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Why isn't this, of all revolutions, being televised?

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Bill Davis
Why isn't this, of all revolutions, being televised?
on Oct 13, 2007 at 11:49:18 pm



Who would have imagined it. The revolution starts and a few weeks later, most of the discussions dwindle to nearly nothing.

I know one view is that the select few RED wranglers are just testing things in order to get up to speed. But is it just me or is the discussion group silence, in itself, kinda troubling? Why such a long and difficult learning curve?

I


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Steve Wargo
Re: Why isn't this, of all revolutions, being televised?
on Oct 14, 2007 at 6:24:56 am

The Red Heads were expecting a camera that would simply blow us away out of the box and everything would look like Seven or Ultraviolet or anything that is more like magic than anything else. On the HD High End forum, we were told, a year ago, to dump our VariCams and F-900s into the trash because the RED is coming. What people did not realize is the amount of work that goes into creating that magical image from raw files. This is the same people that think you load film, shoot film, develop fiilm, see movie. They are unaware of the part that a colorist plays. 35mm can look really good or really bad. most 35mm movies are shot by professionals with professional skills, not something they read in a magazine.

We've all seen the images and I have yet to see anything worth discussing. you can hand the same camera to 100 people, give them the exact same actors and a set to shoot a scene on and only a few will give you something worth watching.

Maybe now, those other people will begin to realize that it's planning, lighting, direction, camera angles, and a boatload of talent that makes for an award winning image, not the camera. This will boil down to some very talented people finally getting a camera that is worthy of their talents. The rest will realize that they never had it in the first place.


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Arniepix
Re: Why isn't this, of all revolutions, being televised?
on Oct 14, 2007 at 2:26:24 pm

[Steve Wargo] "Maybe now, those other people will begin to realize that it's planning, lighting, direction, camera angles, and a boatload of talent that makes for an award winning image, not the camera. This will boil down to some very talented people finally getting a camera that is worthy of their talents. The rest will realize that they never had it in the first place."

Ha! Don't count on it!

There will always be the Ed Woods out there. The biggest, most "revolutionary" aspect of the DV revolution is that it gave the Ed Woods tools that were more affordable. And so more of them decided to try to make their movie.

Red will allow the Ed Woods to make their movies in 4k. But it won't change the basic fact of people with no inherent story telling ability or technical skills not being able to make a watchable moive.

Arnie

Now in post: Peristroika, a film by Slava Tsukerman

http://www.arniepix.com/blog


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Bill Davis
Re: Why isn't this, of all revolutions, being televised?
on Oct 15, 2007 at 2:24:06 am

Wow,

A world with an occasional Plan 9, or ONE Glen of Glenda is a charming place to live.

A FLOOD of that would be... well ... yikes.

It's like hearing a cussword from your uber-religous auntie. Once is a giggle. But day after day of hearing her talking like a longshoreman, I gotta believe - the charm wears off fast.

So are you really hoping that we're unleashing a tidal wave of movies all vying for the "worst acting EVER" laural.

Well, that's just STUPID. stupid ...stupid .........stupid!


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Arniepix
Re: Why isn't this, of all revolutions, being televised?
on Oct 15, 2007 at 3:20:53 am

[Bill Davis] "So are you really hoping that we're unleashing a tidal wave of movies all vying for the "worst acting EVER" laural."

Noooooooo!!!!

My point was that a cheaper 4k camera won't make anyone a better film maker, it will just be cheaper.

I don't think that there will be any more crappy movies than there are now. But some of them will be shot on Red. Or some other camera in it's price range. Perhaps they'll at least be forced to use tripods when they find out that it's not a handy-cam. Perhaps we'll be spared a few of these movies when hard drives crash without having been backed up.

But for those people who can tell stories, for those that can light and compose a shot, Red is a potentially fantastic tool for the price.

Film at 11!

Arnie

Now in post: Peristroika, a film by Slava Tsukerman

http://www.arniepix.com/blog


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H
Re: Why isn't this, of all revolutions, being televised?
by
on Oct 18, 2007 at 7:57:57 am

[Steve Wargo] "On the HD High End forum, we were told, a year ago, to dump our VariCams and F-900s into the trash because the RED is coming."
Hi Steve,

Nothing has changed; there just aren't many cameras out there yet. Take a moment to breathe, it will come down the pipeline in due time.

Best,

H


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Leo Ticheli
Re: Why isn't this, of all revolutions, being televised?
on Oct 14, 2007 at 3:54:30 pm

When someone who posts here more frequently gets a Red camera, you'll most likely see a lot more discussion about it.

