"My Living Doll"?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by PaulKTF, Aug 10, 2007.

  1. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Cinematographer

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    Just pay him whatever he wants? Really? Wow, you're pretty generous with other people's money. Its worth very little as its a niche release of a show which no one has seen in over 45 years meaning that no one under 50 would likely even know what it is. And considering that only around 10 or 11 exist, there is no chance anything could be done with it other than this DVD release. Not to mention that due to negligence on the part of the producer, most episodes hadn't been registered for copyright, which allowed this guy to be making money on VHS sales for the last 30 years. But now that they are copyrighted, he can't do that anymore. But anyone who thinks this thing is going to sell very much is delusional. It'll make its money back if they're lucky.
     
  2. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    Yes,Really - What, he should just give them the episode,or sell it them for a token fee? I am the last guy to advocate hording, but It's no different than if they found all the negative someplace with 45 years of storage/lab fees due. Regardless what they may or may not make on the DVD's is not the point, they see value in doing something with the property after DECADES of neglect. Urbanski sees value in what he is asking for his episode, perhaps the only film print existent of that episode.
    At the end of the day, whatever episodes they locate it is still a package of episodes that can be used beyond DVDs. Even if it's sold to one of the minor classic TV networks.
     
  3. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Cinematographer

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    So they'll take that episode off of one of the VHS tapes of it he sold over the years. It won't look as good as it could but it will have to do. And he can take his print and use it for an ornament. And once the DVD set comes out, his print goes back to being worth about a third of what he asked for it. As someone above posted, its just like the music publishers. 100% of nothing is still nothing.
     
  4. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    You don't like Larry Urbasnki, I take it?
     
  5. smithb

    smithb Screenwriter

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    Without knowing what he is asking and what he has been offerred it is really a mute point. All we know for sure is that the two parties can't agree on a price, which only means that either both parties are being unrealistic or one is, but without further evidence no one can say which side. Personally, I wouldn't be surprised at all if it is both sides.
     
  6. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Cinematographer

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    Nothing against the man. Just unhappy about the inability he is showing to compromise and be realistic. For some people it is impossible for them to perceive that someone is putting something out commercially and not expecting to reap any huge monetary reward. The concept that there might be entities that actually have an interest in putting a show out for the benefit of letting it be seen and because it deserves better than to be buried forever is incomprehensible to them. I don't put Doll in the same category, but believe me, releases like Mr. Peepers and The Goldbergs will never break even. But thankfully they were released because of their historical importance not their commercial viability. While Doll is nothing more than another fluffy fantasy sitcom typical of the era, it is a very funny show and certainly no worse than Bewitched, Jeannie and My Favorite Martian, all similar type shows. Its just a shame that it was so mistreated and neglected. But what would expect from someone who is still selling VHS tapes in 2011?
     
  7. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Screenwriter

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    Well, I do know that Julie Newmar herself has posted on her website that the search is still onoging, and even listed the episodes that are being sought after (most likely for the best source materials). This I learned a few weeks ago- check out her official site for yourself:
    http://julienewmar.com/
     
  8. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Cinematographer

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    "Best source materials", as in ANY because right now all they have on about 15 shows is air.
     
  9. Chertok Television.

    Chertok Television. Stunt Coordinator

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    Just to let you know Mr DeWilson..we have had a great deal of help from some like minded film collectors who do not feel the need to hold the show to ransom, unfortunately when Jack Chertok passed away he took the information of where these negatives went with him.
    I have personally spent considerable time and much of my own money to try and find this show and return it to classic television fans, The Chertok company lost thousands of dollars that have yet to been recouped from producing this show.
    So Urbanski demands 1500.00 dollars to just borrow one print..together with another thousand or more to do the transfer at a facility of his choice.(when MPI had contacted him he upped it to 2K), based on your assertions Mr DeWilson we would never be able to bring this show back from the brink.
    26 episodes in Black and White of a show that has not been seen since 1965..in today's market this show is a hard sell on a grand scale..with only 11 shows in hand we need to thank MPI for being willing to at least put those onto a set for all of you to enjoy.
    Frankly if I had read this post before the MPI deal had gone through..it would have perhaps given me a reason to walk away from this really almost impossible project.
     
  10. The Obsolete Man

    The Obsolete Man Screenwriter

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    So, going by this account, I was correct in my earlier post... Collector thinks he has something, prices his collectible too high, no one will pay his ransom demand, so collector gets nothing, and in fact, no one gets anything.
    But, hey, he still has a priceless collectible!!!
    ...or is that "worthless"?
     
  11. Chertok Television.

    Chertok Television. Stunt Coordinator

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  12. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Cinematographer

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    Hey, when 1985 comes back and they start manufacturing VHS machines again, he's going to make a mint!
     
