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Is That Your Horse Outside(VF)

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Re: Is That Your Horse Outside(VF)

Postby snodge » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:24 am

Thanks again Pixelsurgeon for your encouraging words which i appreciate.

Sadly i haven't kept the intermediates to further work on due to HD space constraints,
but i imagine it would be easy for someone to encode my version to lossless to do further work if they so wish.

Then they could encode at a much higher bit rate to preserve quality, I doubt the losses would be that visible
with material this bad quality anyway.

Re Homes Fit for Heroes.. Yes its all manual work and also whats pretty evident is the amount of warping which will need attention,
I'm also conscious of the need to retain the quality working from the Mpeg2 source -But i think thats what make's us restorers even more imaginative with our tools and tricks.
I imagine the BBC would have a dig-beta source and that would make a world of difference to the outcome.

Just happy, that's there's someone else, you, restoring and sharing your work... ;-)


That is very kind of you to say :)
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Re: Is That Your Horse Outside(VF)

Postby Dirty Old Yank » Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:08 am

snodge wrote:Hopefully its up to Pixelsurgeons/Alexcoles fine efforts and i hope DOY likes it :)

“I’ve never seen anything like it in the world!” (Attenborough describing a 'pushmi-pullyu' in Doctor Dolittle) :o.
I’m a novice at video restoration so please forgive what might seem foolish questions, but if it’s anything like film restoration I’m guessing the specific cause, nature and degree of degradation determines the approach. I’ve often wondered how damage can vary so widely. Example, the opening scenes of “Is That Your Horse Outside?” are fairly crisp but suffer odd, compacted vibrating lines; while “My Old Man’s A Tory” just looks like mud and appears to be the result of something else entirely. Does anyone know how that could happen? Was it caused by mishandling and
or poor storage? Had some tapes been wiped and re-used too often before filming some Steptoe episodes?
snodge wrote:I`m still working on " Homes Fit For heroes" and have to work on it in 5 minute segments to keep my sanity!

Restoration may require weeks, even months of sleep deprived, coffee fueled, frame-by-frame frustration...leading to nervous disorders like facial ticks, fidgeting, involuntarily shouting at inanimate objects & overpriced technology that doesn’t do what it’s supposed to...but that’s no reason to question your sanity :wink:.
Heroes is a favorite episode, good luck with it. The foggy exterior location shots of Chartwell House (not the blue screen) would seem to be most difficult and possibly a lost cause, or is it now possible to sort that too?
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Re: Is That Your Horse Outside(VF)

Postby snodge » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:56 pm

Hi DOY,
The vibrating lines you speak of are a result of a camera being pointed at a studio monitor to record from the monitor
to film-And the camera records the interlace scan lines,
The original Quad video recordings were very high quality using 2inch tape and the BBC made 16 mm film copies from these for export.

Those 16mm film copies were transferred back to video at some point degrading the image even further.

Episodes like " My old mans a Tory" were lost until it transpired Ray Galton and Alan Simpson had copies in their Attic.
These copies were not home recorded as believed and written about on the web, They were viewing copies on half inch video tape
on a Sony CV2000 domestic recorder,The BBC engineer Brian Jenkinson made copies for Ray and Alan from the Quad versions and presumably they had a Sony machine at home to watch them.

The quality of these Sony videos are less than VHS ,and the BFI transferred them for the BBC and tried to tart them up a tad in the process.

These transfers do look muddy looking but its because of the low resolution of the domestic Sony Machine and the transfer itself.

If i recall they also had a weird black field line that kept floating up and down the frame.
This will be a challenge to reduce also.

