Latest info on the NIGHT OF DARK SHADOWS (and HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS) restorations

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Darren Gross, Aug 25, 2002.

  1. Darren Gross

    Darren Gross Supporting Actor

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    Those of you who follow DARK SHADOWS are probably aware of the struggle myself and the folks at DAN CURTIS PRODUCTIONS have been having getting the 1971 film, NIGHT OF DARK SHADOWS restored. Although preservation elements were recovered in 1999, the necessary print and sound work has yet to be green-lighted by the studio. The US and Int'l video divisions have been approached as well as international TV and all have turned us down. Time is turning into a bit of an issue as some of the actors who need to re-record missing dialogue are not in the greatest of health.
    Our current plan of attack in order to launch the restoration is to propose it to the knowledgeable folks at TCM who have sponsored such restorations before.
    We plan on pitching to them within the next month. For the past several months we've been encouraging people to go to the TCM website and (under the REQUEST A MOVIE banner) specifically request the 'NIGHT OF DARK SHADOWS- 129 min restored director's cut.' The programmers and heads of TCM pay attention to viewer requests and by doing this, they will be fully aware of the film, it's audience, and the enthusiasm for the restoration.
    It may take a while before it gets launched on video after that, but at least it would be finished and available to an audience.
    So, please, click on over and place a request.
    CLICK HERE TO REQUEST THROUGH TCM WEBSITE!
    Thanks!
    DG
    For more info on these projects, check out the official site: DARK SHADOWS MOVIES RESTORATION WEBSITE
    The missing footage from HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS is still lost, though a worldwide search has been underway since 2000.
     
  2. Brian Spitler

    Brian Spitler Auditioning

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    I would love to see both DS films restored with any available elements, much as Judy Garland's A STAR IS BORN was restored almost 20 years ago. (Jack Warner ordered damaging cuts to A STAR IS BORN much as Jim Aubrey ordered cuts in NIGHT OF DARK SHADOWS. Both studio heads were more interested in the bottom line--i.e., more showings of shorter films per day--than in the artistic integrity of the final directors' cuts.)
    I find it hard to believe that someone at DCP or Turner/Warner cannot come up with the estimated $100,000 (please, Darren, correct me about the amount if I'm wrong) needed to restore NODS. Surely, a DVD release will, over time, more than make up for that relatively small amount of money--considering the hundreds of millions of dollars that movies cost today, and that many of them rarely make a substantial net profit, this seems like a bargain waiting to happen!!
    Come on Warners--step up to the plate and shell out a few dollars. (And if Warners is unwilling to fund this, how about a rich DS fan offering up the bucks? Or maybe this: if 500 DS fans were to each pledge and contribute $200 to a restoration fund. . .well, there's the $100,000 needed for the restoration [but, hey, if I give $200 I want a participation in Warners' profits!])[​IMG]
    Then again, maybe ALL DS fans simply need to promise to buy a DVD copy of the restored film (at a reasonable price, of course--say $19.95!)
    Just my thoughts,
    Brian[​IMG]
     
  3. ArmandV

    ArmandV Stunt Coordinator

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    Who actually owns the rights to those films now? Both were released by MGM originally. I would certainly buy both if they were restored.
     
  4. Darren Gross

    Darren Gross Supporting Actor

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    Hi Armand- Both films are currently owned by Warners. While NODS could be restored to its original 129 min length, HODS can't at this point, as the footage is still lost. The missing footage for HODS isn't as significant, though, as it only amounts to around 5 minutes.

    Alsom NODS was cut (by 35 mins) against the director's wishes, while HODS was trimmed with the director's consent. Why it was released in Japan and some other territories in the longer version is anyone's guess.


    Brian- You are correct. The restoration of NODS could be accomplished for under $100K.
     
  5. Darren D

    Darren D Stunt Coordinator

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    I would LOVE to see this movie (both, actually)...

    ...IF they are subtitled and/or closed captioned in English. I was shocked, hurt, then infuriated that the powers-that-be released DARK SHADOWS on DVD with neither subs nor captions. I just couldn't believe it! It was the same way when they released it on VHS (of which I would have bought every single tape).

    Either one doesn't matter, but when a DVD player is playing through a component input onto an HDTV, the closed captioning does not kick in. You need an S-Video connection for that and for me that simply involves turning off the progressive scan on my RP56. Only subtitles will work with a component input.

    PLEASE, PLEASE subtitle or caption them!
     
  6. Mark Rainey

    Mark Rainey Auditioning

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    I'd always pretty much accepted that there was no hope for either of the DS movies to be restored. However, with NoDS being so close to that possibility, I really hope it'll happen. HoDS also, but the degree of "damage" to the former makes it the prime candidate for restoration. I've always held NoDS in high regard as a fine ghost film in its own right, regardless of its connection to the DS universe. Having read the original script in the DS movie book, it's plainly evident what a superior film it would have been in its original state. What a shame that MGM was so unbelievably short-sighted at the time.
    Good luck with your efforts, Darren.
    --Mark Rainey
    co-author DARK SHADOWS: DREAMS OF THE DARK
    The Realm
     
  7. Darren Gross

    Darren Gross Supporting Actor

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    Darren D: Warners seems to have a very strong policy about captioning and subtitling their DVD releases. The restored version would require them to have entirely new subtitle and caption streams created just for the DVD. I don't think the costs would put them off, so you'll most likely get your wish when the time comes...

    Mark.: Agreed, the restoration of NODS is the most important of the two. I do feel though that to restore any of the scenes that were cut from HODS would definitely improve the film. A brought some (non-DS fans) friends to a 35mm screening of the film and while they enjoyed it, they found much of it confusing and said it was obvious it was missing several scenes. It was interesting to see it with fresh eyes, again. HODS is certainly a thrill ride but there are about three or four 'huh' moments in the movie that would play much smoother if a short scene that preceeded them was back in the film...

