Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Department S - American ITC brochure

Over the years I have worked with a lot of DVD companies all over the world assisting them with their ITC releases, one of which being the Australian firm Umbrella Entertainment.

A lot of what I have amassed on ITC series has been used in DVD merchandise or memorabilia galleries and Umbrella were very keen on this style of presentation. So if you are lucky enough to own their release of Department S you might be familiar with the brochure produced by ITC in America to sell and promote the series. The US brochure is very large in format, more like the size of a vinyl LP and totally different from ITC's UK promotional brochure (this will follow on a future post).

Part of the joy of the ITC series for me was in the way they were marketed and sold worldwide (after all ITC Entertained The World) and the publicity brochures are amongst my favourite items. 

Enough of my ramblings, enjoy the images!

Saturday, 19 October 2013

The Persuaders! - Tribune Productions company stationery

What I love about ITC is the attention to detail in the smallest things, especially in terms of the graphic design, from the title sequences through to the publicity material through to the company stationery.

So here are a couple of examples to illustrate the point both relating to The Persuaders! - headed paper and a compliment slip. The headed paper is unused and not particularly well photographed (I took the photo about 20 years ago so I'll update with a new scan in the coming weeks) and the comp slip was sent to actor Tony Bonner, along with the script for the episode The Morning After.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Interpol Calling - American Trade Advert

Interpol Calling was one of those ITC series that I had only seen a couple of episodes on a poor quality VHS tape prior to Network's DVD release. So here's a nice little American Trade Advert for the series from 1960 and note that in the USA, ITC stood for Independent  Television Corporation (as opposed to the Incoporated Television Company here in the UK).

On a separate note, I dug out my copies of The Marty Feldman Comedy Machine earlier today and plan to transfer these to DVD. I'm hoping to do some screengrabs of Brett Sinclair's appearance on the show!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

The Persuaders! Italian Super8 films

Long before Blu-ray, DVD, VHS and Betamax, Super8mm films were king of the home film entertainment.

Back in the day we had a Super8mm projector but most of the home movies we had were us as kids playing in the late 60s and nothing as exciting as a TV series like The Persuaders! You could buy edited versions of films or single reel clips of TV shows but all that kind of went over our heads, besides they were pretty expensive too.

A number of ITC shows were given the Super8mm treatment in the 70s including The Baron, The Champions, Department S, Jason KingThe Protectors, Strange Report and The Persuaders! - and these were released not only in the UK but also in Germany, France, Spain and Italy. The Persuaders! fared better than most in that the Super8mm releases were made up of three 14 minute reels, so only approximately 8 minutes was cut from an episode - some of the other series fared worse in only having two reels giving them a running time of 28 minutes.

Techno Film produced three Super8mm of The Persuaders! in both the UK and Italy and pictured below are the rare Italian versions. The episodes are Chain of Events (Catena Di Eventi), A Death In The Family(Morte in Famiglia) and The Old, The New and The Deadly (L'Aquila Di Bronzo).

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) and Man In A Suitcase vinyl soundtracks

I love vinyl! It's not only about the warmth of the sound compared to CD and especially mp3s, it's also a tactile thing - when I first got into buying records in the late 70s, early 80s part of the whole experience was pouring over the record cover and inner sleeve, usually on a train home from a big town or city in the south west where I had spent virtually the entire day hunting down elusive slabs of vinyl.

Network DVD have previous released a lot of ITC soundtracks on CD and they are regularly played and enjoyed here, so when Network announced earlier this year they were going to release some ITC soundtracks on vinyl, I couldn't wait to get my hands on them. 

I won't have to wait long now as the first two in the series, Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) and Man In A Suitcase are being released on the 28th October. Featuring new transfers from original analogue tape elements, mastering/vinyl cutting by Ray Staff (one of the best audio engineers in the world) and high quality pressing by the renowned Pallas pressing plant in Germany, this range of audiophile-level albums is presented on 180g virgin vinyl and gives superb sound reproduction.

Network are planning a range of ITC soundtracks over the next year, including Strange Report, Department S, The Saint, The Champions and The Prisoner.

Friday, 11 October 2013

A brief hello

So I've had this blogger address for about five years and not done anything with it but today I thought I'd make the effort to start it.

This blog with celebrate the productions made by Lew Grade's company ITC – there won't be episode guides as the majority of the shows produced by the company are available on DVD. Instead, there will be lots of rare ITC promotional/publicity material, memorabilia from all over the world, scripts, production paperwork and whatever else I can find of interest.

So to kick things off here's the front of the card for Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) from the extremely rare 1972 catalogue ITC Entertains The World.