  13. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    It's hardly a ransom when the carelessness of Jack Chertok caused these shows to be "lost" in the first place, it a recovery fee. It should be expected that there would be some higher than expect costs involved in recovering episodes. Did you really believe every single film collector or film dealer who had episodes would gladly help out the project for a small stipend,or even free? That's unrealistic.
    The point I'm making is there are always the possibility of this type of situation - someone holding out for a large fee for an episode or episodes - when you are dealing with a series with "lost" episodes,and should been factored in.
    I think the work,time and resources you've put into this project is great! How long has it be now, 5 years of Searching? However,as for what Chertok (and CBS) lost on this show - I hardly beleive they are still carrying that "loss" on their books since 1965 - it written off along ago. It's a non-issue 45 years later,really.
    I'm not talking about the 14 odd remaining "lost" episodes, just one episode ONE - at this point unlikely any more will turn up,is it? Lets say it cots $2500 to obtain this one elusive episode - spreading the cost over say 2500 units (A fair baseline number for a specialized release - I'm WELL aware that the's no chance this will sell more than a few thousand units) adds $1.00 to the production cost. I take it is fair say to begin with this release isn't going to be bargain basement but a well prepared release? - So what's an extra $1.00 per wholesale cost of the unit. It's targeted to the classic tv collector who will be willing to pay a couple extra bucks and curious viewer is just gravy in general.
    Sometimes you have to bite the bullet,and pay whats is requested - by not doing so, the ones who lose out in the end isn't Urbanski, but the classic TV collectors as well the the performers who lose out on the small residuals from the one episode.
    What would be the difference in paying him what he's asking, and say if you located an episode or episodes in a storage facility /bonded vault/lab storage and had to pay years, if not decades of back storage fees? Have you thought of it in those terms?
    If that would have been the case, then you wouldn't have really been up to the task of dealing with these hurdles, would you?
    The project is far from impossible - just had a little snag having a person like Urbanski to deal with after having different better experiences with other film collectors on this, and I take it, other projects.
    Socking? That's being a little dramatic -I think you should take that bragging with a grain of salt from someone who's looking to get the best fee for what he has. It's unlikely he made a great deal of money on it.
    He was either exploiting whatever "loophole" in the copyright law to offer it or he just didn't care and just went ahead and put it out.. Whatever that issue is/was, best left to the legal people.to sort out.
    Clearly there's going to be a some return from this, or MPI would't have made a deal to release whatever exists. They are not in the habit of releasing shows that don't make a profit.
    It's a given that royalties/residuals would be given on the DVD release. (ad any possible Internet streaming/download/hulu type thing and/or classic tv channel special filler) I wouldn't want to be the person who has to deal with the clearances on this series. :)
    It also does no good to compare this to a major studio release - it's apples and oranges - this isn't the first,nor last, time a production from an independent producer that was short lived was put out on a small independent video label. ("I'm Dickens,.He's Finster" is due for release still,even with the untimely passing of Leonard Stern - which all exist,thankfully.)
    Again, I think it's great you've taken on this task.
    As it's been suggested before Why not just locate a VHS copy that Urbasnki released and use that? (as an "Extra" ) Sure it's less quality,but it would be there - and not like he can do a heck of a lot about it since all the rights to the show are in order. Or is this a last case option?
    At this late stage - 45 years later - is it still possible the negatives are sitting in some bonded vault someplace? in Los Angeles or New York?
     
  14. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    HA! :)
    I've often wondered why he was the only one of the niche public domain video dealers not to make the switch to DVD.
    Nostalgia Family Video,Shokus Video,Video Resources,Sinister Cinema and Something Weird all made the switch.
     
  15. Chertok Television.

    Chertok Television. Stunt Coordinator

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  16. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    "Fair market value" - how can one really set a fair market value of something that is one of a kind? However, That is a fair price to buy a print. So you have a general window of what you're willing to pay for an episode,if need be.
    What is the difference between renting a print and buying it once a high-quality digital master is made?
    I take it that one of the issues with Urbanski is he's difficult to deal with?
    You folks haven't renegotiated with CBS over this?
    Yes, I have a general idea of the breakdown form the wholesale cost - so perhaps a little more than raising it a $1 per unit would be needed to cover extra costs to aquire the elusive episode, if it could work.
    I don't admire, or even know the guy personally, I just see sometimes you have to deal with difficult people to get what you need to get a project done.
    So there's no other possibilities? Ever thought issuing a press-release to the Entertainment trade papers and sites to build awareness for the search? Seems to me that there not many avenues left.,and perhaps a little publicity might help turn up someone with episodes, or fresh leads.
    Well, it's either spend money to get the episode,don't get the episodes and everyone loses out.
    But it seems to me the sticking points are Urbanski being difficult to deal with and the fact he's spend years selling bootleg copies.
    I find it hard to beleive they are in this just to "break even". As for DVD sales, the right nitch releases still do well.
    Any project worth doing is worth doing right - and as I've said, in this day in age, DVD isn't the only avenue.
    Again, I think it's great you've taken on this task.
    So there's a tentative release date?
     
  17. Chertok Television.

    Chertok Television. Stunt Coordinator

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    around December of this year.
     
  18. Chertok Television.

    Chertok Television. Stunt Coordinator

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  19. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    Is any work done to the actually print before making the fine grain? Or just one heck of a cleaning :)
    I do follow film on eBay (although it's been years since I collected 16mm,more of a Super-8 guy) For a show this rare - it was a very good deal.
    CBS Not willing to renegotiate 45 years later?
    Perhaps when the show is released on DVD there'll be some interest in the whole "still lost episodes" thing.
    OK, so this begs the question - will there be a Featurette on the DVD about the whole recovery/still lost episodes of MY LIVING DOLL?
     
  20. Chertok Television.

    Chertok Television. Stunt Coordinator

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