Recommended Reading

Discussion in 'Books' started by williarob, Jul 23, 2017.

  1. williarob

    williarob Administrator Staff Member

    A light Affliction:


    A history of film preservation and restoration, telling the story from the earliest days of the cinema to the modern days of digital restorations. The cinema was invented in the Victorian era, but for the first four decades of its existence almost no effort was made to preserve the millions of feet of celluloid which rolled through the cameras and projectors of the world. As a result, thousands of movies were lost forever. In the 1930s, the first concerted attempts at film preservation were begun by pioneering individuals such as Iris Barry at New York's Museum of Modern Art; Ernest Lindgren at the British Film Institute, and the indomitable Henri Langlois at the Cinémathèque française, a man who performed heroics in occupied France to save the world's cinematic heritage from destruction by the Nazis. The 1980s video boom encouraged the studios finally to instigate asset protection programmes and in the digital age new methods of producing, exhibiting and restoring motion pictures emerged.
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  2. williarob

    williarob Administrator Staff Member

    A Thousand Cuts: The Bizarre Underground World of Collectors and Dealers Who Saved the Movies:


    A Thousand Cuts is a candid exploration of one of America’s strangest and most quickly vanishing subcultures. It is about the death of physical film in the digital era and about a paranoid, secretive, eccentric, and sometimes obsessive group of film-mad collectors who made movies and their projection a private religion in the time before DVDs and Blu-rays.

    The book includes the stories of film historian/critic Leonard Maltin, TCM host Robert Osborne discussing Rock Hudson’s secret 1970s film vault, RoboCop producer Jon Davison dropping acid and screening King Kong with Jefferson Airplane at the Fillmore East, and Academy Award–winning film historian Kevin Brownlow recounting his decades-long quest to restore the 1927 Napoleon. Other lesser-known but equally fascinating subjects include one-legged former Broadway dancer Tony Turano, who lives in a Norma Desmond–like world of decaying movie memories, and notorious film pirate Al Beardsley, one of the men responsible for putting O. J. Simpson behind bars.

    Authors Dennis Bartok and Jeff Joseph examine one of the least-known episodes in modern legal history: the FBI’s and Justice Department’s campaign to harass, intimidate, and arrest film dealers and collectors in the early 1970s. Many of those persecuted were gay men. Victims included Planet of the Apes star Roddy McDowall, who was arrested in 1974 for film collecting and forced to name names of fellow collectors, including Rock Hudson and Mel Tormé.

    A Thousand Cuts explores the obsessions of the colorful individuals who created their own screening rooms, spent vast sums, negotiated underground networks, and even risked legal jeopardy to pursue their passion for real, physical film.
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  3. williarob

    williarob Administrator Staff Member

    Technicolor Movies: The History of Dye Transfer Printing:


    Using research and interviews with surviving Technicolor technicians, the history of dye printing and the events leading to its demise is fully covered in this work. (The Beijing Film Laboratory is the only facility currently using the process.) Included are diagrams of how the process worked and a listing of US feature films printed with it.
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  4. williarob

    williarob Administrator Staff Member

    The Moviegoing Experience, 1968-2001:


    The experience of going to the movies, be it a single screen theater, twin, multiplex or drive-in, is affected by many different factors that have shifted over the years. Just as movies emerged from silent to talking, black and white to color, there has invariably been change in the way movies are made, copied, distributed and viewed. This change in the moviegoing experience, for better or for worse, is worth studying. This work examines the American moviegoing experience from 1968 to 2001--the way in which movies are made and regulated (including the demise of the Production Code and the emergence of the ratings system) as well as changes in lighting, cinematography and coloring techniques. The projection practices of the past and present, during and after the presence of the Projectionists Union, and the advent of the "platter," which allowed for automated projection, are discussed. How home video and cable affected the content of films after the eighties and the history of computerized special effects leading to the development of digital cinema projection are included. The work also covers the changing types of venues over the last third of a century and other aspects that affect, positively or negatively, the entire moviegoing experience.
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  5. williarob

    williarob Administrator Staff Member

    I now have three copies of this one: I bought the kindle book, which came with the Audio book for only $1.99 more (well worth it - a great reader who does a dead on impression of George Lucas, Lawrence Kasdan and Irwin Kershner, among others) and after finishing the audio book I bought the paperback because I find that much easier to leaf through when looking for quotes or a quick fact check.

    My recommendation, start with the audio book.

    The Secret History of Star Wars:


    Star Wars is one of the most important cultural phenomena of the Western world. The tale of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and the fall and redemption of Anakin Skywalker has become modern myth, an epic tragedy of the corruption of a young man in love into darkness, the rise of evil, and the power of good triumphing in the end. But it didn’t start out that way. In this thorough account of one of cinema’s most lasting works, Michael Kaminski presents the true history of how Star Wars was written, from its beginnings as a science fiction fairy tale to its development over three decades into the epic we now know, chronicling the methods, techniques, thought processes, and struggles of its creator. For this unauthorized account, he has pored through over four hundred sources, from interviews to original scripts, to track how the most powerful modern epic in the world was created, expanded, and finalized into the tale an entire generation has grown up with.
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  6. Mavimao

    Mavimao Jedi Master

    Just bought light affliction and secret history of SW. Thanks for the recommendations!
    williarob likes this.
  7. williarob

    williarob Administrator Staff Member

    Inside The Star Wars Empire by Bill Kimerlin

    Just finished this one. It's by an ILM Effects editor who actually composited that shot on the cover of the book for the film Return of the Jedi. He worked at ILM from 1982 to around 2000 and provides some interesting insight into the Lucasfilm Empire. There is a chapter on the restoration of Star Wars for the 1997 Special Edition called "The Distraction". As he tells it, the executives at Lucasfilm - personified by Rick Mcallum - didn't want Lucas to get distracted and spend a lot of money restoring his old films. While the Visual Effects department and LucasArts were thriving, the business model for the company really relied upon releasing a blockbuster film every couple of years to refill the coffers. In the 80s, there was a Star Wars or an Indiana Jones film every couple of years and this worked very well, but after a few flops (Howard The Duck, Willow, etc) the executives were pretty much insisting on a new Star Wars film, and felt that the restoration of the original trilogy was a distraction, that would cost lots of money and unlikely to make any of it back. They wanted new Star Wars films.

    According to Kimberlin, Lucas does have his own print of Star Wars - but it is one of the original answer prints, struck straight from the original negative (like our Jedi print), which means it was probably struck on Eastman stock and was therefore quite pink by 1997. This shouldn't have mattered, because separation masters had been created, and carefully stored. Since color film is prone to fading, shrinking and other chemical issues, the film can be filtered and separated into cyan, magenta and yellow light, and each stored on black and white film which lasts much longer. Then, later, all three can be recombined with red, green and blue dye to make a new color film.

    Eventually, all the original elements had been tracked down including the negatives for the original wipes and fades, and assembled into a new cut of the original 1977 version of the film.

    Anyway, it's a fascinating read, and rather more objective than most:

    GZK8000, Collipso and JasonA like this.
  8. JasonA

    JasonA Jedi Master

    Sounds like it would be a great read. Too bad it's not in Kileko's MEGA archive :( Or if it is, I couldn't find it.
  9. williarob

    williarob Administrator Staff Member

    Film Into Video, Second Edition offers comprehensive, practical information on the complex process of converting motion picture film into video. All of the tools of the trade are explained in clear, simple language, as are the operational, business, and creative sides of film to video transfer.
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  10. vexedmedia

    vexedmedia Jedi Master

    My Christmas list gets longer and longer...
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