Sunday, June 17, 2012

Testing! One! Two! Three!

Dear Friends, Fans and Readers,

I recently discovered that Google Analytics was keeping track of visitors to this blog on a handy graph and - surprise - I have a lot more readers than I knew about!  Thank you for checking back weekly!  I will endeavor to post something of interest every weekend, which won't be hard with all the rare films coming along.

My focus continues to be on the Lost and Rare series as discussed in recent blog entries, but there is always more to discover.  I now have DVDs of Lost TV Pilots and Sports Immortals in stock from our duplicator for immediate delivery.  These are not only authored DVDs with menus and introductions before the films, but they have bar codes and are shrink wrapped.  In short, professional in every sense.  They are for sale at Movies Unlimited,, my lostandrare website and will shortly be offered by Alpha Video.  We are looking for a sports retailer to sell Sports Immortals online.

I have a new Festival Films logo as shown above, designed by Pete Bedell, that is animated at the head of each DVD before the introduction continues into Lost and Rare Film & Video Treasures.  You can view this opening at beginning of the film clip below.  In fact, and I believe it's unusual, we have brief prevue films at the website of all 10 films on the first 2 DVDs.

So far we are mainly collecting short subjects -- cartoons, TV shows, Industrial films, vintage documentaries, advertising films, theatrical shorts and commercials.  Collections of vintage shorts are relatively scarce on DVD.  "We" refers to me (Ron Hall), Bob Campbell and Derek Myers.  Upcoming films are so fascinating we feel putting them together in thematic releases will find a large and growing audience.

Lost and Rare are the key words.  We will include a few films each time that most fans have never seen or heard of before, like episodes of Top Secret (1954) that feature the first computer to play a role on TV.  Other criteria for inclusion are TV episodes that are not out on DVD, films with better quality or more complete versions of films presumed lost for years.  An example of rare TV is The Drug Pushers episode of Martin Kane Private Eye.  An example of better quality is a rare Kodachrome print of a Judge Roy Bean and a more complete film is Felix in The Bone Age.

While filling early orders for Volumes 1 and 2, we are conducting a beta test to answer many questions about where we are and what comes next.  We are asking questions such as...

determine suitable amount of content for future volumes ­­ 5 films, 10 films, more? 
decide if future volumes should remain single disc, 2 discs, more?  
determine ideal price points? 
decide the ideal release pattern – 2 volumes released monthly ­­ quarterly?  
find wisdom and guidance how best to tailor the series for educational markets. 
develop creative partnerships with existing archives that share a similar mission. 
explore potential sponsorship branding opportunities.
explore potential for grants or in­kind help with film restoration work. 
explore how the DVD series might be adapted for a TV and/or Webcast market. 
explore potential theatrical venues for some of the collections. 
explore on demand and streaming video platforms. 
develop distributor partnerships beyond Movies Unlimited and 

Lloyd Nolan as Martin Kane
"The Dope Pushers"
In short, we are sharing the website, the Lost & Rare concept and video clips with all interested parties, asking them these kinds of questions and getting valuable feedback.  If you have any answers, ideas or guidance, please email me at

One discovery last week was the need to change the name of an upcoming release.  While one can't copyright a title, I had overlooked that Bruce Simon at KineVideo already had an established series called "Prehistoric TV."  After ruminating a spell, Prehistoric transformed into Primeval Television, and primeval is actually a better word since it is more mysterious and does not conjure up dinosaurs or cavemen. Primeval: "...of or relating to the earliest ages."

Last week I added to the website descriptions and film clips for Primeval Television.  This page is a work in progress -- Coming Soon.  We have the films that we show excerpts of, but are working to secure others equally as exciting and rare.  Changes and additions will show up on that web page right up until release in the fall.

Enjoy this opening from Top Secret that we bet you have never seen.  These 12 minute stories (!) starring Gena Rowlands and Paul Stewart were designed so two could run in a half-hour segment.  Here is how the computer - AMIC - is used in a typical story - The Lost Child.  A grieving scientist who has recently lost her son disappears.  A BSI agent phones headquarters to ask AMIC where to look.  Later they ask AMIC how to restore her sanity so she can report to a conference.  The answers are surprising and the resolution is quick (remember, 12 minute shows).

Many pages at the website announce "If you have a lost or rare cartoon, short, newsreel, TV show, war documentary or movie on film (except 8mm), please contact us.  We may be interested in licensing your content for our series."  So if you do, then please do that!  Email me at

Visit my websites at Lost & Rare and Festival Films.

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