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

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

  1. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    I believe you're actually referring to SpaceVision, the over/under variant used by Arch Oboler for The Bubble (I believe Bob will back me up on this) and used for the early 80s revival under several different names, among them 3-Depix. AFAIK, Stereovision was strictly side-by-side.
     
  2. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Chris Condon was always experimenting and it wouldn't surprise me if he had an over/under lens system. I can't recall off the top of my head.

    I always put my efforts into the Golden Age material so when it comes to the 70's/80's titles, I'm a bit in the dark!
     
  3. Ejanss

    Ejanss Banned

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    Robot Monster can actually be watchable with the properly goofy audience for it--Under the right (and yes, sober) circumstances, it's one of the few watchable Golden Turkeys.
    Partly from its Invaders-From-Mars-wannabe perspective that this is all the little kid's dream (gorillas?--Sure, why not?), but also Ro-Man's constant football-referee hand signals, and, as MST3K pointed out, his rather ungraceful lope giving us a terrifying conqueror of our planet who plods aimlessly about the hillsides like Baloo from the Jungle Book. To quote Joel Robinson & the 'Bots, "This, ladies and gentlemen, is the destroyer of Earth. I rest my case." :lol:

    I remember seeing it in 2-D with a very punchy all-night college-theater audience (after midnight, you don't need anything artificial), and there's fun to be had with large groups--And judging from the restored 3D in Bob's YouTube clip, we'd have killed to see it in the restored dimensions, if it looked that good.
     
  4. revgen

    revgen Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info Bob.

    I've never seen Hondo in 3D, but I think I'll skip the TCM showing since 3D Expo is airing it at the Egyptian Theater.
     
  5. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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  6. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    Your "history" is too modest and incomplete, Bob. Your efforts to locate and preserve early 3-D films has been extraordinary and unprecedented. These festivals at the Egyptian, the Film Forum and in other parts of the country would not be possible if hadn't been for you. There'd be no 3-D legacy in Hollywood if you hadn't done what you did, and some of us know it and appreciate your achievement, believe me.

    As an aside, I always wanted to meet the mind that wrote those Mike Hammer novels and made those bold independent private-eye films in the 1950s. I envy you being taken to dinner by Mickey Spillane. Love that picture standing next to him.

    On other matters mentioned here, I was professionally acquainted with Chris Condon and his associate, the brilliant stereoscopic engineer John A. Rupkalvis. Spread out before me is a cameraman's manual for StereoVision equipment, and an appraiser's inventory of the company and its hardware. There is a 70mm side-by-side system and a 70mm over/under system complete with reference photos and diagrams. Condon also had side-by-side and an over/under 35mm systems. Let's get those facts on the record.

    In 1971 Condon personally supervised the conversion of HOUSE OF WAX to 70mm for theatrical re-release. The film screened throughout the United States in its Academy ratio via StereoVision's 70mm 3-D projection lens, a fact people seem to have forgotten. I believe that was side-by-side. I saw it many times at the Setauket Theater on Long Island and in NYC during its month-long run. Most theaters got the 35mm conversion, however. The 1981 re-release consisted of Stereovision's 35mm conversions from 1971. Old prints, cleaned up.

    It is true that sometimes the glass Condon bought to grind and turn into stereo lenses was cheap, but not always. Sometimes he bought the highest quality glass to work with, and the lenses were very sharp and clear indeed. But I imagine there are still some poor lenses floating around. Keep in mind that most of Sterovision's clientele were low-budget, independent filmmakers who didn't have the money to pay for a high-quality lens, and Condon would do the best he could for them on the money they had. Oftentimes filmmakers would forget to throw out worn polarizers and insert new ones, even though the manual reminds them to do that, and they'd get poor results during image capture. A Stereovision lens could be a quirky thing, and some cameramen "got it" better than others. I will say this: the best results were always achieved when Condon himself was on the set and supervising (as in the case of Jaws 3 which he saved from total disaster when Paramount's system fell apart). He could make a StereoVision lens do amazing things. But usually he would work for a week on a consultation fee and then leave. When he left, that's when the problems began.


    [​IMG]
     
  7. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Thanks, Richard.

    I didn't do the work for either credit or glory. I did it for my love of Golden Age 3-D and because it HAD to be done.

    It's only recently that circumstances have forced me to be more visible with the work that I've done, and continue to do. I don't crave the spotlight but sometimes you have to do it.

    Thank you also for filling in the information on Chris Condon.
     
