Saturday, 10 August 2013

One option

Through our kitchen window this morning
One option is to reanimate Jack as Tony has - to me astonishingly - in the film extract shown below...I posted this note in Facebook this morning having written a few days ago about the synching of one tape-film pair by Francis Niemczyk.
The film-tape archive of Out of Town - a summary for anyone interested but new to the project, in which I am supported by an informal JH committee and contacts on Facebook - spawn of Satan but ruddy useful. This collection was rescued by Jack after the demise of Southern Television in 1981. He was given its use, with accompanying rights, in place of a pension to which for complex reasons he was not entitled. The material is nothing if not unwieldy - piecemeal and incomplete. This is not a collection of full film recordings of old Out of Town episodes. It comprises a collection of silent 16mm location film by his cameraman for over 20 years - Stan Bréhaut -
....in cans developed in positive negative (reversal film) with library sound effects dubbed on to the edited film at Southern studios ready for Jack to talk about on his Friday evening half-hour broadcast. Each film should be accompanied by its 1/4" reel-to-reel sound tape containing Jack's studio commentary. In actuality film and taped commentary weren't stored together. The film was stacked on dexion shelves down in Plymouth (how it got there is another story as is how it came home to me) and the tape is neatly stored in boxes but in no particular order. Where we have a recorded tape and film match there is a recording of the sound of the whole episode (including theme music - Recuerdos de la Alhambra - for titles and credits but excluding commercials) but we do not have the picture of my stepfather introducing each episode from his studio 'shed'. We do have his voice. One of the challenges, after matching up tape and film and synching them is what to do with the imageless space including titles and credits. Invaluable work has been done by Roger Charlesworth at South West Film and Television Archive in Plymouth. He has where possible found which tape goes with what film and given each a code that will allow us, now the collection is in a lock-up in Birmingham near my home, to match tape to film and set about having the two mediums married and recorded on DVDs - meaning that instead of the collection fitting in a transit van it will go in a suitcase!
Now that the long process of getting the collection off film and tape on to DVD has begun I have to decide in what form to keep each available episode. Francis has sent me the first as a freebie to show what can be done. Initially he sent me the digitised 16mm film titled 'Planting a Vine' which I've streamed on Vimeo. He then sent me two more DVDs; one of the tape and film separate, and one of the tape and film synchronised. I have stored that on Vimeo but kept it private to myself, but have sent copies of the DVD version to a couple of friends to see what might be done about the 'imageless space'. Two days ago Tony Herbert sent me and Ian Wegg one of his suggestions -
Hi Simon & Ian. I have uploaded to You Tube as 'unlisted' Southern Titles and a brought back to life 'Shed' for 'Planting A Vine'. Please let me know your thoughts as to whether you find the out of sync sound irritating or acceptable or whether a Frozen picture of a shed Scene would be more preferable. I have to admit I feared this would turn out to appear awful but in honesty it seems to fit in quite well. Simon you can forward the You Tube link on to anyone you feel appropriate. Cheers, Tony
He followed this with a second email y'day:
I can fully understand people feeling uncomfortable with the 'reanimation' and at first I thought it would look dreadful but in fact it is uncanny how fortuitously some of Jack's hand movements seem to fit in. Out of sync sound/vision to many(including myself) can be very irritating but in this particular instance it seems to be dwarfed by the fact there is the warmth from the visual animated personal presentation.
There would have been a major problem if animation continued as we only have a limited number of good quality 'Shed Scenes' that might be used and you have hundreds of films so there is no way it could be completed without repetition.
My initial thoughts were to use a montage of good quality stills which could be captured from existing sheds or your own personal collection of any shed photos and I am sure this would be acceptable to viewers on any potential commercial release.
I am aware that Nic Ayling now owns the name 'Southern Television' and the idents. This does not appear to cause problems to both Delta & Renown Pictures who continue to market DVD's from the former Southern Television Library which include various southern Idents. Copyright is not my field so perhaps an enquiry should be made to Nic as to whether the intro film could be used incorporating the 'still southern ident'. The ident can of course be edited out which still leaves a 13 sec run time which will still include the words Out Of Town in the title. Alternatively do you hold a copy of the film used for the intro as you could then run any title sequence you wanted over it perhaps in the style of the much later non Southern editions.
End Of Part One, Part Two, & Exit titles can easily be recreated in Southern Style. For exit titles we obviously know to include JH, Stan Bréhaut  but was David Knowles the film editor on all programmes (especially earlier ones. Was he at Southern in 1972?) and George Egan director on all of them? or, do we leave it with just credit to JH & Stan. However it can give an opportunity here now to include later contributors to your project, but it would then not be appropriate to add the blue Southern End Cap...
I do not subscribe to Facebook but please feel free to put anything on there to test the views of a wider audience.
Lastly there will be a rollout of very Local TV stations across the country on Freeview with a community theme commencing next year using very directional transmitters. Both the Southampton/Isle of Wight(but not covering Bournemouth & New Forest) & Brighton areas are scheduled to get off the ground. I understand that the Southampton Station has some ex TVS/Meridian members behind it and I wonder what would be the chances of your restored project getting an airing in its old viewing territory.
I hope I have answered everything. Best wishes, Tony
Dear All. Tony Herbert, a good friend and support, has sent me this re-animation of Jack on Youtube as a fill for the space without an image in the recently restored Out of Town episode - 'Planting a Vine'. I've shown it to my family and a few others who've been helping all along with restoration of OOT. Some like it, some don't. Tony says he's happy for others to see it and both he and I would value your constructive views - positive and negative and in-between....

