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Old 08-15-2011, 07:18 PM   #1
Robert Siegel Robert Siegel is offline
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Default The Silver Screen column discussion

This is where we will discuss columns of "The Silver Screen."

Several times I have been asked how the idea for this column came about, and why it is presented as it is. So I thought I'd share a bit about the making of one of these columns.

I have loved movies ever since I was a child. My grandfather worked in the film business for years, for RKO, then Universal and also Rothstein Theaters of Canada. My mother was from Winnipeg, Manitoba and worked for RKO in the offices and Paramount as an editor. I have always been fascinated by movie advertising and publicity, and started my collection when I was about 10. Since then the collection has grown to a point where I now have about 24,000 pieces of memorabilia. At one point I almost sold it, but then I decided in 1994 to print the magazine "Movies on Laserdisc." which was a 110 page glossy magazine with some color pages but all movie advertising and publicity. Unfortunately it was shortly after that laserdisc died due to DVD. I then did some writing for the Minneapolis Star/Tribune, and did some classic reviewing for Widescreen Review magazine. I then decided to sell the collection again, but along came the internet. Since then I have written for and had wonderful experiences at The DVD File and The Digital Bits (my columns are under their archives), and now here I am at Blu-ray.com

When I was deciding how to present this column, I had two basic choices. One was to present a history of the movie the same way every other website does. But I wanted to retain the old-time Hollywood spirit and feel of going to the movies when they were released. I decided the best way to do this was to present what the public would have been reading at the time of the film's release (as well as additional updated material), graphics and information that you cannot find on many (if any) sites on the web. It's a new way of presenting these films on the internet with information released by the studios at the time of release.. Not many people have older newspapers or access to any of this material anymore except major collectors or limited libraries. So this format was developed on purpose and the hyperbole is meant to be there. That simply was classic Hollywood.

A good example is the release on Blu-ray of a classic movie, let's use South Pacific as an example. Almost all classic connoisseurs want the film released on disc as close to the original theatrical presentation as possible. This was my angle for the column from the beginning. The posters would have been seen outside the theater, the lobby cards inside, the advertisements in the newspaper, interviews in the movie magazines and so on.

Now on editing and designing this column...Let's take South Pacific again. I had no publicity materials for the Broadway production and had to do research including talking to the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization. A good part of this column is about the Broadway version. I also talked to Fox about the remastering that was done, another large section. Fox also helped me with historical material. I also explain the Todd-AO process, something I put together myself from a vast amount of historical materials and current information on the film format and talking to several industry experts on the subject. There is a section on how the film was promoted, which was not in the original publicity materials, and finally the release and premiere information, grosses and boxoffice intake and remakes (TV South Pacific) which is also not part of any studio press. So I combine the collectibles/promotion material with the other information available and by requesting it.

I then take and scan every poster and ad in my collection for that movie and digitally correct them to take out dozens of crease and fold marks, spots and wear and fading that has occurred throughout the years so that every graphic looks as close to perfect as I can get it. Contrast almost always has to be increased a bit due to fading. You would be surprised how poor some of these graphics looked before I "remastered" them. But then again some are 50-60 years old and I have not used some of them in over 30 years. They are stored in a temperature-controlled environment. You may notice that even the column logo (with the marquee) always contains the original film logo (Typeface) to simulate what would be seen on the marquee of the theater if you were going to a big city engagement of the film and standing outside the theater.

I hope this gives readers who have inquired a small background into how my work evolved into The Silver Screen column and some of the sources for the material and why I use the format I do..

I hope you are all enjoying the column. This is the place to discuss any of the Silver Screen columns.

