Episode 136 - Classic Rewind (2016): Sam Roukin, “Simcoe” of TURN: Washington’s Spies Talks Revolutionary War and Playing A Historic FigureJul 04, 2022
Fisher opens this Classic Rewind from 2016 with Family Histoire News talking about the upcoming season of Genealogy Roadshow. He discloses which cities the Roadshow team will visit this year. He then talks about the amazing discovery of the remains of a Roman villa underneath a barn in England. Here how it was discovered and what is happening to the site now. Fisher then shares the sad tale of the 1838 sale of over 230 African slaves by Jesuit priests in Washington DC. Here why they were sold, and which well known university exists today because its debts were paid by the sale. Also hear about why major efforts are being made to find their descendants.
In segment two, Fisher visits with actor Sam Roukin who plays Captain John Graves Simcoe in the AMC series “TURN: Washington’s Spies.” Sam talks about his development of this despicable character, based on a real historic figure. Sam also talks about his immersion in the history of the Revolution.
In segment three, Fisher continues his conversation with Sam Roukin. Sam talks about what responsibility he feels to the real man and how he squares the character he portrays with the man who did some very good things after the Revolution. Sam also reveals that, despite being very British and portraying a brutal British officer in the Revolution, he is likely to do something in the not so distant future that will please many Americans.
Tom Perry then returns, the Preservation Authority, to talk about some special programs he is analyzing for personal use in editing video and digitized home movies. Some of the things these programs can do could only have been done in Hollywood just a few years ago!
Host Scott Fisher
Segment 1 Episode 136 Classic Rewind
Fisher: And hello America! And welcome to America’s Family Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth. Happy 4th of July weekend! It’s great to have you along. This is a Classic Rewind of Extreme Genes dating back to 2016... my interview with Sam Roukin who starred in one of my favorite TV shows of the past decade, ‘Turn: Washington’s Spies.’ I hope you enjoy Sam’s insight on the Revolution and you have a great holiday weekend!
Do you have an interest in the American Revolution? Do you have ancestors who fought against or maybe on behalf of the King?
Well, this week, Season 3 of AMC’s ‘Turn: Washington’s Spies’, about the Culper Spy Ring begins. The first episode is Monday night at ten o clock Eastern Time.
This season takes us to the key moment of the Revolution, ‘The Betrayal of Benedict Arnold’ and I’ve identified five ancestors who were actively involved in the Revolution in the north east, and thirteen on my wife’s side, all from the south, mostly Virginia.
Well, the guy who plays the very warped, the very evil, Captain John Graves Simcoe, an actor named Sam Roukin, is going to join us in the show later today and we’re going to talk to him for two segments about what he’s learned about the history of the Revolution.
The character that he plays, who was an actual person, in fact, he became the Lieutenant Governor of a province in Canada and freed slaves in 1791.
So I’m very excited for you to meet Sam Roukin who plays John Graves Simcoe, on Turn, a little bit later on on the show. And of course Tom Perry is going to tell you about video editing and a video editing program that you can use for your old home movies and videos.
It’s cheap, like free, and you’d be able to do things at home that only Hollywood people could do just a few years ago. That’s later in the show.
Well, as you know, David Allen Lambert, the chief genealogist, for the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org usually joins us on the show.
He’s in London these days. We had him on via Skype the last couple of weeks. Well, this week he went to an area where we found out the wifi was just a little bit weak and so it just isn’t going to happen today, so I’m going to have to carry the whole thing myself. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.
So we start our Family Histoire News with this:
Genealogy Road Show is returning to PBS, with its premiere for this season happening on Tuesday, May 17th, and the cities they’re going to be visiting this year include: Albuquerque, Miami, Houston, Boston, Providence and Los Angeles. They kind of picked these places because they feel its representative of the cultural crossroads for diversity and industry and history. Deep pools of riveting stories, so it’s going to be interesting to see what Kenyatta Berry, Josh Taylor and Mary Tedesco come up with this season. Remember again, PBS, May 17th.
