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The Microscope Mystery 1916 Print Available

PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:55 am
by Hamilton's Grandson
I see that " The Microscope Mystery (1916)" is available for purchase on ebay for the next 2 days via auction. Only 3 reels of 35 mm nitrate are available for purchase. AFI says that there were 5 reels originally. UCLA has 1 reel in their archives that is "not accessible". Looks like the reels are in good shape based on the photos. Is there public interest in viewing restorations of incomplete films?

Dana

Re: The Microscope Mystery 1916 Print Available

PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:22 am
by boblipton
Hamilton's Grandson wrote:I see that " The Microscope Mystery (1916)" is available for purchase on ebay for the next 2 days via auction. Only 3 reels of 35 mm nitrate are available for purchase. AFI says that there were 5 reels originally. UCLA has 1 reel in their archives that is "not accessible". Looks like the reels are in good shape based on the photos. Is there public interest in viewing restorations of incomplete films?

Dana


I would say it depends on the material. At Slapsticon one year, there was enormous pleasure in one of the "Rob Stone Rareties" that was one reel of one of the two-reel comedies he did for Broncho Billy Anderson.

I just checked and it was When Knights Were Cold and one reel of it played Arlington in 2010.

Bob

Re: The Microscope Mystery 1916 Print Available

PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:20 pm
by Hamilton's Grandson
Well maybe if reel 1,2 and 5 still exist , reels 3 and 4 will show up. If one of the 2 missing reels is what UCLA has and not a duplicate of any of these that exist than perhaps enough material is available to put together a near full length film. Interesting opportunity.

Re: The Microscope Mystery 1916 Print Available

PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:11 am
by goldenband
Exciting stuff! If UCLA has one of the other reels, that would turn this from a mostly-lost film to an almost-complete film. I hope this ends up in the hands of someone who can find some way to preserve it; I'd certainly be very interested in seeing the result.

Re: The Microscope Mystery 1916 Print Available

PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:14 pm
by MaryGH
Wow what a find!

It would be nice if it was preserved properly I'd be interested in seeing it.

Re: The Microscope Mystery 1916 Print Available

PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:21 pm
by Hamilton's Grandson
Actually, UCLA has reel #1 and reel #'s 2,3, and 5 are in the public domain. So, reel 1 is incomplete and missing opening title credits and reel 4 has unknown whereabouts to date. I am sure a pretty good version of the original film could be put together with 4 nearly complete reels if there is anyway to access what UCLA has. Of course, their 35mm nitrate print says "inaccessible" at the moment. There is not a lot of Constance Talmadge films out there when you look at her entire filmography by 1929.

Re: The Microscope Mystery 1916 Print Available

PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:33 pm
by MaryGH
Hamilton's Grandson wrote:Actually, UCLA has reel #1 and reel #'s 2,3, and 5 are in the public domain. So, reel 1 is incomplete and missing opening title credits and reel 4 has unknown whereabouts to date. I am sure a pretty good version of the original film could be put together with 4 nearly complete reels if there is anyway to access what UCLA has. Of course, their 35mm nitrate print says "inaccessible" at the moment. There is not a lot of Constance Talmadge films out there when you look at her entire filmography by 1929.



I wonder if any of Constance's films wound up in the hands of private collectors in CT. Her father was born in Plainville (quite literally next door to Bristol, CT where I was born and raised) and her grandparents lived in Burlington (again next door but to my town's immediate north). So as a child I was familiar with the names Constance and Norma Talmadge.

Re: The Microscope Mystery 1916 Print Available

PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:33 pm
by Hamilton's Grandson
This film (the 3 reels known to exist in public domain) was available via consignment from Texas and I did purchase the reels yesterday. I am having the 3 reels transferred to digital media from the original print so will see what can be done to allow for the public to view eventually. Constance has very few films available that are not lost. The opening reel is at UCLA so unsure how one can view this reel if their catalog says "inaccessible" and may not yet be on digital media.

The Dove 1927, that Norma is in, is missing 4 of 8 reels at LOC and I want to see how they preserved the nitrate print when I am in DC in June. I uploaded a few stills to IMDB of my grandfather who has a small part in this film so hopefully the existing reels will have him on them at LOC.

