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[VIP] Disc Preservation Project - The Real Ghostbusters Time-Life Advance Promotional DVD

 By Paul Rudoff on Sep. 5, 2021 at 12:00 PM , Categories: Real Ghostbusters, Preservation, VIP Exclusives , Tags:
Spook Central - Disc Preservation Project

The Spook Central VIP Exclusives Area is the home to content that has been made exclusively available for supporters who pledge a monthly donation through the Spook Central Patreon page. Said content is either downloadable through the VIP Exclusives Area here or on the Patreon page, though I link to some exclusive content throughout Spook Central where appropriate. You can learn more about the Spook Central VIP Area in this blog post. The VIP articles that are posted on Spook Central, which are easily distinguishable by the "[VIP]" at the start of the article title, are readable by all visitors, but contain download links that will only work for VIP members. If you wish to download this content, become a supporter through the Spook Central Patreon page. With that out of the way, let's continue...

For many years, Spook Central has spearheaded the Ghostbusters PDF eBook Preservation Project, an effort among fans to preserve out-of-print Ghostbusters books so that pieces of the franchise's history are available to all, and are not lost to time, or held hostage by price-gouging aftermarket sellers. Thanks to the gracious amount of webspace provided by Raffaele, Spook Central is able to do the same with selected fan-made and promotional digital disc content. I have a few discs that are suitable for the Disc Preservation Project, though if the primary content from them ends up on an official, commercially-available, easy-to-obtain Blu-ray/DVD/whatever, then I won't include it in the project (or will remove it if it's already been included). This is about preservation, not piracy.

Originally, the plan was to make .ISO images files available, which could be downloaded and burned onto DVD-R discs, which would give you an exact copy of the original DVD. However, even with the gracious amount of webspace provided to Spook Central, I find that that may not be completely feasible in the long-term. Most of the disc images are 4GB each, and that adds up pretty quickly. Also, some people may not be able to to download files that large. There's also the concern that there may not be many dinosaurs like me left, who would prefer a "physical disc"-suitable file. With all of that in mind, I felt that the best thing for the project is to proceed with DVD-ripped .MKV video files of selected content from each disc. These files would have the same quality as the video on the disc (I won't recompress them), but they could be immediately played without the need to burn a disc or mount an image file. Anyone who does want the .ISO image files for all of the discs in the project, can buy the limited-edition physical flash drive release, which is a copy of my master flash drive for the small amount of people who may want those files.


It was 35 years ago years ago this month that The Real Ghostbusters premiered on ABC. It took over 20 years for all of us Ghostheads to get the complete series on DVD, thanks to Time-Life. In October of 2008, to promote the upcoming set, Time-Life sent out an "Advance Promotional DVD" to select media outlets, such as Spook Central. It contains a sampling of the box set contents: two episodes, a featurette, a visual commentary track, four episode introductions, and the Comic Con trailer.

I've already detailed that disc 13 years ago, so I won't go over it fully here, but it's interesting to note that it was produced by a different team than the final box set. I know this for a fact because the visual commentary track, episode introductions, and Comic Con trailer are all presented in 16:9 anamorphic widescreen. In the final set, they're all stupidly presented in 4:3 letterbox! I believe I know who's responsible for the stupid and outdated (even for 2008) 4:3 letterbox presentation. It's not Andy Mangels, but Andy worked with him on some Filmation sets, which featured a horrible presentation of windowboxing interview footage inside a "TV set" frame instead of presenting it in fullscreen. DVD has a low resolution of 720x480. Anyone with common sense would want to use as much of that resolution as possible. You don't want to waste it on garbage like frames. See also: the still images on the 1999 Ghostbusters DVD.

Okay, now that I got that rant out of my system... Presented here are the six 16:9 anamorphic widescreen videos that are EXCLUSIVE to this disc. The two episodes and featurette are the same as in the final set.
  • Visual Commentary Track for "Take Two" with J. Michael Straczynski, Joe Medjuck and Michael C. Gross; hosted by Andy Mangels (23:46, 883 MB)
  • Episode Introduction for "Janine's Genie" by Laura Summer, voice of Janine from 1986-1988. (0:39, 28 MB)
  • Episode Introduction for "Ain't NASA-Sarily So," by Dan Riba, storyboard artist. (0:33, 24 MB)
  • Episode Introduction for "The Ghostbusters in Paris" by Maurice LaMarche, voice of Egon. (0:38, 27 MB)
  • Episode Introduction for "The Devil to Pay" by Dennys McCoy & Pam Hickey, writers. (0:36, 26 MB)
  • Comic Con Trailer (0:56, 41 MB)

It is my hope that if Sony ever decides to re-release the complete series, with all of Time-Life's bonus features, that they obtain the masters from Time-Life and present the material properly. I know from my conversations with James Eatock - which I will use as part of a "Making of the Time-Life DVD Set" feature exclusively for Spook Central VIPs (hopefully throughout 2022) - that all of the new interviews were filmed in 16:9 HD. While it would be great for that material to be published on Blu-ray disc, I don't think the episodes themselves will hold up very well in HD. At the very least, us Ghostheads deserve to see all of those interviews - in raw footage, as episode introductions, and as visual commentary tracks - in 16:9 anamorphic widescreen on a new DVD release. Plus, Sony has shown that they have the correct-speed versions for those "Volume 4" episodes (and some of the alternate episodes), so if they put in the effort, they can easily best the Time-Life set! (As long as they don't cut off the title cards ever again.)

Disclaimer: No copyright infringement is intended with the content on this page. The presentation of disc content is done solely to preserve materials that are no longer being published, or in the case of fan-made discs, may have never been made available for public purchase in the first place. These materials will be lost and gone forever if the fans don't properly preserve them. Please note that the money paid to me as a Spook Central supporter is for my hard work in bringing this material to you since August 1996. You are not paying for the content itself. The money I receive is used to fund Spook Central and to pay for my living expenses.

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