Touring Charlie Churchman’s TeleCine Engineering Wonderland

Spirits-400Thanks Charlie and Ed for a fun and informative visit, and especially for the great work. The transfers of my 50-60 year old 3″ 8mm home movie reels were a kick to watch, so I’m especially thanking you for my sisters in advance of them watching their young selves on DVD. But that’s child’s play compared to Ed syncing the sound to my circa 1970 16mm film of DC’s Lloyd McNeill and the group Love, Cry, Want – that was really well done. Video archeology at it’s best.

It’s kind of hard to fathom how much modern and antique equipment you fit in your studios. I realize the barn is pretty large, but the amount of equipment could fill a building fourfold bigger. Just breathtaking… It’s a good thing there is an elevator to move the new machines to the production studio on the second floor not to mention the heavy cartons full of reels that move between floors. Who would think any of this is contained in what from the outside simply looks like an old barn? And what barn has a diesel backup power generator and an elevator??

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A Client Comment

Liz-Coffey-200Liz Coffey asked: Can anyone recommend a video transfer house for an archival 16mm film to video job? I'm looking for someone with a gentle touch and a reasonable pricetag, NY to MD.
--Liz Coffey, Rhode Island Historical Society Library,

Rick Prelinger responds: You might talk with Charlie Churchman at Telecine Services. Very reasonable. His services are scalable, so Id be very specific about your needs. Weve done over 800 hours of work with him and had very good experiences.
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What Is The Lost Facenda Film?

By Scott Bomboy, Managing Editor,
POSTED: 3:04 pm EST November 15, 2004
UPDATED: 3:25 pm EDT June 10, 2005

station headerThe 1961 documentary film youre watching on, Dead End 1975 is truly a lost film that was recently found by several strokes of luck and restored to its original condition.
As part our of project to put archival WCAU footage on the Internet, I found several unmarked film canisters in the second floor of WCAUs film vault, an older room above the stations old newsroom that is kept under lock and key.

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Notes from Rick Prelingers webite

Prelinger-400Back from a week in New York rummaging through the archives to pull films for a whopping big transfer to videotape (some of these films will one day appear on the moviearchive site) and to select material for future production use, for which you are requested to please stay tuned. Its an exhilarating, though rather dusty, experience to dig into the corners -- found stuff Id not known we had and even a few titles lost since the late 1980s, like the legendary lost film introducing high-school age applicants to Michigan State University, Postmark East Lansing.

Brought all this material down to Charlie Churchman, who does our film-to-tape transfers in a remodeled barn full of high-tech transfer equipment located just outside Philadelphia. Grateful thanks to my generous hosts who restructured their living situations to put me up while I was in NY: Carrie McLaren, Greg Allen and Johanna Fateman.
June 17, 2002


Bill wrote: SLOW DOWN! I cant keep up with all the fabulous obscure movies youve uploaded here! Seriously, keep up the great work, all of these obscure oddities are FABULOUS! When I first saw the feature films section, I thought it was going to be nothing but time-worn copyright free movies that are available from every fly by night video company imaginable. But seeing stuff like the amazing Captain Calamity makes me realize you are truly doing something SPECIAL here. Is your mandate to put lesser-known copyright free movies here? Just wondering.

skip-elsheimer-200Skip Elsheimer replies: Actually the films being uploaded at this point are public domain features from the collection of Charlie Churchman. Ive picked a couple of features based on their subject matter or possible popularity. We hope to have over 500 features online within the next couple of months. Enjoy!

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