Color Kinescopes?

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realist
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Color Kinescopes?

Unread post by realist » Fri May 10, 2013 6:48 pm

Does any have a good handle on the number of Color Kinescopes that survived from the golden age of TV?

earlytalkie
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Re: Color Kinescopes?

Unread post by earlytalkie » Sat May 11, 2013 9:49 am

I've never seen a color kinescope, I don't doubt that the networks, probably mostly NBC did some. I have some old Dinah Shore Shows from NBC, originally in color, but on b/w kine. Identified as done in the "kine-photo" process. I've heard of some b/w kinescopes which, when screened through a special mechanical filter, will appear in color. This filter was also employed in front of standard b/w sets to produce a color effect. I don't know if it worked very well, since there are few accounts of this "bargain-basement" alternative to real electronic color TV. This sounds more bizzare to me than the colorization process used these days. About the best quality kinescopes I've seen were the ones done from The Judy Garland Show (1963-64-CBS). These showed little of the distortion of image common to these films. They were supplanted by video from the original tape masters years ago when this series was issued on DVD, but you can see the kinescopes in the program "Judy Garland-The Concert Years", a 1985 PBS special currently available on DVD from Kultur Home Video. (An excellent compilation of Judy's work taken mostly from The Judy Garland Show and her TV specials).

Paul Penna
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Re: Color Kinescopes?

Unread post by Paul Penna » Sat May 11, 2013 10:29 am

The mechanical spinning color wheel system it sounds like you're describing was the CBS color system that lost out to RCA's all-electronic NTSC system. The color kinescopes using black-and-white film was a lenticular system similar to the first Kodacolor film. Apparently some of those still survive, but I'm unsure whether any have been transferred ino color.

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Jack Theakston
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Re: Color Kinescopes?

Unread post by Jack Theakston » Sat May 11, 2013 1:40 pm

Not very many lenticular color kinescopes survive—they were done in 35mm only, and the few that do don't justify the cost of having them transferred (you have to optically print to film and THEN transfer to video from the new negative).

A number of color kines were made starting in the '53-'54 season on Eastman or Kodachrome. A few of them survive—there's the second half of a Dinah/first half of Perry Como show that exists. As you get later into the '50s, the number of extant kines grow.
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realist
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Re: Color Kinescopes?

Unread post by realist » Sat May 11, 2013 10:11 pm

Example of color kinescope from the 1960's
http://youtu.be/aFcs-oM6WKI


BenModel
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Re: Color Kinescopes?

Unread post by BenModel » Sat May 11, 2013 11:37 pm

The Jan 1957 "Silent Show" that Ernie Kovacs did on NBC survives in a color kinescope. It's on the first DVD set we put out in 2010.

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Darren Nemeth
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Re: Color Kinescopes?

Unread post by Darren Nemeth » Tue May 14, 2013 11:45 am

I have a color one from the late 60s.
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coolcatdaddy
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Re: Color Kinescopes?

Unread post by coolcatdaddy » Wed May 29, 2013 5:21 am

I've seen the color Kovacs special on the Kovacs dvd set that came out a few years back.

I was wondering if this was an Eastmancolor print or one of the lenticular color kinescopes. I've heard it was the latter.

When NBC had their big anniversary back in the mid-1970s and did several specials to mark the event, they included clips of the Kovacs special in color. It might be the case that some of the lenticular color kinescopes were transferred to videotape back then when they still had a setup to do it. Perhaps some of these 70s transfers are still around?

Color kinescopes weren't unusual in the late 60s and early 70s. I recall that CBS made several of news and educational programs they produced, like "You Are There", and distributed them to schools. Some of the otherwise lost Carson "Tonight Shows" survive in cut-down color versions that were made for Armed Forces Television.

The lenticular process wasn't exactly like CBS's color wheel system used for tv. The print was processed like black and white film, but had a lenticular pattern on it that would show up in color when a special filter was used on the lens to project it. Kodak developed it as a less expensive way for the networks to make color kinescopes during the period when color videotape hadn't been developed yet. I've heard that it's hard to tell that you've got a print of a lenticular color kinescope unless you examine it closely for the pattern, so there might be some in archives or collections that aren't identified as such.

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Spiny Norman
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Re: Color Kinescopes?

