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Colorization: a possible solution to unreleased B/W shows?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Charles Ellis, Dec 13, 2007.

  1. Vic Pardo

    Vic Pardo Screenwriter

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    For the first 20 years of my TV viewing, all color shows were seen in b&w. The only way I could see "Star Trek" in color, for instance, was to go to Star Trek conventions and watch episodes projected on film.
     
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  2. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Man...I'll NEVER forget the first time I went to a friend's house (who had a color TV) after school one day and we watched an episode of Batman airing that afternoon.


    My mind was blown by the bright colors! WOW!


    My world was changed.
     
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  3. JoelA

    JoelA Producer

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    Same here Mike. We had our first color television, a Magnavox, in 1966 and my first recollection was seeing Lassie in color for the first time. Just blown away that Lassie was brown and white, not black and white. What a new world color television opened up to us.
     
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  4. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    Absolutely! My experience was similar. My mother had a housebound friend who purchased a color TV in 1965. When she found out my love for Batman she invited me over to watch a episode in color! It was AMAZING! From that day on I asked for a color TV every week. We finally got one in 1969 (my dad and I built a Heathkit color TV and microwave oven for family Christmas) but our old BW set (the only one I recall us owning) went to my room and then followed me to college. It wasn't until 1976 that I was able to afford my own color set and retire that faithful BW set.
     
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  5. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Cool, Joel & Howie.


    I think about all the things that took place in my childhood that I've long forgotten...but I remember that afternoon's events involving seeing Batman in color very clearly.


    I don't think my family got a color set until well into the 70s. Dad was frugal. There was "nothing wrong" with our old set...so why get a new one?!? :D
     
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  6. Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    I learned a heck of a lot about obsolete vacuum tube technology at the hands of my Dad's frantic attempts to repeatedly repair our old TVs in time for the big game...we would have never had a color TV if we would have had to buy one new...we went through several color TV models and always had several "spares" that other more sensible people had thrown out...a lot of interesting phenomena was observed by substituting "not quite right spec" vacuum tubes to replace needed ones...very interesting, despite the shocks and mild burns to a 10 year old boy, ha, ha...


    During these experiments, I often imagined we would tune in the "Galaxy Being" from THE OUTER LIMITS...at least, that's what I was hoping for...
     
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  7. Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Screenwriter

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    Remember when neighborhood corner stores sold TV vacuum replacement tubes and had giant tube testing machines to test your old tubes?

    Remember neighborhood corner stores?
     
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  8. Ron1973

    Ron1973 Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire

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    ImageUploadedByHTF1445968013.395718.
     
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  9. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    Yes on both accounts. But I could test 'em at home.


    When I was a kid my dad was Chief Engineer for the local day-timer AM station and had a 2-way radio business on the side (he's 80, still has the business at his house, and works in it almost every day for "fun"). The smell of rosin core solder melting is a "comfort food" type smell for me as he was always in his shop working on something. When I'm feeling especially nostalgic I pull out my Weller solder gun and trigger it on for a minute to get that smell... Because of growing up hanging out in or close to his shop with electronics constantly being worked on, when I later worked in radio and then TV I was usually the first to know when a component was burning out and alert the engineers.
     
  10. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Nice, Howie.


    My dad was into radio from his childhood (born in 1932). He then served as a radio Corpsman in the Army during the Korean War. He always bragged about how he used to be able to rattle the dishes in his family's upstairs apartment when playing his radio in the basement of the two-story building!


    After he retired from his job as a mechanical engineer, I started picking up old tube radios for him at garage sales and the like. It led to a huge hobby for him. He started going to auctions...buying old tubes in bulk when available...classic radios and fixing them up. Before we knew it, his workshop was filled with tubes, capacitors, resistors, etc. He had contacts for schematics, parts, everything. He was so happy to figure out the really tough jobs and resurrect the goners. And, of course, anyone in the family with an old radio could count on him for a repair.


    He had his own tube testers, too and subscribed to Antique Radio Classified.


    And the pragmatic man that he was (he was an engineer, remember!), he got his affairs in order as his health wained. He distributed all the best radios to family members I got a Philco Cathedral!) and then sent off all the rest to an auction house which specialized in old radios. He had accumulated a few hundred nice tabletop radios over his decades in retirement. He made a nice profit over his investment, for sure. But the joy was in all the hours thinking and thinking about why a particular set wouldn't do what he expected!


    He was always amazed that I could assembly my own PCs...but he was the real deal because he knew the science behind radio reception and could read the schematics and knew what each part did. Yes...the smell of solder and flux! Assembling a PC means just plugging in various parts. i have no idea what the circuits on an IC board do.


    Sorry about another off-topic post. I seem prone to them this week.


    EDIT: Oh. And Howie, I went into radio & TV as a profession, too! But not the technical side.
     
  11. Brent Reid

    Brent Reid Supporting Actor

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    Thanks guys; I've really enjoyed the reminiscences on this page so far. It's probably the nicest OT discussion I can recall ever seeing in a forum. :) I wonder how popular a dedicated thread would be? Of course, not just for colour TV: it would have to cover our delighted surprise on first experiencing CDs, DVDs, digital radio, home surround sound, BDs and so on.