Well, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if David Lambert wasn’t aware of this, there’s a rug designer over in England in Wiltshire named Luke Erwin, and he and his family wanted to convert a barn on their new property that they just bought. They wanted to convert it into a ping pong room. So they brought in the electricians to do this underground cable and put the barn in lights. Well, when the workmen began drilling into the ground, they hit this layer of mosaic tile, yeah, intricate red, white and blue. Well, this guy Erwin he knew the significance of this. He said that no one since the Romans had laid mosaics in Britain to use as house floors. So they were able to actually put an end to the work of the workmen before they actually started busting it up. Erwin called in archaeologists and they ran tests, and they found that this mosaic went back from sometime between 175 and 220 AD, and it was remodelled over several times since. But they determined it’s a Roman Villa courtyard! So there’s an actual artist rendition now to see what this thing looked like 1800 years ago. It’s from Smithsonian Magazine. You can see the link at ExtremeGenes.com. Well, here’s a story that’s been making a lot of news this week:
Georgetown University was founded centuries ago by Jesuit Catholic priests. Well, it turns out that in 1838 the university which was then a college, got into some financial problems. Well, they owned slaves, a lot of them, over 230 of them, and they decided the only way that they were going to get out of debt was to sell the slaves to the market in New Orleans.
This is all very well documented and found within the archives of what is currently George Town University. Well the story is beginning to gain lots more traction as people have come to understand who these people were.
There were families, there were babies, women, men, old, young, the ship’s manifest as they were sent off to New Orleans, really tell a story of great hardship. There’s one account from a Jesuit priest associated with this school, who didn’t approve of all this, as saying, that one woman was actually on the dock begging and wondering and asking what she had done to deserve this.
Well, the university had obtained a lot of money as the result and wound up paying off their debts. Today, Georgetown University still exists because of the money they raised by selling their slaves down to New Orleans.
Now the Catholic overseers of the school in Rome at the time disapproved of this move. It was made contrary to their orders.
So now an effort is underway to identify the descendants of these 230 some odd slaves that were sold by Georgetown University and try to determine is there some way to make reparations for what was done to their people, and next week we’re going to talk to one of those descendants about this experience.
She happens to be the president of a genealogical society in Washington. It’s going to be fascinating to hear what she has to say about her viewpoint on this incredible story from the 19th century. You can read about it in the New York Times and find the link at ExtremeGenes.com.
Well, good news from AmericanAncestors.org and the New England Historic Genealogical Society, their long running published quarterly The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, with over four hundred million searchable names, is now complete and in digital format in their databases.
So you can log in now with your NEHGS membership or guest account and check out all this incredible information that’s waiting for you now.
And just a reminder, all of our shows are now entirely searchable. Yeah, we transcribe them. So if you want to remember some of the things we talk about or find something further about it once you’ve heard it, just go to ExtremeGenes.com go to our podcast section and search the transcripts.
And coming up next! We’re going to talk to the man who plays the very evil Captain John Graves Simcoe, on the AMC series ‘Turn: Washington Spies.’ The series is coming back for their third season starting Monday night at ten o clock Eastern. Samuel Roukin joins the show, coming up in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com.
Segment 2 Episode 136 Classic Rewind
Host Scott Fisher with guest Samuel Roukin
Samuel Roukin: My name is Captain John Graves Simcoe, and I’m your new commander, by orders of Major John Andre.
Fisher: And that is the voice of Sam Roukin, he plays Captain John Graves Simcoe on the AMC revolutionary series ‘Turn: Washington’s Spies’ the Culper Spy Ring.
Hi, it is Fisher, and you’re with Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show, and if you have followed our program for any time at all you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of this program and for some time now I’ve been working to get one of my favorite characters from the show on this show and Sam is on the line with us now.
How are you Sam? Welcome to Extreme Genes!
Sam: Thank you! It’s good to be with you.
Fisher: I’m just absolutely astonished by your character, and has it changed your life a little bit? I’m sure you get an awful lot of comments because let’s face it, as you portray John Graves Simcoe, he’s bloodthirsty, he’s twisted, he’s ruthless, he has enemies on both sides, he’s fiercely loyal to the king, but he also needs love.