  • David Hunt Isn't it great how things work out in the end. The intro looks good to me and works better than the previous version with the stills.
    6 hours ago via mobile · Unlike · 1
  • Adam Bootle I'm not sure where I stand here. I like it better than the version we have seen with the stills, but I find the lack of sync distracting. Maybe if it was a clip where Jack wasn't so animated with his gestures it may work better, its those bits that I notice the most.
    5 hours ago · Unlike · 2
  • Simon Baddeley I need these opinions. Thanks David and Adam so far.
  • David Hunt There really wouldn't be another way of sorting out the sync problem unless the original footage was available. I don't think it is too much of a problem considering the lack of original footage.
    5 hours ago via mobile · Unlike · 1
  • Mark Smith Yes Adam, I know what you mean. It is a great idea and it is far, far better than just stills but for me Jack's hand movements don't seem to go with what he is describing. If a less animated clip could be found, I think it would work better as you suggest. However, I feel I am nit-picking here as plainly a lot of good work has been going on in the background to get to the current position and I would be most upset if Tony took our comments to be negative. The concept is brilliant, just needs a little refining.
    5 hours ago via mobile · Unlike · 1
  • David Hunt The other problem may be with any more later episodes being remastered. There is only so much footage of JH in the studio you could use.
    5 hours ago via mobile · Unlike · 2
  • Adam Bootle David and Mark, I absolutely agree, its a positive step forward. Im sure even if someone did criticise Tony's great work he wouldn't take it to heart, as stated he welcomes all comments if its for the good of the project.
    5 hours ago · Unlike · 1
  • Dean Eric Hoffman When people restore listed buildings, planning often insists on some visual distinction between original construction and modern additions or restorations. Maybe that could possibly apply here as well. I would be afraid that on first viewing, the voice-picture mismatch (even though Tony did a brilliant job) would be seen as a technical fault rather than a convention for missing visuals. One thing that comes to mind is to use individual frames from the 'speaking Jack' in a rapid succession of stills, with maybe some interesting rostrum work (panning, zooming, dissolves, etc.) which would evoke the same feelings, but within a clear convention.
    4 hours ago · Unlike · 2
  • David Hunt Maybe Simon could record the introductions himself?
    3 hours ago via mobile · Like
  • Simon Baddeley Paul Peacock suggests that. But I don't want to get between JH and his audience. If I had Jack's camera craft I'd consider it. Maybe I should do a screen test (:)) See this from 03'50"-05'40? https://vimeo.com/12157596


