I was involved in making shows a step down from this for St. John's
University (my alma mater) which we did for several years for Freshman
Orientation--and even developed a small business out of this named "LM
Productions". It stood for "Last-Minute Productions" as one of the team
members experienced in personally developing Ektachrome slide film in
his own darkroom and the Freshmen could actually see themselves in the
slide show (which was given on the final day of orientation). We also
did some of these for parents as well, as the business expanded and did
a few for other schools.
We either arranged four projectors in a quad or three in a row and had
only a single cue tone that changed all projectors at once, but we could
continue some images by putting multiple copies in. We couldn't afford
the AVL sequencers. We used mono sound with cue tones on the other channel.
I also made five of these shows personally between 1975 and 1989. The
1975 show was for an art project on St. George and the Dragon for a
friend. The 1976 and 1978 ones commemorated trips to England and the
1978 "Cathedrals and Abbeys of England" received about 25 showings
around the NY City area and several in the Aurora, Ontario area in the
early 1980s, plus a few showings in the Glendale, California area. Mary
Beth and I did a slide-tape show from our Expo 86 and 1989 Alaska trips.
I don't think I've shown any of these more than once or twice since the
kids were born in the early 1990s.
I have been struggling with how to preserve and show them today. All the
elements are preserved--all the slides have been scanned at 12 MP and
the sound tracks are all on hard drive in our storage servers. The
reassembly is not an easy task. Finding a format and application to do
it has not been a major priority, but I tried it once and kept crashing
Adobe Premier about ten years ago. One of the joys of this show is that
many of the exterior images were shot on Kodachrome 25 and I want to
maintain some semblance of that level of resolution. Also, the images
are a mix of vertical and horizontal which makes life a joy.
My five shows were only two projectors/one image with dissolve.
So, extrapolating from what I know and have done to preserve my meagre
creativity in this area, I would hate to see the budget for properly
preserving some of the more massive shows. In a sense, its a bit like
the massive painting of The Crucifixion at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in
It is a 195 x 45 foot painting, displayed with a programmed narration
that drives lighting spotlighting areas of the painting as they are
This, too, was from another era, as was Todd-AO and especially Cinerama
which is difficult to reproduce properly. Showscan and IMAX are two
other difficult-to-archive formats that are still current.
The difficulties and costs of archiving "Grandeur" formats (using the
20s Fox Studio short-lived format's name) and large multi-media
presentations are huge. Anything other than playing back at "full scale"
diminishes the experience--in the same way as looking at a lock-down
camera video recording of an opera would.
Is there any archive focusing on these, I wonder???
On 2012-08-03 9:22 AM, Randy A. Riddle wrote:
> When I was in college at App State in North Carolina, Kodak brought a
> show to campus that I still remember today.
> It consisted of hundreds of 35mm slides and 8mm or 16mm movie footage
> shot by two guys that went on an adventure trip somewhere in the
> western US.
> The whole thing was automated with a recorded sound track and racks of
> It's a shame that shows like this aren't archived in ways they can be
> periodically brought out and redone.
Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.