Dark Shadows: Reincarnation Mark B. Perry Reveals the

Sequel Series That May Still Come to Life




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Messages - Gothick

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1441
Current Talk '15 I / Re: Discuss - Ep #0908
« on: April 26, 2015, 02:04:21 AM »
It's really too bad that the Paul/Elizabeth storyline was so dreadfully shortchanged at this point in the proceedings.  Today's scene between Paul, Roger and Elizabeth hints at how great it could all have been.  Sounds like the work of Violet Welles, but I haven't checked to see who the credited writer was.

G.

1442
Calendar Events / Announcements '15 I / Re: Friends of '91 DS Reunion
« on: April 21, 2015, 09:04:17 PM »
LOL, Cousin Barnabas.

Now I need to watch the Donna episode again.

G.

1443
Current Talk '22 I / Re: Yet Another New Slideshow
« on: April 21, 2015, 04:12:41 AM »
Here's an interesting review of the DVD issue of DS 91, written by retired film editor David Ice and posted on Amazon.

G.

After reading all the comments about this DVD set, I was very curious to see for myself. I am a retired sound editor (I worked for years on M*A*S*H and over 65 feature films) and was intimately involved in post production for television for many years. I would like to add my own comments.

First of all, the letterbox anamorphic 16x9 transfer is a construct for this DVD release. The series was shot, in 1990-91, in the 4x3 aspect ratio. However, all framing was composed for "TV Safe" which is the safe title area. If you crop a TV Safe picture vertically, you get 16x9 almost exactly. What you get on this transfer is what was considered essential during prime photography. Uncropped vertical picture area is just icing on the cake. What you see is what Dan Curtis and MGM deemed absolutely essential. Credits are presented in the 4x3 aspect ration, but if you watch closely there are title and credit elements that push the far boundries of TV Safe, which is why they are presented that way rather can cut off any copyright notices, studio ownership warnings, etc.

In terms of the day for night photography, I double checked the DVD off of my off-the-air SVHS recordings, which I recorded during the original broadcast. They are very, very close.

One must bear in mind that the broadcast technology of the time requred the studios to turn over a 35mm low contrast positive composite print of the show, which was transferred to NTSC video standard. The dynamic range of the telecine and broadcast bandwidth was much more limited than they are now. Simply compare, say, current episodes of CSI and Dark Shadows....and Dark Shadows almost looks like high-key sitcom lighting! For example, the scene where Daphne Collins walks through Collinsport just before Barnabas' first attack is so brightly lit it's comical--but this was the norm for TELEVISION filming at the time, not theatrical. The excellent day-for-night filming on House of Dark Shadows would not transfer over to a broadcast without significant print re-timing for broadcast standards. Nowdays, with HDTV and digital broadcasting, the dynamic range is much larger and almost feature film latitude. But in the 90's the broadcast spectrum was limited and both sound and color dynamics had to be intensely limited. (If you want another comparison, look at an original episode of Bonanza...the colors are almost exclusively pastel (no bright reds, greens, blues) because color broadcast simply could not handle intense primary colors.)

Another thing to remember about the film grain, etc., is that the series was shot and designed for the average 25 to 30" television of the time period. Higher speed film (and dubious Metrocolor processing!) was used to speed production and cut costs. Day for night filming was used because 1) it was cheaper and 2) far less time consuming than filming endless "magic hour" shots at dusk. With a vampire series, it would be utterly impractical to do endless night shoots plus daytime soundstage work (when do the actors and crew sleep?) so shooting day-for-night and timing the print slightly dark blue was a necessary cheat.

Yes, MGM could have timed the print darker for the DVD...but that would have necessitated reprinting/retiming nearly 50,000 feet of 35mm film, probably off a faded, scratched negative that had not been archivally preserved. (Few TV shows ever are!)

And we must realize that Dark Shadows is a niche market...we're not talking Desperate Housewives here...in terms of thousands of DVD units sold.

So all things considered, I'm glad we've got a reasonably timed/fairly accurate color/fairly scratch-free answer print to watch--in all probability, the same physical film that was originally broadcast on NBC. I'm encouraged that any elements were preserved at all--especially the stereo soundtrack. You would be appalled at how many "classic" television shows exist now only in 16mm versions, their original 35mm elements long gone.

I will agree that some DVD extras would have been worthwhile, and perhaps that will come in time. But considering that this transfer is clear enough to see the dirt on the opticals I'm convinced that this is the best transfer we could hope for, barring a full-blown digital restoration.

