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2001: A Space Odyssey 35mm Preservation (Help Needed - original 1968 prints obtained)

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I have two original release prints of 2001, with the magnetic 4 track audio. They are red-faded (unfortunately) but have all of the original leaders, and represents the film in its entirety as seen in 1968. One print is entirely complete, while the other is missing some footage. I’d love to donate it to the community to have scanned and preserved, but can’t really afford the shipping/scanning costs.

The significance of these prints will be the preservation of the original 4 track magnetic sound, as well as the theatrical mono optical soundtrack (preserving each of those for the first time, to my knowledge), and the fact that we will be using 2 prints for damage fixes will ensure that some of the release print grain and scratches can be removed, getting us closer to what the original negative looked like (in the same way as Star Wars Legacy). The prints are being scanned in 4k, which I believe future-proofs them for many years to come. This is additionally important as both films are in the early stages of Vinegar Syndrome, and are starting to break back down into their original acetate.

While I originally only owned one print, I recently purchased a second print. These are extremely rare reels, and the opportunity should not be passed up. In order to make this happen, we will have to raise funds for the cleaning, scanning, HDDS, as well as the purchase of the second print. Remember, while the scanning costs will be approximately $1600 plus HDDs, any donation amount helps. PM me for details.

As soon as scanning is finished, I’d like to make a “Grindhouse” version available, in 1080p, followed by the cleaned-up release in 4k and 1080p. Please help preserve this film before the prints are beyond scanning!

DONATIONS - Total $409
$35 - anonymous
$50 - alexp120
$5 - valien
$200 - anonymous
$50 - anonymous
$60 - FrankT
$9 - anonymous

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ww12345 said:

…some of the release print grain […] can be removed…

I wouldn’t like that to happen. Anyway, this looks awesome!

Army of Darkness: The Medieval Deadit / The Terminator - Color Regrade
SONIC RACES THROUGH THE GREEN FIELDS.
THE SUN RACES THROUGH A BLUE SKY FILLED WITH WHITE CLOUDS.
THE WAYS OF HIS HEART ARE MUCH LIKE THE SUN. SONIC RUNS AND RESTS; THE SUN RISES AND SETS.
DON’T GIVE UP ON THE SUN. DON’T MAKE THE SUN LAUGH AT YOU.

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I guess I should clarify - release print grain is different from negative grain. When they shoot the original negative, the film stock they use has a certain grain pattern to it. In 2001s case, they shot on 65mm film stock. Working with 65mm film is incredibly different from working with 35mm, in that the actual size of the frame is so large that the grain seems smaller. On each of these prints (the 35mm I am having scanned) there is generational grain between the original negative and the much smaller release prints. That is just extra grain on the image - it’s not part of the original camera work at all. It occurred to me that I probably won’t want to watch it without 35mm grain either 😃 , so I’m amending my original release to have a 1080p version which keeps the original 35mm grain.

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Well, since this comes from the original release - I’ll see what I can do!

Worst May the 4th EVER.

Ol’ George has the GOUT, I see.

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ww12345 said:

I guess I should clarify - release print grain is different from negative grain. When they shoot the original negative, the film stock they use has a certain grain pattern to it. In 2001s case, they shot on 65mm film stock. Working with 65mm film is incredibly different from working with 35mm, in that the actual size of the frame is so large that the grain seems smaller. On each of these prints (the 35mm I am having scanned) there is generational grain between the original negative and the much smaller release prints. That is just extra grain on the image - it’s not part of the original camera work at all. It occurred to me that I probably won’t want to watch it without 35mm grain either 😃 , so I’m amending my original release to have a 1080p version which keeps the original 35mm grain.

I know how print grain works, and what the difference is with negative grain. I love 35mm prints because of the color, grain and contrast. I love 35mm print grain. And it’s good to hear you’ve reconsidered 😛.

EDIT: I’d also like to mention, that this is one of the few things I wasn’t too happy to see about SW Legacy, seeing as you compared it to that in the first post.

