Archive for March, 2008

Further Updates

Saturday, March 1st, 2008

T shirt pair

I’m afraid it’s taken a while to get well – one of the drawbacks to getting older. But I’m able to report that all thirteen tracks have now been finished, at least to the point of having the four fresh music tracks installed and all thirteen now have the cleaning process complete (at least for the DVD versions). This is a time consuming job of pure tedium – each scene has to have five different – and changing – parameters set before encoding. However, I’m not in the camp that sees scratches and dirt on film stock as a sign of authenticity – Kodachrome was never designed to look that way, and I prefer to present the image as cleanly as possible. Given that the film was dragged all over America, stored in basements and attics, edited in garden sheds, well – those tribulations have made their film dirt mark. Now the image is much improved. The next stage is to construct the actual DVD.

As I don’t yet know the file size requirements for the thirteen tracks, it’s not yet possible to say if there will be spare space left on the DVD. Rather than the 1st 14′ of Codachrome (as mentioned on the site), I’m hoping that there will be room for Plan No 73 – harmless rebellions of middle age, a 26′ programme I made in 1999 that uses footage from driving around England and the Continent in a 3 ton van I owned at the time. I will post any developments later.


I’ve established that the film looks great on an iPod Touch. I was able to borrow my neighbour’s to run a test and I was most pleased with the quality of the image (much sharper than these rather crude stills would indicate). This has some bearing on the production tasks as I will be providing a separate CD (to the DVD) with the thirteen tracks already encoded for the iPod. It does require yet another set of tasks, as in the ongoing struggle to keep the image quality as good as it can be I’ve had to prepare two versions of the films. I won’t go into the endless technicalities here – but it boils down to the fact that the iPod versions are 4% larger than the DVD versions, and that 4% difference is important enough to require separate versions to be produced.

Red cap mailman

S Dak old car

And a t shirt! What self-respecting website shop doesn’t have a t shirt on offer.

H T shirt Ed T shirt

Actually, the thought behind the idea is that Road Dreams is an unusual entity in some respects, at least in the way the series disappeared from view for so many years. During the Channel 4 showings it was getting viewing figures of 500,000 an episode, with quite a few of those viewers feeling that it was something special. The vast majority of them have long given up on tracking it down – it’s a fairly new development to be able to locate me via the web. (Until fairly recently I had no idea the series had made such an impression.) So the thought is, just perhaps by wearing your Road Dreams t shirt (at least in the UK), who knows what reaction or contact you may establish? Maybe a role like the passage in On The Road where Kerouac writes ‘We were on the roof of America and all we could do was yell, I guess … across the night, eastward over the Plains, where somewhere an old man with white hair was probably walking towards us with the Word’. Or then again, you might be set upon by a baying mob. At least you would be likely to generate some response.

Now I have to improve my skills with DVD Studio Pro 4.