"Technological developments have revolutionized the entertainment world time and again," Bob Thomas of the Associated Press pointed out. With the development of an electronic camera – putting images directly on tape, not film – many observers predicted in 1971 the next revolution in the entertainment world could reduce the economic problems of movie making by 15% for the film and television industries.
Producer Robert Stabler experimented with the tape-to-film process in 'The Resurrection of Zachary Wheeler' (cost roughly $500,000 to make) recounted, "Technicolor needed a showcase to show off its new process of converting tape to film. You don't need as much light with tape. The camera sees just about what the eye sees, and there is great depth of focus, much more so than with film...Color is much more true on tape than it is on film. What's more, you can change the color for certain effects – just as you dial color on your own TV set. The size of the camera crew is about the same as with film. But you can save a great deal on the use of electricians and lights, because tape needs so little lighting. Tape can shoot outdoors just as well as film, maybe faster. On an ordinary film, I think you could save 15 to 20% of your shooting time with tape. For a movie that is basically indoors, you could save more…I'm sold on tape. I plan to shoot another feature on tape in October (1971), I believe that in 5 years (say around 1976) virtually all of the series that are now (in 1971) filmed for television will instead be done on tape. It makes sense."
Charles Powell, a veteran of movie marketing, made the point in 1985, "More than 1,500 TV series were created before 1964. Shows like 'Sea Hunt' and 'I Love Lucy' could have a whole new life in color. So could feature movies, especially in Europe, where they rarely show black-and-white films." Bob elaborated, "Why is color so important? Because television stations, especially those in Europe, are reluctant to broadcast black-and-white movies. And buyers and renters of videocassettes prefer color movies by a great margin." Buddy Young, also a veteran of movie marketing, added, "This is not a theatrical business. The kids who go to theaters today (in 1985) don't care about classics (*). Our market is for more mature people, the ones who buy and rent cassettes. And statistics show that 11% of the cassette market is classic films."
(*) Usually it was only after a movie had stood the test of time, most often several decades, that the movie would be considered a classic.
Color conversion specialist, Ralph Weinger remarked, "It's amazing what happens when color is added. The film seems newer, fresher, more updated. And you can see more than you can in black and white; there is more depth to the picture, you're getting more information. Black and white is not natural." However Jean Firstenberg of the American Film Institute begged to differ, "When you make a film in black and white you light it for the black and white camera. There are different shadings, subtleties and elements and you can't take those and change them mechanically."
Charles A. Hulcher invented "a fast sequence camera" in 1953 after experiencing the problem of tracking rockets after the rockets had been launched in 1949. Charles recognized that "picture data could not adequately be studied in detail with a movie camera and his solution is the fast, large frame, sequence camera." Harry Kolcum of the Newport News Times-Herald clarified, "In general terms, his camera bridges the gap between the motion picture camera and the still camera. This means that for the first time, motion pictures can be made on large film and a complete time history of an action can be studied in detail. To understand the important of the camera, called the Hulcher '70', the layman must know that the previous maximum size of movie camera film was 35 millimeters. If an individual frame of this film is developed and enlarged, much of the detail is lost. On the other hand, a still camera which can capture detail, can take only one picture at a time. In other words, a prize winning action picture is a combination of skill and luck. Hulcher's camera, using 70 millimeter film, has taken the luck elements from action photography."