Five more tapes transferred to DVD

Today I am transferring to DVD the following shows:
Treasure Island - 1995 - (Asset 34)
Eggheads - 1996 - (Asset 29)
A Bowl of Red - 1995 - (Asset 37)
Riders of the Purple Sage - 1996 - (Asset 41)
Old Coots Read Genesis 1-8 (King James Version) - 1997 - (Asset 27)

Five more tapes transferred to DVD

I've been able to transfer to DVD today five shows from 1995-1996.
Lysistrata - 1996 - (Asset 26)
Every Man His Own Football (The Divine Madness of Dada Cabaret) - 1996 - (Asset 32)
The Skin of our Teeth - 1996 - (Asset 33)
Swank City - 1995 - (Asset 31)
The Day the Earth Stood Still - 1995 - (Asset 30)

Found more VHS tapes from 1995-1998

I found a bunch of tapes from the 1995 - 1998 period. They are all VHS tapes so I'll be able to transfer them to DVD pretty quickly. One of the great things about these tapes is that in the cases are the complete cast and production staff listings. This is great to have for the database. There's also two tapes of Old Mother Westwind that are labelled as being from 1998 as a Trinity Valley Drama directed by Lake Simons and Harold Lehmann. This play was adapted by Johnny Simons and Douglas Balentine back in 1978 and premiered in the 2nd performance season. While these tapes are not of that production, it's great to have something that came from the Hip Pocket Theatre and involves members of our troupe. I've been able to enter all of the production information from these tapes into the Preservation database. I also photographed and catalogued another 20 tapes.

Received the first digitized files today

I picked up, from Peggy Bott Kirby, copies of the digital files from the first five tapes digitized by Alan Brown at Visions Videography. The files come to us in a format called .avi and range in size from 5.13 GB (Asset 485) to 19.74 GB (Asset 494); a total of 65.64 GB. Will do some experimenting with these to determine the best way to save off copies for storage at multiple locations to guard against loss. The tapes now go into a new bin for tapes that have been digitized and a new set are with Alan to be converted....progress...

A little update, I converted the .AVI files to .MP4 files which reduced their sizes quite a bit. I then took a quick look at them and the quality of the transfer is pretty good. One of them is of Cowtown! at the White Elephant. There's another that shows Diane and James Maynard working in the costume shop with some other people I don't recognize and a very young Lake. Johnny is in another interviewing people at the Smoke House creating a film to show students from Duke University that he's trying to get to come to Fort Worth to be in one of his plays. There's a great Black and White video with Grover Coulson and Michael Joe Goggans and others called Seasonal Staff about the IRS. Grover walks in with a bucket of coins and dumps them on a guys desk to pay his income taxes. Everyone's sooooo young!

New Website up and running

Uploaded the new website this evening. Will be adding lots of new information very quickly. Working on sorting through almost 18,000 images in the collection to create galleries. That will take a while but I'll put up new galleries on a pretty regular basis. For now, explore...and I'll get back to transferring old video tapes while I work on image galleries.

Working on new website

Continuing to work on the new web site, experimenting with different banner images and organizing more photo galleries. Other minor tweaks to provide captions to photos in galleries. Starting to collect bios and photographs of key members of the Hip Pocket Theatre troupe.

First tapes transferred by Visions Videography

Peggy Bott Kirby has picked up the first batch of digitized videos from Visions Videography over in Arlington. Alan Brown, owner of Visions Videography has a lot of years of experience doing these video transfers and all the necessary equipment, except beta. Bruce and I can't wait to get the digital files in our hands to take a look at their quality. I am especially interested in their size so we can get a better estimate on the amount of digital storage space we'll be needing to hold all of these files.

Eagle Audio acquires SuperVHS

Eagle Audio called today to let me know they had bought a SuperVHS player on eBay and were heading to FedEx to pick it up. This means they will have the ability to help transfer the approximately 96 SuperVHS tapes we have in the collection. They also have a couple of VHS to DVD players and the ability to transfer the 3/4-inch UMATIC tapes. We'll get together some time next week to do some transfers to see how they turn out.

Eagle Audio to help out

I spoke with Jerry Hudson and Jeff Ward last week at Eagle Audio Recording. We use them whenever Johnny needs to do a pre-recorded piece for a play. They have actually been associated with the theatre for many years and used to do a lot of recording for Douglas Balentine back in the day. Anyway, I digress, they saw the article in the FW Weekly about Bruce Balentine's Kickstarter project and contacted Johnny Simons to say they wanted to help. Who knew they also did video transfer work? I didn't. Turns out they have a whole studio set aside for just that purpose and they have all of the equipment too. They've offered to do the transfers or allow me to use their equipment and do it myself. I go this week with a couple of tapes I can't do with my equipment to see how it works. Big thumbs up for Eagle Audio Recording (817) 877-4338. 911 South Main St., Fort Worth, TX 76104.

New website under development

Began working yesterday on a major revision to the Hip Pocket Theatre website. Have been able, over the past two days, to establish all of the major new sections to the site along with a lot of new technologies for the presentation of video clips, etc. Am now implementing a Preservation Blog page where I can keep you all informed of progress in the transfer of the videos, development of the database, etc.