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Sunday, February 01, 2015

Volume 3 Update - February 1, 2015

Yes, I Know It's February...

Publicity shot of Dean Fredericks and Milton Caniff, mid 1958.

Where We Are...

Since my last post on January 7th my work has continued…I just FINALLY got through cleaning to the end credits of the Steve Canyon pilot film two days ago,! I am going through checking that I didn't miss anything MAJOR and finishing cleaning a handful of shots in the middle of the episode that were so riddled with dirt and scratches I opted to abandon and move on (to preserve my good attitude) and return to fix at the end. Milton Caniff must have screened this print so many times…it has taken more time and individual corrections than all 10 of the other episodes on this volume COMBINED! I will say that you will see more dirt and flaws in the pilot than any other episode…this just can't be helped, otherwise it would take months more effort and I'm not going to do that. It still looks pretty good, just not quite as near-spotless as the other episodes turned out. It's just the way it has to be, and I had no way to predict how long it would take!

I'm still having health issues, have struggled all this month just trying to finish the pilot restoration. I've been restoring films since 2001 and my hands and eyes aren't doing so well…new glasses have helped a bit, but staring at specks of dirt thousands (millions?) of film frames on backlit monitors has taken a toll on me. I probably won't be doing this level of restoration ever again.

Yes, I've missed another deadline…sorry, but am pushing as hard as I possibly can here. Also I am aware it has been 3 weeks since my last post…I wanted to be able to announce the finishing of restoring the pilot film, so have been driving towards that, figuring it was more important than posting at this stage. It takes me about a DAY to compose a post here, and deal with getting the emails out, and sometimes it seems like my time is better spent finishing the DVDs. I am now switching to posts every week (instead of every few days) which is more manageable and realistic…I hope you agree.

I am pushing to finish and ship this month. I am still waiting on corrections on the inside and outside cover art (to reflect the new year 2015) from Johann Mitchell, who's daughter Holly has been in the hospital and Johann has had her own health issues… hopefully she'll have the corrections to me this coming week.

Disc 1 corrections have all been made and I have re-authored it, so it is completely re-done and ready to transmit to the factory over our new high-speed connection to their new ftp server…instead of many hours it will only take a couple of hours now to send. One thing I should mention is I finally was able to figure out and fix the issue that caused such a major problem before, which involves math…apparently my head is clearer now as last year I couldn't get the numbers to add up, and now the formula works. Those of you tech savvy people will understand that if you don't get the layer-break point on a dual layer disc to be in exactly the right place…the latter episodes on each disc won't play! So that was a big deal and I am TOTALLY RELIEVED!

Note that it sometimes takes some time for me to respond to emails, but I do respond as I have time. I appreciate all the personal anecdotes regarding Steve Canyon and your kindness keeps me going. I've been working on this project for 8 years, and although I want it to be finished, I have to make sure it is good enough…ready for primetime as it were. I don't give up…ever. It's almost ready.


Thanks again, please make sure we have your current shipping information and email address. Be sure to read to the end of this post as it concerns shipping and details important to those who have pre-ordered Volume #3.

Sorry for so many words here…my intent was to keep it brief. See you back here within the week, and thanks for keeping the' faith.


Here's the last two videos (on YouTube) for those that couldn't view them on Vimeo before…am also including the link for each one for those that still have problems viewing them here!

Here's a taste of some of the documentary
content on Volume 3:

Preview Promo for the Steve Canyon Documentary on the upcoming final 3rd volume of The Complete Steve Canyon On TV DVD set, includes selected interview segments with Lance Hickman, A. Love, Bob Burns, Abel Fernandez, Patrick McClung, Arthur Marks, Jan Paulshus, James Farmer, Dean Hess and Stephen Hickman. More appear on the final DVD than this (which is a sampling of some of the comments and people). Includes photography by Michael McMaster, Laura Lozano and Thomas Swyden.

Hope you enjoy the clips in this, getting to see the faces and hear the voices of some of the people you been reading about for the last 8 years!


A little about the restoration/cleanup process for the 
34 regular Steve Canyon episodes 
(plus original unaired pilot)

Between 37,000 and 40,000 individual film frames are ineach episode, and nearly each frame has been carefully examined and many retouched by hand after undergoing a light digital non-destructive propriety process (developed by John Ellis).

Each episode has taken between one to two months to restore by John Ellis, with the exception of the film in this demo (the original unaired pilot film) which has taken nearly a year due to the poor condition of the original print.

Most digital Noise Reduction actually blurs the image to remove the dirt and defects, resulting in a lack of sharpness associated with poor quality. Our technique doesn't do any blurring to preserve as much quality as possible of the original film.


Note again that Pre-Orders on Volume 3 are CLOSED until it is officially released, then those that missed out and want to order will once again be able to do so. Also note that further SHIP-AID donations are unnecessary and are also now CLOSED.

Please be SURE to be subscribed to our mailing list (link below) to keep up with our newest updates, and note that IF YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS HAS CHANGED RECENTLY you MUST RE-SUBSCRIBE.

(Subscribe with confidence...your information will only be used by us to send updates to you concerning Steve Canyon & Milton Caniff Estate Releasing).


Also be sure to let us know if your shipping address has changed by emailing us at: 

We've heard from many of you with address changes and just wanting to make sure we have the right address to ship V3 to you, and we have answered everyone so far. Doing my best to reply asap. ALSO WE WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM THOSE OF YOU THAT SENT IN MONEY ORDERS OR CHECKS TO ORDER VOLUME 3 (to make sure we have your correct shipping information). There aren't many that did, but it will help us to make sure.


I will continue posting updates EVERY WEEK until the VERY LAST pre-order is mailed out (by gosh, this month, February!) and in your hands…I understand confidence is low with a few of you, and hopefully this will help. Thanks for all the nice cards and emails and overwhelming support- it is most appreciated!

More in a week!

John Ellis

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