Dana

Re: The Microscope Mystery 1916 Print Available

PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:54 pm
by goldenband
Thanks for all your efforts in preserving what remains of this film. :)

Re: The Microscope Mystery 1916 Print Available

PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:44 pm
by Hamilton's Grandson
Well worth the investment to try and save this film before or turns into dust.

Thanks!

Re: The Microscope Mystery 1916 Print Available

PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:04 am
by Hamilton's Grandson
I just received the high def transfer of the 3 reels from the recently discovered film "The Microscope Mystery" 1916 and also blue ray dvd transfers of the video files. It took Debenham Group @ 3 weeks and after watching the 3 out of 5 reels, it is obvious to me that without the 1st reel that UCLA archives has, there may be a lot of editing to establish the plot since I only have reels 2,3, and 5 of the 5 total reels. I plan on meeting with the UCLA folks this summer to see if they are interested in digitizing reel 1. Maybe reel 4 will show up soon and make this a complete film.

Re: The Microscope Mystery 1916 Print Available

PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 1:35 pm
by pookybear
Great to hear you got these reels already digitally copied. Who did you use for the work? And are you please with the results?

Re: The Microscope Mystery 1916 Print Available

PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 10:36 pm
by Hamilton's Grandson
Hi Pookybear,

As mentioned in previous posts, I use Debenham Media Group near Pittsbugh, PA. Their website is: mymovietransfer.com. I used them last year on 5 short reels that Mark Hamilton was in and was impressed by the clarity and the speed options. I usually do a 1080 dpi at 16 and 24 fps so as to have both speeds. They do a lot of 8 and 16 mm transfers and have a great Ultra High Definition Rank Cintel Scanner that is not affected by 35 mm nitrate film material with broken sprockets or splices as Cintel is not like a typical projector. They do a two pass cleaning and then the transfer is put on hard drive and either DVD-R or Blue Ray or all 3 if desired.

Re: The Microscope Mystery 1916 Print Available

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 2:40 pm
by pookybear
Thank you for the information.

Re: The Microscope Mystery 1916 Print Available

PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 10:55 pm
by Hamilton's Grandson
Actually got some feedback from Todd Wiener at UCLA archives last week. They are researching the condition of reel 1 in their archives. Stay tuned. The film features a 18 year old Constance Talmadge and Monte Blue who had only been in Hollywood since 1915 when this film was produced in 1916.

Re: The Microscope Mystery 1916 Print Available

PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 10:44 am
by Mark Zimmer
Excellent. Please keep at it.

Re: The Microscope Mystery 1916 Print Available

PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 7:33 pm
by Hamilton's Grandson
I heard from Steven Hill at UCLA (Santa Clarita Nitrate vault facility) and at least they are interested in discussing Microscope Mystery with me. Will see where this leads to on getting the film to public's eye.

They recently restored "Good References" 1920 with Constance Talmadge and showed the film in March 2017 at Billy Wilder Theater with a few other titles. This 1920 film was from nitrate stock from the film archives in Prague. Hard to believe most of Microsope Mystery that survives came from someone in Texas. Point I am making,.........lost nitrate is still out there even in US we just have to find it before it turns to a sticky mess and can't be saved.

Re: The Microscope Mystery 1916 Print Available

PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:54 pm
by Hamilton's Grandson
Update:

I heard back from Steven Hill at UCLA by phone today. Seems their reel 1 of Microscope Mystery is in poorer condition than what their catalog indicates. Shrinkage of film is much worse than initially thought and their staff says it has many broken sprockets and even scotch taped frames instead of proper splicing was used to repair some of the film, so who knows who had it before donation. Will see if any of this reel's footage can be even used with the 3 reels that I had transfered by Debenham. They are big Connie Talmadge fans and presented "Good References" 1920 earlier this year and also have a print of Venus of Venice 1927 and may be bringing this out of archives in the near future.

The interesting part of the Microsocpe Mystery is it was filmed at the same time frame when Intolerance 1916 was filmed which helped launch her career.