That Chartwell house scene in Heroes is indeed very grainy and very low fidelity but i will do what i can :)

My coffee machine is doing overtime while I'm working on `Homes Fit For heroes`,... I feel like giving up 6 minutes in
as there is some really bad frame damage but i will persevere as I`m made of sterner stuff :)


Regards
Snodge
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Re: Is That Your Horse Outside(VF)

Postby alexcole » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:05 am

Taking into consideration the source material you have done as good a job that can be done i think on this episode.
i doub't anyone else will step up and put in the many many hours needed to manually fix the damage to this already poor scan of a telerecording. you've returned a nice video tape look/feel also and that is where the magic for me lies .
well done once more.
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Re: Is That Your Horse Outside(VF)

Postby The Pixel Surgeon » Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:20 pm

alexcole wrote:i doub't anyone else will step up and put in the many many hours needed to manually fix the damage to this already poor scan of a telerecording...


After 10 years of restoring mainly telerecordeings, I certainly know, only too well, about the many hours one needs to spend on some of the very poor quality programmes/series episodes, that are left in the archives.

Indeed, I spent over a year, manually restoring The Government Inspector, which stars Hancock. Granted, I could now do what I did back then (when more manual restoration work was needed, and CPU processor power slower), in only a few hours, now.

I'm certainly very grateful to snodge, for what he's now doing... Someone, who's restorations, I'm happy to watch back and keep in my own collection.

I don't plan to give up on restoring just yet, but I feel with my eyes, especially, appearing to need, almost permanent rest from the glare of a computer screen/monitor, I'll now only be undertaking material that's particularly dear/special to me...
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Re: Is That Your Horse Outside(VF)

Postby Dirty Old Yank » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:38 pm

snodge wrote:Episodes like " My old mans a Tory" were lost until it transpired Ray Galton and Alan Simpson had copies in their Attic. These copies were not home recorded as believed and written about on the web, They were viewing copies on half inch video tape on a Sony CV2000 domestic recorder,The BBC engineer Brian Jenkinson made copies for Ray and Alan from the Quad versions and presumably they had a Sony machine at home to watch them. The quality of these Sony videos are less than VHS ,and the BFI transferred them for the BBC and tried to tart them up a tad in the process. These transfers do look muddy looking but its because of the low resolution of the domestic Sony Machine and the transfer itself.

Are you quite certain “My Old Man’s A Tory” (b/w, 1965) was a destroyed episode? We’ve been under the impression for years that BBC had only wiped colour Steptoe episodes from 1970 series’ five & six. If you’re correct, what makes that doubly surprising is My Old Man’s A Tory doesn’t have the very conspicuous Thank You to BFI and the Appreciation Society that all other saved episodes clearly exhibit in the end credits. Also, Ray & Alan had stated in interview (see: Assorted Rags DVD) that they recorded those colour BBC transmissions themselves on four-hour consumption tapes, thus the poor quality, and were collecting dust in Ray’s basement. Without which BBC
re-transmission and those South Bank cinema screenings would’ve been impossible.
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Re: Is That Your Horse Outside(VF)

Postby snodge » Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:10 pm

I got my info from this publication PDF bvws.org.uk/publications/405alive/pdf/405_Alive_36.

Here is the text from the PDF Page 9

"From Neil ingoe, Feltham:
I really enjoyed issue 35 but could I add a small piece of information
which I regard to be rather important?
Regarding the letter from George Windsor about the 'lost'
Steptoe and Son episodes. Although Pat Hildred may have been
involved in some way with the copying, the main brains and expertise
behind the cleaning and transfer of the tapes was Brian Jenkinson who,
incidentally, is also the person who copied the episodes from the
original 2-inch tapes for Galton and Simpson (I know that he now does
not mind people knowing this).
The reason that the episode My Old Man's a Tory looks poorer
than the rest of the lost Steptoe episodes is because it existed in 405
lines on the original CV2000 tape, and the only way to make a transfer
to 625 lines was by an optical transfer (the signal was far too unstable
to put through a 405 to 625 converter).
I also had the extreme pleasure of being the courier for the two
CV2000 tapes containing four Steptoe episodes when they were found
at Ray Galton's in 1993. As I had to hold them for three days before
they could be taken to Steve Bryant at the BFI, fearful of having our
home burgled and the tapes being stolen, I slept next to them, on my
bedside table!
Andrew, as you can see,I have written the above so that, if
space allows, it can be reproduced in 405 Alive as I felt that Brian
Jenkinson needed mentioning."