The batch in which my camera falls, was originally scheduled for early December, is now projected to ship "after January 30." I do promise to post some clips soon after, if there aren't so many around by then that it's redundant.

There are still some ardent advocates who strongly place the Red as a good choice for very small crew, run and gun production. I am more than a bit dubious. In my view, the Red will require a bit more work to use than something like a VariCam or F900, both in production and in post. What makes it worth it, is the super 35MM-sized sensor, great dynamic range, and resolution.

Red does not affect the basics of cinematography, lighting, composition, and movement, in any way. Poor production values will be just as bad regardless of camera choice. Great work, however, will be enhanced by better tools.

The differences in work flow for my use will be the addition of one crew member and more time in post for the necessary color grading. This will result in increased costs to my clients from a VariCam shoot, but still far less than a 35MM production.

Good shooting and best regards,

Leo


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Bob Zelin
Re: Why isn't this, of all revolutions, being televised?
on Oct 14, 2007 at 4:19:20 pm

This is my observation, coming from a mid level market (Orlando).

Some users (e.g. the local cable provider) thought that getting a RED camera was the instant replacement camera to their DVCPro50 or Beta packages - an easy way to move up to HD (or super HD), along with the ability to record right to a hard drive, and get tape out of the picture completely. The mindset was to shoot, and plug in your drive, and start editing.

Of course, this is not the case (it never was). But as you know, many people perceive lots of things, and assume lots of things, that are not true (this applies to plenty of standard products as well, like how come I can't do uncompressed HD on my laptop).

Because of the current development of software (Red Alert is not a real answer, nor did they ever say it was), and because of hardware development issues (card recording only for now), the "anyone can shoot with RED, and it will look like a Panaflex" has not materialized. The idea of super easy to use HD cameras (HDV, P2, etc) changed the persepective of many people (I can shoot great looking video myself - I dont' need Steve Wargo !). I think that many RED potential clients felt this way (I don't need a professional DP - I will just buy a RED Camera - point and shoot). Of course this is not the case (at least not yet)- and this turned off a lot of people.

I still think the RED camera will be amazing as it further develops. No one ever thought that traditional on line would disappear either.

Just my stupid opinion.

Bob Zelin


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Mike Most
Re: Why isn't this, of all revolutions, being televised?
on Oct 15, 2007 at 1:19:10 am

>>No one ever thought that traditional on line would disappear either.

It hasn't. Many network television programs are still assembled in linear online bays, because of two reasons. First, the large post facilities in Los Angeles already had that infrastructure (and had to update it for HD delivery long before you did). Second, it's faster. Hours faster, in the case of a one hour, single camera drama. Third, it's a lot quicker and easier to do last minute changes and credits in an online environment than a nonlinear one if the sources are all on videotape, as they are in the case of network television, regardless of whether it's shot on film or video. Video switchers are wonderful devices.

Now, outside of the singular and rather insulated environment of large post facilities in L.A. putting together network television programs, what you say is generally true.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Why isn't this, of all revolutions, being televised?
on Oct 15, 2007 at 2:32:29 am

Hi Mike -
even in LA, as you well know, most of the traditional on line post facilities have collapsed - as did the manufacturers of this equipment. Aacom is gone (service is still around). GVG, CMX - you know the drill. If it wasn't for live television sports and news, products like Chyron would not even exist. Other than Sony, who is making hardware based DVE's for on line rooms anymore ? There are plenty of network shows (and major cable channel shows) that are being on lined on everything from AVID (Adrenaline, Nitris, DS), FCP, Quantel iQ, Discreet Smoke/Flame, Assimilate Scratch, and FEWER AND FEWER are being done with the few remaining on line linear suites. Remember, I am a linear guy from the late 1970's, and over the years, I have debated with all the old timers (from the day EMC and AVID started) that on line is over - and guess what - that day (the final nail in the coffin) is almost here. Debating this is like debating the demise of hi end CRT monitors, or the ultimate demise of film cameras (did anyone faint when I said this ?). We will both live to see the day when products like RED will completely replace products that rely on Kodak and Fuji stock. RED is in the same position that AVID was in at the beginning. It may not be ready yet, but it will kick ass, and change our business.

And with that said, anyone STILL running a CMX on line room out there should be shot.

Bob Zelin


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Kyle_S
Re: Why isn't this, of all revolutions, being televised?
on Oct 15, 2007 at 9:44:12 pm

The last time I worked on a CMX was the first time I used an Avid. That was back when the storage was a bunch of 9gb drives all stacked up and daisy changed together and the Avid cards were tethered to the Mac in a boat anchor looking box.

