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7Up question

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:38 am
by Simon36
Watching the current 63 Up series, I’m struck by how remarkable the clips of previous editions look. The footage from the 70s and 80s editions is breathtaking. Does anyone know what they were shot on? I’m wondering if it was 35mm rather than the usual 16mm? Or has it simply been through a more substantial restoration process than most things?

Re: 7Up question

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:36 am
by fatcat
The actual 'World in Action' series came about because (IIRC) some television body or other relaxed the rules on the use of 16mm film, previous to this many television industry 'snobs' regarded it as an amateur format. However, the new rules meant that a series like WIA could flourish, getting into tight situations, etc and turning over subjects quickly on a weekly basis with smaller lightweight 16mm equipment. Granada did experiment with portable video equipment too on a film about an ordinary wedding but it just wasn't portable/practical enough in those days.

So the Seven UP series was almost certainly shot on 16mm, until perhaps the 1990s?..or may have continued in original format to keep the continuity of the series? ..George Jesse Turner was an original World in Action cameraman.

of course, it probably has had a dust down and polish, but like restoring an old oil painting if the information is there, it's there, as you obviously can not polish a turd

Inspector Morse and previous Midsomer Murders were also shot on 16mm film.

I was not sure what to think about 63up. nobody seems to care anymore..perhaps life goes too fast these days and it's a slightly painful reminder that time is moving on..or something?
I first watched from 21up, at that time followers I spoke to regarded the subjects as their charges and sort of cared for them and looked forward to say ..28up, as well as anticipation and excitement of the looming year 2000.
It has shown that largely your future life and expectations are determined by your background, today it clashes with the on media message to the young that "you can be anything you want to be"..poor old Tony dreamed of becoming a jockey and it must have been distressing for him when this dream was shattered and so the series shows life in reality, is like that. it was thought of as uniquely British due to the class system of the day.-but perhaps owing to the later international interest-they might all see some of themselves in it and so it may just be a reflection of life everywhere?

Obviously today everybody can record every single moment of their life if they want to, so this remains a unique experiment for those times and I do hope they carry on with it.

.

Re: 7Up question

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:24 pm
by Ian Wegg
I'd assume any necessary restoration would have been done for the DVD releases?

Despite being a child of 1957 myself, I had not previously seen a single episode of the Up series until this latest. I found 63 Up absolutely fascinating, I'm tempted at investing £17 on the DVDs of all the previous series.

Re: 7Up question

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:46 pm
by yellowtriumph
Ian Wegg wrote:I'd assume any necessary restoration would have been done for the DVD releases?

Despite being a child of 1957 myself, I had not previously seen a single episode of the Up series until this latest. I found 63 Up absolutely fascinating, I'm tempted at investing £17 on the DVDs of all the previous series.
You will not regret it, money well spent. I saw 7Up and 14Up together as part of social studies during my engineering studies in the early 70’s. I became hooked then and have looked forward to seeing them ever since.

I believe Morse and Midsomer etc were shot on Super 16mm. If ITV went back to the original 16mm film elements of ‘Up’ and retransferred them then that might explain the increase in quality - 16mm is not that bad.

Re: 7Up question

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:26 pm
by Spiny Norman
I believe the series gained some interest worldwide. Is is possible that with an eye on the American market, they shot some installments in 35mm?

Re: 7Up question

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:22 pm
by Mark
Spiny Norman wrote:I believe the series gained some interest worldwide. Is is possible that with an eye on the American market, they shot some installments in 35mm?
I wouldn't have thought so, series like "Jason King" and "The Protectors" were sold to the US and they were on 16mm.

Probably the doc series has just scrubbed up well, the Brett "Holmes" series was 16mm and looked a bit grotty on original screening ( IIRC) as did "The Protectors" and various others, but they look amazing now.

Re: 7Up question

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:49 am
by fatcat
Mark wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:I believe the series gained some interest worldwide. Is is possible that with an eye on the American market, they shot some installments in 35mm?
I wouldn't have thought so, series like "Jason King" and "The Protectors" were sold to the US and they were on 16mm.

Probably the doc series has just scrubbed up well, the Brett "Holmes" series was 16mm and looked a bit grotty on original screening ( IIRC) as did "The Protectors" and various others, but they look amazing now.
IMHO I think they had to stick with the same cameraman and format to keep the series integrity, any change would have 'broke the spell' so to speak. However, I found this a mild irritant on 63up as this now seamless change between the colour editions, left me a bit confused about which edition I was watching LOL... as I don't think the age numbers were always there in the corner of the screen (unless I missed them)

16mm is a comparable HD format, however, in the analogue days the smaller picture area meant that successive generations were limited before losses, grain, dirt and other artifacts became prominent...of course there was a lot of duping in TV before it actually got to the screen for various reasons, but these days, of course, (if they can find them) they can go back to the second or third generation and record it with a much more sensitive telecine. With many original 16mm series these days they have been remastered on 35mm as some sort of security that they will still have a machine to run it in the future..

