were supposed to be tossed or recycled as slug leader at the end of the night, but if the film chain guy really liked a particular show, he might put it aside to watch again. That's how some of those early shows survived.

Lucy, OTOH, was shot here on the West coast, so they shot and posted on film, and delivered prints to both coasts. I know one of the assistant editors from Lucy, somebody should really shoot an interview with Ted. Where's Ken Burns when you need him? ;-)



-- J.S.
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#17 Chris Graham

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Posted 17 August 2007 - 02:12 PM

lol. i thought this thread was going to be about something like the great "Mexican Golden Era" or Golden Era in general, and the type of film production involved
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