David Ice

1444
Calendar Events / Announcements '15 I / Re: Friends of '91 DS Reunion
« on: April 18, 2015, 02:40:11 PM »
I thought Donna was a fun character.  Until the end, of course.  I kind of related to her because she wanted a taste of that dark wolvish Chris.

G.

1445
Calendar Events / Announcements '15 I / Re: Peter Lombard 1935 - 2015
« on: April 15, 2015, 02:57:33 AM »
Thanks for posting this.  Peter Lombard etched a definitive portrait as Oberon in a few scenes in two episodes.  I was sorry he was not able to return for the later episode in which one of "themselves" appears.

G.

1446
Current Talk '15 I / Re: Murky Memory - Question
« on: April 14, 2015, 12:11:16 AM »
The storyline occurred, if I recall correctly, because Dennis Patrick had to go shoot a film.  A lot of actors on DS worked without a contract, and if DCP had no contract with Dennis Patrick, there would have been no legal obligation to keep him from walking out before the Paul Stoddard storyline in Leviathans had reached its conclusion.

This led eventually to one of the most ridiculous moments in all DS production history... but that is another topic for another time...

cheers, G.

1447
I just tried to check a detail in the interview, and the page appears now to be offline.  The webmaster may be working on the site again.

G.

1448
Calendar Events / Announcements '15 I / OT: Seance Day '67
« on: April 05, 2015, 01:16:59 AM »
There's a series of compilations of obscure, neglected and rare pop tracks, mostly from the 1966-71 period, called FADING YELLOW.  Listening through one of the discs today, I came across, this A side from 1967, "Seance Day," by Gaitley and Fitzgerald (otherwise unknown):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFIW-JSMzJI

The lyrics and general feel definitely made me think of DS, although as we all know, the selection on the Blue Whale jukebox was limited and, by the standards of the day, distinctly dated.

G.

1449
Calendar Events / Announcements '15 I / Interview with Joe Caldwell
« on: April 04, 2015, 05:32:37 PM »
Fans,

I found this interview with Joe Caldwell on a Strange Paradise website.  But there's quite a bit from Joe here about his time on DS:

http://www.strangeparadise.net/writerinterviews_caldwell.html

I wish more had been said in the interview about Cornelius Crane.  He wrote the best episodes of the entire series of SP.  Bob Costello was responsible for bringing Crane in.  I can't help wondering if Crane was a pseudonym adopted by Violet Welles... His writing has a similar calibre and attention to nuance, atmosphere, and psychodynamic use of character.

G.

1450
Calendar Events / Announcements '15 I / Re: Dark Shadows media blog
« on: March 21, 2015, 12:06:23 AM »
Really nice work on the site, Arashi.

Best wishes,

Gothick

1451
Current Talk '15 I / Re: Plotlines that ended up going nowhere
« on: March 20, 2015, 02:51:31 AM »
Frederick Thorne was mentioned in this thread.  I guess I am mis-remembering that he was one of Quentin's alternate identities, assumed during his long life... the identity before Grant, I guess is what I had thought.

The most blatant example that comes to mind at the moment of plotline buildups that went nowhere was Gerard as the master of a savage crew of pirates aboard the Java Queen.  I think there was even mention in 1970 of Daphne and Gerard having forbidden trysts aboard the ship.  Presumably during the long weekend when they had to plot the 1840 storyline, they quickly realized that trying to stage all this in the studio would have been impossible.

G.

1452
Calendar Events / Announcements '15 I / Re: Emory Bass 1925 - 2015
« on: March 11, 2015, 08:27:01 PM »
Mr. Best has gone down the great hall off the lobby between the worlds.

May Emory Bass know true peace.  He was a wonderful actor.

G.

1453
Calendar Events / Announcements '15 I / Re: Penny Dreadful
« on: March 07, 2015, 04:20:11 AM »
New Season 2 preview featurette here:

http://www.tvguide.com/news/penny-dreadful-season-2-trailer/

Looks as if this is going to be a very Witchy story...

G.

1454
Calendar Events / Announcements '15 I / Re: Penny Dreadful
« on: March 05, 2015, 02:30:24 AM »
Here's a link for the first batch of posters:

http://www.blastr.com/2015-3-3/theres-no-rest-wicked-7-new-penny-dreadful-season-2-character-posters

A second batch was released today, and I think the link for the story should be posted on the page above, if you scroll down.

G.

1455
Calendar Events / Announcements '15 I / Re: Penny Dreadful
« on: March 04, 2015, 03:03:09 AM »
Have you seen the new posters for season 2, MB?  There's one of Josh that's quite... memorable...

It's the artistry. Yeah, that's the ticket.  The dramatic artistry.

cheers, G.

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