VT clocks on Network releases

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Xrds1895
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VT clocks on Network releases

Post by Xrds1895 »

I was just wondering what led to the decision to drop the VT clocks from Network releases? They were such a treat and, occasionally, (such as on the Crossroads releases) absolutely hilarious.
Was it a decision to do with the rights releases or did it cost more in DVD authoring fees? Just wondering...

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Xrds1895
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Re: VT clocks on Nertwork releases

Post by Xrds1895 »

"Nertwork"? Sigh. Any chance that could be altered? Then again I noticed yesterday that on the main screen on the Shadow Squad release there is an option for "Epsiode selection". Ho hum.

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Re: VT clocks on Nertwork releases

Post by JWG »

Hadn't noticed it till you pointed it out!
You could delete the thread and strat again,I belive.

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Simon Coward
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Re: VT clocks on Network releases

Post by Simon Coward »

Xrds1895 wrote:"Nertwork"? Sigh. Any chance that could be altered? Then again I noticed yesterday that on the main screen on the Shadow Squad release there is an option for "Epsiode selection". Ho hum.
Can you not edit the original post yourself, and with it the subject?

I believe the reason they were dropped from releases after a certain point, apart from a few such as Crossroads and Sky, was down to a number of people complaining about them. Probably not anyone who frequents this forum.
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Re: VT clocks on Nertwork releases

Post by Mike S »

Why would they complain? Don't you have to press rewind in order to see them?

Michael
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Re: VT clocks on Nertwork releases

Post by Michael »

I've started calling them "netwonk" because of the green-on-white DVD ident. The one that shrinks in from the four sides of the screen. That "r" stays stretched out for too long.

neil jung
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Re: VT clocks on Network releases

Post by neil jung »

Xrds1895 wrote:I was just wondering what led to the decision to drop the VT clocks from Network releases? They were such a treat and, occasionally, (such as on the Crossroads releases) absolutely hilarious.
Was it a decision to do with the rights releases or did it cost more in DVD authoring fees? Just wondering...
I don't know but I'm also a fan of the VT clocks and agree it's a shame that Network have dropped them. They seemed to gradually phase them out - some early discs included clocks for parts one and two of each episode. That quickly became part ones only and pretty soon none at all.

Didn't they mainly appear on Granada & Thames sitcoms (or perhaps that's all I bought)? Although I did spot a couple on series 4 of The Larkins. Well, to be strictly accurate there isn't any clock involved here but dating from 1960 they must be the earliest I've seen...
Image

...and there was this weird, modern one on an episode of George and the Dragon...
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...I wonder what role BBC Resources had in that DVD, authoring the disc I suppose?

The audio over the clocks was a bit of a lottery. Some were silent, some contained the original audio from the day of the recording (with some funny comments included) whilst others had audio that was clearly dubbed on at the time of editing.

Finally it was always nice when the shot of the clock wasn't as tight as usual so you get a view of the outer box like this...
Image

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Jezza
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Re: VT clocks on Network releases

Post by Jezza »

On The Buses Series One has some good clocks, one of them is on a chair and the camera gets it in position, so you can clearly see a bus behind the chair, another one had the camera slowly zooming in as it reaches zero!

I hope Network bring them back, as someone pointed out, you have to rewind the chapter to see it.

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Re: VT clocks on Network releases

Post by GarethR »

neil jung wrote: ...I wonder what role BBC Resources had in that DVD, authoring the disc I suppose?
They would have done the remastering, not the authoring.
Finally it was always nice when the shot of the clock wasn't as tight as usual so you get a view of the outer box like this...
That sort of thing wasn't unusual, in ITV at least. You can see quite a few LWT clocks that are either being held up by a cast- or crewmember, or are just propped against a bit of the set, with hands coming in to shot to start them. There's one at the head of part 2 of an edition of The Complete & Utter History of Britain with a fag packet left on top of it.

Xrds1895
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Re: VT clocks on Network releases

Post by Xrds1895 »

My personal favourite is on one of the Crossroads DVD's. The floor manager (I assume) reads off the VTR clock. Cue a recording of those two chaps in the box from The Muppet Show- "Boo! That was terrible!!" And all of a sudden I want to work at ATV, circa 1978.
Surely it is people like us that these DVD's are made for? Bring back the VT clocks I say!

