A new vintage film restoration and distribution company, Film Masters, has been launched by industry veteran and film historian Phil Hopkins.
Said Hopkins, “Preserving these films in an increasingly homogenized media world is more important than ever. As a consortium of historians and avid enthusiasts, Film Masters was launched to celebrate the preservation and restoration of vintage movies, many of them cult films, that otherwise might not be seen or experienced by a new generation of film lovers. Each release will feature original bonus materials that contextualize and enhance the enjoyment and understanding of the film.”
With one Blu-ray/DVD title planned each month, the premiere release under the new label on Sept. 26 will be a two-disc collection featuring the schlock, cult favorite The Giant Gila Monster with bonus film The Killer Shrews, which were released as a double-feature bill in 1959. Followed by the horror flick Beast From Haunted Cove (1959) on Oct. 24; and the drama The Scarlett Letter (1934) on Nov. 21.
The majority of the film releases will be restored from a new, 4k scan of 35mm, original film elements; will be offered in original aspect ratios; and will be presented on region-free discs with DTS-HD sound and Dolby AC3s sound.
Working with Hopkins as part of the Film Masters team to provide an array of insights and viewpoints on film to develop original content for bonus features are author Larry Blamire; producer/director Daniel Griffith; author and film historian C. Courtney Joyner; professor and film scholar Jason A. Ney; film historian Sam Sherman; and film historian Tom Weaver, among other noted, guest commentators.
Additionally, there will be original editorial content for classic film fans featured on the Film Masters website and in four-color, collectible booklets inserted into Blu-ray/DVD releases, provided by Susan King, a film/TV/theater writer for the Los Angeles Times for 26 years specializing in classic Hollywood; award-winning journalist and author Don Stradley; Karen Burroughs Hannsberry, author of two books on film noir and editor of The Dark Pages newsletter; author and filmmaker Anders Runestad; Kami and Chris Spagenberg, editors of the Classic Couple website, which celebrates vintage movies and film history; and other select guests with knowledge of classic film and a respected presence in the community.
On the company’s website, the Film Masters Blog will post multiple articles each month covering a variety of topics, often to contextualize a film showing on Film Masters YouTube Channel, which is now streaming a variety of classic films. Also showing on the YouTube channel, is an ongoing, original series, “Legendary Faces,” which pays homage to Hollywood’s most iconic stars and launched this week with a Peter Lorre tribute.