The Wizard of Speed and Time

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Clare Quilty, Sep 4, 2003.

  1. Clare Quilty

    Clare Quilty Guest

    We need this on DVD. 'nuff said. Anyone agree/disagree? .... anyone??

    Tony

    --
    N. B. To reply to me, remove a word in my email address after the at symbol,
    to leave the name of a popular MS-owned web mail service!
    Clare Quilty, Sep 4, 2003
    #1
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  2. Clare Quilty

    jayembee Guest

    "Clare Quilty" <> wrote:

    > We need this on DVD. 'nuff said. Anyone agree/disagree?


    I agree, but considering the ownership nightmare that this
    film is, I suspect that we'll see a (legit) DVD release
    sometime shortly after the heat death of the universe.

    -- jayembee
    jayembee, Sep 4, 2003
    #2
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  3. Clare Quilty

    Jay G Guest

    "jayembee" <> wrote...
    > "Clare Quilty" <> wrote:
    >
    > > We need this on DVD. 'nuff said. Anyone agree/disagree?

    >
    > I agree, but considering the ownership nightmare that this
    > film is, I suspect that we'll see a (legit) DVD release
    > sometime shortly after the heat death of the universe.


    I think ownership is solidly in the hands of the film's
    creator Mike Jittlov. However Jittlov has not had
    the resources or the money to stop all the illegitimate
    releases of this film.

    As for a DVD, there is a very well made DVD-R
    done by a fan, with a transfer straight from the rare
    laserdisc. The DVD is made with Jittlov's approval,
    in fact it has a message from mike on load-up where
    the typical FBI warning appears. Info on the DVD-R
    can be found in the newsgroup alt.fan.mike-jittlov.

    Meanwhile, Mike himself is eternally working on the
    final cut for this film. All released versions of this
    film have been incomplete workprints or versions
    edited without his approval. The finished final
    cut of the film will then appear on a Special Edition
    DVD in some future, unknown, and unnamed date.

    -Jay
    Jay G, Sep 4, 2003
    #3
  4. Clare Quilty

    Peter Briggs Guest

    Jay G <> wrote:

    > "jayembee" <> wrote...
    > > "Clare Quilty" <> wrote:
    > >
    > > > We need this on DVD. 'nuff said. Anyone agree/disagree?

    > >
    > > I agree, but considering the ownership nightmare that this
    > > film is, I suspect that we'll see a (legit) DVD release
    > > sometime shortly after the heat death of the universe.

    >
    > I think ownership is solidly in the hands of the film's
    > creator Mike Jittlov. However Jittlov has not had
    > the resources or the money to stop all the illegitimate
    > releases of this film.
    >
    > As for a DVD, there is a very well made DVD-R
    > done by a fan, with a transfer straight from the rare
    > laserdisc. The DVD is made with Jittlov's approval,
    > in fact it has a message from mike on load-up where
    > the typical FBI warning appears. Info on the DVD-R
    > can be found in the newsgroup alt.fan.mike-jittlov.
    >
    > Meanwhile, Mike himself is eternally working on the
    > final cut for this film. All released versions of this
    > film have been incomplete workprints or versions
    > edited without his approval. The finished final
    > cut of the film will then appear on a Special Edition
    > DVD in some future, unknown, and unnamed date.
    >
    > -Jay


    Wow!

    Interesting stuff.

    I remember seeing Jittlov at (I think my memory might be hazy) the World
    Sci Fi Con in LA in 1984, with a showing of this. If memory serves me
    right, he said that everyone should go see "Buckaroo Banzai" over at the
    Egyptian, before it closed down (or am I smushing several different
    memories together?)
    Peter Briggs, Sep 4, 2003
    #4
  5. Clare Quilty

    G. M. Watson Guest

    ----------
    In article <>, "Jay G" <>
    wrote:


    >
    > "jayembee" <> wrote...
    >> "Clare Quilty" <> wrote:
    >>
    >> > We need this on DVD. 'nuff said. Anyone agree/disagree?

    >>
    >> I agree, but considering the ownership nightmare that this
    >> film is, I suspect that we'll see a (legit) DVD release
    >> sometime shortly after the heat death of the universe.

