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Category: Spook Central

New Spook Central Audio & Video Players

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on May. 10, 2017 at 4:06 PM , Categories: Spook Central

For the past 10 years all video and audio files on Spook Central were played using a Flash plugin-based multimedia player. That was the ideal way to do it at the time, but since then, Flash has fallen out of favor (to put it nicely). If you've been viewing Spook Central on a mobile device, you wouldn't have even seen the embedded media player because all Apple and Android devices don't allow Flash to be used. That meant that I needed to eventually find a new way to play and display the media on the site.

Raffaele Ruffaldi, the Italian Stallion from the land of the Smurfs and damn fine waffles, has worked his butt off these past few months to help me find a solution to the problem. After lots and lots of testing and trial and error, and me being a general pain in the ass, we have found something that seemingly works in nearly every situation. Only one older browser (Internet Explorer v8 on Windows XP) and mobile device (an iPod Touch using iOS v6) failed our tests, but it's not likely that anyone reading this is using either of those two. If for some reason you can't see the video, there's a "Can't See The Video?" panic link at the top of the floated box that links directly to the .mp4 file which should allow you to view the video file.

When I committed to using videos on Spook Central, I grabbed the tiny "Play Video" image from the DVD-ROM content of the 1999 DVD and blew it up to 320x240. It got the job done, but it wasn't very pretty, and I wanted something that looked a little better, wasn't tied to a specific background color, and was of a larger size (as a way to plan for future use). I asked my friend, the Ghostbusting' Guru Matthew Jordan, for some help to make a new image that was a homage to the old one. What you see at the top of this post is the masterpiece he created. Those of you on desktop or laptop computers will, likely, not see the image very much. However, those of you on mobile devices will become quite familiar with it. When you click on any video thumbnail on the site (and I hope it's obvious which thumbnails link to videos on the various pages), a desktop/laptop computer will auto-play the video floated over the page. On a mobile device, you will need to click/touch the "Play Video" image to have the video start playing.

It should be noted that all I did right now is take the small (mostly 320x240 or 424x240) compressed .flv videos I already had on Spook Central and re-compress them to .mp4 files. They are being displayed on the site, floated over the pages, at DVD resolution sizes of 640x480 or 852x480. There will be a certain ugliness when seeing those small files enlarged to those sizes, but they are still perfectly viewable. Maybe in a few years, if I can ever find the time, I want to go back to my original video sources and re-encode all of the videos at those larger DVD image dimensions and with less compression. That will probably happen when I get around to transferring my VHS collection to DVD-Rs. For now, what's on the site will have to do. Oh, and ignore the black box in the lower right corner of some videos. It covers up an outdated watermark I had on the original files.

There is one minor conflict on pages that use the audio player playlist in more than one tabbed section. Currently, the issue only affects two pages: Cast & Crew Multimedia and Ghostbusters Score. What happens is that when you switch tabs, the playlist(s) on the other tabbed section(s) is not opened. The workaround is that you will have to click/press twice on the menu button (three horizontal lines) for the playlist to be displayed. Once it's opened/displayed, it should stay opened, even if you switch between the tabs again. I have added a big bold note at the top of both of those pages, which I hope is noticeable enough for people to see and understand.

More Spook Central pages that contain the new audio & video players include, but are not limited to: RGB Soundtrack, EGB Score, EGB Multimedia, GB1 Deleted Scenes, GB1 Stock Footage, GB2 Deleted Scenes, GB2 EPK, GB2 Multimedia, GB3 News, Paul's Music Videos, RGB Alt Episodes, RGB Bumpers, Making of RGB, RGB Pilot.

Even the Spook Central blog has been updated with the new audio & video players. Here are a few selected posts on which they are being used: Wilhelm Von Homburg Speaks As Vigo, More Love From The Cross The Streams Podcast, Shanna's Siren Song Stolen From She-Ra!, Silent Night, Deadly Night, South Park Uses Ghostbusters 2016 Review Quote.