Sam: Yeah. He’s a complicated guy, and yeah it’s had a huge effect in my life, you know it really put me on the map here, and he’s such a divisive character and you know people have a really strong opinion about him. On the whole people are very nice. Usually the comment is that they just love to hate me, so I’m all right with that.
Fisher: [Laughs] But hey as an actor as long as they love you for anything that’s not a bad thing!
Sam: That’s true!
Fisher: And you were in ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ as well. You were a snatcher in that, so obviously they have a tendency to bring you in for some, shall we say, ‘dark characters.’
Sam: Yeah. I’m going to start taking this personally. I don’t know what the problem is.
Sam: Yeah, I mean at the end of the day from my perspective as long as the characters have some depth and richness to them, then I get excited about it and as far as it goes with the more nasty characters, generally they are a little more complex and usually get written in that way. So I’m cool with it really. I enjoy digging into these guys psyches and obviously I’m developing a bit of a knack for different types of characters.
Fisher: And speaking to you I’m sure a lot of listeners who are familiar with the show are noticing the same thing that I am, that you don’t speak like your character, you’re from a different part of England obviously, than Simcoe is. How do you work those accent differences?
Sam: Well you know, I mean, all of that stuff is so important like the costume and the hair and everything else. It’s the first thing we see and when he speaks it’s the first thing we hear. So I take those things really seriously. Because I think they’re a window into who the guy actually is or whoever you’re playing. So obviously basics are you know, ‘where’s this guy from? Where do we locate him in the world?’ and that’s one part of it, and then obviously my voice naturally is much deeper registered than his.
Sam: And that only just came from discussions with Craig Silverstein, the show producer and when we originated the pilot, Rupert Wyatt, who directed it. We were talking about the kind of guy that this is, and I thought it would be kind of obvious to have this kind of brute which could easily have come out as, you know... they were obviously writing a villain in this character, and it would have been very easy to sort of just make him like a typically nasty piece of work.
Sam: And I didn’t want to be typical with him because I thought there was something a little more interesting in there. So really it came about wanting him to have this kind of delicate touch and the question I asked myself was, ‘what would happen if this guy was really nice to everybody?’ So that it becomes about, you know, and then that sort of came out he had a lightness of touch in the way he spoke. So I thought it would be much more impactful if this guy is nasty because of the things he does rather than your initial impression of him, and that’s sort of how it started developing and then it just sort of took on a life of its own.
Fisher: Well let me ask you about this. One of the things I noticed in one of the early episodes is your over-pronunciation of names.
Fisher: You talked about ‘Tall-madge’ and ‘Brew-ster.’ Where did that come from?
Sam: The good one is ‘Wood-hull.’
Fisher: Yes! [Laughs]
Sam: He has a love for language you know. John Simcoe, you know a lot of this is not just me having fun with it, there is some substance to it. You know John Graves Simcoe was a poet and in fact has the first recorded Valentine’s poem.
Sam: I was interested in his love for language. It wasn’t something I actually consciously did it just started happening you know.
Sam: I realized that I wasn’t saying these names like everybody else and then it just kind of stuck. But you know I read ‘Wood-hull’ I didn’t read ‘Woodull’ or something, I was just saying what I saw really as a character and that’s how it came out. But yeah it does give him an individuality that hadn’t been planned for but obviously contributes to the whole thing you know, so, yeah, good observation!
Fisher: Oh, I loved it. I loved it when you came with ‘Tall-madge’ [Laughs] I thought it was great.
Sam: Yeah, ‘Tallmadge’ is a good one as well.
Sam: I just have to tell you, I really just was saying what I saw. I guess I was inside the guy you know and that’s how it came out.
Fisher: Well now that’s the question. Now this show is about family history and people who listen to it are also into history and my fascination with the program is the representation of how my ancestors may have lived under British occupation at that time.
