kitparkerfilms

Posts Tagged ‘science fiction

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The first time I saw ONE MILLION B.C. (1940) was in the late 1950s on KSBW-TV in Salinas, California.  Thought it was pretty cool, even though the station always was kind of fuzzy.  (The VCI DVD and Blu-ray are exceptionally sharp)  There was never any doubt the “dinosaurs” were anything other than lizards, but that made no difference to me, nor to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences who bestowed an Oscar for its special effects.  Clips of the “dinosaurs” were later used in over a dozen low-rent feature films, including two of mine, “Untamed Women” (1951) and “King Dinosaur” (1955).

The one shot that did stun me was watching the mother of a child being entombed by flowing lava.  60 years later it still kind of gives me the creeps.  I enjoyed the movie enough to buy both Castle Films one-reel silent abridgements, “1 Million B.C.” and “Battle of the Giants.”

Author, Richard Bann, who personally knew Hal Roach for many years, was nice enough to contribute some facts.  Thanks, Dick!

“Who wrote ONE MILLION B.C.? Hal E. Roach did. At one point he was going to (but elected not to) take credit for the original story as “Eugene Roche,” a pseudonym he sometimes (but rarely) used, Eugene being his middle name. Having known him so well, I can state that this direct, blunt, raw movie absolutely reflects his world view, his values, his way of thinking. Yet others received credit for the “original screenplay.” One, Mickell Novak, was his secretary, who I met once. She confirmed that Hal wrote the picture, and others who “helped” in some fashion were given screen credit to pad the production staff. When Hal first entered movies, he was a friend of and hired her mother, Jane Novak, who made Westerns with William S. Hart. And Mickell Novak’s aunt was another silent film actress of note, Eva Novak. And much has been written about the contributions of D.W. Griffith to ONE MILLION B.C. in various capacities. With respect to the story, Griffith wrote several treatments and offered a 76-page screenplay. All were rejected. By 1940, movies made in the teens seemed as antiquated as the setting for ONE MILLION B.C., and unfortunately Griffith had not changed with the times.”

Order ONE MILLION B.C. on DVD or Blu-ray from The Sprocket Vault –

DVD – http://thesprocketvault.com/product/one-million-b-c/

Blu-ray – http://thesprocketvault.com/product/one-million-b-c-blu-ray/

 

Keep up to date with our new Sprocket Vault releases by liking us on Facebook www.facebook.com/sprocketvault/

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Retire?

No way…I’m still finding too many interesting movies to release on DVD/Blu-ray.

Hard to believe Kit Parker Films just celebrated its 45th year in the distribution of classic motion pictures! Back in 1971 the 16mm non-theatrical industry was thriving, but it was largely owned by corporations which were passionate about money, but dispassionate about films, and the quality of the film prints showed it. I saw a niche to be filled — renting out quality prints at affordable prices, and Kit Parker Films was born.

The 16mm library expanded throughout the years until home video made inroads into the industry — the quality of VHS was marginal at best, but the price was right. By the 90s I branched out into the 35mm theatrical arena, eventually becoming the go-to source for classics in the 35mm film format.

In the late 1990s I realized the days of projecting celluloid were going to be replaced by DVDs, so slowly phased out the “old” KPF, and in 2001 began purchasing the copyrights to vintage films. Over the next 15 years my collection grew to include hundreds of feature films, television programs, serials and shorts.   Many of my acquisitions required a great degree of patience and detective work to clear rights and locate suitable elements, but those efforts unearthed many films that had seen little or no exposure for decades.

Launching my library on DVD was a success, but like other producers, my profit was far too diluted by wholesalers, and their related “expenses” that I had to pay for, but that was the traditional method media (starting with books) made its way to stores and customers for over 100 years.