Okay, so that about covers it all. Raffaele and I would appreciate it if you would use the comments section below to provide feedback, so we'll know if there are any issues we need to address, or if everything is running as well as expected.
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Spook Central's April Fools Day 2017 Prank

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Apr. 2, 2017 at 1:16 PM , Categories: Spook Central

I don't do April's Fools pranks every year, lest you be able to predict it coming. This year I decided to do one after seeing the site for the band Spook (located at SpookBand.com) pop up in search results for "Spook Central" because their main page carries that title. I thought it would be fun to replace MY Spook Central with theirs for the day.

On the Spook Central Facebook page, I gave a little hint that the prank was coming when I posted that "Spook Central v4.1" was coming this Saturday. The version number is, of course, April 1st - April Fools Day. I tried not to make the hint too obvious.

If you came to Spook Central on April 1st and saw the website of the band Spook, I hope you clicked around to the other pages. I copied over the seven main files that make up their website. For the most part, I left the pages alone, to make the prank look real. However, if you clicked over to the Contact page, the prank would have been revealed to you.


I don't know how many people I fooled with my prank, though I know that I got a few people. I hope those of you who saw it, enjoyed it.
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Spook Central Halloween Treat - Ghostbusters Coloring Pages

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Oct. 31, 2016 at 12:00 PM , Categories: Spook Central, Real Ghostbusters, Fans , Tags: halloween_treat
Halloween Treats


It was never meant to be a regular thing. I'm kinda surprised that it still is.

Several lifetimes ago, way back in 2012, Matt and I planned Spook Central's first "Halloween Treat": the Making Ghostbusters PDF. It was actually posted a week after Halloween, but even that was quite a feat considering that I was living in a Red Cross emergency shelter due to Hurricane Sandy evicting me from my home just a few days before Halloween. Matt worked with Raffaele (my friend who provides Spook Central's webhosting) to get the treat out there in my absence.

It was going to be a one-off "treat", and certainly not something that would continue every year...and yet it has. There's been a Halloween Treat here on Spook Central in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Heck, it has even spread to Spook Central's sister site, The Corner Penthouse, in 2014 and 2015.

This year's Halloween Treat is a set of 11 Ghostbusters coloring pages, courtesy of the Circle City Ghostbusters, in a partial collaboration with Spook Central. Six pages use artwork from Spook Central's Real Ghostbusters Production Artwork page, while the other four feature original artwork by CCGB member Jacob Bartlett, who provided me with these pages (and one by Alex of the CCGBs).

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If you are looking for more Ghostbusters coloring fun, download the Ghostbusters II Coloring Book PDF here on Spook Central. Those of you who like the new Ghostbusters movie can download a PDF coloring book featuring a drawing of that team, and other female squads at SheKnows.com.

For the complete list of Spook Central's Halloween Treat posts from years past, click here. Thanks to Miss Kate for the "Halloween Treat" title banner that appears at the top of this post.
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The Corner Penthouse of Spook Central

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Sep. 11, 2016 at 11:17 PM , Categories: Spook Central

Pull up a chair and settle in at The Corner Penthouse of Spook Central.


The new, yet not new, sister site of Spook Central, that's both separate from it, yet a part of it at the same time.

This is where I will be posting all of the stuff that isn't about Ghostbusters. The site/blog already contains a bunch of articles I wrote elsewhere back in 2014 and 2015 that "came home" to live under the Spook Central roof.

In addition to the site/blog, there's also a Facebook page and a Twitter page.

I think we have most of the kinks worked out, but if you see something, say something. Erin told me that's a good motto. The only design tweak I wanted to do, but couldn't quite work out, was to have a flat infinitely-tiled background of the side of the Shandor Building. Raffaele found an image which would have worked, except it didn't tile seamlessly. Oh well, the wood planks have that "home"-type of feeling that I'm going for.
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Spook Central 20th Anniversary

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Aug. 1, 2016 at 12:00 PM , Categories: Spook Central

Where the Hell does the time go?

