I'd love to hear about this.
Answering some more questions:
Many thanks for the kind words about this DVD. It is gratifying that so
many of the little touches that would escape notice with most people (even
fans) have been observed and appreciated.
First, to clarify that there are two versions of "our" pre-ANH disc. The
first has a recreated crawl and three sound mixes: mono (from a VHS boot),
matrixed Dolby stereo (from the late 90's widescreen laserdisc), and the
Definitive Edition mix, which we believe to be a mixdown of the 1977
six-track 70mm mix. At the time we were unaware of Burtt's 1995 home video
remix, so we thought the widescreen LD track was identical to the 1977
stereo and labeled it as such. This first disc was encoded straight from
the Beta tapes using the multipass feature of the Sonic and thus retained
the not-quite-black letterbox bars w/ burned-in subtitles and did not enjoy
frame-by-frame cleanup of film and video artifacts. Whenever we encountered
a dropout on the tape, we'd have to re-transfer the affected portion from
the LD to another tape, lay down new timecode to match the master with the
error on it, and reencode that section. Quite a laborious process.
By the time we finished with the ESB and ROTJ discs, we had greatly
improved the process: an upgraded LD player and the uncompressed
digitization, by-hand cleanup and TMPGEnc encoding described earlier. We
therefore wanted to have another go at SW. This version retained the stereo
mix but left off the others in favor of an isolated score; including them
all was deemed too costly to the bit budget. This disc has a better picture
than the first, an improved crawl recreation with the ANH version as an
alternate stream, replaced subtitles and other goodies like the MacQuarrie
paintings and CD-ROM content. The only reason to watch the first version is
to enjoy switching back and forth between sound mixes to compare
them--otherwise, the second version (shown at the beginning of the "DVD
I've just acquired" thread and currently being torrented) is the one to have.
We also made very nice covers and chapter inserts for the DVD cases--in
hindsight we should've included those files in the CD-ROM portion.
Originally posted by: The Bizzle
the mono mix is VERY
interesting. I've only listened to it about once, though. Thin as hell, of
Yup. And that's after lots of tinkering in Pro Tools and Sound Forge. Nth
generation VHS, what can I say... Would love to find a better source someday.
That bootleg is missing material, sometimes a lot, at every reel change,
too. So we filled the gaps with the stereo mix dumped to mono. We made no
attempt to otherwise "dumb down" the patches, though, for we wanted anyone
who cared to be able to tell what was true to the original mono mix and
what was a replacement. Kinda like how art restorers use paints that can be
easily removed should a future restorer need to redo the job. (My, don't we
Similar patching was necessary for the other mixes as well, to a much
smaller degree (three frames or so). Different prints were used for the '89
letterboxed and '93 Definitive discs, and there were extra or missing
frames at reel changes and LD side flips.
In fact, thousands
of single-frame edits (removal or repetition)
were necessary to keep all the tracks in synch.
One of the mixes (stereo or Definitive, I forget) suffered from a nasty
splice in the shot of the SD over Tatooine before the wipe to the droids
walking away from the escape pod. There was a slight warble in the
soundtrack, but fortunately it was before or after the SD sound effect and
only music could be heard. Music from the SE soundtrack CD patched it and
blended in perfectly, without the need to EQ, to our surprise. Just an
example of the kind of stuff we did.
In the picture realm, at least as many, if not more, removals of negative
dirt and the like were made.
And for the record, video is from the Definitive LDs, not Faces, not that
there is (to my knowledge) any difference other than CAV/CLV.
Originally posted by: hiphats
If you look closely at
the font in the opening crawl (as seen in the "Empire Of Dreams"
documentary), you will tell that it is much slimmer than the font
represented in the recreation.
Oh how we would've loved to have that bit of reference a couple of years
ago! Our VHS tape of the pre-ANH was drastically cropped, even at the top
and bottom, so determining proper scaling compared to the widescreen image
was difficult. It was hard to even pick out any stars in that
multigenerational mess. It was decided to just match the typeface as seen
in the ANH version.
Originally posted by: skyman8081
The 1977 versions
color timing puts the crawl at the orange color seen in TPM, and not the
brighter yellow typeface seen is ESB and ROTJ.