Fisher: So there’s a tremendous realism, I mean you see the tavern wench emptying the chamber pot right outside the door of the place and then going in and serving food. [Laughs] I think, wow!
Sam: Yes. There was no health and safety department in Setauket. You know the great thing about it though is you know lots of great historical television and films that have come out, the reason why we care is because we realize, apart from knowing what our heritage is and learning how we came to be now and what came before us.
It’s also that you know, they were just like us you know, it’s a mind trick that we put the people in the past as almost like a different species and I think one of the beautiful things about portraying it in drama is that we have the opportunity to humanize history.
I think that’s a really key element to why we’re interested in it you know and when those human moments come out it’s really satisfying.
Fisher: Well I think you really hit it on the head. The fascinating thing is watching the challenges. I mean we’ve always thought in this country, of course, the Patriots are the good guys and you guys are the bad guys! And we’re seeing Abe Woodhull changing now, he’s becoming very much as blood thirsty as anybody else in this series. The evolution as he has to go through to fight to survive.
Sam: Yeah, that’s very true, and I think it’s really an indication of how war is a unique experience now and then and has a very unique effect on the people involved in it. And I think the optics in war are very different you know, and I think it has to change you, doesn’t it? You know if you’re being occupied, if you’re compelled to do something about that. I think people do things during war time that they would never have imagined doing in another environment.
So yeah it’s a really good observation and I think particularly in someone like Abe who was just a normal regular farmer doing his thing and getting on with his life to suddenly be put into this extraordinary situation and we see his change before our eyes.
I mean, I think that’s a very compelling thing. But you know equally I think all the characters go through that. You know even someone like Washington or Benedict Arnold, or any of these guys who you know, John Andre, everybody really could change.
That’s one of the great things about season three, I think, is that we’re really seeing the effects of the war on these people and how it’s changing them and changing how they go about their lives. It’s fascinating.
Fisher: We’re talking to Sam Roukin, he plays Captain John Graves Simcoe, on the AMC Revolutionary series ‘Turn: Washington’s Spies’ and Sam, I actually have an ancestor who is buried in the same church yard with Caleb Brewster, in Fairfield, Connecticut.
Fisher: Have you had the chance to go to some of these places that you’re portraying, have you been to Setauket yet?
Sam: I haven’t been to Setauket, no. I did actually... I lived in New Jersey for a while. Everywhere I would go you know I would see plaques and I started to become you know, a plaque hunter.
Sam: And where we shoot the show in Virginia, there’s also some really key Revolutionary sites around here as well. In fact we keep coming across places where Simcoe and his troops were stationed at one point. They moved around so much, especially the rangers.
Just by accident in fact I’ve come across a lot of places. But yeah I do try to go to as many relevant sites as I can. You know I recently went to Washington’s headquarters in New Jersey, and where one of his camps was.
It’s cool to kind of be standing where they stood. So yeah I have been to some. I actually haven’t been to Setauket. But funny enough we do have fans who are in Setauket, we often get messages from those guys and they’re really happy that their town is being celebrated, you know.
Fisher: Well you know the whole story was fascinating. In fact I read a book about this and then a week later I learned that your show was coming on, and I just couldn’t wait and it was very exciting. Hey, we’re going to take a break, and when we return we’re going to talk more with Sam Roukin, Captain John Graves Simcoe, from the AMC revolutionary series ‘Turn: Washington’s Spies.’ We’re going to talk about some of the real people Sam, and how those folks have affected your character and some of the other characters you work with, all right?
Sam: Sounds good, I’m looking forward to it.
Fisher: All right and before we take that break I should mention that ‘Turn Washington’s Spies’ returns for Season Three this coming Monday, April 25th. It’s a new time slot, new day for Turn, and this season we’re going to see the actual evolution as we start moving towards Benedict Arnold’s betrayal, and it’s going to be a great season coming up on AMC 10 o clock Eastern, 9 o clock Central. Figure it out where you are. We’ll be back with our next segment with Sam Roukin from ‘Turn: Washington’s Spies’ in five minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 3 Episode 136 Classic Rewind
Host Scott Fisher with guest Sam Roukin
Fisher: And we are back, America's Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com.
