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Archives for: January 2009

Multimedia From Spook Central's Live Video Event

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Jan. 30, 2009 at 10:56 PM , Categories: Spook Central, Ghostbusters 1
Last night I held a special 20th anniversary live online video broadcast of Ghostbusters, as originally broadcast on ABC on January 29, 1989. The video was streamed live from my VCR, with chat services provided by AJ Quick via his Ghostbusters Fans chat room. I was very happy with the turnout - we topped out at 77 viewers, with the chat room receiving 114 people at different times throughout the two hours (I personally saw 69 people about halfway through) - though being my first live online video broadcast, the first hour did not go as smoothly as I would have liked. I've learned from the experience, so if I ever decide to do it again - June would be a good time don'cha think? - it should go MUCH better next time.

Immediately below you will find some screen captures I did of the event. The thumbnails link to 1024x768 PNG images. AJ has given me the chat log from the event, so you can read the LONG two-hour transcript on page 2. As you read it, you'll understand why we, as a group, should NEVER get together and do a live audio commentary for the movie.
8:01 PM EST - Viewer Window
8:04 PM EST - Broadcast Window
8:10 PM EST - Viewer Window
8:23 PM EST - Viewer Window
8:28 PM EST - Viewer Window
8:40 PM EST - Viewer Window
8:51 PM EST - Viewer Window
9:02 PM EST - Viewer Window
9:28 PM EST - Viewer Window
9:32 PM EST - Chat Window
9:56 PM EST - Broadcast Window
9:59 PM EST - Chat Window
10:05 PM EST - Chat Window

Some people, especially those who couldn't attend last night's broadcast, wanted to know if the video would be available for later viewing. I'm a little hesitant to put up the entire video for on demand viewing as I don't want to anger Sony, but I'll take a chance and see what happens. I'll eventually put the new ABC promo and alternate footage on the site.

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Spook Central Live Online Video Event (1/29 At 8 PM EST)

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Jan. 29, 2009 at 7:40 PM , Categories: Spook Central, Ghostbusters 1
Ghostbusters, as originally broadcast on ABC on Sunday January 29, 1989
(presumably at either 8:00 or 9:00 PM EST)

I'd like to thank everyone who participated in tonight's event and made it a big success. We topped out at 77 viewers at 8:28 PM EST, with the lowest being 53 viewers at the very beginning, and the second lowest point being 55 viewers at 9:02 PM EST (the halfway point). According to AJ, there were 114 people in the chat room at different times. I personally saw 69 people when I checked about halfway through the broadcast. I don't know how many people usually visit the chat room at any given time, but I'm sure we set a record tonight!

Many apologies to everyone for the crappy first hour. This was my first time doing a live online broadcast, and if I ever do another one, I'll know what NOT to do. I was thinking about doing this again in June for the two movie anniversaries. Not sure what to show for GB1 - maybe this again; for GB2 I was thinking about the Oprah episode with the cast. If anyone is interested is viewing another broadcast, or if you have any suggestions for what to broadcast live, please post a comment. Keep in mind, it has to be something that exists (no GB3), and something that I might actually have a copy of.

In the next day or two I hope to put up a transcript of tonight's chat session, along with a few screen captures of the event. My transcript is missing a few segments, so I'm waiting for AJ to send me the complete chat log. I might put up the entire video for on demand viewing, but I'm a little hesitant to do so as I don't want to anger Sony. So we'll see...

AJ - I want to thank you again, a millions times over, for helping me out with this event. It wouldn't have been quite so much fun if we didn't have your awesome chat room.

Image Last year I obtained a recording of Ghostbusters from its airing on ABC on Sunday January 29, 1989 (presumably at 8:00 or 9:00 PM EST), complete with all of the commercials (the only thing missing is the scrolling end credits, which cut off after 10 seconds). I thought that it would be killer to stream the entire broadcast with commercials on January 29, 2009 - 20 years to the date of the original broadcast. So, that's what I'm doing in this one-time-only live internet re-broadcast.

The broadcast includes all of the commercials and bumpers, the opening promo (one which is not currently on the site), all of the known alternate footage, and even some newly discovered alternate footage. Yes, you read that right, I found five new pieces of alternate footage. This includes one completely different line, one shorter line, one new shot (to cover dialog removed), and two instances where dialog was removed but the background audio remains. Can you find all five?

As you probably could have guessed, the movie is edited, time-compressed (sped-up), panned & scanned, has commercials, and is from a horrible film print. Some bright areas of the picture are blown-out and unnaturally white. Since this doesn't appear to happen during the commercials, I can't fault the videocassette. From what I remember, ABC was never given good film prints of the movie. At least it's not as bad as the blue-tinted print that was in circulation on TV in the mid-to-late 1990s.

There are also two brief instances where the audio goes low a couple of times during the movie. One is during the Ray/Winston car scene, the other is during the static end credits. These, and a tape defect during the first set of commercials, are the only significant tape defects. Not bad for a 20 year old videocassette.

I will be the first one to admit that this is NOT the ideal way to view the movie. I know that the film is already up on Hulu, and that all of us already have the film on DVD and can watch it whenever we want. This certainly won't take away from Sony's DVD sales or even the Hulu views. However, the major positive is that you'll be able to view the movie in a way that it hasn't been seen in 20 years. For everyone in their late 20s and older, this is a way to relive the communal/shared experience of seeing it as an "ABC" live broadcast - this time TOGETHER IN THE SAME (VIRTUAL) ROOM!

Oh, yeah, in the last commercial break, keep an eye out for Judith Hoag in a Burger King commercial. People of my generation will remember her as April O'Neil in the first live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie in 1990. People of the current generation probably know her best as the mom in the Halloweentown movies on the Disney Channel.

Finally, I'd like to give major thanks to: AJ Quick for his help in promoting the event, loaning me his chat room, and hosting the frameset in order to fix an issue with showing the chat room in it; Ben King for putting together the poster you see on the upper right and for assistance during the private test broadcast last night; Raffaele Ruffaldi for his assistance during the private test broadcast last night; and Chris Stewart for his help in promoting the event. And, of course, major thanks to everyone who attends the broadcast tonight.

Established August 1996

In Loving Memory of Joel Richard Rudoff (July 28, 1944 - January 20, 2014)

In Loving Memory of Linda Joyce Rudoff (July 12, 1948 - November 29, 2015)

Doreen Mulman (May 22, 1961 - March 14, 2014)


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