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Paramount Archive Tour and lunch with the Home Video Team

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#1 of 53 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted December 09 2012 - 08:35 PM

Home Theater Forum was fortunate to spend a better part of a day at Paramount during the recent Home Theater Forum Meet.

The day started with a nice breakfast followed by a great tour of the back lot including the active sets for Happily Ever After, and one of my favorites Community.  They made special arrangements for us to tour the Archives Building where they store film, videotape, stills, costumes, props and music.  There are over 659,000 individually bar coded elements in the building and a film negative vault kept at 45 degrees.  After the tour we had a nice lunch with Paramount executives and employees at each table.  They did this the last time they hosted us as well.  The folks at my table mentioned that Cecil B. DeMille's Samson and Delilah is on the way and Shane is in the process of being restored.  They also talked a bit more about the Warner distribution deal.  Other HTF members may have learned about other titles during lunch depending on what they asked or who they talked to.  They will be posting what they learned in this thread over the next week.  I really enjoy it as it gave us a chance to talk to them and they get a chance to hear from consumers.  I don't know what strings Paramount Home Video had to pull, but after lunch they screened Jack Reacher for us, almost two months early.  We haven't been allowed to talk about it until now.  Hear what I and other HTF members thought about Jack Reacher here.


Here are some of the items we saw in the archives:



Ten Commandments 35mm Original Color Negative Vista Vision Safety




More film storage




Prop Jewelery Storage




Prop Displays


Thanks to the entire Paramount Home Video team for hosting us.  Here is a link to the rest of our coverage from our recent meet.



#2 of 53 OFFLINE   Billy Batson

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Posted December 09 2012 - 09:31 PM

Great news about Samson & Delilah, it's a lot more fun than The Ten Commandments & should look stunning.

#3 of 53 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted December 09 2012 - 10:38 PM

Any news about the many VistaVision titles that Paramount owns?

#4 of 53 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted December 10 2012 - 12:09 AM

The list of Paramount titles that Warners has first dibs on was not released to us, so many of us at my table asked about specific films. If I remember correctly, Paramount still has rights to the John Wayne films in its library, but it appeared that the Audrey Hepburn films are available for Warner to treat as they will. I asked specifically about Funny Face and War and Peace, and the executive admitted Warners had both of them (he wasn't happy about it either).



#5 of 53 OFFLINE   Andrew Budgell

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Posted December 10 2012 - 02:31 AM

This was fun, thank you! Any word on A Place in the Sun (1951)?

#6 of 53 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted December 10 2012 - 03:09 AM

The list of Paramount titles that Warners has first dibs on was not released to us, so many of us at my table asked about specific films. If I remember correctly, Paramount still has rights to the John Wayne films in its library, but it appeared that the Audrey Hepburn films are available for Warner to treat as they will. I asked specifically about Funny Face and War and Peace, and the executive admitted Warners had both of them (he wasn't happy about it either).

Very interesting. I can understand them feeling ambivalent about having some of Paramount's wonderful films from their rich history released by Warner Bros. But hats off to the people in both of these companies for making this work, and getting these wonderful movies out to audiences, both old and new. Films need to be seen in order to live, and that's what this deal helps to do—in a way that makes sense financially to both studios. In terms of the VistaVision titles, I've recently seen 3 more eye-popping HD masters released by Paramount to Netflix and/or Amazon: The Fine Pennies, a fine Danny Kaye film, Artists and Models, a wonderfully silly Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin comedy, and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, a classic Western starring Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster. Since the HD masters for these films already exist, I hope there's a chance we might see these on blu-ray. And there are also dozens of other worthy VistaVision films that I hope will gain new audiences through this arrangement. If you can, let us know if you hear anything about these or other VistaVision titles. Thanks.

#7 of 53 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted December 10 2012 - 05:23 AM

Paramount will still be involved in the release of their titles via WB.  Interesting to note, while the deal covered almost 700 titles, only 100 are allowed to be released on Blu-ray.  WB leaked that they are planning on releasing Stalag 17.



#8 of 53 OFFLINE   Escapay

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Posted December 10 2012 - 06:51 AM

Really excited for Samson and Delilah. Will this title be released by Paramount directly, or through Warner Bros. or Olive Films? I also wouldn't mind seeing A Place in the Sun on Blu-Ray.

#9 of 53 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted December 10 2012 - 06:59 AM

Was a cool stop, looking through these archives never gets old =) Just seeing all that content, so wildly disparate, sitting next to another is really cool. Ten commandments in one row, the Treks in another =)

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#10 of 53 OFFLINE   JoHud

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Posted December 10 2012 - 08:04 AM

Really excited for Samson and Delilah. Will this title be released by Paramount directly, or through Warner Bros. or Olive Films? I also wouldn't mind seeing A Place in the Sun on Blu-Ray.

