|Old Bull Lee|
There are only a few select writers on the planet that I would rather listen to than read, and William S. Burroughs is among that group. Even though you unmistakably hear his voice when you're reading, there's something magical about the old man's flat tone and creaking, crotchety voice that adds a layer of ambiance that augments his written word so perfectly. Though his voice did age like a fine whiskey, he was born an old soul who Kerouac described as "...a gray, nondescript-looking fellow you wouldn't notice on the street unless you looked closer and saw his mad, bony skull..." Burroughs was only 43 years old when that description of him was published in 1957's On The Road.
|Spare Ass Annie|
Junky's Christmas Short Film:
The problem with the DVD release is that it sucks. The claymation footage is presented as interlaced and in the wrong aspect ratio. This is unfortunately a normal result of mixed media presentations on DVD. It's hard to say exactly who's fault this is, but generally it results when the disc image is being designed immediately before being delivered to the factory. Additionally there are sections where Danny's collar has a moire effect going on due to the crosshatching on his coat. This is more than likely accentuated due to the project being edited on tape rather than on film.
*If you have a keen eye, you may notice that the claymation footage still has ghosting (blended frames) but after experimenting with several different frame rates to attempt to solve the problem, I consulted my friend Ian about it. After reviewing the credits at the end (which will show you if the image is skipping, repeating, or blending frames), it is undeniable that this project was created with them as either purposeful, or that they are baked in and cannot be removed without very tedious work.
|Amazing Claymation Work|
So here you go, one of the best holiday specials ever made for those of us a little off that beaten path. Enjoy!
h265 link (Right Click, Save As)
*EDIT*The cinematographer of this project, Simon Higgins, was kind enough to write in (see below in the comments) and add to the available information about this wonderful project! Thanks!
I was the cinematographer on the claymation component of this project. You've done a pretty decent job of restoring it. Great to see it looking like the original after so many years.
It was shot on Bolex cameras colour standard 16mm Kodak film stock, aka (7298) 100ASA, in the late spring/summer of Sydney,Australia 1993. The production design was almost entirely monochrome and the remaining colour was removed in the film to tape (telecine).
It was mastered on PAL video, that's just 576 pixels tall at a 1.33:1 aspect ratio and I guess that's what probably got transferred to VHS and eventually to DVD. A 16mm film print was also struck from the PAL video master and it toured the world film festival circuit for quite a few years and was lucky enough to attract some critical acclaim.