It was 20 years ago this month, way back in August 1996, that I created Spook Central. Yes, TWO WHOLE DECADES and still going! That means that Spook Central is the longest-running Ghostbusters website on the internet. Some would also say that it's the only good Ghostbusters thing a "Paul" has ever created :-)

I've ruminated many times before on Spook Central's creation - blog posts from 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2004 are still online - so I don't really know what I can say at this point that I haven't already said before. I guess I'll make this really personal, and a little cathartic, and run down what I've been through since the site's 15th anniversary. Mind you, this only covers the past five years. It would make you weep if I told you my childhood and teenage traumas.

Starting exactly five years ago, at the end of August 2011, Hurricane Irene hit New York. My home was flooded with 1-foot of water, forcing my parents and I to be evacuated by rowboat! We were able to return a few hours later, and although we lost a lot of our belongings, the damage was minimal. It would get worse the following year. As is well-documented on Spook Central, my family fell victim to Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2012. Below is the last photo I ever took at my old home, at 8:50 AM Eastern on the morning of Monday October 29, 2012, linked to the last Facebook post I would ever make at that house on that computer (which was destroyed when the water rose above the height of the desk top). As you can see, at this point, the water was already over the second step of the front porch. That is my father standing there on the left, wearing his iconic red winter coat, which I now wear in his honor. About an hour later, we would leave that house, for the final time after 23 years.


My parents and I lived in a Red Cross emergency shelter for 6 weeks, before finding a new place to live, because our old home was inhabitable. This time, the house was flooded with SIX-FEET of water, which also destroyed irreplaceable photo albums and yearbooks. With very limited resources in the shelter, I managed to find two complete "strangers" in the fandom (Hi Alim & Bob), whom I never knew before this incident, who aided my family in ways that the "proper authorities" had no interest in doing.

We moved into this new place in December 2012. My father passed away 13 months later in January 2014, and my dear friend (and fellow Ghostbusters webmaster and fan) Doreen Mulman followed two months later. The following year, in September 2015, my mother fell ill. After two and a half months, during which she was actually getting better, she passed away shortly after Thanksgiving, leaving me all by myself by the time our three-year anniversary of living here rolled around in December 2015.

My handicapped sister is the only living immediate family member I have left, and is working on moving in with me, but that process has been bogged down in bureaucratic "red tape" for the past six months. Since the passing of both parents, I have been under extreme financial hardship. It is thanks to a very understanding and patient landlord that I am not homeless right now. As if enough wasn't already taken from me, last year I was diagnosed with diabetes, so now all of my favorite foods have been taken from me, as well.

Needless to say, Ghostbusters and Spook Central, has helped me to keep going. Working on the site; reviewing new merch; chatting it up with Raffaele, Matt, and Michael about Ghostbusters (and sometimes other shit); provides a nice distraction from my troubles (not the cool ones Audrey Parker gives you). I was actually looking forward to Spook Central's 20th anniversary. I wanted to do something really special, just as I did for the 15th anniversary, when I had Spook Central embroidered patches produced.

My plan was to have Spook Central t-shirts made, similar to the one artist Dan Schoening drew me wearing in a Ghostbusters comic book.


My idea would have had the Spook Central logo on a black shirt, as I think the contrast works better. The first issue, which I have not been able to overcome, is to get a high-res recreation of the original Spook Central logo (image at the top of this page), which Bill Emkow created for me back in March of 1997. It has to be a re-creation because that little 289x106 gif ain't gonna cut it for shirt-printing purposes. I don't have the skills to do it, but I'm thinking that it would not be too difficult for someone who does. It's a common font (Courier New), with some kind of glow and drop shadow effects, and a small cut-out of Slimer from this common Ghostbusters still image.