Information announced today on Classicflix states that Samson and Delilah will be released by Paramount and will be released on March 2013 Edit: DVD press release officially has it for March 12, 2013. Just in time for Easter. Interesting notes on the restoration:

Sometimes referred to as DeMille’s rehearsal for The Ten Commandments,SAMSON AND DELILAH was enormously popular around the world upon its release in 1949. Over 60 years later, the original film elements required significant work in order to return the film to the vibrant masterpiece that had so thrilled theater audiences. The original nitrate three-strip Technicolor negatives were scanned in 4K, and the three strip image was registered, cleaned and color corrected in 4K. In addition, DeMille’s original nitrate print was used in order to complete the original music overture and special effect work was done to clean up original optical images, a particularly tricky three-strip challenge. Finally, the original mono audio track was cleaned up and restored. Interestingly, the restoration team noticed a shimmer effect in some of the scenes. Since they were simultaneously restoring Sunset Boulevard, they looked at production photos of Norma Desmond’s visit to the SAMSON AND DELILAH set and saw the enormously powerful lights that were required for the Technicolor production. This explained the shimmer effect, which was left intact.



#11 of 53 OFFLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted December 10 2012 - 09:35 AM

I wonder how many of us snapped pictures of those cans of The Ten Commandments Vista Vision negative!   Posted Image


(This shot also includes Rosemary's Baby, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and Wings.  Chinatown was just above.)



 


Loved the whole day at Paramount.  I have to say my favorite part of ANY studio would be the archives, and boy, was I not disappointed here.  I could spend some serious time in there.  The studio's patience and generosity was most appreciated.



#12 of 53 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted December 10 2012 - 09:50 AM

Good news about DeMille's Samson. Sounds like they are doing a really first class job on it. I think my favorite DeMille film is The Greatest Show on Earth, which as we know won a Best Picture Oscar for 1952. Were there any whisperings about this one? Steven Spielberg has said that seeing this movie as a boy was one of his inspirations.

#13 of 53 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted December 10 2012 - 10:07 AM

Originally Posted by benbess 

Good news about DeMille's Samson. Sounds like they are doing a really first class job on it.
I think my favorite DeMille film is The Greatest Show on Earth, which as we know won a Best Picture Oscar for 1952. Were there any whisperings about this one? Steven Spielberg has said that seeing this movie as a boy was one of his inspirations.


Apparently, Samson is standard def only.


Can't comprehend that one...


RAH


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#14 of 53 OFFLINE   Billy Batson

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Posted December 10 2012 - 10:16 AM

It's three months away, early days, I'm sure someone's got something wrong. I fully expect Blu-ray.

#15 of 53 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted December 10 2012 - 02:12 PM

As much as I want Samson and Delilah in my collection, I'm really not interested in collecting any DeMille color films on DVD at this point, only Blu-ray.



#16 of 53 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted December 10 2012 - 02:25 PM

Apparently, Samson is standard def only. Can't comprehend that one... RAH

Yeah, particularly after seeing that poster :D
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#17 of 53 OFFLINE   PaulaJ

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Posted December 10 2012 - 02:52 PM

I don't suppose anyone asked about One-Eyed Jacks... did they?
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#18 of 53 OFFLINE   Jason_V

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Posted December 10 2012 - 03:14 PM

Thanks for the reminder, Adam.  I need to download my iPhone and camera pictures and get to sorting all of them.  I'm almost certain I have the Top Gun and ST: TMP film canisters on there somewhere.


#19 of 53 OFFLINE   Justin Ray

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Posted December 10 2012 - 07:20 PM

I really hope that WB or Paramount will release Love with the Proper Stranger, the three Paramount/Debbie Reynolds features (The Rat Race, The Pleasure of His Company & My Six Loves), the remaining Bob Hope/Paramount films (Beau James, Here Come the Girls, & That Certain Feeling), Strategic Air Command, The Joker is Wild, Wild is the Wind, Bloodline, But Not for Me, and the remaining Bing Crosby films (Top O' the Morning, Mr. Music, & Little Boy Lost).

#20 of 53 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted December 10 2012 - 11:05 PM

Paramount's We're No Angels, a 1955 VistaVision comedy directed by Michael Curtiz, has recently shown up in a lovely (to my eyes, anyway) high definition transfer on Amazon Prime. This film, along with many others, is included with the Prime membership. I'd never seen it before last night but I'm glad I spent some time with it. This is a very lightweight film, but fun. If you like Bogart and Ustinov you should find it enjoyable. Some angels at Paramount cared about this title, and it shows in this transfer. VistaVision is definitely one of the big stars of this movie, because it gives everything an almost you-are-there startling clarity, highlighting the stars and the fine production design. Wonder if it someday may be heading to blu-ray?





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