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ARSCLIST  May 2014

ARSCLIST May 2014

Subject:

Re: Old media don't die, they just submerge and wait for hipsters to "discover" them

From:

Roger Kulp <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 22 May 2014 08:51:00 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (102 lines)

Most Goodwills  treat old electronics as e-waste.This can include very desirable tube amps.You might try your local Craigslist.
 
Roger
 
> Date: Wed, 21 May 2014 13:24:18 -0400
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Old media don't die, they just submerge and wait for hipsters to "discover" them
> To: [log in to unmask]
> 
> One thing this discussion has convinced me -- I am definitely going to drop off my small pile of old 
> VHS machines at the Goodwill Industries store rather than dumpster them. Some film buff may need a 
> working player at some point.
> 
> In fact, if anyone wants to pick up a small pile of consumer VHS machines, all working, plus a 4x1 
> switcher/detailer for composite NTSC video, ping me off-list. Pickup only, in northern Westchester 
> County NY.
> 
> -- Tom Fine
> 
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "J.D. Connor" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 11:00 AM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Old media don't die, they just submerge and wait for hipsters to "discover" 
> them
> 
> 
> >I just want to back up what Robin and Arthur said: VHS (and even PAL) are essential for film 
> >archives, even beyond the homemovies or obscure, foreign, and downmarket titles from vanished 
> >distributors. Here at Yale, we’ve been through several rounds of tape-deaccessioning, and it is 
> >always striking what hasn’t been reissued, or what has only been reissued in a new version. For 
> >those of us interested in sound, this is especially true. I can’t even count the number of DVD 
> >releases of mono films in new 5.1 mixes. All this spatialization may be lovely, but it isn’t even 
> >close to what the past sounded like. Or take Walter Murch’s recut versions of the Godfather films 
> >which combined 1 & 2 as the Godfather 1902–1959 ad  1, 2, and 3 as The Godfather Trilogy. Those are 
> >VHS (and laserdisc for the latter), and they are an essential bridge from the 80s miniseries to 
> >today’s new “golden age” of serial television. Similarly, the PG-version of Saturday Night Fever is 
> >VHS only. Someday someone at Paramount will properly clean these up and release them in another 
> >form, but there are thousands more titles waiting in that queue.
> >
> > J.D. Connor
> > Film Studies/Art History
> > Yale University
> >
> >
> > On May 21, 2014, at 10:26 AM, Arthur Gaer <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> >> I have friends who owned a small chain of art video stores.  They had—and kept hold 
> >> of—*thousands* of films on VHS that never had a DVD release.
> >>
> >> These weren’t just low budget pictures.  There were lots of art films, non-narrative experimental 
> >> films, and *especially* lots of foreign films, often from significant directors--and significant 
> >> American directors who did some work with small production companies--that had a single VHS 
> >> release and that was that.
> >>
> >> Especially with foreign films it was frequently the case that the rights would be owned by small, 
> >> sometimes one-off, production companies.  They’d lease the rights for US distribution for a 
> >> limited period.  When those rights expired the original rights holders had simply 
> >> disappeared—there was no one to negotiate with.  Furthermore the original film elements, negative 
> >> or prints, were also nowhere to be found.  They may, or may not, be sitting in warehouses 
> >> somewhere in the world, but nobody knows where.  And you can’t make a releasable DVD when your 
> >> only available version is a VHS tape.
> >>
> >> There can also be other impediments—music rights only negotiated for VHS and things like that—but 
> >> with the foreign and arty films it seems most often there’s simply no material left to create a 
> >> new release and no one to buy it from.  And with likely sales at best somewhere around 1-3,000 
> >> copies nobody can really afford to track it all down let alone do the digital transfer work, etc.
> >>
> >> It’s a huge problem for those doing serious cinema studies: frequently the only non-theatrical 
> >> version was released on VHS, and good luck finding that, let alone any 35mm prints.
> >>
> >> In my friend’s case, when they closed their last store they sold something like 2,000 of their 
> >> rarest VHS’s to a local university film department who managed to raise private funds to buy 
> >> them, at a significant discount off the eBay price.  They were ecstatic to get some of those 
> >> movies.
> >>
> >> For the hipsters the fun in VHS may be in obscure 80s slasher and 70s asian grindhouse films, but 
> >> for film studies it’s actually a sole source of significant research material.
> >>
> >> Arthur Gaer
> >> [log in to unmask]
> >>
> >>
> >> On May 21, 2014, at 9:37 AM, Robin Hendrickson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >>
> >>> It's not just low-budget horror or comedies that haven't made it to DVD.
> >>>
> >>> Consider the zillions of hours of amateur or home-made recordings
> >>> people made during the VHS era, both off of the TV and using
> >>> videocameras. There's gold in those mountains of VHS tapes piled up at
> >>> the curb or at the Salvation Army. Lots of these VHS tapes contain
> >>> recordings that are archived nowhere else and are worthy of
> >>> exploration.
> >>>
> >>> Same goes for audio cassettes! (And 8mm films, and 35mm slides, and...)
> >>>
> >>> Note, I didn't say it was SOLID gold... But there are jewels to be found indeed.
> >>>
> >>> - Robin
> >
> > 
 		 	   		  

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