Switch

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Frank Soyke, May 4, 2013.

  1. Frank Soyke

    Frank Soyke Screenwriter

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    Am I crazy or wasn't there a report a while back that someone was looking at releasing the show? I looked through the old news stories but couldn't find anything. I wonder what ever happened with that plan.
     
  2. FanCollector

    FanCollector Producer

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    There was a report foreseeing a Switch release, but I was in contact with Madman Entertainment, which was planning an Australian release of the series, and they informed me that there were no extant copies of the series in the world outside of the 35mm masters. According to Madman, a search was instituted and no one had any prints of the show. The conversion of the 35mm masters would have been prohibitively expensive, so the plan was abandoned. If the series gets sold to a cable station, then it might pay Universal to make new working prints, but it doesn't seem likely to happen for a DVD release alone.
     
  3. jimmyjet

    jimmyjet Producer

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    i'd rather fight !!!!
     
  4. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    Which means sadly *all* tape transfer masters that *were* being used for cable airings as recently as the early 2000s on TV Land went up in flames in the Universal fire of 2008.
     
  5. FanCollector

    FanCollector Producer

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    Jack, do you remember the studio's announcement after the fire? It was to the effect that no "original" or unique material was lost. While that may have been technically true, the duplicate tapes that burned seem to have rendered some series all-but-lost, as they won't be seen again unless someone comes up with a lot of money to transfer them again. Besides Switch and Hec Ramsey, has anyone heard of other series in the same situation?
     
  6. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    "The Law And Harry McGraw" which Madman did release in R4 is darned near close because they ran a disclaimer saying they could find only one set of tape masters to use for the release and the quality is decidedly subpar for a 1980s show.
     
  7. FanCollector

    FanCollector Producer

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    Yes, good catch. In fact, the people at Madman told me that they actually found that one set of Harry McGraw prints in the process of looking for Switch.
     
  8. HenryDuBrow

    HenryDuBrow Screenwriter

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    I get that the original tapes may be either damaged or gone now, but couldn't they license out their known prints of these concerned Universal series to say Timeless/Shout or some place like that. I think fans would understand how it perhaps won't be top picture like other shows, but it's better than nothing and still broadcast quality of say TVLand.
     
  9. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    When the only "known prints" are the 35mm masters in the vault, how could any label license them? I'm certainly not in favor of the idea of just releasing on DVD someone's own recorded off-air copies when I can get those any time I want through "other" means.
     
  10. FanCollector

    FanCollector Producer

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    It's the reverse problem, Henry. The original films are safe and fine. It's the working prints that were lost. If an independent label would pay the duplication costs, then I'm sure Universal would happily license the show, but it would be hundreds of thousands of dollars and at this moment, it doesn't seem like it's worth that much to any company.
     
  11. MCCLOUD

    MCCLOUD Second Unit

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    How much would it cost Universal to make the DVD"S from the 35 mm masters remastered? Say the cost to do 1 Season of 24 1 hour episodes?

    Thanks!

    Robert
     
  12. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Cinematographer

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    Somewhere in the neighborhood of $150,000 to $200,000. Universal has very high in-house costs and they do not send their 35mm prints to outside labs. It could be run far cheaper somewhere else but its a moot point.
     
  13. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Cinematographer

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    From what I understand, Baretta is in the same boat. So, unless Universal decides to resume releasing the series (highly unlikely), that show couldn't be licensed out. Not sure if there are any 16mm prints available or not but the tape transfers are gone.
     
  14. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    I'd sure like to know if the 1977-78 sitcom "Operation Petticoat" might also fall in this category. Tape transfers were made and some episodes aired on TV Land in the same era that "Switch" was airing on TV Land too. That remains my #1 Grail of obscure sitcoms from this era.
     
  15. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Cinematographer

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    Operation Petticoat ran on Retro TV and I believe that was after the fire.
     
  16. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    Glad then to know I can still have hope for a DVD release there!

    So far, I think the only vintage TV series where post-fire Universal went back and did new transfers was for the final season of "Emergency". The tape transfers they were using for the earlier seasons were really in rough shape (except for the scattering of episodes from the first three seasons that had been released on VHS in the Columbia club) but on Season 6 and the post-season movies the difference was incredible.
     
  17. jimmyjet

    jimmyjet Producer

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    did anybody get the joke ??
     
  18. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    Yes. Belabor it too much and you'll get a black eye. :) (that's part of the joke too!!)
     
  19. MCCLOUD

    MCCLOUD Second Unit

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    Hey thanks for the information Neal! I wanted to ask about your statement "Universal has very high in-house costs". Does this mean a lot of Universal's cost would not really be about the acutal cost to remaster and make the DVDS but would be to pay for other things such as salaries, perks, higher costs due to union rules, etc. What percent of the cost claimed by Universal do you estimate has really nothing to do with the actually making and remastering the DVDS? Thanks!

    Robert
     
  20. jimmyjet

    jimmyjet Producer

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    LOL !! i use to like those commercials, when i was a kid. boy, back then there were dozens of cigarette brand commercials on tv.
     

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