3D Meet Bob Furmanek: HTF Golden Age 3-D Consultant

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Feb 7, 2012.

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  1. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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    Maybe it was the movie theatre not knowing how to show this properly but, I remember Amityville 3D looked terrible in 3D. Nothing came out of the screen and there was very little depth
     
  2. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Amitvyville is well photographed for 3-D. The director had experience and knew what he was doing.

    SHOUT told me they were interested in our 3-D holdings for more than a year. For some reason, they kept putting off finalizing a deal. Then they stopped responding. Very unprofessional.

    I would be VERY surprised if they put a penny into a 3-D master. And the copyright holder won't spend the funds either.

    I'd like to be surprised, but I'm not optimistic.
     
  3. GregK

    GregK Screenwriter

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    Wow - Sixty years later and this is STILL one of the best shot 3-D movies to date.
    And back then, premieres were true events!

     
  4. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    HAPPY 60th, HOUSE OF WAX! (And many more!)

    Bob, is your write-up, above, posted on the web site? At a glance, I didn't see it. I want to direct a couple of people to the site, and will point them directly to that if it's going to be there.
     
  5. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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  6. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Thanks for the write-up. Even in 2D, the film works wonderfully, and one of the joys of the 1980s 3D boom was getting to see House of Wax in 3D. But those are vague memories now, and I can't wait for the Warner 3D disc this fall.

    A great write-up, Bob.
     
  7. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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    Hi Bob,

    You had mentioned in a previous post on the House of Wax DVD - “The new WAX stereo mix utilized some existing dialogue, music and effect stems for the front channels.”

    I’m hoping they can use the stems and mix them for something close to the original, maybe doing a better job than Chace did.
     
  8. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    I sure hope so. Here's an idea of what the directional sound was like on WAX, according to Bosley Crowther, a man who never saw a 3-D movie he liked:

    Wax-sound-4.19-weba.jpg
     
  9. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    In complaining about what the sound did to his nerves, it sounds GREAT to me. But after decades of watching mono films, I guess it would be a shock to the system. I remember the shock (but sheer delight) when I first hooked up a surround system in my house and turned it on for the first time. Couldn't BELIEVE the difference.
     
  10. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    I feel the same way, Matt. After I read his comments, I thought: "I've GOT to hear this!"
     
  11. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    I know! I wonder how many more tickets his review sold? I certainly would have made a bee line to the theater to see and hear for myself if I hadn't planned to go earlier.
     
  12. Richard Gallagher

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    Crowther was one of the very few critics who didn't like Lawrence of Arabia.
     
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  13. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    His initial HOW review:

    [SIZE=150%]THE SCREEN IN REVIEWHouse of Wax,' Warners' 3-D Film With Vincent Price, Has Premiere at Paramount[/SIZE]By Bosley CrowtherNew York Times, Saturday, April 11, 1953A slight paraphrase of the first message sent over telegraph wires might signal the staggering appearance of the first major stereoscopic film. "House of Wax," the historic production unveiled at the Paramount yesterday in as wild a display of noise and nonsense as has rattled a movie screen in years, may well cause a dazed and deafened viewer, amazed and bewildered, to inquire in wonder and genuine trepidation: What hath the Warner Brothers wrought?For this mixture of antique melodrama, three-dimensional photography, ghoulish sensationalism and so-called directed sound (which means noises coming at you from all parts of the theatre) raises so many serious questions of achievement and responsibility that a friend of the motion picture medium has ample reason to be baffled and concerned.It isn't only that the story projected in this first major whack with 3-D is a bundle of horrifying claptrap that was cheap and obvious twenty years ago—which is precisely how long ago it was the Warners first made it under the title of "The Mystery of the Wax Museum." Even then it was a raw, distasteful fable fit only to frighten simple souls with the menace of a crazy, fire-scarred sculptor embalming his victims in a wax-works chamber of horrors.And now, as a story, it is no different. It is still a fantastic conceit, highlighted by a fire in the wax museum and the subsequent depredations of a repulsively disfigured ghoul who establishes a new museum with wax-encased cadavers snatched from the morgue. And its performance by Vincent Price as the monstrous hero, Phyllis Kirk as a potential victim, Frank Lovejoy as a baffled detective and several others in assorted comic-strip roles, under Andre De Toth's direction, is in a consistently stiff and graceless style.Nor is it that the stereo-photography, while more effective than any other yet seen in New York theatres, is of but moderate advantage to the film. The picture is in Technicolor (as was the previous "The Mystery of the Wax Museum") and the illusion of contour and depth in the images, as viewed through polaroid glasses, is good. On a few occasions, such as a scene in which a barker bounces a rubber ball toward the audience or figures tumble forward in the picture, the shock effect is pronounced. But the so-called added dimension of "deepness" is of slight significance.The major causes for anxiety presented by this film are in the savagery of its conception and the intolerable artlessness of its sound. It is thrown and howled at the audience as though the only purpose was to overwhelm the naturally curious patron with an excess of brutal stimuli. And this is betrayed not only in the morbidity of many scenes but in the violence of the noises that are brayed from the theatre's screen and walls.The intended effect of having sounds come from areas in which they would naturally develop in relation to the images on the screen—such as the voice of an actor out of the frame to the left coming from that side wall—is not only confusing but incongruous with the visual illusion of the screen. It is as though someone were speaking from a box or the stage wings, with no relation whatsoever to the images before the eyes. The mechanical distraction of it may wear off with time, if this sort of thing is repeated, but it is disturbing and almost comical now.Likewise, the noisy sound of footsteps clattering in the back of the theatre a moment after an actor has appeared to rush forward from the screen is completely illogical and unnerving. It sounds like a riot outside.But the most frightening thing about this picture is the thought of the imitation it will encourage, if it proves to draw customers to the theatre, which it more than likely will do. Some may accept this dismal prospect with the same casualness they accord the idiocies and eventually comical monstrosities of the film. But not so this reviewer. It's a prospect we view with alarm. Dimly we foresee movie audiences embalmed in three-dimensional wax and sound.On the stage at the Paramount are Eddie Fisher, The Beach-combers, Joey Forman and Henry Winterhalter and his band.
     