Unread post by Spiny Norman » Wed May 29, 2013 6:27 am

coolcatdaddy wrote:The lenticular process wasn't exactly like CBS's color wheel system used for tv. The print was processed like black and white film, but had a lenticular pattern on it that would show up in color when a special filter was used on the lens to project it. Kodak developed it as a less expensive way for the networks to make color kinescopes during the period when color videotape hadn't been developed yet. I've heard that it's hard to tell that you've got a print of a lenticular color kinescope unless you examine it closely for the pattern, so there might be some in archives or collections that aren't identified as such.
On British telerecordings (=kinescopes) something similar happened by accident. Most b/w films of colour programs have tiny little dots that represent colour information. Some years ago someone figured out a way to get back the colour using those "chroma dots" from a high resolution scan of the film. They've since used it on Dad's Army and Are you being served? episodes. Quite nifty, I think.
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Jack Theakston
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Re: Color Kinescopes?

Unread post by Jack Theakston » Wed May 29, 2013 2:40 pm

The existing color Kovacs shows that are out there were from Kodachrome originals.

I spoke to David Crosthwait (DC Video are one of the only places that do lenticular transfers) about this several years ago. My understanding was that what Edie Adams thought might have been lenticulars were, in fact, B&W. However, I know some of Jerry Lewis' color shows and Milton Berle's shows exist as lenticulars.
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Gary Lacher
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Re: Color Kinescopes?

Unread post by Gary Lacher » Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:01 pm

I understand that the Library of Congress obtained almost 18,000 hours (yes) of original kinescopes and tapes of the NBC archives. Maybe they have something, since NBC was doing many color live shows in the late 1950's.

Jay Salsberg
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Re: Color Kinescopes?

Unread post by Jay Salsberg » Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:23 am

Alpha Video's DVD of THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (1956, Matinee Theatre) appears to have been mastered from a color kinescope. The color is so faded that most of the print looks b/w, but ocassionally a bright red (Eduardo Cianelli's jacket, iirc) will pop up out of nowhere.

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Re: Color Kinescopes?

Unread post by BenModel » Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:16 am

coolcatdaddy wrote:I've seen the color Kovacs special on the Kovacs dvd set that came out a few years back.

I was wondering if this was an Eastmancolor print or one of the lenticular color kinescopes. I've heard it was the latter.
I believe the 16mm color kine on the "Silent Show" is Kodachrome, not Eastmancolor, and the color element was mute. The audio was sourced from a B&W kine that Edie had saved. The restoration was done by UCLA several years ago. (Sorry, just caught this question.)

Edie always said she had lenticular film, but I've never found it, and the only 35mm kine material in the Ediad collection is B&W.

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Re: Color Kinescopes?

Unread post by jeffm » Sun Nov 10, 2013 10:05 pm

Around 1970, Vidtronics, a division of Technicolor, developed a color kinescope process. To help promote it, they financed the production of a low-budget thriller, THE RESURRECTION OF ZACHARY WHEELER, starring Leslie Nielsen. It had a limited theatrical release, then was widely available in 16mm. The quality wasn't bad, but still looked like a "kinnie."

The Vidtronics process or something similar was used to make 16mm generic promos sent to local stations for variety shows like Carol Burnett, Sonny and Cher, etc; and sometimes also used to shoot quick PSA's with these and other TV stars.

Richard Wirth
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Re: Color Kinescopes?

Unread post by Richard Wirth » Tue Dec 31, 2013 1:46 am

I just downloaded Ernie Kovacs' "Silent Show" from Amazon. The quality is considerably better than the You Tube segments currently online, particularly the soundtrack.

Since the You Tube videos were taken from "NBC: The First Fifty Years" anniversary special from 1976, I'm wondering if the DVD version used different source material?

If the color video didn't originate with the Lenticular film process, then where might it have originated?

Thanks and great job!
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Re: Color Kinescopes?

Unread post by BenModel » Tue Dec 31, 2013 1:07 pm

The color "Silent Show" seen on the DVD is the restoration done by UCLA Film & TV in 2000, which was done after the NBC show from 1976. I do not know specs on this, but I would imagine that (digital) technology available in 1999-2000 surpasses whatever was around in 1976. The color kine does have sound, but Edie's B&W kine was accessed by UCLA for its audio, presumably because of better quality. One can only imagine what this could look and sound like if done again now with 2014 digital tech, with a 2K or HD scan of the color and a digitally-cleaned-up audio from the Ediad kine…

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David Alp
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Re: Color Kinescopes?