--------

Silver Screen Columns

12 Angry Men http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=7921
American Pie http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=8343
Anatomy of a Murder http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=8233
Ben Hur http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=7408
Big Country (The) http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=7760
The Blues Brothers http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=6937
Boeing Boeing http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=8163
Charade http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=7145
Chinatown http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=8394
Citizen Kane http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=7303
Close Encounters of the Third Kind http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=7977
Crack in the World/ Damnation Alley http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=6740
Demetrius and the Gladiators http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=8290
Dumbo http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=7557
Egyptian (The) http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=6811
Footloose http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=7505
Fox and the Hound (The) http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=6979
Grand Prix http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=6537
It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=8120
Jurassic Park http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=8186
King of Kings http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=7939
Kiss Me Deadly http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=6691
Le Mans http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=6473
Marriage Italian Style http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=6437
Misfits (The) http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=6354
Mutiny on the Bounty http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=7691
My Fair Lady http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=7697
National Lampoon's Animal House http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=6905
Notorious http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=8073
Once Upon a Time in the West http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=6245
Papillon http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=6513
Psycho http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=7644
Rocky Horror Picture Show (The) http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=7605
Scarface http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=7236
South Pacific http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=7032
Star Wars http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=7341
Stars and Stripes Forever http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=7855
Superman: The Movie http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=6588
Ten Commandments (The) http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=6005
To Kill a Mockingbird http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=8092

Last edited by Robert Siegel; 03-22-2012 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:47 PM   #2
oyboe oyboe is offline
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Robert, you do a great job with this column. What's coming up next?
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Old 08-16-2011, 04:59 AM   #3
Robert Siegel Robert Siegel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oyboe View Post
Robert, you do a great job with this column. What's coming up next?
Thanks for the compliment.

Of course, some of the upcoming columns will remain a "surprise." but I can tell you I have already been working on Scarface and Charade, and possible titles include King of Kings, The Sound of Music, The Music Man, 2001 A Space Odyssey, Forbidden Planet, Star Wars, The Magnificent Seven series, Doctor Zhivago, Battle of the Bulge, Green Berets and among many others. It all depends on the materials available and the timing. For instance, this holiday would be a great time to cover "White Christmas." And of course upcoming Blu-rays such as My Fair Lady, West Side Story and Ben Hur.

I am open to suggestions about titles you would like to see covered, but they must have been released or be scheduled for Blu-ray release.
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:20 AM   #4
Daigoro Daigoro is offline
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i only signed up recently, so i just started reading the column with in the last few weeks. so far im enjoying it very much.

definitly have to go back and read some of the previous entries. im also looking forward to a lot of the upcoming columns you listed. some really great films there. cant wait for the Charade column.
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:57 PM   #5
dexter_r dexter_r is offline
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Robert,

You're absolutely terrific writer! Reading your writing on cinema is truly existing and inspiring!
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Old 08-16-2011, 11:36 PM   #6
oyboe oyboe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Siegel View Post
Thanks for the compliment.

Of course, some of the upcoming columns will remain a "surprise." but I can tell you I have already been working on Scarface and Charade, and possible titles include King of Kings, The Sound of Music, The Music Man, 2001 A Space Odyssey, Forbidden Planet, Star Wars, The Magnificent Seven series, Doctor Zhivago, Battle of the Bulge, Green Berets and among many others. It all depends on the materials available and the timing. For instance, this holiday would be a great time to cover "White Christmas." And of course upcoming Blu-rays such as My Fair Lady, West Side Story and Ben Hur.

I am open to suggestions about titles you would like to see covered, but they must have been released or be scheduled for Blu-ray release.
Wow, really looking forward to these. How about the original Planet of the Apes and Back to the Future?
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Old 08-17-2011, 04:16 PM   #7
Ron Pulliam Ron Pulliam is offline
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Your columns are refreshingly retro and historically important. Your collection is amazing, and I truly enjoy spending time going over all the illustrations and text.
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Old 08-17-2011, 05:14 PM   #8
R3P0 R3P0 is offline
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Have to ask Robert what ever happened to the followup to Superman the Movie, I enjoyed the first one but have yet to see Superman II especially with the drama that surrounded the production of the movie. It would be nice to see the conclusion of that movie coming full circle especially with Warners release of the RIchard Donner Cut.

PS: Keep it up man With all the high profile rleases coming up I can see good things for the column.
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:46 PM   #9
Robert Siegel Robert Siegel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R3P0 View Post
Have to ask Robert what ever happened to the followup to Superman the Movie, I enjoyed the first one but have yet to see Superman II especially with the drama that surrounded the production of the movie. It would be nice to see the conclusion of that movie coming full circle especially with Warners release of the RIchard Donner Cut.

