In 1991, HBO aired the award-winning “When It Was a Game.” This is a compilation of his movies from 1934 to his 1957 Major League Baseball 8mm and 16mm homes. player and was not seen in public. They uncovered an astonishing spectacle and shed new light on the game’s historical figures.
Film director George Roy won a Peabody Award for “When It Was a Game” and made it iterative films in 1992 and 2000. Staying true to its predecessor, it screened footage of the entirety of baseball.
But a few years ago, Marquee Sports Network general manager Mike McCarthy asked Roy to focus on one thing and continue the pedigree.
“Mike was a big fan of ‘When It Was a Game.’ When he got to Marquee, he made it pretty clear that at some point it would be great to do a Cubs version,” Roy said this week. “I always thought it was a great idea. I knew I had good Cubs. We went back to the concept a month ago, but the rest is history.”
Next Thursday, after coverage of the Cubs’ season opener, Marquee will debut the “Cubs Flick.” This is the first of two of his half-hour movie episodes that have mostly never aired. His films from the late 1920s through the late 1950s are outtakes from his original HBO productions. Roy, who now runs Jersey Line Films, partnered with his Stephen de Groot at Dutch Productions. McCarthy was the executive producer.
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“Capturing the spirit of ‘When It Was a Game’ was one of our goals,” says Roy, who has won two Peabody Awards and five Emmy Awards from the dozens of sports documentaries he has produced. said. “But with that said, the challenge was trying to make it different. We tried to give it a snappier, more modern feel. The basic premise of the show is the same. This was more individual, and that’s the essence of the Cubs franchise over the last few years.”
de Groot says: We created stories about the strengths of video and asked people about those specifics. I was lucky enough to find someone who could talk about it with authority and accuracy.
The film aptly begins with spring training on idyllic Catalina Island. At the foot of a hill topped by Cubs owner William Wrigley’s mansion, players are filmed boating out to the island to practice. Hollywood actors have been seen joining the Cubs and it looks like they’re having the time of their lives.
Cubs legends such as Gabby Hartnett and Hack Wilson are seen leaving their uniforms on field trips. Players often play to the camera, joking and laughing. And viewers are treated to what is believed to be his 16mm color film, the oldest of the World Series, his 1938 series between the Cubs and Yankees.
For a 30- to 60-year-old film that Roy got, it’s an amazing performance. At the time, he transferred the film to Beta SP and then digitized it. Roy credited de Groot for the technical work on “Cubs Flicks” and noted the difficulty of working with 8mm film.
“He did a lot to balance the film and make it look seamless,” Roy said. “If you look at the before and after, you can see what a great job he did.”
De Groot put the video through his editing system to reduce glare in the footage (remember this is a home movie) and improve the colors.
“We did what we could within the tricks of our editing system and colorizer,” says de Groot. “I’m not saying it’s colored, but it might tweak the saturation. There are also some filters that can remove static and smudges on the screen. It’s amazing what you can do with old film.”
It’s amazing what Roy and De Groot did with this movie. They brought to life an era and way of life in baseball that most viewers don’t know about. increase. That’s what makes this movie so poignant. Much of what you see is the knowledge that it happened where you can still see.
“We hope that young people will watch and be just as interested as longtime baseball fans,” Roy said. I tried to design it so that it wouldn’t be this kind of boring thesis about.I hope it appeals to Cubs fans young and old.”
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