I feel the information about the lost episodes is sincere ,and i don't think Alan and Ray recorded the tapes themselves

I need to check my episode of " My Old mans a Tory" to see if it does indeed have the BFI and Steptoe appreciation Society" writing at the end of the video, I haven't seen that episode for ages.


EDIT, indeed you are right DOY,it doesn't have the BFI Steptoe Appreciation Society writing at the end.

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Snodge
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Re: Is That Your Horse Outside(VF)

Postby Dirty Old Yank » Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:36 am

Hello Snodge...
Considering that Wilson hadn’t been PM long, and that Harry was a strong Labour supporter, Ray & Alan’s acute and daring comedy equanimity really shines in “My Old Man’s A Tory” (1965). Damaris Hayman as the gal that fancies Harold had of course also played the ticket lady in “Sunday For Seven Days” (1964) where she & Albert reminisce about “Lost Horizon” (1937) which coincidentally I recently found at a charity shop; Horizon has a long and tragic history of needless edits and destroyed footage, but after decades of research and painstaking effort has at last been restored to 134 min, the closest possible to Frank Capra’s intent. Interesting that those “Nudes of 1964” photos seen in front of the cinema will never require restoration...surprised Albert had to wear his glasses :o.
snodge wrote:I feel the information about the lost episodes is sincere ,and i don't think Alan and Ray recorded the tapes themselves

Nobody’s questioning that such claims are sincere, Snodge, but it is appropriate to question the validity of such claims when Ray & Alan clearly stated something else entirely. Also if you re-read those comments you excerpted from British Vintage Wireless, that paragraph does not state that Tory was one of the destroyed (frequently and inappropriately called ‘lost’) episodes*, surrounded by meaningless data it’s only obliquely suggested.
* "Lost" as a description has been unfit for purpose for a long time; all those priceless BBC tapes weren’t accidentally misplaced as one does a set of keys, they were consciously and deliberately wiped i.e. destroyed.
...As was a great part of British (and American) Cinema history, buried beneath roadways or burned by studios :roll:.
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Re: Is That Your Horse Outside(VF)

Postby snodge » Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:36 am

Hi DOY,
Can you elucidate on what Ray & Alan actually said about the Sony Cv2000 tapes?

It all depends on the context of what they were saying,
IE, if they personally did the transfers themselves-or had them done for them.

All the anecdotal evidence suggests Brian Jenkinson did the transfers sometime in the early 1970's.

I can't find it just yet but there is a thread on the " Missing Believed Wiped" forum that has another post
that says Brian Jenkinson Did the transfers from Quad tape, And if you think about it they would look a lot worse if Alan & Ray recorded them off-air through the Sony Cv2000 at home.

I agree about the term " Lost" rather than the correct " Destroyed", I guess the BBC wanted to save face and soften the blow with that term and we all got caught up in using it.

BTW You write rather well ? Do you write professionally?

EDIT; I found the thread where it gets mentioned that the transfer were performed at the BBC missingepisodes.proboards.com/post/7793/thread.

Steve Roberts writes

"The original recordings were made at the BBC on a Sony CV-2000 skip-field recorder, by a guy called Brian Jenkinson. BJ was one of our high-up technical managers when I joined the BBC in 1987 - a very intelligent and quietly spoken man. He had worked with videotape since it first came into the BBC in the early sixties and there was nothing he didn't know about it. After he left the BBC, he joined the BFI as their video preservation manager - and found himself faced with task of trying to play back those self-same tapes he had made twenty-something years earlier!

As I recall, many of the problems were caused by the tape lubricant having dried out over the years, so the tapes would literally squeal to a stop when you tried to play them. BJ's team modified a CV2000 so that the tape wiped against pads loaded with silicon polish as it came off the supply reel, and to stop it sticking around the head drum they blew air down into the drum so that it came out of the holes where the heads poked through and formed a lubricating film of air between the tape and drum. Some of the tapes played better than others and I remember a lot of work had to be done on a Harry image compositing system to try to replace broken fields etc.

