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Hi Mike:

No, Unfortunately the Eastman House is not doing anything regarding 
archiving these types of programs. I think for several very 
understandable reasons:

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 
worked.

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.

Kind Regards,

John Schroth
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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