The second issue would be to find a place that can handle the production of the shirts, plus order processing and shipping. I see a few options online, but don't have a clear choice because I need further information. With everything that's happened in June and July, I have been too inundated with other stuff to give this research the time it requires. And without the high-res logo, there hasn't been much incentive because I can't proceed without that.

I also have to wonder: Would any of the Ghostheads out there buy a Spook Central t-shirt?

So, here I am, celebrating two decades of Spook Central without having anything special to commemorate the occasion with. It feels a bit weird to post this, because I don't like posting a "what could have been". On the other hand, I couldn't let the 20th anniversary pass without any mention whatsoever.

BBC Online Interview About Ghostbusters Reboot - With My Participation

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on May. 27, 2016 at 1:58 PM , Categories: Spook Central, 2016 Parody Remake

I was recently interviewed by Michael Baggs from BBC Online in regards to the new Ghostbusters movie and the overwhelming amount of hatred geared towards it. Michael's piece, entitled Why do lots of Ghostbusters fans already hate the new movie?, was just published, so go check it out.

It's a pretty fair piece, and I hope that I did a good job representing the fans. I actually wrote a lot more than what was quoted in the article. Since I spent a few hours typing it, I thought it would be nice if I copy and pasted my original responses here. I wasn't sure if Michael was looking for lengthy, wordy answers, or something a little more brief, so I did my best to answer these questions without writing the second volume of "War and Peace" :-) Some of my answers could be applicable to more than one question, but I did my best to give each question a unique answer.

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Spook Central Is Now GhostCorps Registered

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on May. 17, 2016 at 1:42 PM , Categories: Spook Central

Lookee what I received in the mail today. Yup, it's one of those super-awesome "GhostCorps Cadet" pins. If I still had any of the 15th anniversary Spook Central patches I had made back in 2011, I would have sent them one in return. I'm looking into getting Spook Central t-shirts made for the site's 20th anniversary this August. I'll definitely send them one for their memorabilia display case, if I can make it a reality. Yes, you read correctly. This Ghostbusters fansite has been "alive" and active for TWO DECADES! It's older than the kids who'll be watching the new movie :-)

You can hit up GhostCorps on Facebook and check out their Ghostbusters Wiki page to learn more about them.
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Official Ghostbusters Website Updated / Spook Central's Stance On The Reboot - Trailer Coming Soon

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Feb. 15, 2016 at 11:45 PM , Categories: Spook Central, Ghostbusters 1, Ghostbusters 2, 2016 Parody Remake

The official Ghostbusters website has recently been completely revamped with new image galleries for the original two films and the new reboot. The images on display are very large and are some of the highest quality that I've ever seen. As such, I updated and added to the images here on Spook Central on the following pages:
  • Ghostbusters 1 Multimedia - In the Official Photos section, updated these images: gb1_mult_img_offphoto04.jpg, gb1_mult_img_offphoto06.jpg, gb1_mult_img_offphoto08.jpg, gb1_mult_img_offphoto19.jpg; and added the last two images in the section.
  • Ghostbusters 1 Deleted - Added two images of Ray sitting by equipment with LED text display.
  • Ghostbusters 1 Deleted: Pulling Up To Fort Detmerring - Very first image on the page, and the first image of the guys outside of the car, have been replaced with better copies.
  • Ghostbusters 1 Deleted: The Fort Detmerring Ghost - Added brand new behind-the-scenes image of Ray in bed at the very bottom of the page.
  • Ghostbusters 2 Multimedia - In the Official Photos section, updated these images: gb2_mult_img_offphoto13.jpg, gb2_mult_img_offphoto17.jpg, gb2_mult_img_offphoto18.jpg, gb2_mult_img_offphoto20.jpg, gb2_mult_img_offphoto21.jpg, gb2_mult_img_offphoto25.jpg, gb2_mult_img_offphoto26.jpg, gb2_mult_img_offphoto28.jpg.
  • Ghostbusters 2 Deleted - Updated the last Egon/Ray with mood slime image.
If you want to download the full set of images from the official Ghostbusters website, for a LIMITED TIME, you can grab them in this 73 Mb .rar file that was collected by Matthew Jordan. When that file is no longer available, you'll need to download them off the Ghostbusters.com site. Here are the direct links:




I noticed some blurring and editing in the images, just like in The Ultimate Visual History book, which makes me sad. This makes me think that the blurring was done by Sony *before* they gave the photos to Insight Editions. The full list of blurs/edits is below. I did not include extreme cropping, such as the crowd at the bottom of "ghostbusters_1984_image_042.jpg".

ghostbusters_1984_image_017.jpg - Blurred crowd faces; they look like their faces are melted!!!
ghostbusters_1984_image_018.jpg - Text on green truck has been removed. (For comparison)
ghostbusters_1984_image_024.jpg - Temple doors blurred.
ghostbusters_1984_image_025.jpg - Labels on yellow tank on car roof has been blurred out. (For comparison)
ghostbusters_1984_image_026.jpg - Background people's faces blurred.
ghostbusters_1984_image_040.jpg - Blurred firemen faces.
ghostbusters_1984_image_041.jpg - Temple doors blurred. (For comparison)
ghostbusters_1984_image_042.jpg - Elements in the background have been blurred: the green sign on the building and graffiti on the white truck.
ghostbusters_1984_image_058.jpg - Painting blurred.
ghostbusters_1984_image_060.jpg - The labels on the yellow tank on the car were digitally removed. (For comparison)
ghostbusters_1984_image_061.jpg - The name "Sniffer" and the company's name plaque were digitally removed from the equipment Ray is holding. (For comparison)

As someone who likes things in their original form, I absolutely HATE when they do crap like this. Gotta blame the legal department.

As previously stated, some new images from the reboot were added to the official site, but they have not been added to Spook Central. This is because Spook Central will cover the reboot in a limited capacity. I thought that I already gave my stance on the reboot, but I can't find any record of it, so let me use this space to let all of you dear readers know how Spook Central will and will not cover the reboot.

First, let me give my (Paul Rudoff) personal opinion on the reboot movie. Simply put, I find the idea of a female Ghostbusters, as USED IN THIS FILM, to be a gimmick. There are many female Ghostheads who dress up for the various franchises, and I'd much rather see any of them make their own fan film than the "Hollywood Version". And that's putting aside the fact that if this were "real", the team would be more likely to be mixed of both genders than one or the other. It's sad that the overly-PC Extreme Ghostbusters got it right. It doesn't help that I can't stand this director or many of the cast members. I was much more behind the idea when names like Anna Faris and Eliza Dushku were bandied about. Apparently, we can't have female Ghostbusters in their '30s (save for Kate McKinnon), even though ALL FOUR of the original guys were in their '30s when they made the original film. I mean, wasn't the whole reason for the "passing of the torch" idea because the original guys were "too old"? I have nothing against older women, but if you want the rebooted franchise to have legs, you need to put it in the hands of a younger group of women. There are many smart and talented young women in Hollywood. Hell, one of my favorite actresses, Alison Brie, is a huge Ghostbusters fan. I would kill to see her don the jumpsuit and pack, and I think she'd be even more excited at that prospect. Instead, we get Paul Fieg's friend Melissa McCarthy and such simply because they're Fieg's favorites.

That's not to say that I can't be pleasantly surprised by what Feig and company have done. As much as I absolutely hate Jonah Hill - I want to punch him in the face every time I see him, and he completely ruined a whole bunch of movies for me (Forgetting Sarah Marshall being the best example) - I was surprised by how much I liked him in the 21 Jump Street reboot. In fact, I thought that the 21 Jump Street reboot movie was a great way to update an old idea and do it differently instead of simply retreading it. So, I'll have a more firm opinion on the Ghostbusters reboot after I see the real trailer on March 3, 2016. Maybe it'll actually make me interested in the actual film. Right now, the more I see of the upcoming merchandise, I'm actually more interested in the ghosts/demons than the humans.