    >
    > I think ownership is solidly in the hands of the film's
    > creator Mike Jittlov. However Jittlov has not had
    > the resources or the money to stop all the illegitimate
    > releases of this film.
    >
    > As for a DVD, there is a very well made DVD-R
    > done by a fan, with a transfer straight from the rare
    > laserdisc. The DVD is made with Jittlov's approval,
    > in fact it has a message from mike on load-up where
    > the typical FBI warning appears. Info on the DVD-R
    > can be found in the newsgroup alt.fan.mike-jittlov.
    >
    > Meanwhile, Mike himself is eternally working on the
    > final cut for this film. All released versions of this
    > film have been incomplete workprints or versions
    > edited without his approval. The finished final
    > cut of the film will then appear on a Special Edition
    > DVD in some future, unknown, and unnamed date.
    >

    It would be nice if this release could include the original 10-minute short
    film of the same name that preceded the feature by several years. I remember
    seeing it--once-- at some animation festival in (possibly) the late 70s. At
    that time no one had ever heard of Jittlov or his film and it took everyone
    by surprise-- I don't think I've ever heard an audience laugh so hard. I
    remember thinking that the feature seemed kind of bloated by comparison...
    >
    >
    G. M. Watson, Sep 5, 2003
    #5
  6. Clare Quilty

    Jay G Guest

    "G. M. Watson" <> wrote ...
    > In article <>, "Jay G" <>
    > wrote:
    > > The finished final
    > > cut of the film will then appear on a Special Edition
    > > DVD in some future, unknown, and unnamed date.
    > >

    > It would be nice if this release could include the original 10-minute

    short
    > film of the same name that preceded the feature by several years. I

    remember
    > seeing it--once-- at some animation festival in (possibly) the late 70s.

    At
    > that time no one had ever heard of Jittlov or his film and it took

    everyone
    > by surprise-- I don't think I've ever heard an audience laugh so hard. I
    > remember thinking that the feature seemed kind of bloated by comparison...


    Practically *any* feature film would look bloated in comparison
    to that short. I believe the person who produced the DVD-R
    of the feature is working on a 2nd, and possibly 3rd, DVD that
    will include most of Jittlov's shorts. In the meantime, the short
    film is available for download as part of a demo reel Mike made
    to showcase his talents.

    http://www.cultivatetwiddle.com/wizard.htm
    http://www.wizworld.com/

    -Jay
    Jay G, Sep 5, 2003
    #6
  7. Clare Quilty

    jayembee Guest

    "Jay G" <> wrote:

    > "jayembee" <> wrote...
    >>
    >> I agree, but considering the ownership nightmare that
    >> this film is [...]

    >
    > I think ownership is solidly in the hands of the film's
    > creator Mike Jittlov. However Jittlov has not had
    > the resources or the money to stop all the illegitimate
    > releases of this film.


    The VHS and LD releases were "illegitimate"? This is news
    to me. They certainly weren't what Jittlov wanted (neither
    was the film itself), but everything that I'd read suggested
    that Richard Kaye owned the film.

    > As for a DVD, there is a very well made DVD-R
    > done by a fan, with a transfer straight from the rare
    > laserdisc. The DVD is made with Jittlov's approval,
    > in fact it has a message from mike on load-up where
    > the typical FBI warning appears. Info on the DVD-R
    > can be found in the newsgroup alt.fan.mike-jittlov.


    Interesting, but considering that I already have the LD...

    -- jayembee
    jayembee, Sep 5, 2003
    #7
  8. Clare Quilty

    jayembee Guest

    "G. M. Watson" <> wrote:

    > It would be nice if this release could include the original
    > 10-minute short film of the same name that preceded the
    > feature by several years. I remember seeing it--once-- at
    > some animation festival in (possibly) the late 70s. At that
    > time no one had ever heard of Jittlov or his film and it
    > took everyone by surprise-- [...]


    As far as I know, Jittlov had made it as a segment for a TV
    special on special effects that Disney had made as a promo
    for THE BLACK HOLE. Which should come as no surprise to those
    who are familiar with the plot of the feature film.

    I taped the special it at the time, and probably still have
    it somewhere -- although I might've copied off the Jittlov
    segment and reused the original tape. The segment does have
    some (rather extraneous, to be honest) small amount of footage
    of Mike that's not in the short.

    > I remember thinking that the feature seemed kind of bloated
    > by comparison...


