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Topic: Don Alan "Magic Ranch" DVD's -- how is the picture quality?
Message: Posted by: sethb (Nov 18, 2007 06:30PM)
I see the Magic Ranch videos are now available on DVD, click [url=http://themagicwarehouse.com/cgi-bin/findit.pl?x_item=DA1082]HERE[/url] for more info.

I was wondering about the picture quality before I invested $90+ in the set. I assume that most of this material is from the 1950's and 60's, and was likely preserved as 35mm kinetoscopes rather than on videotape.

If this is all there is, so be it, it's better than nothing, but it can be tough on the eyes after a while! Has anyone purchased this set, and can you comment on the picture quality and sound? Thanks! SETH
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Nov 21, 2007 02:03PM)
You are correct that the show was in the early 1960ís.

They were shot on 35mm film stock.
The sound is good TV quality.

The quality is amazingly good for film that old.
Some are B&W some are color,
but the line-up of classic magicians running through
Chicago in those days was amazing.

Do yourself a huge favor and buy a chunk of magical history,
buy these, I was there in those days,
and those Chicago days were precious for magic.

Everything Todd touches at Miracle Factory
is as high quality as he can possibly manage
and the price is little for a lot of education and entertainment.

Message: Posted by: sethb (Nov 21, 2007 08:18PM)
Thanks, Walt, for the info. If the show was actually shot in 35mm, then that would be a vast improvement over a 35mm kinetoscope.

As you likely know, the kinetoscopes were made by aiming a 35mm camera at a television monitor. It produced a grainy, distorted image, but that was about the only way to capture early television broadcasts before the advent of videotape.

Sounds like I need to step up and acquire a piece of magic history. SETH
Message: Posted by: drhackenbush (Nov 26, 2007 08:55PM)
I just got this set from Denny & Lee's - the picture quality is surprisingly good. Denny said it does reflect the technology of the time when I was deciding to buy them, and that is true, but it's a lot better than lots of archival film I've seen.

Content-wise, it's a goldmine. My favorite episode is, I believe, #9, featuring Neil Foster, who opens with his famous T&R newspaper, "Center Tear", which is now part of Lance Burton's dove act, and just is great entertainment.

Don Alan himself is amazing - I've never seen him perform before, and what I really liked is that he isn't just a magician, he is a TV personality in this show, and I mean that as a compliment. His magic is completely natural and actually has a point, and he isn't a stereotypical caricature of a magician, which is unfortunately what a lot of TV magic ends up being. It's as if a seasoned TV host happend to know magic, not a magician trying to be a TV host. And his guests are the best in the business.

This is an historical document, and is well worth the hundred bucks.