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Roll ACR
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Re: VT clocks on Network releases

Post by Roll ACR »

I love a bit of clock too. Chalkboard that is, the electronic ones are far less interesting. It's a shame Network stopped putting them on the releases. It's fun and interesting and sometimes, as in the instance mentioned above, gives a glimpse of studio humour or behind the scenes. I can't believe anyone of normal intelligence complained....the clocks are fairly well hidden FFS! Even on "play all" they don't appear do they? If some ninny skips back one chapter too far and encounters a clock then their complaint should be regarded as so stupid and meritless as to be totally ignored.

I could understand them treading a wee bit carefully on some of the more mainstream stuff they put out but on the kind of niche stuff we the enthusiasts are buying, they could indulge us, surely?

Bring them back!

Gary C
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Re: VT clocks on Network releases

Post by Gary C »

For no reason other than I have a (albeit fuzzy) pic of it, here's a 1980's vt clock for The Beatles' 'Strawberry Fields Forever' promo,

Image

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Jezza
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Re: VT clocks on Network releases

Post by Jezza »

I posted about this on the Network Facebook page, got 3 likes, but no reply from Network yet.

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doubleM
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Re: VT clocks on Network releases

Post by doubleM »

I too am rather surprised at the thought of complaints re the VT clocks on Network DVDs. None AFAIK played from any menu selection automatically without 'back chaptering' or rewinding, so wouldn't normally be viewed without 'digging' aka 'archive fan effort!'.

I'd expect 'general public consumer/non archive fan' complaints much more about the 'End of Part One' etc. captions/bumpers being left in programmes - the 'why aren't these snipped out when there are no actual ads' type of comment you get occasionally on Amazon reviews ... and these remain - thankfully - in virtually all Network ITV product.

So it's a head scratcher to me if that really is the reason for the clock exclusions on more recent Network releases.
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Re: VT clocks on Network releases

Post by Clive »

Jezza wrote:I posted about this on the Network Facebook page, got 3 likes, but no reply from Network yet.
How do you find the Network facebook page ? If I search for Network the default is "Cartoon Network" followed by lots of other companies with Network in their name. I do find that complaints via the companies Facebook page's get the best response.

I have no problems with VT clocks...Network have always done this well by hiding them before the start of a programme. I am being a bit controversial by adding that the ad-caps annoy me after a while, they were not really made for DVD viewers watching a complete series without advert breaks !

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Jezza
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Re: VT clocks on Network releases

Post by Jezza »

Clive wrote:
Jezza wrote:I posted about this on the Network Facebook page, got 3 likes, but no reply from Network yet.
How do you find the Network facebook page ? If I search for Network the default is "Cartoon Network" followed by lots of other companies with Network in their name. I do find that complaints via the companies Facebook page's get the best response.

I have no problems with VT clocks...Network have always done this well by hiding them before the start of a programme. I am being a bit controversial by adding that the ad-caps annoy me after a while, they were not really made for DVD viewers watching a complete series without advert breaks !
http://www.facebook.com/networkdistributing?fref=ts

Clive
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Re: VT clocks on Network releases

Post by Clive »

Thanks Jezza! I have had problems finding their website before now. "Network" is not the easiest name to Google for....

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David Boothroyd
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Re: VT clocks on Network releases

Post by David Boothroyd »

Talking of interesting VT clocks, this one from general election day in 1987 seems to have been an opportunity for ITN's Channel 4 News people to have some fun.

http://www.itnsource.com/en/shotlist//I ... eoPopUpDiv

(Think the audio is from Spitting Image)

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Re: VT clocks on Network releases

Post by Spiny Norman »

Clive wrote:
Thanks Jezza! I have had problems finding their website before now. "Network" is not the easiest name to Google for....
Sometimes they reply, but their answers aren't always meaningful. I tried to get some info on the Complete and Utter History, but nothing.
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Spiny Norman
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Re: VT clocks on Network releases

Post by Spiny Norman »