    Only if you're looking at the feature as no more than a longer
    version of the short. They really are nothing at all alike.
    The short was simply a showcase of visual effects with an
    amusing "plot" (for lack of a better word). The feature was
    a loving examination of both the joys and frustrations of the
    filmmaking experience.

    Now if you want to compare the version of the short that appears
    in the feature with the original version, that's another thing
    altogether (I prefer the original, but if the redone version
    had been the only one that existed, I would think it just dandy).

    I don't know who has what rights to the original short. Jittlov
    owns it and certainly has the rights to show it at festivals and
    the like, but does Disney have some rights to it that might
    prevent it from appearing on a hypothetical DVD? I'd always
    assumed that Jittlov "remade" it to include in the feature
    because he couldn't use the original for rights reasons.

    -- jayembee
    jayembee, Sep 5, 2003
    #8
  9. Clare Quilty

    Jay G Guest

    "jayembee" <> wrote
    > I don't know who has what rights to the original short. Jittlov
    > owns it and certainly has the rights to show it at festivals and
    > the like, but does Disney have some rights to it that might
    > prevent it from appearing on a hypothetical DVD?


    I don't think so. From the WOSAT presskit, which Jittlov
    himself wrote:
    http://www.sff.net/people/Corgi/press1.htm

    Luckily Jittlov retained the rights to his Wizard footage,
    retitled it and redid its soundtrack, and "The Wizard of
    Speed and Time" became an immensely popular short at
    film festivals and screenings around the world.

    > I'd always assumed that Jittlov "remade" it to include in the feature
    > because he couldn't use the original for rights reasons.


    Again from the presskit:

    "Kaye also decided we should refilm the Wizard Run
    sequence, and have me run run through Japan, Europe,
    famous cities and locations, it'd really wow the distributors.
    I asked what the Wizard was supposed to be doing in
    all the locations, but he said I'd figure it out, we had to
    leave immediately. His confidence was unshakable."

    -Jay
    Jay G, Sep 5, 2003
    #9
  10. Clare Quilty

    Vector Viper Guest

    "Jay G" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > "jayembee" <> wrote...
    > > "Clare Quilty" <> wrote:
    > >
    > > > We need this on DVD. 'nuff said. Anyone agree/disagree?

    > >
    > > I agree, but considering the ownership nightmare that this
    > > film is, I suspect that we'll see a (legit) DVD release
    > > sometime shortly after the heat death of the universe.

    >
    > I think ownership is solidly in the hands of the film's
    > creator Mike Jittlov. However Jittlov has not had
    > the resources or the money to stop all the illegitimate
    > releases of this film.
    >
    > As for a DVD, there is a very well made DVD-R
    > done by a fan, with a transfer straight from the rare
    > laserdisc. The DVD is made with Jittlov's approval,
    > in fact it has a message from mike on load-up where
    > the typical FBI warning appears. Info on the DVD-R
    > can be found in the newsgroup alt.fan.mike-jittlov.
    >
    > Meanwhile, Mike himself is eternally working on the
    > final cut for this film. All released versions of this
    > film have been incomplete workprints or versions
    > edited without his approval.


    Really?! I have the tape version, it's not legit?!


    The finished final
    > cut of the film will then appear on a Special Edition
    > DVD in some future, unknown, and unnamed date.
    >
    > -Jay
    >
    >
    Vector Viper, Sep 6, 2003
    #10
  11. Clare Quilty

    Dr. Bird Guest

    On Sat, 6 Sep 2003 00:44:23 -0700, "Vector Viper" <> wrote:

    >
    >"Jay G" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >>
    >> "jayembee" <> wrote...
    >> > "Clare Quilty" <> wrote:
    >> >
    >> > > We need this on DVD. 'nuff said. Anyone agree/disagree?
    >> >
    >> > I agree, but considering the ownership nightmare that this
    >> > film is, I suspect that we'll see a (legit) DVD release
    >> > sometime shortly after the heat death of the universe.

