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Home - Media - TV series adaptations - Characteristics of the series of 1978 - DVD Special - A Visit to DVD Label "moviemax GmbH"
Titel cover

Famous Five

A Visit to DVD Label "moviemax GmbH"

and "AVP Video-Transfer GmbH"


A Visit to DVD Label "moviemax GmbH movies & more" and "AVP Video-Transfer GmbH"

After all the available footage had arrived at moviemax, it began to be checked and the first HD scanning tests were carried out at AVP.
It transpired that the 16mm footage is HD compatible and HD scanning could thus start at top speed.
Thanks to a friendship of many years between the Fan Page and moviemax, my visit to moviemax and AVP in Munich was more than welcome.
The big day finally arrived on 7 June 2010. I drove to Munich and got to meet the moviemax executives in person for the first time after five years.
These people have been incredibly committed to the 1978/79 series with us for years. Right from the outset, they were aware of the great significance that this TV series has for us all to this day.
On the first day, I went to the editing studios of AVP Video-Transfer GmbH with Walter Potganski. I could hardly believe my eyes! Piled up in front of me were the entire transmission copy reels of the original 1978/79 Famous Five series on 16mm positive film and Digital Betacam tapes. –A dream come true for any 1978/79 Famous Five fan!!!
The AVP CEO, Mr Christian Sandl, told me about all the studios where the various processes take place.
I thought it would be a real miracle of technology when I could finally admire the Famous Five in digitalised form.
You have to understand that the footage is now 32 years old and has "fermented" or changed over time, to say nothing of the damage caused by frequent playing down through the years.

Summary of Existing Footage:

Unfortunately, the English 16mm positive film footage from former production company Portman Entertainment Ltd. is probably in the worst condition. It is badly scratched throughout.
This is no surprise, given that it has already gone halfway round the world, from England to France and on to Australia for purchase on VHS video or DVD.
Check out: Commercial media of the '78 TV series

Of course, the situation with ORF/ZDF's German footage looks a little different.
It is clearly in much better shape, because it was broadcast or transfered to video less often.

To begin with, HD scanning is performed whereby all episodes are scanned with a standard setting (colour, brightness, contrast, colour saturation) and problematic/green-tinged scenes such as those showing night or inside secret passages or a rail tunnel subsequently have to be fixed up (scene colour correction).

Each of the 26 episodes is optimally digitally remastered to preserve the filming style and flair of the '70s.
Moreover, every episode has the right original German and English opening and closing credits.

For subsequent picture editing, AVP has additional processes like
- Archangel and DVNR (removes digital dirt, noise, scratches, running scratches or drop-outs and also corrects luminance flickers and stabilises still image errors)
- Da Vinci (improvement of colour, brightness and contrast)

The next day, a joint brainstorming session with moviemax CEOs Hanna Quader and Walter Potganski was announced. It involved conveying the opinions and concerns of moviemax fans.
Another major topic was the bonus material that the fans wanted. In any case, I gave moviemax a collection of all the fan requests and we discussed them in detail.
We will find out in the foreseeable future just what it will actually be possible to put on the bonus DVD, because it will not be easy to locate the material after more than 30 years and the rights still have to be cleared as well.
Naturally, it is also a question of costs, the amount of work required and legal clearance to use bonus items on DVD/Blu-ray. I personally got the impression that everything associated with the 1978/79 Famous Five series is always turning out to be enormously complicated and time-consuming.

The moviemax plan is to host an awesome party on the DVD/Blu-ray release date and also to be represented at this year's Frankfurt Book Fair with the original Famous Five DVDs from 1978/79.

On the third and final day, details like the cover and booklet were discussed in the moviemax office. We of the Famous Five Fan Page team have felt delighted and privileged to be actively involved with the cover and booklet.

Andrea Blatter and I are still thinking about the booklet separately and sending our suggestions to moviemax.

For me, the trip to Munich has made it clear that the 1978/79 Famous Five DVD/Blu-ray release is going to be absolutely brilliant.

After a short stopover at home, my trip continued into Zurich in Switzerland on 11 June 2010.
There I met Andrea Blatter and told her all the news first-hand. I also wanted to discuss where we would go from here in DVD/Blu-ray matters.
The ideas and suggestions on the forthcoming DVD/Blu-ray release just poured forth from our minds.

In the next few weeks, the Famous Five Fan Page team and moviemax will thus have a lot of work to do to ensure that our favourite 1978/79 Famous Five series appears in a new light on DVD and Blu-ray!

More info soon here on the Famous Five Fan Page ...

Karl


Karl Kolar in front of the scanner at AVP Video-Transfer GmbH Karl Kolar in front of the scanner at AVP Video-Transfer GmbH
16mm positive film in the scanner 16mm positive film in the scanner
Archangel process "Archangel" process
Karl Kolar in the AVP technical equipment room Karl Kolar in the AVP technical equipment room
The AVP control room The AVP control room
The AVP control room The AVP control room
AVP room where the German audio is added AVP room where the German audio is added
German Digital Betacam tapes German Digital Betacam tapes
English 16mm positive film reel from Portman Entertainment Ltd. English 16mm positive film reel from Portman Entertainment Ltd.
English 16mm positive film reel from Portman Entertainment Ltd. English 16mm positive film reel from Portman Entertainment Ltd.
English 16mm positive film reel from Global Television Services Ltd. English 16mm positive film reel from Global Television Services Ltd.
Pile of English 16mm positive film reels Pile of English 16mm positive film reels
Collected works of German ORF/ZDF 16mm positive film reels Collected works of German ORF/ZDF 16mm positive film reels
Close-up of a German ORF/ZDF 16mm positive film reel Close-up of a German ORF/ZDF 16mm positive film reel
Close-up of a box of German ORF/ZDF 16mm positive film reels Close-up of a box of German ORF/ZDF 16mm positive film reels
Karl Kolar with a box of ORF/ZDF 16mm positive film reels Karl Kolar with a box of ORF/ZDF 16mm positive film reels
Karl Kolar in the office of moviemax GmbH movies & more Karl Kolar in the office of moviemax GmbH movies & more
Karl Kolar with CEO Walter Potganski of moviemax GmbH movies & more Karl Kolar with CEO Walter Potganski of moviemax GmbH movies & more
At AVP Video-Transfer GmbH. Left to right: Dieter Sandl Sr., Karl Kolar, Christian Sandl (CEO) At AVP Video-Transfer GmbH. Left to right: Dieter Sandl Sr., Karl Kolar, Christian Sandl (CEO)
AVP name plate AVP name plate
Famous Five Fan Page Team - Karl Kolar and Andrea Blatter at the meeting in Zurich Famous Five Fan Page Team - Karl Kolar and Andrea Blatter at the meeting in Zurich
Famous Five Fan Page Team - Karl Kolar and Andrea Blatter at the meeting in Zurich Famous Five Fan Page Team - Karl Kolar and Andrea Blatter at the meeting in Zurich

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