There was one good thing about the old CMX days. You got to see the project from the start. Now you get the fun ones that people bring in on the hard drives 3 weeks after they started working on it and the time line looks like a Frankenstein monster. You hear those words "I thought all I needed was the program".

K


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Mike Most
Re: Why isn't this, of all revolutions, being televised?
on Oct 15, 2007 at 11:30:29 pm

>>even in LA, as you well know, most of the traditional on line post facilities have collapsed...

Really? I guess Encore, Modern Videofilm, Level 3 Post, The Post Group, Laser Pacific, and Technicolor haven't heard about that yet. All of those facilities have and still operate online assembly bays, just as I described, and for the reasons I described. And none of them, to my knowledge, are CMX based, they are almost all running Axial systems.

>>There are plenty of network shows (and major cable channel shows) that are being on lined >>on everything from AVID (Adrenaline, Nitris, DS), FCP, Quantel iQ, Discreet Smoke/Flame, >>Assimilate Scratch, and FEWER AND FEWER are being done with the few remaining on line >>linear suites.

Believe what you want to believe. I'm just stating facts. I don't know of any network shows being done on Scratch systems, and I also don't know fo any being assembled on Flame, which is primarily a visual effects compositing box.

>>And with that said, anyone STILL running a CMX on line room out there should be shot.

I guess making money and meeting turnarounds isn't as important as getting religion. Sorry I thought otherwise. I'm waiting for you to tell me that DaVincis are also on the way out as all network television dramas are color corrected on Apple Color.

Uh huhh......



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angus
Re: Why isn't this, of all revolutions, being televised?
on Oct 16, 2007 at 1:18:49 pm

Hey all,

I


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Arniepix
Re: Why isn't this, of all revolutions, being televised?
on Oct 16, 2007 at 3:06:45 pm

Truth is, Angus, that I really agree with Leo, Bob & yourself. Quite possibly that's getting lost in the deep, dark cynicism of my 1st post!

I love working tapeless. Film will probably be in common use for the next 15-20 years, but, by then, I hope that tape will be long gone. Despite it's expense & the extra steps needed, film has a lot going for it. Video tape is a PITA. The only thing going for tape is that it's convenient for archiving, but even then, it doesn't last anywhere near as long as film.

If Red delivers on it's promise of great picture quality & flexibility at a relatively low price, then I'm a happy camper. Any good quality, tapeless offering at a price in the $20-50k (plus lenses) range is, IMO, a terrific option, regardless of whether it's 4k, 2k or 1080 (although, the more "k", the better!).

But, as I think we all agree, 4k in & of itself will not make you a better filmmaker. It will not improve your prowess in bed (no matter what those spam emails say!). It will not make you run faster, farther, nor jump higher or longer. And it will not improve your singing voice.

And I can't wait for the inevitable postings from the 4k Ed Woods out there about how to recover their entire movie from their crashed hard drives, how to stop dropping frames when playing back 4k from their USB hard drives, and why does it cost $20-50k to shoot out a negative.

Arnie

Now in post: Peristroika, a film by Slava Tsukerman

http://www.arniepix.com/blog


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Bob Zelin
Re: Why isn't this, of all revolutions, being televised?
on Oct 16, 2007 at 4:41:06 pm

Hi -
I have to go back to work (for a change), but I wanted to get my 2 cents in.

1) Aacom (who makes the Axial) is LONG out of business. If they are using the Axial, they probably have a DVEous DVE and possibly an 8150 switcher - all discontinued.

2) lots of top rental houses in LA have huge investments in AVID Meridian systems, so you see almost all the shows STILL being cut on AVID Meridian systems, because the rental houses just aren't going to throw them out for Adrenalines or new FCP systems. This does not mean that the Meridian is the best "off line" editor ever made - these are FINANCIAL DECISIONS, not smart ones.

3) This is not religion. Every famous film editor had to adapt or die (even if it was linear on line) - I don't give a crap how many emmy awards he won. You don't get to work on a Steenbeck or Moviola, no matter how much money you made. This applies to ALL new technology. It applied to CMX and Aacom (Axial), its starting to apply to AVID, and it will in the coming years apply to Arriflex and Panavision - both who are racing to develop their own solutions. OLD FOLKS DIE, and old processes die. The RED camera (of whose church I DO NOT belong to) is really no different than the 35mm DP's that say the CineAlta, Viper, and VariCam suck, and will never replace film. RED is the next step.

I come from a 100% linear background, and with RARE EXCEPTION (and I will provide details later) LINEAR IS DEAD, and all the companies that were involved died along with them. Just because Disney still has a huge Sony D2 library, does not mean that D2 is still a viable format to work with - even thought DSR-20 VTR's cost $80,000 each. Same applies to the Ampex VPR-1 - these products belong in a dumpster, not on a pedestal.