I have to wonder if the print used in Empire of Dreams is suffering color
degradation due to its age. But still, if we'd had that reference we
might've gone a bit more orange with ours, who knows. But that VHS looked
pretty yellow, even given its poor quality (shrug). Again, when in doubt,
we went with a known quantity, the ANH version.Originally posted by: Neil S. Bulk
It recreates some
tracking at times (the introduction of the Super Star Destroyer for
instance) instead of hearing Williams' original composition (the scene was
extended, so the original music wouldn't quite fit but a little editing
might have fixed that).
Yeah, that was a toughie. The scene is some 13 seconds longer than the
music intended for it. That is the length of the first shot of the SSD
passing by, so it must've been added after scoring (thus the reason for the
retracking in the first place). We tried partially repeating one of the
refrains but it just didn't work musically, and even if it did it still
wouldn't have been representative of the precise accompaniment of
sound/picture from the scoring session. In hindsight we might have been
able to let the opening brass "DA-duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh" repeat
several times, letting it synch back up after the added FX shot was over.
The intention was to recreate, as close as could be determined, the
original music stems before deletions and retracking changes were made.
This meant duplicating some pretty rough edits that in the film are buried
in the mix: check out the scene where the hologram of the Imperial captain
fizzles out after an asteroid hits his SD, or when the Falcon's hyperdrive
fails once again during the Bespin escape. Choppy as hell but that's the
way it is in the film, so in they stayed! (This is not in any way a
criticism of the original music editor, who did wonders piecing music
together after the picture was, at times, drastically changed after scoring.)
We couldn't resist smoothing out an edit here and there, but tried hard to
duplicate music cuts, whether they flowed musically or not, true to the
films. Again, they're seldom noticable when watching the final mix; it
isn't 'till you stop paying attention to anything but the music that they
can be discerned. We did let the end of tracks trail off to their
conclusion as recorded even when in the final mix they were potted down
Duplicating the original scoring could not be done in the purest sense, for
that would mean re-editing picture as well. Thus the opening scenes of ESB,
from the probe droid launch through Luke being attacked (again,
restructured after scoring) feature all the retracking as necessary.
It was a good thing we still had old 4-disc set of the soundtracks despite
having gotten the "complete" SE soundtrack CDs. As it turns out, there are
a few differences between the takes selected for use, and thus both sets
were needed for the isolated scores. It turns out the correct take of a
portion of the Imperial March in the end credits is not used on any CD
release we had, and thus we had to cut back to the soundtrack of the film
for those few seconds. Luckily, credits don't have dialogue and effects!
Alas, this was also the case for the music during the scene where Luke gets
his new hand and the Falcon flies away. The precise take used in the movie
ain't on CD (despite the "film version" label of one track in the 4-disc
set)! Thus our iso score is only a close approximation during this cue.
ROTJ was a challenge because there was even more mix-and-matching going on:
the Emperor's arrival is a crazy quilt (due to the deletion of a brief
scene of Vader observing the landing and walking down the hall toward the
docking bay), and Yoda's scene has a brief portion (albeit previously
unused) from ESB. Interestingly, the tuba version of Jabba's theme is all
but unheard in the film, but abounds as originally scored. And the Rancor,
the sail barge scene...what a mess. But the insights into the films'
editorial history this project provided have been a very rare, fascinating
blessing. Granted, there aren't that many people who would value the
knowledge that there are ten edits between different takes during the ESB
end credits. But we do!
Oh, and I'd like to publicly thank The Maker for the "dub mix" Lapti Nek
12" single (which is among the CD-ROM content in MP3 form, by the way). The
long stretches of instrumentals enabled the isolated score to be sans
either one of Sy Snootles' voices! While it would've been nice to have the
mix of the song used in the movie, this is as close as even LFL could ever
get, given that they've lost the damn thing. (Silly Sprocket Systems,
loaning out irreplacable masters instead of dubs to dance club remixers and
documentarians...)Originally posted by: Neil S. Bulk
IOh, and about the
sub-titles, the LD used for this was also 4x3 and had the sub-titles in the
black band, just under the image. This disc features re-done sub-titles for
match our VHS boot.
recently put it. We made these for ourselves and a group of friends. We
we make it available to them. We could only
communicate our wishes and hope they were respected. To be honest, that
lasted a lot longer than we expected. We never felt we owed it to the world
the "world" wants it.
anonymous. Do you think we own all the facilities and equipment we used? Do
a very serious responsibility to the very livelihood of that person(s).
It's bad enough it's gotten this far. 'Nuff said.
P.S. Isn't "mysterious mysteries" redundant?