I've given a lot of thought on how, or even IF, Spook Central will cover the reboot. I'm slowly starting to wind Spook Central down. I've eliminated parts of the site so as to keep the focus on what the site does best. For almost 20 years now, the site has been updated and worked-on by hand by one person. This has its advantages, but it also has its disadvantages, too. Simply put, the reboot would add way too much work for me, and unless it absolutely blows me away, I don't have the passion for it as I do for the classic media. So, I decided that I will cover some of the important elements here on the Spook Central blog/main page. When the trailer drops, I'll post some screens and a review/commentary. When the movie itself comes out, I'll likely post a few words here. Maybe I'll make a post for this or that, but that's generally about it. Most of the official reboot news will be posted on the Spook Central Facebook page, where Matthew Jordan has been really on the ball on it. Matthew posts a lot more on the GB Reboot Appreciation Facebook Page, and he and Michael give in-depth coverage for the reboot on the Ghostbusters Wiki (where I'm also an admin). I'd be more likely to post considerable stuff for the reboot there than I would here.

Finally, the short and pointless 30-second teaser FOR the reboot's trailer was just released (embedded below). Apparently, the Ghostbusters reboot will not feature the Ghostbusters, but will instead be about the police and National Guard. Or maybe this is just a teaser for Sony's sequel to its 1998 Godzilla film. Anyway, the real trailer will be released on March 3, 2016.


Site Update - Real Ghostbusters Animation Cels / Toy Door Poster / Ghostbusters II Cassette & CD Single Art

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Oct. 18, 2015 at 7:42 PM , Categories: Spook Central, Ghostbusters 2, Real Ghostbusters, Music, Toys

A rather odd grouping of stuff for this Spook Central site update. The bulk of the update is that ALL of my Real Ghostbusters Animation Cels are now part of the site. Eventually, I'd like to identify every episode each cel comes from and find the final frames in the episodes.

A super-large scan of The Real Ghostbusters Kenner Dual-Sided Door Poster/Calendar is now on the Real Ghostbusters Merchandise page. If you ever wondered what the source is for most of the Spook Central holiday images seen in the upper right corner of the main page...well, now you know.

Finally, the artwork for the Ghostbusters II CD & Cassette Singles of Bobby Brown's and Run-DMC's hit songs from the movie have been added to the songs respective pages. The music will be added, eventually, but I still have to see what I can do to clean the audio files. Right now, I'm concentrating on images, so I figured it best to get the art up first and get a placeholder made.
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Ghostbusters: The Ultimate Visual History Exclusive Mini-Animation Cel Preview

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Oct. 15, 2015 at 11:00 PM , Categories: Spook Central, Books
(click to enlarge)

Making Ghostbusters by Don Shay is considered the "Ghostbusters Bible". Well, this month the "New Testament" has been released. That being, Ghostbusters: The Ultimate Visual History by Daniel Wallace. I contributed a lot of images for the book (you'll see my name in the credits). Most of my contributions are in The Real Ghostbusters section. Specifically, several animation cel scans from my collection are in the book.

My cel of Slimer & Peter, without the background, was reproduced as a mini-cel, affixed to page 187. The publisher has given me the exclusivity on presenting this item to all of you as a preview of the book.

(click to enlarge)

Ghostbusters: The Ultimate Visual History, which you can order at Amazon, was originally slated for a September 27th release here in the U.S., but since the U.K. publisher released it a month early, it seems that the release has gotten pushed up. As of right now, Amazon has it in stock and ready to ship!

I will have a detailed review of the book here on Spook Central soon. I still have some stuff for Spook Central that I want to get done with first. I originally had planned to write it next week, but I have been dealing with a family member in the hospital for the past five weeks, which will likely cause it to be delayed until after Halloween.
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In Loving Memory of Joel Richard Rudoff (July 28, 1944 - January 20, 2014)

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