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An E-mail Appeal to Mr. Wade Williams

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Mike Ballew, Jul 26, 2016.

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  1. Rodney

    Rodney Screenwriter
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    First of all, I think it speaks volumes about our group here that Wade Williams would join up on HTF and respond directly.
    Also, it is great news to hear that restorations are occurring for many movies that many, if not most of us here have been pining for proper releases to be made available. I hope blu-rays are being considered, along with streaming.

    Shame that a deal with KINO could not be accomplished, but to paraphrase what was said to Sean Connery, never say never (again).
     
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  2. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    What it really depends on are what elements Mr. Williams has. As has been pointed out, there has been not one satisfactory release of Invaders from Mars, one of my all-time favorite films. I had a really good 16mm print that had perfect color - can't remember if it was Kodachrome or what non-fade stock, but it was pretty great. But one wonders, given all the Invaders releases, what elements were used and if there are better ones, and IF there are better ones why they weren't used. I provided the alternate ending in 35mm for the Image laserdisc release. I suspect in the end it's all about money.
     
  3. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie

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    Invaders from Mars was a Super Cinecolor title, which means there would have been either YCM negatives or separations at some point. Whether or not they are lost to the ravages of time remains to be seen.
     
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  4. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    The three color Cinecolor seps (red, blue, yellow) exist as does the OCN, which still retains 90% of its color. It's missing opticals and some effects shots but those can be used from the seps to fully restore the original 1953 domestic release.
     
  5. RMajidi

    RMajidi Screenwriter

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    Mr Williams' above statement, in particular, was music to my ears.

    Being blissfully ignorant of whatever's been happening behind the scenes, here's hoping that the impediments hampering past negotiations can be overcome, and that these precious assets can be widely enjoyed in optimal condition to everyone's benefit.
     
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  6. bgart13

    bgart13 Screenwriter

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    In other words, there's absolutely no reason whatsoever for an excellent job not to be done.
     
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  7. Interdimensional

    Interdimensional Second Unit

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    I second Dana's request for a Detour restoration.

    You're very welcome here Wade, and your comments are encouraging.

    I hope you can arrange high quality scans for the elements you hold while they are still in good condition. It may be necessary to work with other enthusiasts and preservationists to ensure that these films can be mastered from the best quality material that survives. It'd be a real tragedy if the work were delayed and the film deteriorated or became too brittle to work with.

    The technology has reached a point where a home video release can faithfully represent the original film as well as it would've looked theatrically. There may not be as much commercial value to these titles as there once was, but the time has really come to ensure that the best possible masters can be created for posterity. As a cultural custodian, the responsibility is huge.

    We've all seen just how good films from this era can look with digital scanning, even b-movies that had never looked great before have been transformed and revealed detail and clarity we never knew was there. Your films deserve the same love and care. Once the work is done, you'll have an infinitely reproducible digital asset which can be sold for many years to come.

    I'm absolutely thrilled to learn of your plans for Invaders from Mars and Destination Moon.

    I'm particularly eager to see 3-D movies Hannah Lee and Robot Monster get released. 3-D film Archive have restored a 3-D clip of Robot Monster which is pristine and a total revelation, and also a 3-D trailer for Hannah Lee. I don't think these movies can be fully appreciated without the benefit of their original 3-D, so it's exciting to have even a taste of what they have to offer. With vintage 3-D the challenge of obtaining a comfortable, watchable film is not to be underestimated, but is always worth the effort. Both sides will need to be stabilized and corrected for differences in alignment, shrinkage, colour and contrast. Reversed shots will need to be flipped. I hope you can find someone capable of doing it justice, although it must be said that 3-D Film Archive undoubtedly have the best track record at this. As much as there are added costs to 3-D restoration, there is solid niche interest in vintage 3-D titles.

    From one film lover to another, I wish you the very best of luck.
     
  8. Dick

    Dick Lead Actor
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    So, that was you!