    This documentary directed and produced for BBC Midland Report by Nick Booth in 2...See more
    3 hours ago · Edited · Like · 2 · Remove Preview
  • Dean Eric Hoffman A collection such as this would certainly call for an introductory piece by Simon recounting its history. It's a good story in and of itself.
Email from Paul Peacock, Jack's biographer:
Hi Simon. It is a solution, I can see that. I found myself wondering if Jack's hand movements were somehow describing the lass in the story, the size of her boobs and so on. Maybe that's the state of my mind. When the film mixed, it didn't work for me, indeed, the non synch, I think, undermined the whole thing.  A series of pics of land girls and stuff - stills, would be better, but I appreciate this would be hard work. At the same times lot of what Jack was saying was kind of irrelevant to Stan's film. Cuttings a couple of minutes into the film, I wonder if it might be possible to do something like this:
Simon piece to camera saying "Jack told a story about a land girl who wrote a book about being on the farm, having come from the city."... some parts of the story related by Simon with moving film of the city and country juxtapositioned ...Back to Simon, "So we'll let Jack tell the story from here.....Cut to Jack walking into the garden with the edit of his voice over the top.
But I understand this represents a lot of work, and I am not trying to be awkward..... ;-) 
Rachel Knappett with Polly
Email from Ian Wegg, to whom I also sent the synched film:
Hi Simon, Firstly thank you for the DVD, which arrived on Thursday and I watched as soon as I got home from work. The quality is splendid (as I said on Facebook, even better than I had hoped), as far as the filming is concerned it is just as it would have been broadcast. I like Tony’s work on the shed segments and I have sent him this response...
I thought your intro worked very well (of course, with modern technology it would be possible to make a fully animated Jack with lips synchronised, but that would be a step too far!) I think a mixture of your approach and some stills. The idea of putting stills from the upcoming film has some merit I think, but it should also have pictures relevant to Jack’s narrative.For instance, I found the attached images on Google which relates to the book he talks about. For the second part it needs a picture of the house before Jack had it restored. I guess this is the sort of thing Simon could sort out. Finding appropriate pictures with rights would be a bit of work though.Incidentally, one other point is that the transition from 'shed' to film should be a dissolve. A very minor thing I know but the jump straight into film leapt out at me as not quite right.
Tony responded that he was aware of the 'dissolve to film' issue but didn’t have time to do it, so he has that covered. Just to expand on one point, something that I though worked unexpectedly well was having a still from the later film. I am particularly thinking of the butterfly on the yellow flower at the start. Seemingly a generic 'country' picture, there is something quite satisfying when it appears much later in the ragwort pulling segment; a feeling of a jigsaw piece being put into place that is quite pleasant. (or perhaps it’s just me!). To summarise, I think the opening titles are essential, then a mixture of 'animated' Jack from existing shed footage; shed stills (possibly some of those of Dave Knowles' showing the shed studio set with the cameras around to give context); stills that illustrate the narrative; brief glimpses of the upcoming film.
Of course all that is a lot of work. I offer these suggestions with the caveat that I know nothing of the commercial aspects of doing all this! Kind regards, Ian.
Email from Mark Smith:
Good morning Simon. The plough horses have been found. Wonderful! The soundtrack certainly fits them....I was surprised to see Jack doing the introduction and wondered how that was found until I noticed the speech not quite matching the film and then relished this was a clever adaptation of some other stock film. To the uninitiated, it would work fine. However, as the film went on, it became clear that the hand gestures did not match the spoken content. That may be over-critical as without the original studio introduction, this is probably as good as it can get. With a little more blending to smooth the transitions between edited sections of film, it will do the job and would be far better than just inserting a few stills to cover the introduction. I hope that doesn't come across as overly critical because I realise a lot of work has gone in to producing this sequence. It is so easy for someone like me who knows not the first thing about producing or saving a piece of film, to sit at my breakfast table, sipping my mug if tea and be critical. It could easily be regarded as rude and disrespectful but my comments are certainly not meant to be so! All in all, a good job. Kind regards, Mark
and a suggestion from Andy King:
I'm impressed with your TV performance Simon - Your TV voice has a lot of similarity with your stepfather's - timbre, measure..... delivered in a simple straightforward, unemotive and direct way - a chip off the old block perhaps. Regarding the intros to the programmes I am with Dean, Adam and Mark; for me the lack of synch distracts rather than enhances Jack's monologue. It's purely subjective but a series of appropriate still images played during Jack's into would be preferable to me. Alternatively you could re-record Jack's words yourself in a newly recorded intro but I suspect few on this site would prefer that option. I like Dean's idea that you, Paul, or someone close to Jack to write and record entirely new commentaries in addition to (not instead of) Jack's intros. Perhaps one or two new sections like this could be used in addition to Jack's own intros where appropriate.
*** *** ***
There's Facebook site in Corfu called Corfu Grapevine. Its administrator, Linda Kontomares, writes that... the group was created with the foreign population living in Corfu in mind...
...where you can communicate whether from the North, South or central of the island about whats going on at the moment, if you are looking for something, selling a used item, requesting advice or just want to pass on your experiences regarding local offices or services etc., here is the place to do it.....However, we have had so much interest from people who have previously lived here, want to live here or holiday here year on year, and who are now Members of the group - please be aware that your comments are reaching a much wider audience. I trust that all members will have Corfus Best Interest at Heart, and will respect all fellow members. PLEASE NOTE - a) - THIS IS NOT A FORUM AND IS NOT THE PLACE TO TAKE PART IN ANY LENGTHY DISCUSSIONS - there are many Corfu Forums out there - USE THEM.....
The group was only started a few months ago, already has over 4000 members inside and outside Greece, encourages the use of English and is confidently Little Britain in tone...Here are some quotes, mildly redacted, from Facebook in the early hours of 9/8/13:

            
Tricia Giles I think that some will never be adult enough to listen to opinions that they don't agree with. They are too busy shouting them down.
10 hours ago
    
            
Elizabeth Vlassi codswollop!
10 hours ago
           
            
Paul Christian FFS .. it's always the same old witches group .. gang up on the person with a different opinion ... and I'm not crying victim like all you people who can't take it do ... xxx .. you are a self centred , know it all old bag and a hypocrite to say the least .. one day we will meet and sort this out .. let's face it .. you don't like me and I hate you .. lets leave it like that .. xxxi .. biggest hypocrite who HATES the British .. opened her legs for money and then had her kids educated in the UK .. because Greece wasn't good enough. xxx .. FFS .. what a joke YOU are .. you need to come off the valium love. xxx .. say no more .. you get Xmas cards from the local off licence and xxx ... big bump coming you Umpa Lumpa ... watch it when you hit the ground .. pavement damage !! Just to let you all know .. i have a GREAT life ... and I really don't need all your insecure shit in my life .. and just likexxx ... I'm chickening out ... difference is .. I REALLY don't give a f**k ..mmmwwwaaaah !!
 OH .. forgot Janet Fruitcake .. who after disagreeing with a comment I made .. PM'd me with this .. just as she blocked me .. so giving me no chance to reply ... "Paul why don't you just stop picking for a fight all the time go and get a sun tan or something...please!!! l think everyone is sick of you and your arguments . did you know there is a closed facebook page about you l have not started of course .... so many people will be glad to see the back of you... but least you won't be forgotten when you go back to the uk ... its so sad you hate being here so much" .. we WILL meet one day Janet .. and I will reply.
10 hours ago
          
            
Heather Skinner Linda Kontomares, you asked that inappropriate posts were brought to your attention. Before this nasty little man deletes his vile rantings if he has the sense to realise what an offensive little oik he is, I will certainly copy and post to you the above libellous comments he has made to others, and the violent threat he has made to me. I may well also take this matter further through appropriate legal channels.
10 hours ago




            
            
Paul Christian F**K YOU Skinner .. you know it all bitch .. bring it on !!
10 hours ago
            
            
Katie Jane Flower Ladies, do not respond.
10 hours ago 




            
      