    (For example, a sequence where the police chief along with Roger and Stokes open Carolyn's coffin and find her body gone which would certainly motivate the police taking the vampire angle seriously in the scenes that follow. Another sequence has Barnabas thank Julia for the changes that have overcome him since she started the injections- this warm scene is tinged with a bit of blossoming romance which helps smooth over another bump in the short version- Julia's seemingly instantaneous obsession with Barnabas.)

    Now whether any of those crucial scenes that form this connective tissue were included in the Japanese release is unknown. It won't be known until one of these original Japanese prints shows up...
     
  8. Dylan Davis

    Dylan Davis Stunt Coordinator

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    Keep up the good work Darren!
    I would love to see both of these in their original un-edited forms.

    It's situations like this that scream for more studio support for film restoration and preservation.

    Dylan
     
  9. Connie C

    Connie C Auditioning

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    I would dearly love to be able to see Night of Dark Shadows as it was originally made, and I would also purchase it in any format. It's quite obvious when viewing the film in its present state that it was hacked to pieces -- and hastily. It seems disjointed, abrupt in some places, and confusing in others. If I (a DS fan) find it confusing, I can only imagine that someone not familiar with Dark Shadows would be left scratching their head.

    Cutting up a director's work against his wishes is immoral as far as I'm concerned. And 35 minutes?? No wonder it seems like things are missing! It makes me crazy when I see the occasional still from a scene in NODS that was cut. It's heart-breaking too. I want to see these scenes!!

    - Connie

    By the way...I've never read the book. Where can I get a copy?
     
  10. Darren Gross

    Darren Gross Supporting Actor

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    Hi Connie.
    The original cut plays incredibly well and the climactic seance is a masterpiece of lighting and atmosphere. Let's hope we'll get the chance to unveil this version.
    What book?
    There never was a novelization released, although there was one for HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS. If you're referring to the Movie Book, you can get it through Amazon, but if you do go there, please click through the restoration site first, as its our primary sponsor link...
    Restoration website
     
  11. Connie C

    Connie C Auditioning

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    Darren...
    Oh - I thought there WAS a novelization.
    Actually, I DO want to get the Movie Book. Never seen it. Does it happen to contain the original script by any chance?

    If worse comes to worse and no one will sponsor the restoration, I'd even be willing to buy a video containing the cut footage. Are such things ever released?

    -Connie
     
  12. VictoriaWinters

    VictoriaWinters Auditioning

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    i'm very happy to be here. i'm also hoping that NODS will one day be restored before all of the remaining actors have passed away. unfortunately, we've already lost grayson hall.

    i'm so relieved to know that i was not out of my mind the first time i watched NODS because the version it is currently in is incomprehensible. so, hopefully they will fix that some day and make it the great thriller it should be.
     
  13. Darren Gross

    Darren Gross Supporting Actor

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    Connie: The DS Movie Book contains the complete director's scripts of both DS films, including revisions and hand-written changes made on-set. It also includes intros by Nancy Barrett and Kate Jackson, production diaries by Kathryn Leigh Scott and production history (including cutting notes) written by yours truly. There are also many rare photos of scenes cut from both films.

    I don't think the studio would release a tape of the cut scenes if the restoration doesn't happen.

    VW: As for Grayson Hall, thankfully she only appears in three deleted scenes in the Director's Cut. Amazingly enough, we still have the original audio recording of one of those scenes. So, we'd only need to revoice her in two scenes, one of which is very brief.

    Combined together, they add up to less running time than the 'Oysters and Snails' scene which was restored to Spartacus where the late Laurence Olivier was revoiced by Anthony Hopkins. It shouldn't be a problem, and if we do our job correctly, you won't be able to tell which of the three scenes features the original actress.
     
  14. ArmandV

    ArmandV Stunt Coordinator

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    Maybe you can enlist the folks of the Dark Shadows Festival in this project, if they aren't already involved. You can reach them through .
     
  15. Darren Gross

    Darren Gross Supporting Actor

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    Hi Armand.

    The festival people are already on board. I've done restoration presentations for them for the last two fests, in both NY and LA...and the question most asked is
    "When do you think these will be released?"

    The market is there and we've certainly laid the groundwork for a successful DVD launch, when it happens.
     
  16. Connie C

    Connie C Auditioning

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    Darren -
    Thanks for the Movie Book info. I'll definitely order it through the Amazon link at the restoration site. I WAS wondering how much of Grayson Hall would have to be revoiced and how well it could be redone. Her voice is quite unique. Only 2 short scenes is great. The only other person I can think of off hand who is no longer with us is Thayer David. Was any of his stuff cut?
    Sorry for all the questions...BUT...lol
    I'm not real familiar with the casts' voices these days, except for David Selby's. His voice has changed quite a bit over the last 30 years. Do you think it would be a problem? Could he pull it off??

    -Connie
     
  17. Darren Gross

    Darren Gross Supporting Actor

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    Thankfully, none of Thayer David's scenes were cut. (There is a small bit where he walks to a gallery window and gestures to some henchmen waiting below, but that footage is gone and wouldn't have had dialogue anyway.)

    Selbys' voice is just fine. He's been doing a lot of accented and older men roles lately, so it's a bit hard to judge from those kinds of characters, but his voice is still fairly soft and should match well.

    Kate Jackson smoked for years and her voice has naturally aged a bit harsher (it's been 30 years after all) but there are a few tricks in regards to voice technique and audio tweaking that can be done to take off the edge.
     

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