It is Fisher here, the Radio Roots Sleuth, talking to Sam Roukin. He is Captain John Graves Simcoe on the AMC Revolutionary series, ‘Turn: Washington’s Spies.’
And Sam, I've got to tell you right now, my wife is totally creeped out by your character, and she says, "Why do you have to talk to the bad guy?"
I said, “Well, because, I think they're more interesting.” Because you try to figure out just what is it that makes these people tick. And I'm sure, as an actor, you have to kind of think that way yourself, don't you?
Sam: I do. Your wife is a very smart lady!
Sam: [Laughs] I'm fascinated by human beings. I think most actors are, and that's one of the reasons why we're compelled to do it, you know? We're very curious about the way people think and why people do what they do and the way that they do them. And so, it turns out that when you are dealing with, for example, sociopaths, we're not like that in our normal lives, thankfully, so to make that journey and to go on that voyage of discovery, it's kind of a really joyous thing for an actor. So, what, you know, we're as compelled to access the brains of these people as the audience is hopefully to watch them, you know?
Fisher: Well, and so that brings us to the question, how much of the real John Graves Simcoe, who went on to become what, lieutenant governor, up in Canada? He was the guy who signed off on the first anti-slavery bill in 1791. I mean, he did a lot of really good things. Do you feel any obligation to him, [laughs] as you portray him?
Sam: Yeah, I think so. You know, it touches on what we talked about in the first segment when we were discussing this, which is, during war time I think people are changed, and I think they act in a way that they might not otherwise. And so, for me, you know, first of all, you know, the only evidence we have of what the man was like, his own memoires, which necessarily are favorable towards himself.
Sam: And what he did, and the listed historical events and achievements that he was involved in. We have some, you know, we have his delicate, more literary side to go on, you know, his poetry and then we have the things he did after the war. So, that fact, you know, we have not met the man and we don't know what he's like, we just know the things he did in his life, which vary massively. And there's no question that the Rangers during the war were a ruthless and very precise operation. You know, really the way to think of them is they’re like, the Special Forces…
Sam: … of the army, you know? And they’re sent on very specific stealth missions and then carried them out really well and with great effect, and so, the answer to your question in a more concise way is that people are different during the war to afterwards.
Sam: As for me, you know, I can square away his behavior on the show with what he did afterwards, because I think, the more ruthless, more deadly you were during the war, the more you would want to appease that in your life afterwards. And I don't think that we have portrayed what we do… portray a guy that is ruthless, does make impulsive, deadly decisions and that are not necessarily on the moral compass of everybody else in the world.
[Laughs] At the same time there is a soul there, you know? And there is some tenderness, and we see it comes out in various different ways and, you know, I think there is some compassion there too. It's just, he's a guy you don't want to cross, because it will end very badly.
Sam: But after the war, you know, I think it's a different world and I think people adapt, and I think they vary experiences too and who's to say that you couldn't behave in an egregious manner during the war and then try to do better. Try to compensate for that. Even if he wasn’t quite as nasty as he comes across, sometimes on Turn, it's fair to say that he didn't do the things he did during the war after the war. We know that and so, that's really how I personally square away with what we do on the show, you know?
Fisher: Yeah. That's makes perfect sense and it's interesting too, because when the show started, I was immediately going to the internet to go, 'Okay, how much is this true? Did this happen? Did that happen?' And I found the timelines were different. Abe Woodhull’s father was a patriot, not a loyalist, but obviously they were portraying this to show how families were divided and then, I was accepting of that. Yes, this is a historical novel brought to television. And it's interesting to know that John Graves Simcoe actually brought the Queen's Rangers in and beat up Abe's dad to send Abe a message. In real life, that's what really happened, because they had received word that Abe was a spy. A completely different scenario though.