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Army of Darkness: The Medieval Deadit / The Terminator - Color Regrade
SONIC RACES THROUGH THE GREEN FIELDS.
THE SUN RACES THROUGH A BLUE SKY FILLED WITH WHITE CLOUDS.
THE WAYS OF HIS HEART ARE MUCH LIKE THE SUN. SONIC RUNS AND RESTS; THE SUN RISES AND SETS.
DON’T GIVE UP ON THE SUN. DON’T MAKE THE SUN LAUGH AT YOU.

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This is definitely cool! We had a discussion of the original theatrical soundtrack some pages back in the other 2001:ASO thread Cinerama 70mm 2001 preservation. Is it possible?, beginning just below midway down page 11. (This soundtrack disappeared in favor of the 5.1 remaster.) It had all kinds of interesting things like positional-pan dialogue.

HAL wants you! … to help! Ask your 2001:ASO-fan friends, too. Even small amounts add up to getting it done.


“Your love of the halflings’ leaf has clearly slowed your mind”

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Thanks, Spaced Ranger!

Definitely - this is one of those important details that could get lost to history if we don’t preserve it now. Any donation, no matter how large or small, will help this release immensely.

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Would you accept 1TB HDDs?

Worst May the 4th EVER.

Ol’ George has the GOUT, I see.

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That’s a great question - if you wanted to donate new HDDs that would be great! PM me for more information.

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If the print is a 35mm reduction one. Is the aspect ratio cropped vertically from 2.20:1 of the 70mm to 2.35:1 of the 35mm prints? I had read in some thread on OT that 35mm prints were cropped to cinemascope and one of those prints were used to make a home video by extracting a 2.20:1 version from that already cropped print.
ww12345, do you know?

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Hmmm. No I don’t, but I’ll ask and get back to you.

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Here’s the response: “correct, top and bottom of the 35mm reductions are slightly cropped. i’m amazed how much incompetence went into home video releases sometimes. cropping an already cropped image further to achieve the correct aspect ratio just boggles the mind. i guess that’s what also happened with bttf on the first letterbox releses from great britain.”

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This is from the other 2001:ASO thread and it shows particular consumer-video releases, of which was the subject . .

Remember that when movies are made (which are mechanical & analogue in nature), the target is mainly the theater’s screen and, as with (old analogue) television, there is a safe area … outside which picture may or may not show.


“Your love of the halflings’ leaf has clearly slowed your mind”

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Yes, but does it make sense to use a print that is doubly cropped, when a larger high definition source is available. Another option may be to use the 35mm print as a colour reference and adjust the Blu-ray colours accordingly. In that case we get best of both the worlds and also the proper grain structure of a 70mm source from which the Blu-ray was struck.

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That might be an option as well. I still think a 35mm transfer is useful.

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The 35mm transfer is definitely useful. Don’t listen to his lies! 😉
I know I would prefer a 35mm version over the BD, even if colour corrected.

Army of Darkness: The Medieval Deadit / The Terminator - Color Regrade
SONIC RACES THROUGH THE GREEN FIELDS.
THE SUN RACES THROUGH A BLUE SKY FILLED WITH WHITE CLOUDS.
THE WAYS OF HIS HEART ARE MUCH LIKE THE SUN. SONIC RUNS AND RESTS; THE SUN RISES AND SETS.
DON’T GIVE UP ON THE SUN. DON’T MAKE THE SUN LAUGH AT YOU.

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Dek Rollins said:

I know I would prefer a 35mm version over the BD, even if colour corrected.

May I ask why? Wouldn’t a 70mm transfer (the Blu-Ray) be better than a 35mm transfer?

“You don’t really mean you’ll kill me, do you?” - Juror 8
"Silence, Earthling! My name is Darth Vader. I am an extra-terrestrial from the planet Vulcan!" - Calvin “Marty” Klein

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Technically (and not taking the quality of said transfers into account), you would be correct. But, I love 35mm grain. That, the contrast, and of course, the color, would be the most enjoyable way to watch. It’s my preference. Also, even though the BD is transferred from the ON, it probably has a good level of DNR (not scrubbed, though).

This post has been edited.

