No, Unfortunately the Eastman House is not doing anything regarding
archiving these types of programs. I think for several very
A huge percentage of these programs were proprietary - used for huge
sales meetings and trade shows to release new product lines to sales
people within the company or distributors. Like Apple releasing the
first Macintosh with a program called "Blue Busters" (a takeoff on Ghost
Busters - Apple busting "Big Blue" aka IBM), or Saab releasing the new
(back then) 900 line, titled "Saab 900". Since many of the really big
budget shows were for corporate presentation, it would be tough to get
companies to release these privately owned programs.
How many people are really interested in preserving them? I for one
would be, but I'm in the small minority. There is not a lot of money to
be recouped from trying to preserve a multi-image slide presentation.
The funds at many institutions are very tight. When money does become
available it is most often used for preservation of high-brow or more
well-known media that a large percentage or people can identify with,
know about, and would be interested in helping to support, or paying
money to see, or is viewed by people as a more valuable or important asset.
How do you recreate a multi-image program digitally and project it with
the same effect, the look would really not be the same. Also, part of
the wonder of watching a multi-image slide presentation is watching all
those projectors firing away, hearing the clicking of the advancing
slides and just shaking your head thinking how mad it was that it even
The few programs of note that would be worth taking a stab at
resurrecting and preserving are in rough shape. I've talked to many of
the old "well known" producers and owners of the past large production
companies. The few shows they have kept are stored in garages and old
warehouses. Mothballed away because they were so significant at the time
and cost so much to produce that the people who produced them, loved
them, and could not see throwing them out. But in most cases they did
not store them properly. Fading and mold would be just a couple of the
issues facing poorly stored slides.
Richard mentions "The New York Experience". I remember seeing this
program with my dad, then going back to see the projectors all firing
away and watched in wonder. My dad was with Kodak for 35 years in the
motion picture/audiovisual division and worked with people who produced
such programs. Also Richard mentioned some great presentations used at
National Parks. Kodak also produced many widescreen multi-image programs
that were glorious wonders of photography and took you all over the
world. These were used as promotional image pieces and toured the globe
helping to promote Kodak. Donna Lawrence productions produced an amazing
360 degree slide presentation that ran as a fixed display for the
Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. There was even a 24 projector show
that ran as a fixed display on the Queen Elizabeth II (I have one of the
slide projectors taken from the ship before the Cunard line retired
her). All of these are noteworthy and would be worth preservation, but
they were either fixed displays or touring displays. Even if a working
copy was available, the slides got to a point of being so faded that
they would be hard to bring back to their former full-color glory
without a lot of work. And I wonder how many surviving audio tapes used
to run the programs would have been in even decent shape.
AMI - the Association for Multi-Image, which I was a member of for many
years before it went defunct, had a national competition every year.
Shows from all over the world were submitted. Any shows that won awards
had Ariel Image transfers made of them to share with anyone in the AMI
community who wanted to rent them out. This would be worth investigating
to see who were the leaders of the organization prior to closing up
shop, and who had the tape masters of the shows. Could they be had and
if so, make arrangements to get them converted to digital format. At
least the stories and the content could be saved. Several years back at
my 25th reunion, there was talk of doing just that, but everyone got
busy and nothing became of it. I'd still think I'd like to pursue this
and should. I'm glad this posting came about so that I can again put
this up a front burner.
As a side note, many of these shows could be classified as moving image
presentations. Many times we used a fat back that held a large roll of
35mm slide film on a Nikon 35mm still camera with a motor drive, to
shoot moving image sequences. When you cycle these sequences these
through 15 or more slide projectors - the likeness of motion picture
film movement is close, with a different effect, but still amazing (and
much cheaper than hiring a film crew and the equipment).
I have a collection of these shows that I will post on Vimeo sometime in
the next week or so for anyone that is interested. They were originally
mastered on 1", then dubbed down to 3/4"-U. Copies were made and sent
out on 3/4"-U dubs. I quickly copied these to VHS whenever they came in
- so the quality is far from perfect, but it gives you at least an idea
of how neat these shows really were.
Media Transfer Service, LLC
On 8/6/2012 1:39 PM, Michael Biel wrote:
> From: John Schroth <[log in to unmask]>
>> I majored in Multi-image slide presentation at RIT over 25 years ago.
>> They had a core-curriculum in Multi-Image slide production, the only one
>> like it in country at the time.
> Wow! In this thread we have really hit on a nearly forgotten format for
> archiving, and your info and expertise is valuable. Is Eastman House
> doing anything on this? I think this topic is worthy of an ARSC
> Conference presentation -- not sure if the Moving Image organizations
> are interested in these non-moving image presentations. I remember the
> ones I've seen being very impressive -- but every time a movie was
> inserted, the combination of the noticeably lower resolution and the
> disruption of looking at lengthy-held still images reduced the effect.
> These programs could be reproduced with the superior HDTV projection now
> available, using multiple projectors and screens of course. There
> should be an effort to do it NOW while we still have people like you
> that remember the equipment and programming so it can be converted to
> computer controlling.
> Mike Biel [log in to unmask]
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