Sam: Yeah, I'm really glad you brought that up, because that's exactly the point I was making. So, you know, there is enough evidence to suggest that he did a few things that most people would say are egregious, and those are the things we know about. And you know, I also picked up on just a couple of, you know, a few things I've read in memoires, and I've read the diaries about the rangers and what have you, and a couple of things. There was a pattern that was developing, particularly in the third person with memoirs of Simcoe, which, they would arrive in a place and then they would stay in this house here and this house here.
Fisher: Right. They'd occupy.
Sam: Well, how did you get that house? Who was in it before you? And what happened to the people that were in it when you arrived? I'm sure you didn't just say, ‘Would you mind if we stayed at home instead of you?’
Fisher: [Laughs] Right.
Sam: And so, things like that crop up, and I'm like, 'Well, there has to be a story there that is just not being told." And I feel like that gray area of history books is really interesting, and I think, allows for a little bit of poetic license. It doesn't necessarily feel too farfetched, you know? So, we never know for sure, really, just what gets written down, you know? The truth changes a little bit as soon as it’s written down. So, yeah, I think there's some leeway in that.
Fisher: And it's written by the winners.
Sam: That's right.
Fisher: Yeah. So, one last thing, because we're running out of time here, Sam, but it's interesting because… you cannot be killed! I mean, I've seen you get stabbed, I've seen you get shot, I've seen you get knocked out, you know, you are not allowed to die. But in the pilot of this show, you were killed, and then brought back to life. [Laughs] Talk a little about that.
Sam: Well, it was extraordinary, really. Yes, originally I auditioned for John Andre's character and got so far down that road, and then obviously, J.J. Feild was offered the role and played it exceptionally well.
Fisher: Yes, he's fabulous.
Sam: I've got so much respect for him, and so, I thought, 'Well, okay, that job’s not happening’ and then they said, ‘We'd love you to do Simcoe. He's kind of just in the pilot, but it's a great part.’ And so I said yes, obviously, and then we did it and yeah, he died. He got shot as he came out in the wash, Caleb kicks him in the face, and then he goes, you know, then they torture him for a bit in their cell. But in the original pilot he shot him in the face, and that was the end of that. But AMC found the character compelling.
Sam: And I think, you know, he also serves a really important function dramatically on the show, you know. We needed like a regular antagonist and so, Simcoe provided that quality and it was a real constant to what I brought to the character. I don't think they quite saw it there originally, but I just kind of gave everything and you are supposed to be for longer then you're not, but this was around… is kind of an extraordinary [Laughs] which I'm so very grateful for, you know.
Sam: It’s a great write.
Fisher: Well, I don't think we'd be in the third season of Turn if you were not in that role. No doubt about it.
Sam: Thank you! That’s a very nice compliment.
Fisher: Well, Sam Roukin, thank you so much for your time, and thank you for all you put into this character and bringing the Revolution to life for those of us who love it.
Let me ask you this, you said you lived in New Jersey. You've obviously been here for a little bit. Are you looking for dual citizenship?
Sam: Well, my wife is American, so I'm currently a permanent resident. I have a ten year green card. I'm very much, I think, I'm just about allowed to become a citizen, and I think I probably will, yes. I mean, I love America. This is my home now, so my family is here, and so, who knows? We'll see.
Fisher: Awesome! Thank you so much. Sam Roukin from ‘Turn: Washington’s Spies’ on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show.
Segment 4 Episode 136 Classic Rewind
Host Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: And welcome back to America's Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com
It is preservation time with my good friend, Tom Perry , from TMCPlace.com, the Preservation Authority. How are you, Tom?
Tom: Super duper, thanks.
Fisher: I was thinking about how, over the last several months we've been talking periodically about a software called Cinematize that you recommend very highly, and it's gone the way of the dinosaurs to some extent and if you can find it, great! Buy it!
It's probably on the cheap. But now you've been looking for something to replace that, some new kind of software and what have you come up with?
Tom: Well, we're working with some kind of software that we're actually testing right now in our studio, and so far, it's very, very promising. I don't want to get into a lot about it until we actually get some of the bugs out of the way. But next week, we'll be able to probably have some good information about it. We've been using it so far, it's been flawless, but there's a couple of other things I want to check. I want to check internet compatibility that will make it so you can share it with friends, it’s easy to use and if this software works out like we think, it is almost going to be the motherload of software. It's very inexpensive. It’s under fifty dollars.
