Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Some updates!

Well, just back from the Winkie Convention. Sam and I recorded a podcast reporting on it, which will be out soon. I've also uploaded over 300 photos on Facebook.

I got a lot of Oz stuff, some of which I'll be talking about over the coming weeks. But first, let's get some new arrivals out of the way...

 A new little company called Actual Film Votive is selling a unique collectible for film fans using prints from junked film copies made for screening. These cells are not from original negatives or master film copies of the films.

The cells are mounted on a votive candle holder. "But wait!" you might say. "Won't the candle ruin the film?" It might, which is why a tiny LED light is included. It doesn't project the image on a surface, but it does let the light show through, letting you see a tiny image of one of your favorite movies.

At this time, votives are available with film cells from The Bride of Frankenstein, Ben Hur, King Kong, Singin' In The Rain and, of course, The Wizard of Oz. The guys who run the site have nicely sent me a Dorothy cell votive so I can see it for myself to get the word out. And it's a very nice little piece! Rather than trim it, you actually get a whole slice from the film reel, including the spokes that made it turn through the projector and the soundtrack actually on the film. Each one is $12, plus $3 for shipping in the US. (Price subject to change.) To read more and order one (or more) for yourself, go to their website.

 I also came home to issues 7 and 8 of The Legend of Oz: The Wicked West, which reveal more about this version of Oz and its take on Tip. Also, we see what might be the Wicked West version of Tik-Tok? The Tip and Jack Pumpkinhead storyline wraps up for now, but there's still quite a bit more story to go on!

Finally, I was surprised to discover that the 1933 Wizard of Oz cartoon by Ted Eshbaugh has been remastered in high definition! The comparison between this new version and the previously available one is amazing! The sharpness and clarity is evident and lets us see what a beautiful cartoon it actually was.

The cartoon will be released on Blu-Ray by year's end with a number of Eshbaugh's shorts in high definition. It's amazing because the cartoon is in public domain, and anyone could do it. I really hope we'll give the restoration folk a big "Thank you!" for this labor of love by buying the Blu-Ray (Region Free) when it's available.

More information and screencaps can be found here.

Now imagine how wonderful it would be if someone gave the silent Oz films the high definition treatment! Winkies featured a screening of The Patchwork Girl of Oz silent film from a real film print, and it looked gorgeous!

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