Bob Zelin (51 years old).


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mark cookman
Re: Why isn't this, of all revolutions, being televised?
on Oct 26, 2007 at 10:44:39 pm

Off topic guys: I have a fully loaded 8150 ( dveous etc) gathering dust in my attic.
I am visiting LA soon - anyone want to make me an offer ?


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Bob Zelin
Re: Why isn't this, of all (more for MIke Most)
on Oct 16, 2007 at 8:26:32 pm

Mike Most writes -
Really? I guess Encore, Modern Videofilm, Level 3 Post, The Post Group, Laser Pacific, and Technicolor haven't heard about that yet. All of those facilities have and still operate online assembly bays, just as I described, and for the reasons I described. And none of them, to my knowledge, are CMX based, they are almost all running Axial systems.

REPLY -
from the Laser Pacific Website -
Super Computer 2.0 w/ Nitris combines the unique time saving features of our super computer assembly with the power of AVID Nitirs. Post production featuring AVID Nitris Symphony, and FCP Enviornments.

from the Level 3 Website -
featuring Symphony, DS Nitris and Autodesk Fire

From the Modern Videofilm website - Quantel iQ, AVID DS and Symphony Nitris

From the Post Group website - Nitris DS Dymphony and Meridian systems, Discreet Fire. This site toward the bottom states that they use the Axial 3000 for their linear HD assembly room, and the Axial 2020 for their Grass Valley 4000 standard def conform room.

THE POINT IS that EVERY ONE OF THE COMPANIES THAT YOU MENTIONED does NOT feature their "linear on line" capabilities because NO ONE CARES ANYMORE. (Encore and Technicolor don't talk too much about their equipment on their sites). People want NEW STUFF, and the companies that you mentioned use NEW STUFF to attract clients.

There is one company left in little Orlando (HB Productions) with the Axial 2020 and 8150 switcher that uses this room for infomercial work (because it is faster to cut in all the local hotel inserts than to do this in an NLE). I never ever said that linear editing sucked - NOR do I say that Panavision and Arriflex cameras suck. They are wonderful. I am the last person to deny the power of a 4 channel K-Scope. BUT NO ONE CARES ANYMORE. It's MORE IMPORTANT for the RED Camera to succeed (or any other electronic based HD or super HD camera) than to keep shooting movies with the good old Panaflex. Will this change the quality of the movie - absolutely not. But this is what creates the BUZZ in our business, and what you and I do. If you are an old dog that can't deal with all this constant change - retire.

Bob Zelin
ps - in my last post, I made several technical errors, I meant Ampex VPR-3 (not VPR-1), and I meant DVR-20 (not DSR-20). Sorry - I was in a hurry.





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Mike Most
Re: Why isn't this, of all (more for MIke Most)
on Oct 16, 2007 at 11:32:53 pm

>THE POINT IS that EVERY ONE OF THE COMPANIES THAT YOU MENTIONED does NOT feature >their "linear on line" capabilities because NO ONE CARES ANYMORE.

I really don't know what you're trying to prove here, only that you're going through an awful lot of trouble to prove it. I never said that anyone cares, nor did I say that the use of linear online has any PR value or buzz. All I said was that they use it. Quite frankly, it's one of the "dirty little secrets" that all of those large facilities have. While the world (and you) go on raving about how all this stuff is dead and buried, and how only dinosaurs even acknowledge its existence, the people who put together network dramas go on using it because it is largely paid for, is very efficient, and therefore makes them money and gets the job done. It's not for everyone, and it's certainly not something you'd likely create today. I never said it was. I simply said that they use it, regardless of what people think they know.

>>If you are an old dog that can't deal with all this constant change - retire.

Knock it off, Bob. I don't take any better to personal insults than you do. And frankly, in the last 1 1/2 years or so, I've done nothing but deal with new technology. I've redesigned, color calibrated, and rebuilt a DI theater, spec'd and installed a 14 TB SAN infrastructure, implemented a data based workflow for many varied projects, installed a data driven VTR replacement tool, greatly widened the use of Final Cut Pro, After Effects, Shake, and other desktop tools, and am currently implementing a professional post path for Red - all within an existing facility. Prior to that I was a visual effects supervisor for almost 8 years, using nothing but new technology every day. Constant change has been part of my life for the entire time I've been in this business, and continues to be. You've taken things I've said and turned them into a personal attack, and I don't like it one bit. Neither would you, but I haven't stooped to that. I stated facts, and you tried to turn them into some kind of personal diatribe on how much more you know than me. If that makes you feel better, fine. But facts are facts. They don't indicate anything about what I do or what I believe. In fact, they weren't about me at all, as I don't even live in Los Angeles anymore. They just tell you how things are. You're the one who tried to turn it into more than that. But as for me, I'm done with this topic.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Why isn't this, of all (more for MIke Most)
on Oct 16, 2007 at 11:51:26 pm