    >>
    >> I think ownership is solidly in the hands of the film's
    >> creator Mike Jittlov. However Jittlov has not had
    >> the resources or the money to stop all the illegitimate
    >> releases of this film.
    >>
    >> As for a DVD, there is a very well made DVD-R
    >> done by a fan, with a transfer straight from the rare
    >> laserdisc. The DVD is made with Jittlov's approval,
    >> in fact it has a message from mike on load-up where
    >> the typical FBI warning appears. Info on the DVD-R
    >> can be found in the newsgroup alt.fan.mike-jittlov.
    >>
    >> Meanwhile, Mike himself is eternally working on the
    >> final cut for this film. All released versions of this
    >> film have been incomplete workprints or versions
    >> edited without his approval.

    >
    >Really?! I have the tape version, it's not legit?!
    >


    Nope!

    Prof. Speedbyrd :>
    Dr. Bird, Sep 6, 2003
    #11
  12. Clare Quilty

    Dan Fiebiger

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1
    A Few Corrections And Additional Info

    Hi, fellow Jittlov fans.

    Dan Fiebiger from Portland, Oregon here:

    I thot I'd correct a few errata in the above postings and provide some additional info about Mike and the WIZARD OF SPEED AND TIME films hereinafter called "WOSAT" for brevity). I've known Mike since 1980, and some of his production friends, and am in the theater-crowd scene at the end of the WOSAT feature film.

    The WOSAT short film is 3 minutes long, not 10 minutes. There's three versions of it. The first version DID appear in Disney's promotional 1-hour TV show for their BLACK HOLE movie, released in December, 1979. The TV special was called MAJOR EFFECTS. The first version of the WOSAT short film differed only in that the two sections of it were aired in two separate sections of the show, and there were a few minor differences on Jittlov's hastilly made soundtrack for the running sequence. A few minor lead-in lead-out additional scenes of him in his Wizard costume were shot in video for the TV special. The WOSAT short film was shot in 16mm.

    The second version of the WOSAT short film was the 16mm release version that combined the polished two sections of the film, with slight modifications to the film's soundtrack. It is this version that is best known by long-time Jittlov fans.

    The third version is the (again) split-sequence version, with an expanded running sequence, as it appears in the WOSAT feature film. The second half of the film appears first in the feature, visually identical to the previous two versions, but with (again) more modifications to the soundtrack to clarify the lyrics as Jittlov sings his wizard song.

    The WOSAT short film was Jittlov's SECOND short film for Disney. About a year and a half earlier, he was hired by Disney to animate hundreds of Mickey Mouse toys for three sections of a Disney TV special commemorating Mickey Mouse's 50th anniversary, called MICKEY'S 50TH, aired in the spring-summer of 1978 (I forget the exact date). Jittlov staged the film in three sections, with a man getting up in the morning, getting ready for work, and seeing these little MM toys popping up in his life everythere, at first at home, then at work for the second section of the film. He finally winds up in a psychiatrists office for the third sequence, which is quickly invaded by hundreds of additional toys in an object-animation tour-de-force that put Jittlov on the national map for anyone who saw that TV special, the best thing about the entire TV show. It's that show, with all its lame song an dance numbers, that Jittlov is spoofing in his WOSAT feature film. This short film was also shot in 16mm, and ran about 4 minutes. Jittlov assembled the three sections into one coherent short film, but ran into a legal snag with Disney when he wanted to sell 16mm copies of the film via ads in film magazines. It was Mike Jittlov's film, but it used Disney's copyrighted Mickey Mouse character, a stalemate, and ultimately no agreement was reached, and so neither Disney, nor Jittlov can legally release the film in any form, except as it appeared in the TV special, and apparently not in any form except as TV and cable airings in the original context.

    Jittlov learned from this catch-22 situation and retained all rights to the WOSAT short film, and all his other short films, as well as the WOSAT feature film, in spite of rumors that the feature film's initial distributer, SGE, co-producer-actor Richard Kaye, and/or Universal Pictures owned the rights, which none of them do. It all, thankfully, belongs to Jittlov, although Jittlov has yet to raise the money to pay various labs to release the production elements for the feature film, shades of CARNIVAL OF SOULS.

    Jittlov's two earlier 1977-8 three-minute short films, ANIMATO, and TIME TRIPPER, have parts of each that appear early in the WOSAT feature film. ANIMATO was set to a song by Petula Clarke, "I KNOW A PLACE". WOSAT feature composer John Massari substituted a sound-alike instrumental track for Clarke's song for the WOSAT feature film. TIME TRIPPER was originally set to a classical piece by Aaron Copland, which also was changed by Massari for the WOSAT feature movie.