    I could tell a similar story to many of you, but will just say that I grew up with a B&W telly and got my own first colour set after leaving home nearly thirty years ago. Even now, when seeing certain films and shows for the first time in years, I'm still regularly amazed that they're actually in colour!


    Meanwhile (somewhat reluctantly) back to the subject of the thread... I can introduce a note of perspective to the colorization debate: it's over. Yup: it's done. Any further discussion is merely raking over what was, not what's gonna be.


    Legend were the last active colorization company in the US and they haven't released an altered full length film since 2008. Colorization on the whole has remained a predominantly American phenomenon, with the the relatively few other examples mostly confined to mainland Europe. There, audiences don't seem to mind it particularly one way or the other, so it's never taken off anyway.
     
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  12. Brent Reid

    Brent Reid Supporting Actor

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    This is interesting, thanks for posting. I live in the UK and haven't seen any of the colorized episodes. I wonder whether this is a brand new colorization or, as seems likely, CBS had several done in a job lot a few years ago and are airing them intermittently.
     
  13. Kyrsten Brad

    Kyrsten Brad Cinematographer

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    Brad here. I was doing some searching on this forum for a different topic and came across this quite informative thread. Being the Big HTF Film Colorization Heretic that I am, this long buried thread drew my interest.

    Decided to resurrect this thread because now after what, a decade or more of no new Colorization projects that I know of , we finally have a new work of Colorization which no doubt utilized the latest state of the art technologies and techniques.

    Of course I’m referring to the just released Blu-ray of the new Lost In Space series from Netflix which includes as a bonus, the original LIS pilot film “No Place To Hide” now fully colorized.

    I’m quite sure this will rekindle discussion on the merits (and demerits) of colorizing classic older movies and TV shows.

    I’ll go out on a limb here some and assume that Netflix had LIS-NPTH colorized so that their main viewer demographic (younger crowd) would give this a viewing out of curiosity whereas same demographic would ignore the show if it were still in the original B&W. Especially considering that the vast majority of fans of the Netflix LIS were not yet alive when the original LIS came out in 1965. Shucks a large number of these viewers were not yet born when the 1998 LIS movie was released (they didn’t miss much other than Heather Graham as Judy Robinson).

    As for me, a definite fan of the original LIS, I moved up my purchase of the Netflix LIS especially because of the colorized offering. The new series will be a blind buy for me as I don’t have Netflix and don’t really want it.

    Discuss!
     
  14. ClassicTVMan1981X

    ClassicTVMan1981X Supporting Actor

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    They did that with the numerous Looney Tunes shorts of the 1930s and early '40s. I really liked the later computer-colorized jobs better than the early hand-colored ones.

    ~Ben
     
  15. Message #115 of 122 May 25, 2019
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
    ClassicTVMan1981X

    ClassicTVMan1981X Supporting Actor

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    The only actual black-and-white TOS episode was "The Cage," which was never shown on NBC, but it was actually filmed in color. The black-and-white print first showed up in 1986 on VHS, but the true color print of the same showed up not long after that on the 1988 documentary The Star Trek Saga: From One Generation to the Next.

    ~Ben
     
  16. TJPC

    TJPC Cinematographer

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    I’ve always longed to see a colourized version of early talkies which now exist only in B &W, but which were once in Technicolor. Even ones with short colour sequences like “Broadway Melody’s” “Wedding Of The Painted Doll” number would be fascinating. I guess with the market they way it is, that would be too expensive. It certainly would be a first day buy for me.
     
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  17. Harry-N

    Harry-N Producer

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    And in one of those head-scratchers, the new CBS TWILIGHT ZONE on All Access is going to offer black & white versions of the episodes already released in color!

     
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  18. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    What Vic was talking about mirrors the experience of many of us here. We grew up in the era of BW TV sets. Star Trek, which premiered in 1966, was fully color but many of us didn't have color TV sets and saw it only in BW. My house got a color set in 1968 and that BW set went into my room and followed me to college. It wasn't until 1977 that I was able to purchase my own color set.

    That BW print of "The Cage" was Roddenberry's personal copy and for years thought to be the only complete version available as the trims done to create "The Menagerie" were thought to be lost. For the early "color" version they pieced together a complete copy using the color footage from "The Menagerie" and Roddenberry's BW copy of "The Cage" so there'd be color for a bit and switch to BW for the parts that'd been edited out to create "The Menagerie." Miraculously, Bob Furmanek (a participant here) found the visual trims (the corresponding audio trims are still lost) in 1987 at a film laboratory and saw they were returned to Paramount. These trims and the audio portions from Roddenberry's BW copy were used with the bits from "The Menagerie" to create a complete color copy of "The Cage" which has been the version in all subsequent video releases.
     
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  19. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Producer

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    Why would they make B/W versions of these newer Twilight Zone episodes?
     
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  20. Harry-N

    Harry-N Producer

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    I suppose it's an "homage" to the original series which was all in black & white.
     
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