NSS Project

Why So Important?

From 1920 until 2000, National Screen Service played a major part in the film industry. As either a poster or trailer collector, the impact of NSS has been invaluable. For the first time, the recreation of the NSS logs gives us a major insight on what they handled and how. It also untangles many of the mysterious unknowns that have plagued both hobbies. This job log becomes the anchor of verification that can now be compared and cross referenced with several other sources, like production codes, pressbook records and release records.


Changes in the Logs

As you know, in this first phase of compilation, we are combining the 15,000 NSS numbers that we have collected over the years with the 1999 NSS printout. By 1999, many things had changed, so we have already had to make some modifications to the logs. For example, studios such as AIP, Monogram and Allied Artists had been bought out and the new distribution owner was listed in their place. So we have been replacing the major changes as we compiled the logs back to the original distributor.  Here are the major ones changed in this first pass:

AIP sold to Filmways in 1979 and then to Orion in 1982, so all earlier listings of Orion have been changed back to AIP.

Monogram (who changed their name to Allied Artists) was bought in 1979 by Lorimar; so all earlier Lorimar have been changed back.

Embassy was purchased in the 1980s and then after several transactions became the property of DEG.

There are many others that we will be modifying in the future, such as PRC who became part of Pathe which became part of Eagle Lion which between 1946 - 1953 was rereleased by Madison Pictures.  Some of these become too complicated to try to untangle during the first pass, so after the compilations are over, we will start doing overlays with studio histories to break down these into time lines and individual studio histories.


What's Next?

As soon as we finish this first pass, we will completely resort all the logs into Alphabetical Logs by Title. The 1962 NSS Log that we have is listed alphabetically which will allow us to then compare and update this compilation to include the additional information in THAT log. With all titles re-sorted alphabetically, that list will show us all the reissues of a particular title performed by NSS. We will then do a final pass comparing that information and filling in as many blanks as possible on distributors and looking for mistakes.

Once that is done, we will do a final layout alphabetically and then resort again back to yearly for the yearly printout and start the printing process.

This is a tremendous amount of work, but we believe that these logs will give the hobby a firm anchor that it has never had before and GREATLY improve research information.


OK, How will it help me?

These logs will help in NUMEROUS ways. Here are a few:

This log identifies many small and import releases that would normally be overlooked or even unknown.

Reissues - these have always been a problem. This log helps establish the reissues and when they were done.

Since NSS was also the major printer for the industry, many small distributors had their posters printed there even when NSS didn't distribute them. So, quite often, titles with NOTHING in the way of dating can now be dated.

This log also establishes change of distribution giving us insight on who and when distribution rights were purchased.

Mistakes - between the industry and the hobby, there are quite often mistakes and problems. Because of the way we are combining the data from several directions, it helps to pinpoint those mistakes and problems for you.