PS: Keep it up man With all the high profile rleases coming up I can see good things for the column.
What happened is that after I did Superman, there were titles coming out that I needed to cover, and I also had patrial columns finished on some others. Rest assured I have the material pulled for Superman 2 and it will be coming.
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:50 PM   #10
Robert Siegel Robert Siegel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oyboe View Post
Wow, really looking forward to these. How about the original Planet of the Apes and Back to the Future?
I am hoping to gain access to some rare materials on Planet of the Apes, so I put that aside until that falls into place. Thanks for the suggestion on Back to the Future, I'll add it to my list of possible columns.

Keep in mind that most of my collection is from movies made around 1945-1980 and I have the most material from 1945-1970, so I need to find some of the materials for the more popular titles after the 70's. I am currently working on setting up contacts with the studios who may be able to help with this.
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:52 PM   #11
Robert Siegel Robert Siegel is offline
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Diagoro, Ron and Dexter, thanks for the wonderful comments, I am so pleased you are enjoying my work.
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Old 08-17-2011, 10:03 PM   #12
Penton-Man Penton-Man is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Siegel View Post
I am open to suggestions about titles you would like to see covered, but they must have been released or be scheduled for Blu-ray release.
Your column is always a joy to read ….even when I’m near delirious.
To Whom It May Concern - The offers/inquires are appreciated; however, I no longer work only for perks from studio-based home entertainment companies.

Click on this to Learn how to HELP by simply texting
http://forum.blu-ray.com/showpost.ph...ostcount=11973
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Old 08-17-2011, 10:41 PM   #13
Pirate King Pirate King is offline
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Robert, Thank you so much for your time and knowledge. You have made some of my favorite films come to life in a new way. I always look forward to your Silver Screen columns. Again, thanks !!!
Drink up, me arties, Yo Ho……

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Old 08-17-2011, 11:34 PM   #14
R3P0 R3P0 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Siegel View Post
What happened is that after I did Superman, there were titles coming out that I needed to cover, and I also had patrial columns finished on some others. Rest assured I have the material pulled for Superman 2 and it will be coming.
Its cool man, keep it up I enjoy the columns there a very interesting retrospective take on things. Long as its coming I will patiently wait for it. And on the positive side at least you know people thoroughly do enjoy them.

Aside from Superman II ... Pulp Fiction lol I cant wait for an article on that movie! And I do hope Sept 16 you got a Star Wars article ready that would be AWESOME!
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:09 PM   #15
Rinzler Rinzler is offline
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Star Wars and White Christmas would be great reads. When Indy makes it to Blu one for those films would be great. Awesome job so far!
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:31 PM   #16
Robert Siegel Robert Siegel is offline
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Only a day or two until the Charade column. Writing about the film has been a pleasure. I had never read many of the materials I had on this film and discovered some great information and some rare graphics including some very different international poster art, some very modern for its time.

Maybe you could share some of your experiences with Charade here. It's always great to hear from people who saw the film when it was released and where.
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Old 08-24-2011, 11:12 PM   #17
The Krouser The Krouser is offline
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When I see a new "The Silver Screen", I'm like a kid on Christmas Morning! The great thing is, if it's a movie I have seen a dozen times, the story is something I can relate too, and learn some new facts about a favorite movie . . . but, and this is the best, if it's a movie I have not seen, and the way that Robert presents his vast knowledge and information, then it becomes a movie that I can't wait to see! Thanks again for sharing your love of the movies with all of us! OK, maybe in the next few weeks, it will be Christmas Morning again!!! And by the way, I don't care what movie you write about next, they are ALL interesting!
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:51 PM   #18
Cinemave Cinemave is offline
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I'm hoping you'll consider doing one on Ben-Hur as we get close to the release date in September. It has to be one of the most important releases this year!
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinemave View Post
I'm hoping you'll consider doing one on Ben-Hur as we get close to the release date in September. It has to be one of the most important releases this year!
He said earlier in the thread that it was a main priority of his. I can't wait for the column or the Blu-ray! I'm looking forward to the Blu more than Star Wars.
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Old 08-26-2011, 04:37 AM   #20
Robert Siegel Robert Siegel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donat96 View Post
He said earlier in the thread that it was a main priority of his. I can't wait for the column or the Blu-ray! I'm looking forward to the Blu more than Star Wars.
I can tell you that I have an amazing amount of materials on Ben Hur and have already begun working on it, even though several other columns will be coming first. I think you will all enjoy it, it will probably be one of the longest columns to date.

What previously released titles would you like to see covered?
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