W.W.&F. Discussion Forum

The Maine Narrow Gauges (Historic & Preserved) => Bridgton & Saco River Railway => Topic started by: Stephen Hussar on August 03, 2009, 09:17:55 AM

Title: The Films of Gus Pratt - part II
Post by: Stephen Hussar on August 03, 2009, 09:17:55 AM
Just FYI, the new Gus Pratt dvd is now available in the WW&F giftshop. It was delivered this past Saturday, one week early...slightly under budget too  :D

Stephen
Title: Re: The Films of Gus Pratt - part II
Post by: James Patten on August 03, 2009, 10:10:19 AM
Let me give a brief review of it, as I was among the buyers on Saturday.

Lots of interesting material on the B&SR, even for one who isn't as an enthusiastic B&SR fan as some people I know.  Some views of Bridgton Junction, Bridgton itself, from the front seat of the railbus going down the track, and some really nice views of Portland Union Station.

Then a few minutes of Edaville, mainly trips around the bogs.  There's even spots where Gus is chasing the train in a car.

Pretty neat viewing, although I was a little disappointed at no color.  Maybe color film had increased in price enough during the War to make it out of reach.
Title: Re: The Films of Gus Pratt - part II
Post by: Stewart "Start" Rhine on August 12, 2009, 08:55:46 PM
I got the new Gus Pratt DVD last week and have watched it 5 times.  It's great.  The sound track is perfect ... (note: listen carefully for the wildlife sounds along Hancock Pond) ... I think Jason will enjoy that part.  ;D  As James mentioned, the Bridgton stuff is real nice.  There's even some footage of Main Street with the Mayfair Diner, old stores and 1930's automobiles.  The Edaville section is crystal clear.  It's interesting to see the rolling stock in it's original configuration, gotta love that 3 door baggage car.

Great job by Stephen and crew!!
Title: Re: The Films of Gus Pratt - part II
Post by: John McNamara on August 12, 2009, 09:18:45 PM
There's even spots where Gus is chasing the train in a car.

It helped me to feel really old - I can tell that the car was a Plymouth, as the Plymouth hood ornament was a sailing ship, and that is clearly visible in the chasing shots.

-John
Title: Re: The Films of Gus Pratt - part II
Post by: Dana Deering on August 17, 2009, 06:46:34 AM
Excellent work, Stephen, and a huge posthumous tip of the hat to Gus for getting the B&SR on film.  I had a showing of the DVD for my family at our camp on Hancock Pond not more than 150 feet from the old ROW and they all loved it.  Great scenes of the trains running along the shore of the Pond and taking water.  The very youngest of my relatives had no real idea of just how close the trains ran beside the water and they thought it was "cool".

I like the footage of Master Mechanic Millard "Uncle Mel" Caswell and his wife.  According to B&SR legend he worked for the railroad for 42 years without taking any time off.  Then after he retired he still came around to help out and also showed up for nearly every fan trip.  He was 91 when the railroad was scrapped so he saw it from beginning to end.  Not sure when he died. (I have come to believe that Jason is a reincarnation of Uncle Mel, from his talent to his stature.) Speaking of Jason, I think the best photo in the 2010 calendar is the one showing our Master Mechanic in his "element".  It's perfect. Great stuff. 
Title: Re: The Films of Gus Pratt - part II
Post by: Stephen Hussar on August 18, 2009, 12:12:51 PM
Thanks, Dana!
Title: Re: The Films of Gus Pratt - part II
Post by: Stewart "Start" Rhine on August 24, 2009, 09:21:35 PM
Dana, I agree with you on the 2010 calendar photos.  I've complimented Steve on his picture of Jason too.  With the back lighting and contrasts it reminds me of Richard Steinheimers or Jim Gallaghers work.  The whole calendar is super - a nice look at our volunteers and projects.  The trestle photo (inside the back cover) looks like a Wallace Nutting print.
Title: Re: The Films of Gus Pratt - part II
Post by: Glenn Christensen on August 24, 2009, 10:19:11 PM
Beautiful work Steven!  I've already watched Vol. 2 twice and was "gob-smacked" at how terrific it is!  I was especially taken with the extraordinarily clear view of the n.g. side of the Bridgton Junction depot!  I KNEW it had double windows!!!!  ... although in later years the NW-most window WAS single.

