After a long hiatus (long story), I’m back and last month I finally got the tape from Brazil. It’s a very soft, low quality image of a grainy print (not VHS grain, but actually a grainy film print - maybe 16mm?). There’s a brief preview of Cat People before the movie which looks like a much better film to tape transfer than JAWS 2 received.
The tape itself is very difficult to transfer - I believe the tape is sticky on the inside of the cassette and my Panasonic AG-1980 has nothing but difficulty playing it - I’ve never encountered anything like it. After a few minutes the tape starts squealing and the picture becomes unstable - but I pop in a different tape and everything plays fine. After many short bursts - I finally managed one full capture of the film that I stitched back together.
I did a test of averaging/merging 7 captures on the unique footage since it was so short - however, no capture is perfectly lined with the others due to tape instability, so it may not be the best method. I’ll do more tests but not planning on doing multiple captures of the full film due to the playback problems. The tape is fine otherwise, but I don’t want to push it! A different VCR deck may tolerate the tape better, but that will likely be difficult to coordinate and I have no money to spend on this project.
Question though - does anyone have an actual VHS of a JAWS 2 tv airing? My VHS is incomplete, the DVD-R is highly compressed, and then there’s the issues with this tape. I’m almost satisfied, but not quite.