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The Outer Limits (ABC 1963 - 1965)
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orzel-w
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The question seems to be whether or not the creators of the original work considered them art and took pride in their creations.

We have no way of knowing their attitudes towards their work unless someone asked them specifically, then published their responses. I think we can rightly assume that many of the (especially) early B-movie/serial category products were quickie, cheapie hack jobs ordered by the studios to be accomplished on zero budget. The "artists" still got paid, regardless of the result. There's no doubt in my mind that many of those "artists" were satisfied with having only the Art Director's name associated with their work. (How many times have we seen Harlan Ellison's contribution attributed to "Cordwainer Bird"?)

There's no artist who expects his work will be safe from copying or modification, even when copyrighted. Copyright protection carries certain limitations. The pirates know the limitations and do their best to work around them. The legitimate modifications are done with the permission of the copyright owner, and in some cases the approval of the original artist. All this is understood by the artists before they even begin work.

If everybody were to refrain from "improving" on original work for fear of offending the original creator, we wouldn't have modern medicine, etc. (This was actually used as an argument against modern medicine and anesthetics when they were introduced.) But I digress...

Any studio or production company employee understands that their work is accomplished under a budgetary restriction. This limitation either challenges the worker to deliver more than would normally be expected for the price or to shrug and say, "Well, they get what they pay for." Again, we don't know which without asking. But the latter is always available to the artist as a fallback position.

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Gord Green
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually Bud, Michelangelo's David's . . . smile. Isn't THAT impressive!

It really should be.....a bit more....

expressive!
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

orzel-w wrote:
The question seems to be whether or not the creators of the original work considered them art and took pride in their creations.

Actually, Wayne I don't care if the artists considered their work "art" or not. But then again, I could easily argue that anything done by an artist should be consider art.

To me the question is whether or not any harm is done by another artist building on the previous work done by other artists. Frankly, the answer is obviously . . . hell no, as long as the new version of the original art is NOT done for profit without the permission of the copyright holder.

As you so eloquently pointed out, the "artists" in Hollywood are rarely the copyright holders, so their rights in the matter are a moot point. If the studio decides to allow a new group of artist to "enhance" the work they own, the original artists can go squat in mud puddle if they don't like what's being done with something they worked on. After all, they sold it. It isn't theirs anymore.

And as far as I'm concerned, if fans of a classic film or TV series want to monkey around with the original, they should be free to do so as long as they don't profit from it. That's just what artists do — they find fun ways to create things that people like, even when their creation is building on the former work of others.

Hell, let's be realistic. What artwork ISN'T building on the former work of others? My artwork is partly the result of what I learned from other artists! So, all artists owe a debt to those who inspired them. And this situation is really no different.

I'm pretty sure that Brent's statement — "No creative person could screw with another's art and still sleep at night" — is his own personal feelings on the subject and not shared by too many other folks.

It certainly isn't share by me.

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Gord Green
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Art" being created for films is being done for a commercial product and belongs to the entity commissioning that art. Whether they use that art, or augment or change it in any way is pretty much the discretion of the owner of the project.

This issue came to the fore in the comics world when writers and artists who created "work for hire" for publishers demanded reprint rights and payments.
Also when the comics movie craze began, the creator artist/writers demanded payment for use not only of their work, but any use of characters they created for the publisher, the real owner of the work.

I'm sure that the carpenters who build sets and props may feel some proprietorship over their works, but they know that its usage is totally up to the producer-directors.

In the cases we've been discussing I'm sure the directors would have used the best, most effective product in their films.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

Good points, Gord.

You've accurately described the fact that the creative people who contribute to movie making don't have the same rights concerning their creations which artists working for themselves normally do.

For that reason, a studio (as the rightful owner of the intellectual property) can legally alter anything they want. (For the record, none of us are arguing with that fact.)

Brent's very strong objections to "fixing" movies and TV shows has nothing to do with legality. I admire his sentiment, even though I don't agree with his point of view when he said:


Brent wrote:
Creative people have a right to create art and let it stand on it's own merit. Some art will survive. Some will not. But art will always bear the hallmarks of those who gave it birth. If a new generation thinks that they can do better, then they have every right and, in fact, an obligation to create new art. No creative person could screw with another's art and still sleep at night.