The picture quality and sound are first-rate.

I'll have to get a new copy next year once I wear this one out!

Thanks to you Steven and thanks to Gus!!!!  I'm sure the old Bridgton boys have already told him how pleased they are.


Best Regards,
Glenn
Title: Re: The Films of Gus Pratt - part II
Post by: Duncan Mackiewicz on August 25, 2009, 11:22:46 AM
I finally had a chance to view my copy of the DVD and it was difficult to realize the sounds of the trains were not the original sounds from the film.  A truely magnificent job of dubbing-in the engine sounds Stephen.  You were right about the sounds of #8 and the turntable - many different subtle sounds to make up the finished sound as the engine moved across the turntable.  Very nice,
Duncan
Title: Re: The Films of Gus Pratt - part II
Post by: Stephen Hussar on August 25, 2009, 03:15:29 PM
Thank you very much! I feel honored to have been asked to work on Gus' films!   

Stephen
Title: Re: The Films of Gus Pratt - part II
Post by: Bill Reidy on September 07, 2009, 04:54:57 PM
I picked up the DVD this past Saturday and watched it last night.  Very, very well done.  Thanks Stephen!

- Bill
Title: Re: The Films of Gus Pratt - part II
Post by: Stephen Hussar on September 08, 2009, 08:37:33 AM
Thanks, Bill!!

Stephen
Title: Re: The Films of Gus Pratt - part II
Post by: Dave Buczkowski on September 10, 2009, 10:58:59 AM
Steve;
  I finally had a chance to view my new copy of Gus Pratt Vol. 2. I know I shouldn't be (because your work is always first rate) but I was totally blown away by your work! The sound is synched perfectly. Anyone without knowledge of your work would think Gus used sound equipment when it was originally filmed. Did Fred and Steve Zuppa do the mumbling for the crowd noise? I found myself trying to figure out where you recorded everything. Perhaps you'll narrate the video sometime during the work weekend so we can get the production back story.
Dave
Title: Re: The Films of Gus Pratt - part II
Post by: Stephen Hussar on September 11, 2009, 08:48:16 AM
Thanks, Dave! Yes, we put Fred's voice in there -- good catch!! As for narrating while it's playing, I can take a stab at describing which sounds came from where, but I don't think I'd be able to keep up -- some shots have as many as 10 tracks (of various ambience and effects) running simultaneously! The attached photo shows the edit timeline for about 30 seconds of the program. In this particular shot, the sound of Bridgton 8 slowly rolling off the turntable is a combination of MANY discreet sounds...and as can be seen by the image in the upper left part of this screen shot, some of the beefy sounding escaping steam was provided by the Valley RR's No 97.

Keep in mind adding the soundtrack was Gus' idea! I'm just glad he asked me to do it.

Stephen

(http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-8/342468/Avidscreensm.jpg)

   
Title: Re: The Films of Gus Pratt - part II
Post by: Jock Ellis on September 19, 2009, 12:12:08 AM
A friend told me that during WW II, the government took all the color film; they didn't want anyone filming the blood and guts of war in color. I don't know if that's true, but it is what I heard. I can't think of any Hollywood movies in color. Of course, I can't think of any Hollywood movies of that era, period.
Jock Ellis
Title: Re: The Films of Gus Pratt - part II
Post by: Duncan Mackiewicz on September 22, 2009, 12:30:42 PM
Steve, after seeing that graph of the various layers of sound I can better understand your comment to me about the many tracks of sound that went into the engine on the turntable.  Great job.
Duncan