I don't think Peter Wingarde went down well in the US as they didn't sell Dept.S there (until years later when it was bargain basement for sme local tv fillers), and probably if he had potential there Jason King would have been on 35mm.

Re: 7Up question

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:56 am
by Simon36
Interesting, thanks. I don’t think I’ve ever seen 16mm scrub up so gloriously, that’s why it threw me!

Re: 7Up question

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:03 am
by Mark
Good point about "Jason King", it was back to 35mm for "Space 1999" and "Return Of The Saint", but "The Protectors" and "The Adventurer" were sold there though.

Can't say I noticed any clips in the new docs without a series reference in the corner, but there might have been, if not, perhaps once established which one it was in several clips they though they didn't need to with the rest.

Re: 7Up question

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:29 am
by fatcat
Simon36 wrote:Interesting, thanks. I don’t think I’ve ever seen 16mm scrub up so gloriously, that’s why it threw me!

have a look at the Beatles' channel on you tube.

A Day in the Life is an 8mm home movie
Strawberry Fields a 16mm home movie.

(MC moderators I mention this YT channel as it is official Apple property and not a pirate)

Re: 7Up question

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:02 pm
by doubleM
Mark wrote:Good point about "Jason King", it was back to 35mm for "Space 1999" and "Return Of The Saint", but "The Protectors" and "The Adventurer" were sold there though.
Completely off topic for the thread - apologies - but hopefully interesting/worth detailing…

Following the flop with US audiences with the 35mm ‘The Persuaders’ (a network sale to America’s ABC-TV) it proved difficult to interest the American networks in such typical ITC Action-adventure series. ‘Jason King’, like ‘The Adventurer’ and ‘The Protectors’ were instead aimed (by Lew Grade/ITC) at the first run syndication market to individual US stations specifically by exploiting the ‘Prime Time Access Rule’ instigated by the American broadcasting regulator the FCC in the early 1970s.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime_Time_Access_Rule

This edict made it compulsory for TV stations affiliated to one of the three US networks to schedule one hour of primetime hour broadcasting (7-11pm) to programming made locally or bought in from independents outside the networks. Most stations favoured the 7-8 pm hour and also divided the timeslot into two half hour sections – hence the 25 min durations of ‘Jason King’, ‘The Adventurer’ and ‘The Protectors’ to fill a half hour slot – the other 30 minutes generally used for local news or a game show. (The non ITC ‘Orson Welles Great Mysteries’ was another British made (Anglia) show designed specifically for syndication during ‘Prime Time Access’. Interestingly LWT’s ‘Doctor in the House’ found some latter success across the Atlantic in these slots too).

ITC, through Abe Mandell at the New York office, instead of dealing with all the local stations individually sold these shows directly to sponsors – Chevrolet, Faberge etc. and it was they who then marketed them to the individual stations. Obviously the precept was much less than a network sale (like ‘The Persuaders’ to ABC) – hence the cost cutting measure of 16mm filming. ITC always cut their cloth to the market they were exploiting – they were famed for success in that field. Easily, the most successful of their attempts to market to ‘Prime Time Access’ was ‘The Protectors’, hence the two production blocks and 52 episodes.

‘Space 1999’ was always intended as a major network sale. Indeed it just fell short when CBS finally turned it down due to their go ahead on the (as it turned out short run) ‘Planet of the Apes’ series (they wouldn’t countenance two sci-fi themed shows in the same season). With major costs already committed, including 35mm filming, on ‘Space’ this is why Mandell/ITC in effect created the ‘Space 1999 Network’ by aggressive direct syndication – and very successfully too - some 150 stations, many network affiliates who replaced network primetime programming for the series and a geographical coverage/total audience reach just about equivalent to the US networks.

‘Return of the Saint’, filmed on 35mm, achieved a network sale to CBS - who in the late 70s were well in with ITC due to the phenomenon of 'The Muppet Show' (‘The Saint’ had been sold to NBC). This proved semi-successful with US audiences – certainly more than ‘The Persuaders’ – but not sufficiently so to be renewed beyond a single season. And by this stage ITC were embroiled in feature film production and distribution which ultimately proved to be a costly move.

Re: 7Up question

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:59 am
by Mark
An eminently sensible reminder, I had forgotten the ins and outs of the US system, makes sense of course, poor old "Persuaders" was up against "Mission Impossible", IIRC.

Just one small correction though, "Jason King" was a 60 mins series, so possibly in a different slot?, I knew of the success of "Doctor In The House" on US TV, instead of the usual US remake.

Back on the "7up" series, I'm guessing they stopped 16mm use, 3 or 4 series ago,