    This has always been one of my treasured childhood nightmare films. I think critics even now underestimate how powerful IFM is to a child who is experiencing insecurities about family stability (which means: most children) plus the fear of not being believed (ditto). The movie astutely taps into these topics and gives them a surreal, truly frightening science-fiction spin. The sand pit opening up and swallowing people whole, only to later spit them out in the form of alien-altered beings, is 100% terrifying to a suggestible eight year old. The film has flaws -- too much stock footage and repeated shots (even if some of them are "flipped") -- but the unsettling music score with that unearthly choir, the garish color saturation (I owned a decent Super 8mm print which, while certainly not as good as your 16mm, Bruce, was better than anything I'd seen on t.v. or, later, on video), the convincing performances, Menzies' deceptively simply sets that captured the story from a boy's POV, the nightmare logic familiar to anyone who has semi-clear recollections of horrible dreams...all of this just resonated, even in black and white, which is how I saw it my first dozen times or so on local New York stations.

    Mr. Williams, I trust you know this is your Holy Grail, even ahead of your 3D properties (sorry, OP). Please send this to the top of your list for "restoration." A 4k scan would be appropriate. This film has only gained (tremendously) in status among film critics and audiences alike, and is truly a bonafide cult classic. I believe it would be well worth your investment to move this along ASAP, and make it available on Blu-ray as well as streaming. At HTF alone, I suspect there are hundreds of us ready to lay down our money to own this amazing "little" film. Take advantage of the generations who remember this and wants to own it...we won't be around forever.

    Many thanks.
     
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  9. Dick

    Dick Lead Actor
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    Nice post, Ed, and I concur completely. I personally feel that INVADERS FROM MARS is perhaps the most commercially viable film among his assets, but I love 3D and hope for those titles, too. I also hope that Mr. Williams is not pricing his films out of reach of companies like Kino, who would love to love to distribute them. While gaining a profit is certainly understandable in order to cover one's investments, simple preservation of one's artistic collection for display for, and enjoyment by, future generations is also important, and even obligatory. What if all the works of art that Nazi Germany stole from museums and private collectors during WWII had remained boxed up rather than distributed back to other museums after the war? We would all be poorer for it. Not to compare a van Gogh with a Menzies film production, but hopefully you see my point.
     
  10. Message #30 of 276 Aug 1, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2016
    JeffT.

    JeffT. Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]

    Well the gentleman took the time to actually respond so should be afforded the benefit-of-the-doubt at present.

    If we're still waiting 10 years from now then....

    But a (full) restoration of INVADERS FROM MARS (1953) would be absolutely fantastic.

    It's curious that a negotiated attempt with (the redoubtable) KINO apparently fell through. This alone arouses my own suspicions. Was an (overly) exorbitant demand for money an issue here? This is right up KINO's alley and their fairness, reasonability and integrity are beyond reproach as far as I'm concerned.

    This is the company that made QUEEN OF BLOOD (1966), X, THE MAN WITH THE X-RAY EYES (1963), THE MAGNETIC MONSTER (1953) GOG (1954) and PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES (1965) all available on blu-ray when no one else would.

    I remember only seeing syndicated reruns of an inferior black-and-white dupe on tv for the longest time and (naturally) always (ravenously) craved for the opportunity to see it in colour.

    No where in the actual titles (or the poster advertising for that matter) is "Cinecolour" specifically mentioned. But whom am I to question this?

    While I'd like the focus (primarily) to be on INVADERS for a fully restored and digitally remastered blu-ray release it would be great to have DESTINATION MOON (1950) and FLIGHT TO MARS (1951) also similarly upgraded as well.




    [​IMG]

    Jeff T.

    ;)
     
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  11. Message #31 of 276 Aug 1, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2016
    Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    With all due respect, the focus of this open letter from Mr. Ballew was on his 3-D holdings:

    Robot Monster
    Cat-Women of the Moon
    Hannah Lee

    :)
     
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  12. JeffT.

    JeffT. Screenwriter

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    This is what I was (impulsively) reacting to.

    On looking over it again I recognize that the negotiations with KINO involved his 3D film library.

    Which, considering the film titles involved, isn't nearly as interesting to me.

    Jeff T.