Army of Darkness: The Medieval Deadit / The Terminator - Color Regrade
SONIC RACES THROUGH THE GREEN FIELDS.
THE SUN RACES THROUGH A BLUE SKY FILLED WITH WHITE CLOUDS.
THE WAYS OF HIS HEART ARE MUCH LIKE THE SUN. SONIC RUNS AND RESTS; THE SUN RISES AND SETS.
DON’T GIVE UP ON THE SUN. DON’T MAKE THE SUN LAUGH AT YOU.

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Time

Dek Rollins said:

Technically (and not taking the quality of said transfers into account), you would be correct. But, I love 35mm grain. That, the contrast, and of course, the color, would be the most enjoyable way to watch. It’s my preference. Also, even though the BD is transferred from the ON, it probably has a good level of DNR (not scrubbed, though).

In regards to 35mm grain, which would you prefer:

(1) A 35mm print with grain intact or
(2) A hypothetical transfer of this print with all detail and color intact, but without the grain

“You don’t really mean you’ll kill me, do you?” - Juror 8
"Silence, Earthling! My name is Darth Vader. I am an extra-terrestrial from the planet Vulcan!" - Calvin “Marty” Klein

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(1)

Why would I prefer the same thing without grain if I love the grain being there?

Army of Darkness: The Medieval Deadit / The Terminator - Color Regrade
SONIC RACES THROUGH THE GREEN FIELDS.
THE SUN RACES THROUGH A BLUE SKY FILLED WITH WHITE CLOUDS.
THE WAYS OF HIS HEART ARE MUCH LIKE THE SUN. SONIC RUNS AND RESTS; THE SUN RISES AND SETS.
DON’T GIVE UP ON THE SUN. DON’T MAKE THE SUN LAUGH AT YOU.

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Time

Colson said:
In regards to 35mm grain, which would you prefer:

For a preservation? That would be the best as can come from scanning and recording. Preservation done. But there’s always the next step and that would be (partial or full) restoration.

Personally, I see film grain as just another type of image damage. Others want the theatrical experience, including film grain(1), which I get, too. Sound is even more – mono, stereo, 4/6 track pan. But it’s not “one or the other” … unless there is no money and/or drives to archive the milestones in the film’s restoration. [insert donations advertising here] 😄

(1) film grain is cumulative from the negative on up the production chain – answer prints, editing, master prints, distribution prints, and later-distribution prints (copies from previous surviving prints). The farther back down you go, the less grain you get … to a presentation which the director gave his approval and we never saw.

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“Your love of the halflings’ leaf has clearly slowed your mind”

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Don’t have much to contribute except support.
I’ll try to donate in a couple of months when I have some more moola.
I saw this in 70mm at the Prince Charles cinema in London. The remarkable thing about film that I hadn’t noticed before is that it highlights detail you want and disguises detail you don’t. On the blu-ray, in the Dawn of Man prologue, you can clearly see paint roller strokes or cleaning marks on the back projection screen behind the savanna sets. It’s distracting and annoying and you think why would such a perfectionist and pedant as Stanley Kubrick put up with that when it’s so obvious? I was looking out for those marks on the 70mm print (because I’m a nerd) and they just plain don’t show up. The film print just ignores them. The print’s sharp as a knife alright, but only in areas of intense bunched up detail or bright highlights. Same kinda thing with Star Wars, the green screen and effects mattes just blend better in the release prints when compared to the blu rays.
In many ways scanning in high def from the camera negative is not a restoration of an old film in any way. It’s a preservation for sure, but it’s getting back to a raw material that wouldn’t ever have been seen. Kubrick didn’t pick up on those marks, because even on 70mm they weren’t a problem. That’s why these scans of release prints look so good, the generational grain binds the images together to give you an intense feeling of ‘story’ rather than ‘photography’, that’s why we like em so much 😉

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Dek Rollins said:

Don’t listen to his lies! 😉

What do you mean by “lies”? Did anything I say was a lie. A cropped 35mm is not the correct way to see the film which was shot in a taller 70mm ratio. The Blu Ray is sourced from the 70mm. I get that you like film grain, I do too. But 70mm prints are not chock full of grain like 35mm prints. they are very clean and the grain structure is super fine. resulting is a crisper image. Kubrick did not shoot in 35mm and then crop to 70.

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