Mike -
I apologize to you and this forum for taking this too far. I just can STAND guys (and you are not one of them) that live in the "good old days", and think that any new technology is useless, and that nothing beats "my old ADO 2000 and Chyron Infinite". It is very difficult for me to keep up with all this new stuff, and I am struggling with RED workflow right now (as well as plenty of other stuff that I barely understand), but I know that the world marches on, and that you have to keep up, if you want to stay in the game. I'm not throwing out any of my old Tektronix test gear, even though there are newer/better/cheaper products on the market.

I have to deal with manufacturers that are FULL OF CRAP every day (I just suffered today with a Belkin 8 port USB KVM for an Apple Render Farm - the Belkin is a useless piece of crap, and I was mislead by the website and their sales staff). So I am very defensive of all kinds of mis-information - much of which I personally repeat, and regret several days later. This is why the RED forum is so volatile - its tough buying a product for a client, when they expect it to work flawlessly out of the box, with no B.S. The end clients don't want to hear our stories - they just want it to work.

Bob Zelin


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Mike Most
Re: Why isn't this, of all (more for MIke Most)
on Oct 17, 2007 at 12:34:45 am

Apology accepted. Bad stuff forgotten. Respect definitely re-established.



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blub06
Re: Why isn't this, of all (more for MIke Most)
on Oct 17, 2007 at 3:00:39 am

ADO (Ampex Digital Optics) Was that not a killer thing. I played with a two channel version in the early 80's I knew I was seeing the future. It was so fluid....

Better then Avid 3dWarp!

Had to have some fun...

Chris


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angus
Re: Why isn't this, of all (more for MIke Most)
on Oct 17, 2007 at 7:52:37 am

Guys

you're getting me all sentimental here! I started of as a VT assistant; line-up every morning, VPR3s, Vista switcher, AD0 DVE and ACE100 edit controller. Ahhh those were the days....I can almost smell the propanol :-)

There's also no doubt that, in the right hands, a well spec'd linear on-line suite was a very effective way of working. In the pre-digital days they also graded editors with brutal effectivenes. Trying to do difficult stuff in a single pass was what it was all about.

Build costs have killed them in the UK though, I can't exactly remember the last time I heard of one being installed.

Angus



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rafalaos
Re: Why isn't this, of all (more for MIke Most)
on Oct 17, 2007 at 12:44:41 pm

I started too carring a U-Matic (HB !!) and optimizing in the morning the video heads of the Bosch 1'. At that time our job had a lot of craft. If you wanted to do something you coudn't post to a forum and ask for the last plugin. However, God bless the Digital Video.
I think like Bob, the same than the SD video is about to be buried, the Linear Edit will be kept lin the museums. To mantain those equipments will be soon too expensive. But some will survive (they still are some AMPEX QUADRUPLEX working).
I think the RED ONE won't make nobody a better filmaker, but will give the chance of making great things to people that with out the arrival and similar options, would never have the opportunity.
Making god films won't be easier, but will be cheaper. And about bad filmakers, I think it doesn't exist such thing. Everybody have the right to do whatever hi want with his camera. You are not forced to watch it.
Cheers,
rafael
PS: I wouldn't mind to have a RED.
Rafael


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Arniepix
Re: Why isn't this, of all (more for MIke Most)
on Oct 17, 2007 at 2:09:37 pm

[Bob Zelin] "I have to deal with manufacturers that are FULL OF CRAP every day...

So I am very defensive of all kinds of mis-information...

its tough buying a product for a client, when they expect it to work flawlessly out of the box, with no B.S. The end clients don't want to hear our stories - they just want it to work."


True.

To me, it's clear that Red is still very much a work in progress. To some people, Red may seem to be a magic bullet that will turn them into instant genius auture film makers. I suspect, most of those are the ones who still think it only costs $17,500.

Anyway, I think that as it matures Red, in the right hands, is a tool that has a lot of promise. Just like it's main competitors.

Arnie

Now in post: Peristroika, a film by Slava Tsukerman

http://www.arniepix.com/blog


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jiri vrozina
on Oct 14, 2007 at 9:35:27 pm





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Torrey Loomis
Re: Why isn't this, of all revolutions, being televised?
on Oct 26, 2007 at 8:04:53 am

Bill Davis wrote "I hope I


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