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Sunday, 1 February 2015

Winter work

Simon in Greece with a Mayday wreath; stepfather Jack Hargreaves in his shed in Dorset with a film from Out of Town
In the last three years we've worked on the production of two commercially available box-sets of my stepfather's TV broadcasts on DVDs. Now I've bought the rights in Out of Town held by Endemol, I'm earning royalties on their sale through Delta Leisure, as Jack intended. The next challenge is the more complicated one of securing his remaining material, most of it not shown since it was broadcast in the 1970s. The box-sets consisted of material more or less ready to show, but this older material does not exist in the form of complete episodes. It comes piecemeal, incoherent, muddled up...
Jack Hargreaves - the invention of the camera from Simon Baddeley on Vimeo.
When he died twenty-one years ago, my stepfather left an unwieldy but intriguing collection of 16mm film and 1/4" reel-to-reel sound tape - incomplete components of his long-running television programme Out of Town. For nearly three years I've been striving to organise this precious stuff into a secure archive.
On January 12th Lin and I had tea with Christopher Perry.
He lives just streets away. We met at his house to discuss his offer to speed up the process of digitising, synchronising and remastering the archive of my stepfather's silent films and tapes that I've been storing in a scruffy lock-up near Spaghetti Junction since April 2012.  So far this exercise in recovery has been going at sub-snail pace, because of time and equipment constraints on Francis Niemczyk's work. In the last two years just three episodes have been remastered. Good work but leaving close to two hundred archived episodes yet to be recovered.

Chris Perry is a pioneer of Kaleidoscope. A film and tape archaeologist, he helped recover 'The Lost Episodes' of Out of Town published by Delta in 2012. A month before Christmas Kaleidoscope won a bid to take over local TV ....
Kaleidoscope TV Limited has been awarded the licence to broadcast a new local television service for Birmingham, the Black Country and Solihull via Freeview channel 8 and Virgin Media cable channel 159. It is expected that the channel will launch early in 2015. Ofcom has stipulated that the new channel should be on the air no later than February 28th, 2015. The new company, formed specifically to hold separate Kaleidoscope’s broadcasting venture from the existing organisation, is jointly owned by Mike Prince who will be a familiar face to Midlands television viewers as an on-screen continuity announcer for ATV and Central Television during the 70s and 80s and Chris Perry, head of Kaleidoscope, the Birmingham based classic television organisation. Kaleidoscope TV will launch as part of the government’s initiative for a national network of local television channels. The licence had originally been awarded to City TV, a company that went into administration before getting on the air. After administrators Duff & Phelps Ltd took control of City TVs assets, numerous bids were received for the company’s licence. Kaleidoscope TV was the preferred bidder and after a stringent examination of the company’s finances and programming plans, Ofcom has agreed to transfer the licence to Kaleidoscope.
Tea with Chris Perry

In return for being allowed to broadcast these episodes on KalTV Chris offers to remaster the film-tape archive.
"Draw up an agreement. Get me 33 tape-film matches to start. The digitising can be done in London. You can oversee synchronising and editing tape and film at Walsall Studios prior to broadcast."
On Wednesday Lin and I went out to the lock-up with our list of tapes and films. We brought home all the sound tapes, organised the films into the numbers attached to the cans while they were at South West Film and Television Archive, and removed one box of film. Once home we got the tapes checked against our list and marked them with the numbers on the films. That done we matched three of the films in the one box brought home.

Two days later we returned to the lock-up and dug out all the films with the listed numbers; Lin digging in the film boxes and calling out the numbers as I ticked off them off on the list.
It was chilly work. Once home and warmed up we started matching films and tapes - relying on the numbers on the boxes and cans, but also checking titles written on both containers. By the end of the day we had 70 matches.

"Tomorrow we'll select 10 of these matched film-tape pairs to take to London"

Extract from an 'Agreement' with Kaleidoscope TV ~ signed by Simon Baddeley and Chris Perry and witnessed

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