An interview with Jim Pierson about his work on the Doris Day TV show DVDsOctober 11, 2008 2 Comments
Below is an interview with Jim Pierson, the man behind the many Doris Day TV show DVDs which you all have been enjoying over the last few years:
How/when did you first discover Doris Day?
I remember her television show as a kid in the 1970s and seeing her last movie in the theatres.
What was your highlight of working as the DVD Producer on this series of Doris’s TV shows?
Recording audio commentary with Doris for 3 episodes and putting together public service announcements with her for the Humane Society of the United States. It was also nice to be nominated for several TV On DVD awards for the Doris releases.
Why did MPI Home Video not restore the shows from the original 35mm picture negatives?
It was determined retransferring all 128 episodes would be cost-prohibitive for DVD exclusively — without a new sale for reruns of the episodes on television to help offset the hefty expense. Unfortunately, it has become virtually impossible to repeat most old programs on television, as was so common in previous decades.
The sources used for the DVD releases are videotape transfers taken from safety negatives that were copied when The Doris Day Show aired on CBN in the mid-1980s. (Although CBN subsequently deleted a couple of minutes from each episode, the versions released on DVD are all complete, uncut versions.)
The 1980s remastered versions may not be as crystal sharp as a new digital 35mm negative transfer, but they are respectable and represent a significant upgrade — with cleaner, sharper and more colourful visuals — than the eventually well-worn, scratchy and faded 16mm prints of the series that were seen in worldwide syndication from 1975-1985.
It should also be noted that the ability to transfer from a film negative directly to videotape was not possible until the 1980s, which actually allows for most shows to look brighter, crisper and more colourful than when they originally aired (when only positive print copies of a film were utilized for playback). So, even with some colour fluctuation, due to age, in some of the 1980s remastered transfers, much of the images are in fact more brilliant than when The Doris Day Show was seen during its initial run on CBS from 1968-73.
With The Doris Day Show on DVD, every attempt has been made to present the best possible product within the financial limitations inherent in releasing an older program shot on film. Ultimately, it is hoped that viewers will enjoy and appreciate the chance to see the series again in the complete and commemorative presentations that have been offered by MPI.
Best discovery when working through the vaults for these projects?
All the extra bits such as bloopers, promos and outtakes that make the DVDs fun for fans.
Most precious memory from the entire project?
Spending a day with Doris in Carmel.
Any other Doris Day related projects up your sleeve?
Looking into the possibility of releasing her Best Friends animal series on DVD.
Sincere thanks to Jim Pierson for taking the time to do this Q&A interview (conducted by Stephen M).