My counter argument is that making variations on other people's work — whether it's just fan artwork which re-imagines Robby, or a studio who alters the special effects to "fix" the original ones that don't look very good — is not "screwing with another's art". The original work isn't affected, so no harm has been done.

And I'm sure the original artists understand that new technology makes new things possible. So, creating variations on the original work is not an insult to them or the work they did.

But Brent asserts that;

Quote:
Nobody who respects the merit of older films and TV shows is going to impose their modern fixes on a classic for the "next generation".

That's the part which puzzles the hell out of me.

He's not saying we all have to "like" the old effects, we just aren't supposed to create variations on them to make the older productions more enjoyable — even though we aren't physically altering the original prints of the films. So, the original FX still exist.

We're just creating new digital versions of the films which include FX which enhance the enjoyment of both present and future audiences, using the miraculous tools of the 21st Century to do things which weren't possible at the time the original work was created.

As both a writer and an artist, I'm delighted by the abilities technology has given me to revise my novels 100 times faster than when I was writing them by hand back in the 1980s, and the way I can enhance my artwork by taking drawings which have suffered from the way paper darkens with age, bringing them back to a state even better than they were originally!








In this wondrous digital age, we can create a hundred versions of any work of art and never touch the original! That's why I can't understand Brent's apparent reluctance to employ this kind of technology to filmmaking and create new and spectacular versions of classics which thrilled us as kids . . . but which look pitifully dated now that we're adults!

A basic difference between Brent's attitude and mine is the value we each seem to place on the enjoyment people get from these movies and shows. I think the purpose of these productions is to provide inspiration and entertainment. That's their reason for existing, and that's what gives them their value.

Brent, however, seems to think they have an intrinsic value, and regardless of how they looked to audiences when they were first released or to audiences fifty years later, they can't be altered without reducing their essential worth.

In view of that, I think it's ironic that Brent said that Harryhausen's work looks "silly". And yet, if someone produced perfect CGI versions of Ray's stop motion, changing nothing but the smoothness of the animation (if that's what Brent thinks makes it look "silly"), he would still claim we were "screwing with" Ray's art, and "imposing modern fixes on a classic."

With all due respect to Brent and his admirable defense of the work done by artists, I just don't understand his point of view in this matter. It's perplexing.

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orzel-w
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gord Green wrote:
"Art" being created for films is being done for a commercial product and belongs to the entity commissioning that art.

...when the comics movie craze began, the creator artist/writers demanded payment for use not only of their work, but any use of characters they created for the publisher, the real owner of the work.

Bud Brewster wrote:
Good points, Gord.

You've accurately described the fact that the creative people who contribute to movie making don't have the same rights concerning their creations which artists working for themselves normally do.

This is analogous to the standard employment contract most engineers have to sign if they want to work for companies hiring engineers. The engineer must agree that any patentable idea they come up with is solely the property of the company, to use or not and to profit from as they see fit. The engineer gets a plaque commemorating the patent to hang on his or her wall, and that's it. If the company is magnanimous, the engineer may get a promotion and/or a raise if he/she provides the company with enough profitable patents.
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orzel-w
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just finished watching the DVD, Sense of Scale, comprising interviews with 32 professional film model and miniature builders. Here are selected quotes and notes that seem to pertain to our discussion of altering movies and TV episodes.

"Well, that was all great until the studio caught wind and found that nobody had cleared that, and so all these beautiful models of the city had to be severely altered because they were afraid of being sued..."

"Don't worry about that. In six weeks the cats are going to be pissing all over it."

(re: budgets) "It doesn't have to be perfect."

Peter Hyams felt the refinery miniature built for Outland was too dark, so he sprayed it totally white with an automotive spray gun, covering up all the detail that had been applied by airbrush. "We saw our detail just disappear... So we're not very happy about that, but, y'know, we'd been paid... and some people say that's enough, but for me it wasn't really. I don't think Bill was very happy either. Y'know, we really felt they'd made a real mess of it."

Many times the miniatures are modifications of existing props and miniatures, built by others, left over from earlier films.

Some miniatures are built and never used, or get two to three seconds of screen time. Quite often they are blown up or smashed.

Or they would build the miniatures and deliver them to the studio, and the day before filming the studio would call up and say, "That's not exactly what we wanted," and the model builders would have to pull an all-nighter modifying the miniatures.