    In the early 80s, Jittlov sold 16mm copies of five films, GOOD GRIEF, INTERVIEW-SWINGSHIFT, ANIMATO, TIME TRIPPER, and the WOSAT short film. There's also other shorts, TURTLE FILM, THE LEAP, HEALING FILM, and at least two videos, HIKING VIKING, VIDEO MEDLEY. (Character limitations in this posting prevent me from listing these in more detail.)

    The VHS video copies of the WOSAT feature film ARE legitimate copies, MOSTLY. SGE, the original distributer, did release authorized copies of the unfinished feature film in America and the UK, under different packagings. Surveys showed that about 1/3 of all video stores bought a copy of the film. Prior to these video releases, Jittlov was allowed to assemble his trailer for the film, which accompanies (and opens) all video copies of the feature film. Jittlov considers the main feature film about 75 % finished. Animated EFX overlays are missing from many scenes (like the lightning bolts on the nighttime driveway scene) and much of the soundtrack's sound effects and music are only temporary "scratch" versions of his intended sound track. Jittlov still has the 35mm workprint of the film, some (or all?) of it transferred to video.

    The main legit video copies of the WOSAT feature film are the original 1989 SGE American release, in a standard bottom-load cardboard slipcase, and a handsome UK release by Medusa Pictures/CBS/FOX video in a larger plastic clamshell case with a nicely printed metallic-looking J-card, packaged similarly to all of Disney's major video releases of the same era. All these copies were released at the highest quality VHS speed of SP in true Hi-Fi stereo.

    A questionable later American-Japanese video release (unauthorized?) was put out at the poorest-quality EP (SLP) speed by StarMaker/QEP/Technicolor in 1993. This bottom-load cardboard slipcase copy's artwork was the same as the 1989 SGE, except that it had a narrow yellow-orange boarder on all sides.

    The laserdisk version was released by Image Entertainment in 1989.

    All these video versions are identical in content.

    Jittlov sold VHS copies of the film to his fans during the 90s, until his four super-VHS master tapes wore out. Apparently he doesn't have a laserdisk copy of the film.

    Although early after the release of the film, Jittlov stated his desires to finish the WOSAT feature film the way he wanted, as the years rolled on with no financial support arriving, Jittlov's enthusiasm has waned a bit, and now even if the financial means presented itself, he may not be able to garner the enthusiasm to trust anyone enough and finish it after all this time. He's also said he didn't want to to get into any other major projects until WOSAT was completed, so nothing more has been seen from him on a formal feature film level, evne though he's got many intreguing projects in mind Also slowing him down a little was a back injury gotten when he was hired to animate himself to create the black shadows that appear in the 1990 Patrick Swayze Demi Moore Whoopi Goldberg film GHOST, and the fact that Jittlov has increasing responsibilities taking care of his elderly mother (a retired school teacher, I believe), who lives with him, and cameoed in the WOSAT feature film.

    Jittlov did manage to produce one of the best designed web sites on the net, and networks with his literal legions of worldwide fans often. I believe it's www.wizworld.com, but a Google search will turn the proper site up easily enough.

    Jittlov recently was contacted by legendary Sci-Fi producer-distributer Jack H. Harris, long known in the film industry as the producer of the original 1958 hit movie with Steve McQueen, THE BLOB (McQueen's first film) and a "rescuer" of promising student Sci-fi film projects such as Dennis Murren's EQUINOX (1967-1970, recently released on DVD by Criterion) and John Carpenter's and Dan O'Bannon's 1975 Sci-Fi gem, DARK STAR.

    Harris has been informed of Jittlov's difficult history with his former producer and distributers and Jittlov knows of Harris's history as well.

    Time will tell if the Jittlov-Harris connection yealds any positive results. If anything does happen, it's slightly-partially my fault, as I made the connection between the two of them, in hopes that maybe something will click between them and "The Miracle" of a finished WOSAT director's cut (with lots of bonus stuff) officially on DVD might actually, maybe, possibly, potentially happen someday before the end of the universe as we know it.

    Maybe, at last, it's finally Mike Jittlov's (and his fan's) turn for some completion and closure.

    We shall see. Keep watching the skies.

    Dan Fiebiger
    Dan Fiebiger, Dec 22, 2007
    #12
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