Paul Christian Come and meet me ... tomorrow
10 hours ago
           
            
Ozzy Corfu What a low life comment sorry Paul it had to be said I remind you of your previous post You know .. it's like watching the BBC parliament channel (god forbid) and being offended when Cameron has a go at Miliband because you have socialist views ... OH MY GOD CAMERON, SHUT UP OR I WILL HAVE TO SWITCH OFF YOU BULLY .. the debate still goes on .. that's life.
10 hours ago 
          
            
Paul Christian That's right Ozzy Corfu .. I am sick of being called because of my opinions .. and don't think everyone loves you .. a lot just humour you ... sorry maye but true.
10 hours ago
          
            
Ozzy Corfu I sincerely hope they don't all love me. That would be so boring!!
10 hours ago · 
           
            
Annie Hawkins Oh dear, true to form then Mr. Woodings/Christian.
10 hours ago 




            
           
Annie Hawkins I love you Ozzy Corfu.
10 hours ago ·
            
            
Ozzy Corfu Now don't get to boring Annie LOL
10 hours ago ·




            
           
Paul Christian Yes Annie Hawkins .. and true to form for you ... thinking you are clever by posting my real name and my stage name ... WHO gives a f**k .. I don't mind and I'm sure that the world doesn't .. you are so so sad ... my God your life must be so boring ... probabaly worse than Heather Skinner s ... which let's face it ... lol
 Anyway .. come on peeps .. bring it on .. have a go ..'cos this post won't be here in the morning .. and unlike most of you I have the balls to say what I think .. and can laugh off your pathetic comments ...pmsl
9 hours ago

I complained: Saturday
  • Linda Kontomares
    Hi Simon, Thanks for copying and sending me the above. As I am at work all day and night Fridays - I didnt have chance to get on top of this yesterday. Paul Christian has now removed himself from the group and the post and comments were deleted. Thank you again for taking the time to forward it to me. Regards.
  • Simon Baddeley
    Dear Linda. Thanks for coming back to me. Congratulations of starting and maintaining such a successful FB site, It must be a handful at times though. Kind regards, Simon
This slightly negative experience of Corfu Grapevine changed on seeing this film posted on the site...

What a brilliantly crafted gem of a tale, not about a goose, or geese (tho' it's a delight to finally see them part way through) but about all Corfu in the last 40 years - and how joyful to hear the language and the prose "The absence of the goose hangs in the morning air"!
The film-makers say the film was made on a drunken evening...oh yeah? The filmcraft shines through, not least the steady shots, the editing and the back-research. Transparently a labour of love.
'The Beach that lost its Goose' sketches visitors and locals, all ages, in a variety that subverts the easy generalisations to which I'm prone. Doesn't art do that? I enjoy how the film-maker tight-ropes between involvement and detachment. There's nothing voyeuristic or judgemental in the tale of the nameless goose - tho' I'm confused by the suggestion that in Greek 'goose' translates, according to one of the people filmed, as 'ejaculation'. Χήνα; I think not, but who am I to know? I'm also intrigued by the concept of a 'rescue-goose' (yeah yeah). The project is an entertaining mix of mickey-take, in collusion with those filmed, on BBC docu-style - see the taciturn proprietor who fed the goose 'marijuana' - and poignancy without sentimentality, at times just very funny ("How did the goose come?" "It come by swimming over the sea" Greeks have a way - half my family is Greek - of being almost contemptuously surprised at anyone not knowing something so obvious as the meaning of life), while giving a jolly good mixed plug for father and son Yiannis' and (the late) Spyros' (such rare names) Cafe-Bar - 'toilets rarely cleaned' - at one end of Pelekas Beach.
*** *** ***

Spent the greater part of Thursday - Eid-al-Fitr by the way - enjoying HHH work with Mohammed Taj, who breaks his Ramadan fast this day, clearing a garden - front and back - laying a lawn, making a flower bed and removing rubbish, for a householder in Handsworth. At intervals I was plied with cups of tea and custard donuts, while the children of the house enjoyed playing with Oscar. Being Ramadan Taj could have only water.
Taj gets ready to lay turf

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Back numbers