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  14. JSul

    JSul Stunt Coordinator

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    Looking forward to the House of Wax 3D bluray.Movie Tavern is showing Dial M for Murder in 3D, am planning to go to the 11:30 am showing here in Ft Worth, Tx tomorrow.
     
  15. JSul

    JSul Stunt Coordinator

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    Just returned from seeing DMfM in 3d. ...was great fun and Grace Kelly looked stunning, especially in her red dress and shoes.
     
  16. pinknik

    pinknik Stunt Coordinator

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    Hopefully they work HONDO in at some point.
     
  17. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    It's running at the TCM festival this month and will also be shown at the 3-D Expo in the fall.
     
  18. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    A 3-D Expo in the fall?
    When and where?
     
  19. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    This

    http://3-dfilmexpo.com/

    is going to make it very hard to think about anything else until September. I'll buy the full festival "pass" and attend every screening like I did the first two festivals.

    I will miss Raoul Walsh's masterful GUN FURY and THE CHARGE AT FEATHER RIVER this time, but there are other compensations. This is the first time HONDO 3-D has screened for the public since 1953 (the red/green TV airings don't count). Previous screenings were for industry insiders. Will the folks from RealD 3-D be handing out active shutter glasses again, I wonder. The line for HONDO 3-D is going to start early. Everyone is going to want the center seats where the stereo effect is the most pronounced. I can feel the effect on my arthritic feet of standing on the line already. The film is a crowd pleaser, and the audience is going to LOVE it. If Jeff Joseph could be persuaded to add a second screening, perhaps at midnight, rest assured it will sell out twice, the demand to see it is so great. You follow that with HOUSE OF WAX which always has the audience cheering. September 6 is going to be a fun Friday night.

    I look forward to the seminar on Russia's early 3-D films and the feature ROBINSON CRUSOE. It astounds me that the Russians were shooting 3-D features in 1946. The stereoscopic lensmanship is very impressive indeed, if the anaglyph [forgive my use of that invective] trailer is any indication. Those camera-set-ups are worth studying. The European 3-D seminar promises stereoscopic footage from as early as 1935. I wonder if the Olympics 3-D footage was shot by Leni Riefenstahl? And then you are including another eclectic assortment of early, experimental, scarce and hitherto unknown 3-D Rarities. The Rarities is always a highlight of your Expos, Bob, and I can't wait to see what you guys have in store for us this time.

    I could not be happier celebrating a birthday at Film Noir Friday Night with two of the best stereoscopic films ever lensed, John Alton's I THE JURY and Roy Ward Baker's INFERNO. The craftsmanship and artisty of these two 3-D masterpieces make the current plethora of cgi 3-D cartoons look like child's play.

    Another highlight for me will be DRAGONFLY SQUADRON, which didn't get a 3-D release in 1954, did it. Won't this be the film's 3-D premiere? I gather this is your personal print and restoration?

    If I skip anything, or fall asleep, it will be during ROBOT MONSTER. Yeah the stereoscopic photography is excellent but the film is strictly snooze city. The ineptitude on display is depressing. I don't understand how a film can be so inept and yet so well shot for 3-D.

    I know you guys had bigger hopes, like corralling every classic 3-D film from the golden age and restoring other titles that have not been screened as of yet, but sometimes circumstances have a way of working against one's best efforts. 32 classic 3-D features plus various shorts, cartoons, and special subjects on the 60th anniversary of the 3-D wave from Hollywood's golden age is an ambitious undertaking. But your standards are impeccably high and I know it will be a resounding success.
     
  20. aPhil

    aPhil Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, Stereovision did have an over/under, almost a Techniscope frame, as all 6 of the Earl Owensby 3D movies of the early to mid 1980's were shot with Chris Condon's lenses. The quality of the glass in the lenses (a single lens mount with side-by-side lenses) was poor.
     
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