Have any of you film collectors ever thought about the thousands of films that are stored in vaults and are never seen? What's the point of it. If it wasn't for collecting films I would never see half of them.
Robert and Vidar,
I too have wondered about that as well. As a collector of 16 mm prints,I can only imagine how many films have either been trashed (or simply destroyed) once video at TV stations became the standard. Not sure what's more criminal: Films ordered destroyed by the studios or simply rotting away in some dank vault.
I read in the Derann mag, from Derek himself, that all the prints and negs that were returned to Humphries Labs I think it was, of all
the old releases when Derann were putting out loads of stuff on std 8mm, stuff as he said may never see the light of a projector lamp again, no doubt sold to the French, who own the rights to the majority of British films through Studio Canal.
There's a film called "Abby" that was released in 1974 (one of many "Excorcist" ripoffs). Warner Brothers sued successfully and this film was pulled from theaters, but not before making a profit. But from what I've read about it, no one seems to know who the proper rights holder is now to it. Additionally, there seems to be no master print of it in existence anymore. Any copies found in contemporary format were made from poor quality 16mm prints and are probably bootlegged.
I remember that one Tim, I'm almost sure it was on Brit TV, as I know it wasn't in the cinema that I saw it. As you rightly say, the copies
of the "Exorcist" came thick and fast, remember traipsing to see "The Antichrist", made in '74 too, Morricone score. The best by far
of the take offs was ""The Omen". There are loads of films that would never have been seen again, but thanks to the purveyors of
the dreaded silver disc, the likes of Blue Underground, Anchor Bay or Redemption search out decent prints to copy from, otherwise
we would never see them at all.
Yes Hugh the unmentionable silver disc certainly has its positive side.
If it were not for IT and those companies we would not see some titles available
to purchase for private non-theatrical home use.
As for the destruction of negatives and prints it was normal practice within
the industry to make space for new releases. Film is a disposable item like toilet roll to the industry.
That was until the coming of the home video market via tape when they realised
there was a lot more profit to be had after the Cinemas had finished their runs
of these films. Of course before that there was selling of the rights to TV.
One thing is for sure with the coming of Digital Projection as the norm in Cinemas
I bet a lot more stuff has been destroyed the reason being a financial one as storage
and archival space costs big money.