  8. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    When production began on March 16, 1953, THOSE REDHEADS FROM SEATTLE was the first feature composed for widescreen in the aspect ratio of 1.66:1. It was also filmed in 3-D, Technicolor and presented in 3 channel stereophonic sound.

    For more information on the dawn of widescreen, please visit http://www.3dfilmarchive.com/home/widescreen-documentation

     
  9. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    Wow, I love the trailer.

    Thanks Bob.
     
  10. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    Which 3-D films were shot in 3-strip, Bob? and what shape are they in now? Asking you is faster and easier than looking it up.
     
  11. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Thanks, Doug. There are a few more in the article.

    FLIGHT TO TANGIER and MONEY FROM HOME.

    Present status of elements is unknown.
     
  12. aPhil

    aPhil Well-Known Member

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    Richard,
    Chris Condon was a very talented and intelligent man, but the glass for the lenses in the 3D Stereovision camera system was poor at best — I used to say that the glass in the lenses looked like they were ground from the bottom of old Coca-Cola bottles -- and Earl Owensby was probably his best client, as there were six (6) 3D films from the Shelby, North Carolina Producer.

    You mention that

    ". . . most of Sterovision's clientele were low-budget, independent filmmakers who didn't have the money to pay for a high-quality lens, and Condon would do the best he could for them on the money they had. Oftentimes filmmakers would forget to throw out worn polarizers and insert new ones, even though the manual reminds them to do that . . ."

    There were no polarizers in the lenses — The lens/lenses was a single lens mount with a right lens and a left lens in a single unit— And not only was the glass rather poor, but the mechanics of the lens/lenses were clunky. Took some work to get both the right & left eye in focus. And, when filming in the summer and at night, bugs would get inside and you had to take the entire lens apart to get the things out.
     
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  13. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    You are correct up to a point and I should have written with more specificity. There are polarizers in the projection lenses.

    Obviously you worked with Condon or were a customer and you know the lenses. Maybe he didn't show you the better lenses.

    Bugs fly into flat lenses too you know but there isn't a housing for them to get stuck in.

    Feel free to contact me via Private Message if you want to discuss StereoVision.
     
  14. JSul

    JSul Well-Known Member

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    What is your opinion on 'creating a 3D film/dvd' like what has been done to Titanic, and Jurassic Park?
     
  15. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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  16. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    I was present when the crates containing "TOP BANANA" arrived from the USA and were opened at United Artists Australia back in the 50s.
    Sadly there were definitely no 3D Prints in the shipment.
    For that reason, it's very unlikely that any, unaccounted for, lost 3D print will ever turn up Down Under.

    It was always very exciting to open the crates that contained all the promotional material which included Glass Slides, Stills, Press Books, Posters, Recordings and other marketing items.
    So, so sad that all those fabulous items and the prints themselves were eventually shredded and destroyed at the City Dump. :( What a waste.

    Bob,
    Not crazy mate. :)
     
  17. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    We know that it never went out as a 3-D picture and the right negative was used to strike domestic prints, but was the left negative used to strike prints for any other territories?
    That's always a possibility.

    GOG, for instance, played mostly flat in the U.S. For that reason, the right negative was used here and the left was shipped overseas. It's long gone and thankfully, I found a mint left eye print about 15 years ago. It's been scanned and is waiting for the monies to match it to the right for 3-D preservation.
     
  18. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    That's a great piece of information Bob.

    Maybe we got the left print here in OZ.
    Now that really does throw the cat amongst the pigeons.

    It should be noted however that, at the time, United Artists Australia had very tight security, so it's highly unlikely any prints escaped destruction, but hey, you never know.
    That's what makes it all so exciting and intriguing.


    I sincerely wish you all the very best in your ongoing endeavours to return "GOG" to it's 3D former self.


    Doug.
     
  19. Ejanss

    Ejanss Banned

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    Ever since Netflix offered a 3-D option, we've been getting a coincidental flood of "lost" 3-D titles showing up in the regular selection: Gog, Bwana Devil, The Maze, Diamond Wizard, Those Redheads From Seattle....
    I know you're out there pitching, but I keep thinking "Nahh, couldn't be. :( ".
     
  20. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Thanks, Doug. The element that I found is at the UCLA Archive and is safe. It's been scanned by MGM so there is a back-up HD master as well.

    Sadly, neither MGM or Paramount have any interest in making 3-D versions available of their titles, and that includes the flat ones shown on Netflix.

    I wish I could say otherwise but I'm being honest.
     

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