"We were paid by studios to make exquisite but useless things to generate frames of film ─ we're not really making a 'thing', we're making a frame of film ─ to curry favor with the people with the money ─ the public. And so it really was kind of useless artisanship..."

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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

Amazing!

When we see just how the people who create these special effects are treated, it seems a bit pointless to protest any efforts made to change them with CGI. The dedicated folks who work in movies do their best, and then they feel lucky when there work is even used!

In view of the anecdotes you shared above, Wayne, I tend to think that any efforts made to improve special effects would be appreciated by them. They often had to watch the hard work they contributed treated very badly, and the results they turned in weren't handled properly, causing the final product to be inferior to what they expected.

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orzel-w
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got tired and went to bed before adding one other observation by one model builder. He was commenting on CGI himself, and its role in the depletion of jobs for model builders.

He felt that CGI turns out best when it's used to enhance miniatures. In other words, start with miniatures, blow them up or crash them as called for, or just use the lighting information, and use that footage as the starting point for CGI.

Another modeler said that his ship miniature wasn't built with water contact in mind (dry for wet). But with CGI, the ship could be shown in the water, with realistic waves and wake.

So even the model builders (or this one, at least) are on board with CGI enhancement.

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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

Here's a sample of the trivia items on IMDB for The Outer Limits.
________________________________

An example of a television network deliberately killing a popular series by moving it to an inappropriate slot on their schedule. This series was a big hit, especially among younger viewers. For the second season, ABC moved it from Monday nights to 7:30 Saturday. It was not only an inappropriate timeslot for younger viewers, it served as the lead-in for The Lawrence Welk Show (1955).

Note from me: I can't say I was really a big fan of the original series, but the rival series which began in 1995 had quite a few excellent episodes.

The second-season episode The Duplicate Man features the famous Chemosphere House. Designed by architect John Lautner, the house is seen in a few exterior shots but the inside shots were on a set designed to resemble the house's interior.

Note from me: I'm going to have a house just like this when I grow up, and you're all invited over for dinner and a sci-fi movie!










Architects of Fear: When this episode first aired, the alien was deemed too frightening to show by several ABC affiliates. They instead showed a black screen whenever the alien appeared.

Note from me: Although the suit seemed a bit too heavy (especially the head) to move around the way it should have in the episode, the design really is quite good. And creepy. Shocked






Controlled Experiment: Grace Lee Whitney would later appear in Star Trek as Yeoman Janice Rand. Interesting enough the Martians violate Star Trek's prime directive of not interfering with less advanced alien societies, in this case Earth.

Note from me: I've often said that Janice Rand would look much better without that silly "hornets nest wig"! Here's Grace in this Outer Limits episode with a nice hairdo .






Here's a comparison of Grace with-and-without the wig.





And here's Yeoman Janice Rand in the lovely 60s hairdo!


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scotpens
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PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bud Brewster wrote:
The second-season episode The Duplicate Man features the famous Chemosphere House. Designed by architect John Lautner, the house is seen in a few exterior shots but the inside shots were on a set designed to resemble the house's interior.

That episode also featured two "futuristic" cars: a Buick Riviera customized by George Barris, and a Mercury concept car from 1955 (a decade before the episode was filmed!).

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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

Those are AWESOME! Thanks! Very Happy

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Krel
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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Chemosphere house was featured in the Movie, "Body Double". It is a small house, but very interesting, you park below the house, and reach it by a funicular, a type of inclined cable car.

A funny fact about "Body Double". They originally were going to hire a pron star to play Melanie Griffith's part. When she came in, she reeled off this list of things she would, and wouldn't do. The porn star didn't get the part, but her list made it into the movie! Laughing

David.
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Brent Gair
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HUGE news broke while All Sci-Fi was on hiatus.

This:

Coming Soon on DVD and Blu-ray!

Brand New HD Masters!

The Outer Limits (Original Series 1963-1965)

Season 1 (32 Episodes - 8 Discs) - Late 2017
Season 2 (17 Episodes - 5 Discs) - Early 2018
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Pow
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ABC insisted that TOL have a creature or monster of some kind in every episode.

The crew came up with the sobriquet ''The Bear'' for the creature.
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