Re: The Microscope Mystery 1916 Print Available

PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:04 pm
by Hamilton's Grandson

Re: The Microscope Mystery 1916 Print Available

PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:26 pm
by Hamilton's Grandson
After consulting with several folks including a few great people on nitrateville, I decided to donate the 3 reels of "The Microscope Mystery 1916" that I had acquired earlier this year to UCLA Film Archives vault in Santa Clarita. The decision was two fold, one I would like to see this film shown eventually at Billy Wilder Theater at an upcoming film festival just like Good References 1920 (shown 3/2017) and at the same time I have the opportunity to donate to the same archive some 35 mm nitrate footage that I have of my grandfather.

I doubt if my grandfather ever met Connie Talmadge while in Hollywood as she probably spent little time hanging around unknown character actors, but now they may end up in the same collection of donated materials in this century.

Of course, I still have copies of these reels on 1080 24 fps transfer to hard drives, but don't want any more deterioration risk of this material sitting in film cans in temperatures higher than an archive.

Dana

Re: The Microscope Mystery 1916 Print Available

PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:55 pm
by Rick Lanham
Hamilton's Grandson wrote:After consulting with several folks including a few great people on nitrateville, I decided to donate the 3 reels of "The Microscope Mystery 1916" that I had acquired earlier this year to UCLA Film Archives vault in Santa Clarita. The decision was two fold, one I would like to see this film shown eventually at Billy Wilder Theater at an upcoming film festival just like Good References 1920 (shown 3/2017) and at the same time I have the opportunity to donate to the same archive some 35 mm nitrate footage that I have of my grandfather.

Dana


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Re: The Microscope Mystery 1916 Print Available

PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:51 pm
by Hamilton's Grandson
Update:

After severe frustration with Fed Ex and the difficult process of sending nitrate film via hazardous material labelling, UCLA archives is picking up the donated materials at my office. That is a long drive from LA to Tacoma, but you have heard it before "nitrate can't wait".

Fed Ex process: Have to have the UN # for the hazardous material. Have to have someone "Certified by Fed Ex" to pack nitrate film. Have to send it Ground Express (overnite?). Have to use the proper software to download the labels with the UN # and the hazardous materials labeling has to be clearly marked on package. Have to ship it at a specific Fed EX distribution center that accepts hazardous material (very few of their locations do). Cost @ $200 vs. $20 for regular fed ex ground for the same package without the hazardous material process. Archives that only accept their nitrate donations this way are going to have hard time getting donations and will be putting alot of mileage on their archive van.

Titles I am donating to UCLA: Microscope Mystery 1916 (3 of 5 reels of 35 mm nitrate), Alice Adams 1923 (small portion of the 35mm nitrate film), The Covered Trail 1924 (400 feet of reel 4 on 16 mm), and of course 4 400 foot reels of 35 mm nitrate of Mark Hamilton studio resume footage. Hopefully, the Santa Clarita facility will preserve them in their vault for years to come.

Re: The Microscope Mystery 1916 Print Available

PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:33 am
by mclysaght
"After severe frustration with Fed Ex and the difficult process of sending nitrate film via hazardous material labelling..."

Fed Ex is following Federal government regulations on handling hazardous material. I'm retired from UPS and we had the same process.

Re: The Microscope Mystery 1916 Print Available

PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:55 am
by Hamilton's Grandson
I definitely respect hazardous material shipping regulations.

I guess my point was that the archives are finding it harder to receive materials if the shipper is not certified or trained to package and ship nitrate. Not everyone has the software needed to print the exact labels needed.

It worked out thanks to UCLA Film Archives as they drove to the NW and picked up The Microscope Mystery with the other nitrate that I donated here in Tacoma this past Saturday. Hopefully, they can combine the 1 reel they have with the 3 reels that I donated and show this film close to complete version at Billy Wilder.

Regards,
Dana

Re: The Microscope Mystery 1916 Print Available

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:23 pm
by Hamilton's Grandson
A still from the 35 mm nitrate for The Microscope Mystery 1916

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