    :wacko:
     
  13. TheSteig

    TheSteig Screenwriter

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    My wishlist from the Wade Williams Collection
    The Crawling Eye
    Invaders from Mars
    Kronos
    Detour
    DOA
    Impact
    The Brain from Planet Arous
    Hideous Sun Demon
    Devil Girl From Mars
    The Lost Continent
    Unknown Island
    Phantom Planet
    Monster from Green Hell
    The Navy vs the Night Monsters
    And then there were none

    I love these films and watch them yearly..sometimes twice.. some of my favorites are in the Wade Williams collection. Id love blu ray releases for all of them !! :)
     
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  14. Paul Penna

    Paul Penna Supporting Actor

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    Especially "Impact," which had extensive location shooting in my home town when I was two years old. Not that I remember, but much was done just across the street from us. Larkspur, California, which was relocated to Idaho for plot purposes.
     
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  15. MisterLime

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    GOG was a deal between Kino Lorber and 3-D Film Archive - Kino Lorber acquired the rights from MGM and handed off the 3-D restoration to 3-D Film Archive. The Wade Williams deal for the 3-D films would've been similar to the MGM deal, but unfortunately we could not come to an agreement.
     
  16. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor
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    If there is any good news from this post, it would be that releasing 50's 3D films is worth the problems to try to get more titles released. Thank you for at least attempting to license the titles. Sad a deal could not be made.
     
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  17. MisterLime

    MisterLime Insider
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    We will be announcing some very cool 3-D titles very soon and are also working on acquiring even more ;)
     
  18. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    I've said it many times before and it's worth repeating.

    If it weren't for Kino, GOG would have never happened. Richard Lorber, Frank Tarzi, Bret Wood and the entire team at Kino Lorber are to be applauded for sharing our goals to restore as many vintage 3-D films as possible.

    We are absolutely delighted to be associated with this outstanding company!
     
  19. Interdimensional

    Interdimensional Second Unit

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    ... lest anyone mistake Invaders from Mars for a 3-D film. I was always somewhat disappointed that that misreported 'fact' had no basis in reality.
     
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  20. Mossman-Williams

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    I want to thank everyone for their replies and interest in seeing these films presented in a proper
    and most pristine way. We are all on the same page. I will try to answer some of the questions in
    these later blogs.

    To answer you Dick, Bob at 3D Archive and I have been friends for decades and I greatly respect his dedication
    and work on 3D. When the rights to these films expired at Image last January for DVD in the US and CANADA inquiries
    started coming to license various films out of the library. At that time IMAGE and their sub-licensees had a 6 month sell-off period
    before they were out of the marketplace legally.

    I had three choices, license the films to another distributor, re-open our old distribution company- ENGLEWOOD ENTERTAINMENT
    or sell the library outright to a major player and retire.I am not ready to retire and have been acquiring more film rights.

    3D Archive shot me a rather surprising estimate to restore and make 3D versions out of ROBOT MONSTER and CAT WOMEN.
    Both black and white and about 60 mins each. HANNAH LEE was Pathe Color and the cost triple the black and white titles.

    Since HANNAH LEE fell into the Public Domain because the producer Jack Broder was not on top of the renewal process it
    does not make sense at this time to invest 20K or more to restore and release this film in a pristine form because the next day
    every Public Domain seller will be selling the film made from my restoration. It will be on YOUTUBE and the product stolen
    and sold world-wide. The same situation goes with the original DETOUR ! How would I get my money back ?

    My take on the antiquated Public Domain statute is not the same as many others who freely squeeze every dime out of
    Public Domain films. I have some public domain films in my collection but for the most part I legally own the chain of
    title, rights.and the original film elements.

    Just because a film has fallen into the Public Domain does not mean someone does not own it The chain of title rights are
    sold along with the negatives regardless of the copyright status. One of the largest supplier of classic/old movies has over
    4000 titles, mostly junk culled from other old VHS copies, old 16MM TV prints sold on Ebay as Public Domain. The box art
    is worth more than the junk inside most of the time . Buy only from top distributors.

    . PUBLIC DOMAIN is a license to steal other peoples work without paying them royalties. This includes music and books along with audio
    visual subjects. Just because something is in the Public Domain in the US does not mean it's in the public domain in
    some other countries. Copyright protection at this time can be 95 years from it's initial release meaning films, music, literary works
    before 1923 are Public Domain as it now stands.

