Touring Charlie Churchman’s TeleCine Engineering Wonderland

Posted: March 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

Thanks Charlie and Ed for a fun and informative visit, and especially for the great work. The transfers of my 50-60 year old 3″ 8mm home movie reels were a kick to watch, so I’m especially thanking you for my sisters in advance of them watching their young selves on DVD. But that’s child’s play compared to Ed syncing the sound to my circa 1970 16mm film of DC’s Lloyd McNeill and the group Love, Cry, Want – that was really well done. Video archeology at it’s best.

It’s kind of hard to fathom how much modern and antique equipment you fit in your studios. I realize the barn is pretty large, but the amount of equipment could fill a building fourfold bigger. Just breathtaking… It’s a good thing there is an elevator to move the new machines to the production studio on the second floor not to mention the heavy cartons full of reels that move between floors. Who would think any of this is contained in what from the outside simply looks like an old barn? And what barn has a diesel backup power generator and an elevator??

I cannot even begin to count all of the machines on hand: several Thompson Spirit DataCines (now DFT), half a dozen 2″-video Quadraplex telecines, Scream, Lipsner Smith ultra sonic film cleaner, ovens, monitors, every kind of broadcast video deck.  Watching Charlie demonstrate the grain reduction, color correction and emulsion scratch eliminator blew my mind – so impressive. Restoring 2″ broadcast video tape from the 60’s and 70’s – amazing.

Then there’s the equipment graveyard. Providing parts to the industry, repairing your own equipment, hacking your machines to do what the manufacturer says they cannot do, even hot rodding your jukeboxes, incredible fun. You could fill a museum with this collection.

I can see why broadcast studios and companies like HBO drop big loads of old film and 2″ video reels for you to process. What a unique and interesting profession you’ve chosen to do for 30+ years.

So for my friends, here’s a brief tour of the joint located just outside of Philly, taken with my handy iPhone:

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