Tom: There's some certain software requirements, and if you have anything older than Snow Leopard, it won't work with it. But it is amazing software; in fact, it will actually let you deal with MP3s, MP4s, outside of the Apple format.
Fisher: Wait! Wait! You are taunting us here! You're telling us all the great things it does.
Fisher: And you're not going to tell us the name for another week or so?
Tom: Nope! It's like the cliffhanger. At least it’s going to be this season.
Tom: You don't have to wait till the start of next season.
Fisher: All right. Can you tells us about another one you may have found that would be of use that you could tell us right now?
Tom: Absolutely! This is a great software, it’s called DaVinci Resolve 12, just like the famous inventor.
Fisher: Yeah, that guy, right. [Laughs]
Tom: Inventor, him and this is awesome software. I followed these guys from when they had DaVinci number 1.
Tom: And it’s great. It’s got editing capabilities. It’s got color correction. It’s just absolutely incredible, and the neat thing about this is, they have a version right now that you can download for free. No charge.
Tom: Oh, it’s great! It’s just really amazing. So, people that want to kind of delve in to color correction, this is a good option to go and get, because you can play around with it. It’s non destructible.
Fisher: And we're talking about moving pictures or we're talking about stills or both?
Tom: This is for movies, I'm sorry. This is movie type stuff. In fact, they use this software in Hollywood for your big blockbusters, like Avatar and shows like that. So, it's incredible software. This software's so smart, people think, "Oh yeah, this is a high end software. I'm not into that kind of stuff. I don't shoot in 4k." Well, what's neat about this software, you can set it up for different formats, whether you're using standard definition from your old VHS tapes, whether you have one of those really cool 4k cameras, just about anything that you have, you can use it on this.
Fisher: Wow! So, this is exciting stuff.
Tom: Oh, it is. It’s great. You can do stuff, you can sync stuff. So, if you have some old movies that somebody shot in the old days, sometimes you're shooting your 8mm camera and you have a side recorder. It’s not recording the sound on the tape, and they get out of sync.
People that do music videos, whether they're for the family or whatever, that's one of the biggest problems. And this has some sync capabilities that's absolutely incredible. In the days when I used to do music videos, you had to do everything vocally.
Tom: And you couldn't see the vocal part. You can see picture and try to line align them up, but it's really hard.
Fisher: The audio was a problem.
Tom: Exactly! Trying to get them to line up was really, really tough. With this, they've got this way you can put the time code on the clips, then you can put it together. So, like if you're using something from an old concert or wedding, if you have two camera interviews and you want to cut from person to person. For instance, say you're interviewing grandma and grandpa, and you want to have a separate camera on each one of them, you can do this.
And this DaVinci software will allow you to go in and sync the two together. So, you can say, ‘Okay, here's grandma talking, I want to use this part. Here's grandpa talking, I want to use this part. I want to dissolve from here to here.’
Tom: So, you're not sitting there doing one and then going back and figure out, 'I need to do this.' It makes it really nice.
Fisher: All right. And this is very good, by the way, for getting younger people involved with your projects if you get a little nervous about working with software like this.
Tom: That's what's neat about getting the kids involved with grandma and grandpa, you can do stuff as a family
Fisher: All right. What are we going to talk about next, Tom?
Tom: Let's talk about some color correction.
Fisher: All right, getting to it in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show.
Segment 5 Episode 136 Classic Rewind
Host Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: You’re listening to a Classic Rewind of Extreme Genes from 2016. Hope you’re having a great 4th of July weekend! Hey, it is the final segment of our show for this week, Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show, and we're talking preservation with Tom Perry, from TMCPlace.com
By the way, if you have questions for Tom, you can always send him an email at [email protected]
And Tom, we were just talking about this great new software that you've discovered, that you recommended moments ago, the DaVinci 12, very exciting stuff and another one you're working on. But you were mentioning color correction and, you know, this is starting to get, I think, above a lot of people's pay scales. [Laughs] Just to think about some of this software.