Unread post by David Alp » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:23 pm

earlytalkie wrote:I've never seen a color kinescope, I don't doubt that the networks, probably mostly NBC did some. I have some old Dinah Shore Shows from NBC, originally in color, but on b/w kine. Identified as done in the "kine-photo" process. I've heard of some b/w kinescopes which, when screened through a special mechanical filter, will appear in color. This filter was also employed in front of standard b/w sets to produce a color effect. I don't know if it worked very well, since there are few accounts of this "bargain-basement" alternative to real electronic color TV. This sounds more bizzare to me than the colorization process used these days. About the best quality kinescopes I've seen were the ones done from The Judy Garland Show (1963-64-CBS). These showed little of the distortion of image common to these films. They were supplanted by video from the original tape masters years ago when this series was issued on DVD, but you can see the kinescopes in the program "Judy Garland-The Concert Years", a 1985 PBS special currently available on DVD from Kultur Home Video. (An excellent compilation of Judy's work taken mostly from The Judy Garland Show and her TV specials).

Wow, very interesting! All of the above is correct... ALL of Judy Garland's master tapes of her 26 episodes of "The Judy Garland Show" (1963/64) were found in a loft/garage in New York I believe? They were snugly tucked away and probably hidden in the mid sixties by Sid Luft?? (her husband) and then found in the late 1990's. As late as 1969 (the year Judy died), Judy still had no idea where her master tapes were.... In a March 1969 interview from Denmark she said "I don't even know where my 26 tapes are? I was just used for money! They used my voice but never paid me!"... The tapes were in excellent condition; Sid was still alive at the time (in the 90's), and he actually colourized quite a few of the shows using the new colourization process that was also used with "She" (1935). Prior to that all we had were the Kinescopes. But the original master tapes have now all been released on DVD, along with out-takes etc.

The sad thing is, is that in 1955, (eight years earlier), Judy did a magnificent "Special", (also) called "The Judy Garland Show" - but it was just a "one off" 90 minute thing; and it was sponsored by "The Ford Star Jubilee" and was the very FIRST "Ford Star Jubilee" programme..... Anyway, it was broadcast live, (because in those early days of TV, most programmes were broadcast live), and in New York it was broadcast live in colour!! Obviously in California it was NOT broadcast live due to the time difference; so California just got a B&W Kinescope, which I've always thought was a bit unfair!

But the tragic thing about this whole 90 minute "Ford Star Jubilee - The Judy Garland Show Special" is that it only exists now on a faded Black and White Kinescope!! The colour was never preserved?? I cannot understand this?? All the effort and money to put on a colour spectacular, and then NOT to preserve it on tape/35mm was just terrible in my opinion! Here is a clip of "The Palace Medley" that Judy did that night live. It would have been in colour originally.


JFK
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George + Gracie/Jack in Color, though not Kinescope

Unread post by JFK » Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:45 am

Last edited by JFK on Wed Oct 05, 2016 12:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.

jeffm
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Re: Color Kinescopes?

Unread post by jeffm » Sun Jan 04, 2015 1:59 pm

I remember the Vidtronics color kinescope process, another company using the same or a similar system was called Image Transform. One characteristic I seem to recall was that it tended to exaggerate an actor's skin tone one way or the other. In a commercial for some detergent, Arthur Godfrey's face was Porky-Pig-pink; while in a PSA, Cher appeared to be made of polished copper.

Like B/W kinescopes, there were occasional blurred or double images, but I recall the process generally working quite well. "Resurrection of Zachary Wheeler" is a not-bad movie in general, low budget but a solid script and good performances. They used the Madison Productions team from "Death Valley Days" as their crew.

The book "Say Goodnight, Gracie!" by Cheryl Blythe and Susan Sackett tells how the color Burns & Allen show was nearly sabotaged by an inexperienced sound man who accidentally recorded the entire show with the "wild" motor setting instead of the "sync" setting. George Burns's film editor Larry Heath and an RCA engineer spent two days around the clock re-syncing the track one word at a time because they didn't want George to know about the screw-up!

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