Xrds1895 wrote:My personal favourite is on one of the Crossroads DVD's. The floor manager (I assume) reads off the VTR clock. Cue a recording of those two chaps in the box from The Muppet Show- "Boo! That was terrible!!" And all of a sudden I want to work at ATV, circa 1978.
Surely it is people like us that these DVD's are made for? Bring back the VT clocks I say!
Was that a new gag or an old one? The Muppet Show ran from 1976 to 1981 (or so I just checked) so it's possible it was an old joke somehow...
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Re: VT clocks on Network releases

Post by Mike S »

John Cleese told a count-in clock anecdote on that TV Centre thing last night - about how the warm-up man on Python would get the audience relaxed and happy, and then everyone would immdiately tense up again because they were forced to watch this clock in complete silence. Cleese said he therefore persuaded them to take the radical step of taping the clock segment at the end of the recording rather than the start.

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Re: VT clocks on Network releases

Post by ian b »

Wasn't it he asked for it to happen, rather than it did?

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Re: VT clocks on Network releases

Post by JWG »

They're on the 'Paper Lads' set,which was released this week.

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Re: VT clocks on Network releases

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

Obviously not a time clock thing, but I was surprised recently to find that on the end of Death Drives Through (one of Network's Ealing Rarities) a series of off-cuts from the film. These are mostly captions to date the various motor races, but one is a fairly lengthy sequence in which the stereotypically overly-emotional Italian team receive and react to a encouraging telegram from Mussolini. Presumably the date type sequences were cut once they were no longer "recent," and the Mussolini segment was presumably cut a result of wartime sensibilities, but I was surprised that they were presented as separate and un-signposted off-cuts, rather than being reinstated in the film proper.
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Re: VT clocks on Network releases

Post by Mr_Wolf »

They were never part of the original exhibited film. The BBFC certifies it as 64'55" in February 1935 and Denis Gifford's British Film Catalogue has it as 63' in March of that year (Gifford is pretty much pathologically accurate so I trust this duration). Knock off 4.3% from 63' for PAL speed-up and that comes down to just over sixty minutes, which is the length it runs to on the DVD. The film transfer was sourced from material that was photochemically duped at the NFA in 1991 from the original nitrate stock and are held as negs and prints for the main feature and similar for an element labelled "cuts". The bfi also holds various film elements, with nitrate footage stock-dated from 1933/4 at 5605 feet and 62 feet (@ 90 feet/second equates to approx 62 minutes and 3/4 minute respectively). Obviously at this far remove it's impossible to say with 100% certainty but my money's on the scenes being cut in March 1935, after the censor viewing and before the trade showing and general exhibition. Death Drives Through was never re-released so there would have been no opportunity for anyone to edit the film beyond its initial exhibition as a quota quickie.
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Nick Cooper 625
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Re: VT clocks on Network releases

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

Interesting. While it seems probable that the date sequences were cut because they would have made the film seem dated (!) by the time it came out, the "Mussolini segment" is more intriguing. We know that the BBFC were quite politically sensitive in those days, to the point of not allowing unflattering portrayals of Nazism and Italian fascism (cf Pastor Hall), but while it seems they weren't bothered in the case of the rather comedic reference in Death Drives Through (which in ways reminds me of the similar Mussolini telegram in The First of the Few), maybe it was the studio/distributors who decided to lose it?
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Re: VT clocks on Network releases

Post by VintageFan »

JWG wrote:They're on the 'Paper Lads' set,which was released this week.
I notice the same recording date is given for the first three episodes!

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Re: VT clocks on Network releases

Post by JWG »

Nick Cooper 625 wrote:Interesting. While it seems probable that the date sequences were cut because they would have made the film seem dated (!) by the time it came out, the "Mussolini segment" is more intriguing. We know that the BBFC were quite politically sensitive in those days, to the point of now allowing unflattering portrayals of Nazism and Italian fascism (cf Pastor Hall), but while it seems they weren't bothered in the case of the rather comedic reference in Death Drives Through (which in ways reminds me of the similar Mussolini telegram in The First of the Few), maybe it was the studio/distributors who decided to lose it?
I've noticed in a few of the old movies I've had off Network in the sale that they have definite date-markers e.g. a close up of a photo on the wall as the boy detective ejaculates "Good Heavens! If he was around four years ago in 1931 when they were still holding the Lord Mayor's Ball,he can't have died in 1929".
It seems to me that that sort of thing would put a bit of a crimp on re-releasing films?

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