    In plain english- the US government under the Public Domain statutes steals your property- movies-books-songs and
    gives them away freely to every country in the world for FREE. Frank Capra lost IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE and MEET JOHN
    DOE because the distributor let them lapse without telling Mr. Capra. Mr. Capra spent his final years living in a motel !
    He was ripped off by the film company and the Public domain statute. He lost millions in revenues.It would have cost a few bucks
    in the 28th year for Mr. Capra to file a copyright renewal . He did now know. This has happened thousands of times. A lot of the
    Irving Berlin songs are Public Domain. His estate is wiped out. Given away by the US Government to everyone world wide.

    That is why PUBLIC DOMAIN films for the most part look bad because they are made from old use prints and sold by
    the thousands. Why spend money restoring Public Domain films when they will be stolen from you the day they are released.

    The PUBLIC DOMAIN statute must be abolished and the owners of music, films and other intellectual property works must
    be allowed to keep their creations and leave them to their children. Without Public Domain you would be able to get beautifully
    restored films, better than when originally released because it would make sense to spend the money and restore all these
    public domain films to pristine quality.

    The "public domain" statutes make no sense today. They are an enemy of film restoration because no distributor wants
    to spend money on restoration and have the works stolen the next day. Only archives have been willing to restore these
    films. I could go on but this is a subject for another time.

    I had not decided if I was going to re-license the library to one of the several reputable companies that showed interest.
    Kino contacted me about the three 3D pictures and expressed an interest in distributing them on DVD in the US/Canada
    and we came to a satisfactory agreement.

    As the discussions went on they expressed interest in the main pictures in the library 40 plus films, so we started on a distribution
    agreement. I was satisfied and I thought they were, except as the old saying goes- " The devil is in the details" We could not get a
    agreement that I could understand. It is all about money because it takes thousands of dollars to re-scan and
    restore and release even a black and white print to 4K or Hi-def. Not to mention, packaging, artwork, replication and the other
    costs connected with releasing any film. The 3D films cost twice.

    A normal producer/distributor license is an advance per title against royalties for a number of years. I suspect the studio made a great
    deal on GOG since it was not successful when it was released theatrically and was on TV in black and white during the 50s an 60s
    It never played in 3D in most markets. because in 1954 Zanuck at Fox announced his new film THE ROBE would be in Cinemascope
    and would require a flat white curved screen twice as wide as it was high. 3D required a square hi-gain silver screen. Cinemascope
    would not play on it. He also announced that Fox who owned the Cinemascope trademark would never make another flat film. They
    would all be Cinemascope .

    Theatre had just installed silver screens a year before for 3D. These were ripped out and new Cinemascope equipment was purchased
    and 3D was dead. This was told to me personally by Herb Strock who edited two of my pictures- " Midnight movie Massacre" and the
    1991 remake of DETOUR. He worked with Ivan Tors on many tv and feature films. . There are other reasons
    that 3D did not last long, but Cinemascope was the main reason. By the time GOG was released in 3D most silver screens were taken down.

    Detour like "Invaders from Mars" is an all time favorite, that's why I made a remake of it with the late Tom Neal Jr and with help and advice
    from the original author of the book and screenplay- Martin Goldsmiths. The original 35MM negative was lost in a vault fire and the only
    remaining film elements were several original 35MM nitrate prints and a 1951 television 16MM negative made from the nitrate fine grain.
    The best 35MM master was culled from the existing 35MM prints and a negative was made 20 years ago plus several prints in 35MM.
    Plans were underway to scan frame by frame the original 35MM, restore the film to 4K and put it on a double DVD with the remake
    since both Tom Neal s starred in the pictures.. Criterion made an offer on it and Invaders from Mars but dropped the idea .

    My main mission is to get my films off YOUTUBE and stop the piracy. I had no idea how rampant the theft of intellectual properties
    has become these past years because I have been removed from the distribution business for over a decade.

    If no distribution deal is perfected I will restore and re-release INVADERS FROM MARS - DETOUR and DESTINATION MOON.

    I appreciate all the interest. I am a film fan first and grew up on these wonderful films. All the masters and negatives are stored in
    the vaults safely where the major studios store their negatives in the salt mines at 30 degrees temperature.. I know the value of
    these films and will be an excellent custodian until they are passed on into the future.


    wade williams
     
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