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Film > Ghostbusters > Ghostbusters ShoWest Exhibitor Reel
ShoWest Exhibitor Reel

In 1984, while the movie was still being filmed on The Burbank Studios soundstages, Columbia Pictures enlisted Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd to help sell the film to theater distributors at the ShoWest convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. A 13-minute film reel was assembled of rough film clips (not shown in movie order) introduced by Bill and Dan, which was shown at the convention. The first part of the reel is Bill and Dan talking outside of Soundstage 12 in front of the Ecto-1. Then there are some really dark film clips with no music or temp music (including the unused Hughes/Thrall theme song) and no special effects. This is followed by Bill and Dan to close it out. Aside from the music (or lack thereof) and effects, the scenes are pretty much the same as what's in the final movie, though some clips are very slightly different. Some examples: When interviewing the librarian, after Ray expresses his enthusiasm ("I can't wait to get a look at this thing"), he exchanges a look with Peter that is not in the final film. When doing the Twinkie analogy, Egon says "PKE sample" instead of just "sample". There might be more subtle differences, but these were the two that immediately jumped out at me.

Below is the full transcript of the intro and outro from the reel, transcribed by me, Paul Rudoff. The film clips are not transcribed, though I noted which clips are used. A few framegrabs are also included, and since the original film was not cleaned up, I took the liberty of removing some of the dirt specks from them. (The logo on the door has some physical nicks and scratches in it that I did not remove, as I'm not trying to alter the content itself.)

An edited version of the reel can be found on the Ghostbusters 1&2 4K UHD & Blu-Ray 2019 5-Disc Set, which can be purchased from my store page. The unedited version made its way into the hands of the fans, and can be viewed on Spook Central here. In the transcript below, the portions that were edited from the 4K/Blu-ray set are in BOLD GREEN.

  [Columbia Pictures logo screen]

[Bill and Dan come out of the soundstage waving to the camera]
Dan Aykroyd: Hi. I hope you're having a good time in Reno... or, I mean, Vegas. And I hope that not too many of you have discovered that... that little game with the tiny squares with the dots on it, you know, the one that depends on odds, you know the odds, that's a big part of Vegas, isn't it?
Bill Murray: Yes, and when you talk about odd, you talk about you folks in Las Vegas this week.
Dan Aykroyd: You guys really know how to have a good time, there's no question about it. Some of those chaps from General Cinema are just wild. I heard about one who swallowed 12 roulette balls and then took a ride in a clothes dryer. And the people from Canada, that Odeon chain. They are party animals, there's no question about it. We're here to talk about a different kind of odds. And that is the odds that will be in your favor when you exhibit, perhaps, the greatest comedy motion picture of all time.
Bill Murray: I mean, this is gonna make E.T. look like Raiders of the Lost Ark, you know what I'm saying? This is gonna be one HFM, you know what I mean? This is gonna be the kind of thing that your children are gonna say, "Dad, I can look up to you now, but I never could before." Isn't it worth it? Isn't it worth it? God, I mean, we made a lot of cheap movies for you guys that made a lot of money, but now we kind of spent a little more than we're supposed to.
Dan Aykroyd: Columbia Pictures has spared no expense to make this... a fine science fiction comedy spectacle.
Bill Murray: What a bunch of good sports they are.
Dan Aykroyd: And it is PG. I'm fucking telling you, it's PG.
Bill Murray: I mean, that's gotta help. I mean, PG, "pink gums." I mean, the people who can come in and eat and eat and eat that sugar and popcorn and those soft drinks.
Dan Aykroyd: And the thickness of the sucrose syrup on the floors of your theaters after this film is over, after every screening. I mean, we're talking inches and inches.
Bill Murray: It's gonna be an exciting time for all of us. I really hope that you can all be a part of this. And if not, well, it's all right. We got some Canadian film board stuff we want you to look at.
Dan Aykroyd: Now, you might be seeing some black and white footage, and of course, you know this is a workprint. And we're gonna try to show you little bits of the film and get you excited. We certainly are.
Bill Murray: And if that doesn't work, we have a hundred and seventeen girls who are looking for scholarships to nursing school. They will be circulating through your rooms over the next day or so.
Dan Aykroyd: And we thank you and we hope you enjoy the bit of the film that we've cut together for your viewing pleasure today.
Film Clips [film clips shown, some are alternate takes]

01. Janine answers phone, guys race to Sedgewick.

02. Sedgewick outside and inside elevator and hallway with maid.
[pre-effects shots are black & white]

03. Librarian and the card-spewing drawers.

04. Interviewing the librarian.

05. Checking out the stacks; symetrical book stacking & snot-covered card catalog drawers.

06. Peter talks with Dana in her apartment; "You're more like a game show host."

07. Peter talks with Dana at Lincoln Center.

08. Terror Dog breaks out of statue atop the apartment building.

09. Dogs drag Dana.

10. That's a big Twinkie!

11. Do you want this body?

12. This man has no dick.

13. Arriving with police escort at the apartment building. The ground opens up.

14. Title on black
Bill Murray: We know that Columbia is charging a lot of money for this. We heard this. It was our idea. But there are some perks. You'll be able to have this successful comedy, and you'll be able to meet someone special back in your room in just a few minutes, as soon as this meeting's over. That's right. All taken care of by the good people over at Columbia Pictures, subsidary of Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Bottling Company.
Dan Aykroyd: Ghostbusters. The brave. The best. The only Ghostbusters.
  [close-up of No Ghost logo on car door]

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