They can be made to a look a lot better these days by the use of digital picture and audio noise reduction, which really helps to clean the episodes up. Of course they will never look brilliant!

Steve"

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Snodge
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Re: Is That Your Horse Outside(VF)

Postby alexcole » Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:40 pm

From the posts in various forums i'm in agreement with snodge as to the source & transfer of the reel to reel video tapes.
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Re: Is That Your Horse Outside(VF)

Postby johnxgin3 » Sat Sep 23, 2017 4:30 pm

snodge wrote:Digitally Cleaned in full

Is that Your Horse Outside?https://www.mediafire.com/file/c3jm22ybu87u14y/Is%20That%20Your%20Horse%20Outside%20%28Digitally%20Cleaned%202017%29%20MP4.mp4

I've probably missed a few spots and defects here as i spent way too much time on that section @8.17
where there is a heavy vertical scratch flapping about like a Dick in a shirtsleeve :)

I also spent a long time cleaning up the dirty lined transitions where they fade from one scene to the next.

I compromised on the Vidifre using my own interpolation method so i could encode to MP4 (progressive)


Hopefully its up to Pixelsurgeons/Alexcoles fine efforts and i hope DOY likes it :)


I`m still working on " Homes Fit For heroes" and have to work on it in 5 minute segments to keep my sanity!

The Tramlines vary in size and amount from scene to scene ..so its gonna be a toughie

Here's where I`m at so far (about 4 mins in)
mediafire.com/file/d8alfllq5ng2390/Home%20Fit%20For%20Heroes%20Sample.mp4

Its a split screen sample to show how it might turn out, The cleaned up side is a little softer but thats inevitable with what has to be done to sort out the defects -plus the low bit rate Mpeg2 source file doesn't help matters.

that restoration of "Is that Your Horse Outside?' looks very well done. it kinda reminds me of the restoration on the bbc sherlock holmes dvd by the doctor who restoration team for the BFI.
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Re: Is That Your Horse Outside(VF)

Postby alexcole » Sat Sep 23, 2017 7:40 pm

that restoration of "Is that Your Horse Outside?' looks very well done. it kinda reminds me of the restoration on the bbc sherlock holmes dvd by the doctor who restoration team for the BFI.

totally agree with you on that one.....
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Re: Is That Your Horse Outside(VF)

Postby snodge » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:58 pm

Thank you Alexcole/johnxgin3 for your kind words,


It really makes me happy to know fans are enjoying my re- freshened episodes of Steptoe,

It would be interesting to see if the BBC ever restore these, I'd like to think they will eventually release a remastered boxset
But somehow i dont think it will happen, Maybe `Network` will step up to the challenge?.


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Snodge
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Re: Is That Your Horse Outside(VF)

Postby The Pixel Surgeon » Sun Sep 24, 2017 6:13 pm

snodge wrote:It would be interesting to see if the BBC ever restore these, I'd like to think they will eventually release a remastered boxset
But somehow i dont think it will happen, Maybe `Network` will step up to the challenge?.


Regards
Snodge


We have been talking about this for years... Unfortunately, it will never happen - certainly not in some of our lifetimes, if ever.

They, the BBC, should at the very least, be able to go as far as they did for the BBC Two repeats of Hancock's Half Hour and Hancock shown back in the 1990s, and that later appeared on the Hancock anniversary DVD box-set - but they'll certainly never be fully restored, reinstating the video-look, using VidFIRE, as the cost of that process alone, across all remaining episodes, will be way too prohibitive...

If we truly want fully restored, then someone, probably a big fan of the show, will have to do it. Every single episode, will have to be lovingly, fully, restored and just shared amongst the community/those with an interest, in ways, only we know how...

Once that's done - and I can't see it being that much longer - the BBC will have no need to undertake them themselves, as they're bound to know, they now already exist, lovingly restored, by the community...
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