Ahhh yes - I totally forgot the "video wall".

I was programming them back in the late 80's and early 90's. If I 
remember right there were two companies that made software and 
sophisticated switching devices for these. The one I knew how to program 
was made by Pic-Block. I remember doing the programming for NASA several 
years in a row for the booth they had at the annual airshow in Oshkosh. 
They'd set me up in a huge hanger outside Cleveland with all the 
equipment ready. Three days later we had a show programmed. The ones I 
worked on had up to three laser disk players running at the same time 
for the video feed. Laser disk players were used as they had a very 
clean feed, would not wear out like tape when played over and over and 
allowed almost instant access to any point on the disk. The hardware 
also had a still-store so that you could grab an image and hold it on 
the monitor, thus having a different scene on each monitor. You could 
display a single image on each monitor, or multiple images blown up and 
spread across groups of monitors in any combination. Neat stuff.


John Schroth

On 8/7/2012 9:59 AM, Tom Fine wrote:
> Hi John:
> Any place that worked with corporate/commercial clients was riding 
> that wave in those days. You guys in previous posts have cited some of 
> the miriad corporate and educational presentations that were made over 
> the years. Plus this stuff was huge with amusement parks and tourist 
> attactions.
> There was also a whole element of multi-source sound to all of this. 
> One good example is the 14-channel system Ampex made for Knott's Berry 
> Farm:
> Also, using mult-track tape to run light cues and even motorized 
> moving 3-D objects/displays. I'm thinking specifically of the 
> Cyclorama at Gettysburg and more elaborate museum displays I've seen 
> over the years.
> There was also a trend in the 80's and 90's to have wall-sized banks 
> of NTSC TV monitors with different source video elements making up a 
> large-screen whole, used both by artists and commercial/corporate and 
> entertainment multimedia. Now how would one preserve THAT sort of 
> thing? I guess you could do it today as digital picture-within-picture 
> stuff on mega-displays or projection systems?
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "John Schroth" 
> <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2012 9:28 AM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] archiving slide-tape shows (was voca-film 
> technology)
>> Tom very nice. I'm impressed with the videos from AAV and that your 
>> dad was so heavily involved there. He was riding the AV wave back then.
>> Regards,
>> John Schroth
>> On 8/7/2012 7:45 AM, Tom Fine wrote:
>>> This is a very interesting YouTube channel.
>>> This one seems to be a film of a multi-screen slide/film show.
>>> That's one (primative) way of preserving it as it was presented.
>>> I too remember "The New York Experience," I think I was pre-teen 
>>> when we saw that.
>>> My father was involved in a few of these productions. He did sound 
>>> design and mixing for several of the large-scale things at the 
>>> 1964-65 World's Fair and also Expo67. I think some of them involved 
>>> multiple film and still image elements. He also did the sound design 
>>> and mix for the interactive multimedia Ford's Theatre "historical 
>>> drama" thing in the 70's (I have an opening night program somewhere 
>>> but don't recall going to it as a little kid).
>>> Here's another YouTube:
>>> this is a promo film made for the Armstrong Audio-Video complex in 
>>> Melbourne, Australia, circa 1974. My father designed it, oversaw 
>>> construction and ran it for the first year. Note the extensive 
>>> multi-media facilities. This was when color TV was new to Australia, 
>>> so the facility was state of the art then. Apparently, musician 
>>> Brian Cadd was popular down under back then.
>>> Here's another look at AAV, the video montage from the grand opening 
>>> gala:
>>> this one features heavy use of the Rutt-Etra video synthesizer, 
>>> which was a new toy back then.
>>> By the way, can anyone positively identify the recording console and 
>>> 24-track tape machine types? That's an Ampex AG-440B 4-track in the 
>>> small production studio.
>>> Back squarely on-topic, AAV was involved in many of the typical 
>>> mid-70's corporate and entertainment multi-media productions. I 
>>> think that era was pretty much the heyday of that sort of thing, 
>>> worldwide.
>>> -- Tom Fine
>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "John Schroth" 
>>> <[log in to unmask]>
>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2012 1:21 AM
>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] archiving slide-tape shows (was voca-film 
>>> technology)
>>>> 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]
>>>>> -----
>>>>> No virus found in this message.
>>>>> Checked by AVG -
>>>>> Version: 2012.0.2196 / Virus Database: 2437/5181 - Release Date: 
>>>>> 08/06/12
>>> -----
>>> No virus found in this message.
>>> Checked by AVG -
>>> Version: 2012.0.2196 / Virus Database: 2437/5181 - Release Date: 
>>> 08/06/12
> -----
> No virus found in this message.
> Checked by AVG -
> Version: 2012.0.2196 / Virus Database: 2437/5183 - Release Date: 08/07/12