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Archive for September, 2009

There is very little film footage of the Seattle Pilots. They didn’t have a television contract and the news stations tended not to keep their sports highlight archives for very long because all of that film took up a lot of space. Fortunately, a promotional film about the Pilots, created by Pilots director of communications Bill Sears, survives. It’s called The First Voyage and it’s a terrific piece that shows how the Pilots were born, introduces players and shows some in-game highlights. Until recently, the film was only available on VHS, which had been duplicated from the original 1″ tape transfer. In fact, many of you own that tape. Well, Bill Sears was kind enough to entrust us with a 16mm print of The First Voyage long enough to get it transferred to high definition video by the good folks at Alpha-Cine in Seattle. I really didn’t know what to expect because I was warned that a nearly 40-year-old film might have faded out and the image compromised. But when I saw the final product I was stunned. The colors are rich and the details are sharp. Here’s a comparison:

The old standard definition version.

The old standard definition version.

The new high definition version.

The new high definition version.

The top image is taken from the old VHS version (which was used for the trailer.) And the bottom image is of the same frame from the new HD version. Notice the color and detail. You can now read the word “Detroit” on the visiting player’s uniform. You can see much more of the picture because the old transfer lopped off about 20% around the edges. It’s like a totally new film and the images from it will be a key part of the documentary.

And speaking of images, if you or someone you know has film or still pictures of the Pilots and you would be willing to let us use them in the documentary, please let us know by emailing Steve using the link on the side. Full credit will be given.

Stay tuned for more updates…

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We really enjoyed getting to know the Pilots players over the reunion weekend. Everyone one of them was a joy to talk to and they approached the event with exuberance and enthusiasm. We not only got a lot of satisfaction out of the success of the reunion event and the ceremony at Safeco Field, but also from seeing these men so happy to get to know each other again after such a long time. Here’s a slideshow…


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A Fantastic Reunion…

SteveandJim

Steve Cox and Jim Bouton at the Pilots reunion. Larry Haney and Steve Whitaker are in the background.

Many thanks to everyone who came to the Pilots reunion over the weekend – It was a smashing success!

The fans, players and crew had a great time and we got some great footage for the documentary. We’ll post some pictures and perhaps a video clip or two from the event very soon, so check back. And don’t forget: if you would like to be informed when the documentary is ready for purchase, click the button on the right and fill in the form.

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