Garden Pieces (1994-98)
Can 55: Colour print, Comopt, 16mm, 414ft., 1998.
Can 56: Colour print, Comopt, 16mm, 414ft., 1998.
Can 57: Negative optical soundtrack, 16mm, 414ft., 1998.
Can 58: A&B Roll Master colour negative, 16mm, 414ft., 1994-1998.
Can 59: ‘Further Grove’ Colour negative, 16mm, 144ft., 1998.
Can 60: ‘Further Grove’ Colour negative + trims, 16mm, 144ft., 1998.
Summary of Film Elements and Condition
Can 55 This is a show print in good condition. There is no fungus present and only a few light scratches.
Can 56 A show print, in very good condition. No fungus.
Can 57 Original negative optical soundtrack. No fungus. There is a Todd-AO laboratory label on the can which shows it has been cleaned and is dated 20-7-98.
Can 58 The original negative A/B rolls. They are a mixture of Kodak, Agfa, Ilford and Fuji stock with dates varying from at least 1994-1998. The hand-drawn sections are black ink on clear black and white 16mm Agfa stock. Unlike Tait’s other films, there are no 35mm elements for this title and it appears that the drawings were made directly onto the Agfa stock. There are hand-written numbers in between the perforations approximately every 40 frames and the drawings were made without adding framelines. Significantly, there is a colour grader’s sheet with all the light changes clearly noted in numeric form. There is no fungus. The label on the can states that the film was ultrasonically cleaned on 24-7-98.
Can 59 This is a negative relating to the last section of the film. It includes images of slates/’clapper boards’ with the title ‘Further Grove’ written on it. No fungus.
Can 60 Like #59, there is a roll of footage relating to the last section of the film. It also includes trims. No fungus.
Notes For The Preservation of Garden Pieces
In terms of preservation, this is the least complex of all the hand-painted/drawn films. The film has not begun to suffer from fungus and appears to have been stable enough to undergo ultrasonic cleaning at the laboratory. Other than black inks used to draw on the Agfa stock, Tait did not apply any colour dyes. It is possible that she used the same drawing inks for Numen of The Boughs and if so they may likewise be stable. Having the grader’s timing sheet is essential for achieving the colours that Tait decided upon and it should be treated with care. With this record, the technique Tait used to colour the hand-drawn sections can be clearly understood: Grading lights with a value around 25 are considered normal. Where there are one or two zeros in the light (i.e 10 00 10), this indicates an overall shift in colour (the above example would be green) and such exposures would flash the background of the picture area. The original clear Agfa stock with black ink drawings has been flashed with colour to give the finished result of white drawings on a dense, richly coloured background. There is no urgency to work on the preservation of this title and the film elements can be considered stable and well preserved. There are two prints in good condition, one of which should be treated as a master positive. An adequate and economic method of preservation would be to make an interpositive from the original negatives. Having the original grading sheet should ensure that a fairly faithful reproduction would be achieved.