Amazon has been amazing for people like me who don’t like to go to stores. By 2015 they were by far the #1 seller for my DVDs.  Over time I noticed that some items I’d buy would say “Sold by ‘Acme Company’” and “Fulfilled By Amazon.” Amazon is making 90% of my DVD sales…I had a lightbulb moment! I can’t say why it took so long for me to figure out I could sell exclusively through Amazon, pay their fulfillment fee and continue to grow my business.

This means I can continue to augment my release schedule and continue to take a chance on projects that may not even recoup their costs. How many people are going to buy a silent serial, or an obscure cult film?  In this business you never know, but I’ve built my career on taking new risks.

So, I did it, and my new company, The Sprocket Vault, was born. Although TSV was created originally to sell my own DVD/Blu-rays, other producers have started approaching me to sell theirs…so my company is growing, and that means lots of new releases of interest for you.

 

I WANT YOU!

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TO LIKE TSV ON FACEBOOK

 

Keep up to date with our new Sprocket Vault releases by liking us on Facebook www.facebook.com/sprocketvault/

Visit our site regularly and sign up for our email list.

www.sprocketvault.com

Also, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLHjjG-o5Ny5BDykgVBzdrQ .

“Bombproof,” in equestrian jargon, is a horse that can be put into any situation, remain calm, and persevere until the job is done perfectly.

Author Tom Weaver is just that way with interviews.  The ones he’s conducted with horror movie stars, directors and producers, throughout a couple of dozen books…are all winners.  He bats a thousand.

His latest, “The Horror Films of Richard Gordon” (BearManor Media, 2011), just came out, and I can’t wait to get my copy.  A Weaver/Gordon combo is guaranteed to be a page-turner.

Out of many interviews, there have been occasions when the interviewees are problems…want to give only “yes and no” answers, are boring, senile, or even drunk!  Even if all four, and the house is on fire, Tom somehow perseveres.  He prepares in advance, and works harder conducting interviews than anyone I’ve known.  He just makes it look so eeeeasy.

I first met Tom a few years ago when he agreed to come from his home in Sleepy Hollow,New York, toLos Angeles, and conduct interview/commentary tracks for one of my “Positively No Refunds” DVD double-features.  I’ve met him a couple of times since, and he’s always comes across as a warm, thoughtful, teddy-bearish sort of guy…quick-witted, a master of plays on words…with a radio voice.  He loves to wear comfortable clothes (I’ve never seen him in anything other than well-worn shorts and t-shirts,) and eat comfort food (packs more cholesterol in a day than most people do in a week, maybe two).

Now that I’ve introduced the Tom I know, the movies on the “No Refunds” DVD are “Bride and the Beast” (1958) and “White Gorilla” (1945).   Charlotte Austin, star of “Bride” was one of the participants, along with beloved science fiction movie icon, Bob Burns.  Both movies had “gorillas” in them, and for those who don’t know, Bob is the expert on movie gorillas. “Bride” bit-player Slick Slavin (Trustin Howard) also joined them. Tom didn’t need to worry about bomb-proofing with this group…just wind them up and let ‘em roll.  The funniest commentary tracks I’ve produced so far!

People ask me how I come up with those witty descriptions of my movies on the back of DVD covers.  The answer is easy…I don’t write them – Tom Weaver does.

The Horror Hits of Richard Gordon:

http://www.amazon.com/Horror-Hits-Richard-Gordon/dp/1593936419/ref=sr_1_19?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1306199227&sr=1-19

Other Tom Weaver interview books:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_21?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=tom+weaver+interviews&sprefix=tom+weaver+interviews

Charlotte Austin’s Filmography:

http://www.fandango.com/charlotteaustin/filmography/p2878

Bob Burns’ web site:

http://bobburns.mycottage.com/

 

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Visit our website to order DVDs from the Kit Parker Films Collection –

www.sprocketvault.com

Keep up to date with our new Sprocket Vault releases by liking us on Facebook www.facebook.com/sprocketvault/

Also, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLHjjG-o5Ny5BDykgVBzdrQ


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