Tom: And that is so true. I mean, we can just talk about five years ago. What has happened in the last five years is incredible. Color correction in fact, even a year ago, talking to, you know, consumers who walk in our door or send us letters or send us stuff from across the country, color correction wasn't even an option for people to do.
Tom: It was like, "No, if you want it color corrected, we need to do it for you. It's not very expensive; however, we need to do it." Now with this DaVinci 12 software, the color correction option it has is absolutely incredible.
It has a dynamic track. So, when you're actually looking at it on your computer terminal on your monitor, you can actually, physically see the sound. It’s like 3D.
Tom: So, you can see, "Oh, this is when, you know, the refrigerator kicks in, and I need to cut it off." So, you go in and edit that out.
Fisher: You can edit that out. [Laughs] Wow!
Tom: Exactly! And when you're doing the color correction, it’s the same thing. Everything is in 3D. It's non destructible, so it’s not hurting your original files. You're actually making a new copy of it. So, it allows you to go in and do VHS tapes, do your film, your movies, just anything that you have. Whereas in the old days, if you wanted a VHS tape color corrected, you were looking at a lot of money and it wouldn't be worth it.
Fisher: Now, speaking of home movies, those would have to be digitized first, obviously before you could use it in this way.
Tom: Exactly! Everything has to be digitized as you mentioned, whether it’s your VHS tapes, your video H, your mini DVs, your super 8, regular 8, all of these have to be digitized first, into, we used to always go to hard drives, but now, we’re using MP4s a lot, because they're convenient. We can get it to the customer faster.
Whether you're in Dothan, Alabama or, you know, down the street from us, as soon as we're done with the project, we don't have to go and convert it to DVDs or Blue rays or AVIs or MOVs.
It’s really fast and easy to make it as an MP4, and then once it's in MP4, we can drop it in a cloud. Whether it’s our cloud or Drop box or LightJar, whatever cloud you're using, Google drive, any of those.
You can have it instantly, which saves you a couple of days and saves you a trip back to us and it doesn't matter where you are.
And with this color correction, being able to go to the old VHS movies is so totally cool. Because a lot of time, when you have your old wedding movies, you might not have the first generation, and they're kind of starting to look really, really bad.
Well, up till now what we had to do is, run it through kind of like a Procam and some different kinds of equipment, that basically, we could either correct all your stuff to make it lighter and add some certain colors in or make it darker, whatever your problem was.
However, it had to be consistent through the whole tape. So, we'd look at the first five minutes, set it up, and then run your tape.
But now, if you have dark areas, light areas, some places the color is correct, some places the color is not correct, you can go in with this Resolve 12 software and you can do it frame by frame, by section, whatever you want to do.
If you go and get fancy in it, start building certain kinds of filters that you can do and say, "Oh wow! This looks really cool here!" And run it. And then, fifteen minutes later in the tape, you've got the same problem again or on another tape, you've already made up those filters and so, you've got kind of these different things in your quiver, and then you just go apply them to whatever you're working on.
Fisher: You can [email protected] Send him an email, and maybe you'll hear your question answered on the show. Thanks for coming in, Tom.
Tom: Good to be here.
Fisher: Hey, that's our show for this week. Thanks once again to Sam Roukin, the man who plays Captain John Graves Simcoe on “Turn: Washington’s Spies.” on AMC.
They're returning for their third season, starting Monday night, April 25th at 10 o'clock Eastern time. One of my favorite shows, because it really portrays what life was like for our ancestors during the British occupation during the Revolutionary War. If you missed any of it, catch the podcast on iTunes, iHeartRadio’s talk channel and at ExtremeGenes.com, and of course, now we transcribe every show, so it's entirely searchable. So, if you want to find a specific segment, go to ExtremeGenes.com, under podcasts. Take care, talk to you next week, and remember, as far as everyone knows, we're a nice, normal family!