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Monty Python and the Holy Grail -- 1975 theatrical

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Looking for an "easy" first project for learning how to edit, this one seems a good match.

Things to change: Remove deleted scene where Dingo asks if the scene should be cut (never liked that addition).  Revert to original mono for default soundtrack.

I think I can probably learn how to do this slowly through trial-and-error, but I definitely need help on one thing--where exactly to cut the Dingo scene out.  Can anybody provide a reference for the last theatrical frame before the Dingo scene and the first theatrical frame after the Dingo scene?  I'm assuming there's a Laserdisc or early DVD release out there that doesn't have it...

Thanks in advance for any help (and if anyone has already done all of this, that's good info too...)

EDIT: OAR was a point of contention, but I'm sticking with 1.66:1.

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Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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Actually, the Castle Anthrax scene was restored for an RCA CED Videodisc release in 1983.

http://www.cedmagic.com/featured/monty-python-grail.html

Not sure if it was included on any other format release before the Criterion Laserdisc release in 1992. There is a noticeable change in color and aspect ratio where the missing footage was spliced in on the LD. I could try to get some screengrabs if the CED info isn't enough to go by.

1:66 is quite common in Europe, so the movie was probably shown that way across the pond.

Msycamore and I have been discussing getting the complete Japanese track on the Criterion LD translated and subtitled. We need someone fluent in Japanese to pull that off though!


Where were you in '77?

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Can't help you with the Japanese ;)  Still, feel free to consider this thread a dumping ground for all related developments.

I can't believe the Dingo scene was inserted that long ago!  That was a useful link for deciding where to make the cut.  Also, I'd be interested to know what the European theatrical ratio really was, if there's any way to find out.  I'd always assumed the 1.66:1 framing was just chosen as a convenient way to shoot film that could be alternately framed as 1.85:1 or 4:3 depending on whether it was for theatre or television.  If it was actually shown in any theatres like that, I may not mind so much.

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Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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Unfortunately I get mixed info on aspect ratios depending on where I look, and I don't know how to interpret the confusion, and I don't see any source being more authoritative than another.  The US theatrical ratio was definitely 1.85:1, so maybe the sites reporting that as the OAR are just being US-centric.  But then the aspect ratio on the film itself was definitely 1.66:1, so maybe the sites reporting that as the OAR are just using "original" to mean "on the film" rather than "in the theatre".

Hard to tell.  It's also common practice to soft-matte a film to 1.85:1 or 2.35:1, but then when the film is released on disc, to open the mattes back up to whatever was on the negative, resulting in a taller aspect ratio.  Frankly given my cynical take on Blu-Ray mastering (and the fact that other MP films are 1.85:1, why would this one have been presented differently?), I am still inclined to believe this is what happened with the Holy Grail.  I certainly could be wrong though.

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Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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European money, European production. Most European films were shot 1.66:1 and then cropped for presentation here to 1.85:1. These were the differing standards in our respective territories. The difference is usually marginal if the film wasn't specifically composed for a particular ratio. Later on 1.66:1 became less used and 1.85 more common across the globe, hence Brian and Meaning of Life running at that ratio.

Personally, I love the 1.66:1 ratio and whenever a film was shot in it I like to see it that way to notice a possible difference. I like the shape as it more closely resembles a still photograph and is a more visually interesting way to hold a larger image than scope widescreen, than a flat 1.85 or 1.78. When 1.66 films have been cropped for home releases here in the US, image can be manipulated in negative ways. Just look at the first three Bond films and some of the early Hammer horror classics to get an example of this.

I was glad that I waited for the 3 disc Holy Grail DVD because the 1.66:1 looks much more esthetically pleasing to my eyes. The 1.85 just looked a bit too flat, and I know that the film was originally shot in 1.66. The added scene never bothered me, but you might have to go to VHS to find a version without it.

The 5.1 mix is completely unnecessary. The  mono is a bit tinny and undefined being from a low budget production, but completely adequate. Life of Brian suffers from a badly mixed original Dolby Stereo surround track that was finally cleaned up and placed into a good 5.1 remix that keeps the original primarily mono audio imaging.

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.

"George didn't think there was any future in dead Han toys."-Harrison Ford

My review blog: thehificelluloidmonster.wordpress.com

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The aspect ratio is more a matter of wanting to get things RIGHT than something I care strongly about.  Actually the only thing I care strongly about is getting that extra Dingo scene out of there!  Mono or 5.1 doesn't even matter a great deal to me, but it's very clear which one is theatrical, so that's an easy decision.

So, with respect to other Python films, And Now For Something Completely Different was 1.85:1, Life of Brian was 1.85:1, and Holy Grail was in between those, but at a different AR?  Why did the 1.66:1 aspect ratio apply only to the middle film?  Even Jabberwocky was 1.85:1.  I'm trying to look for some sort of evidence of something other than 1.85:1 in a European theatre setting, but I'm just not seeing it.  I'm not saying it wasn't 1.66:1, but the available evidence, if it can be said to point any direction at all, seems to point the other way.

Aesthetically, I don't mind 1.66:1 one bit.  In fact, like you, I like it and may even prefer it.  But if I'm going in there and editing out a scene anyway, I may as well get the aspect ratio while I'm at it.  And for me it's not a matter of which I prefer, it's which is correct, and that's why I'm asking.

Please don't take this as pushing back out of sheer stubbornness.  I just want to make double- and triple-sure of everything before I dive into this.  Certainly leaving the AR along would make the task a lot easier!

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Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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I'm holding onto the three disc DVD set, as a couple extras got dropped for the Blu Ray, or were put into that iPhone app I'll never be able to use.

The LDDB listings mention three different ratios:

http://www.lddb.com/search.php?search=holy+grail&sort=title

I'm not that fond of the 2001 re-release soundtrack remix, as they added music and effects that weren't there originally. Unfortunately, if you catch a theatrical screening today, that's the soundtrack you get.


Where were you in '77?

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Unless it was an original print. I missed out on both Grail and am still pissed over missing Brian at an art house. A triple bill with Meaning of Life would kill.

Keep in mind that the home video ratio typically depends on the studio releasing the film and the features of the source used. I don't think that Grail would gain or lose anything at a 1.75:1 ratio as on one of the LDDB entries ( like the variable ratios for VistaVision) but for all intents and purposes, the 1.66:1 would be the correct ratio to use.

ANFSCD was a small release by Sony several years back. The use of 1.85 could have been from lack of checking, or more likely from using a US print source which would be set for 1.85. Jabberwocky was a Columbia movie anyway, and I don't think it was specifically composed for either ratio. I'm just glad that was ever released at all on DVD.

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.

"George didn't think there was any future in dead Han toys."-Harrison Ford

My review blog: thehificelluloidmonster.wordpress.com

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SilverWook said:

I'm holding onto the three disc DVD set, as a couple extras got dropped for the Blu Ray, or were put into that iPhone app I'll never be able to use.

The LDDB listings mention three different ratios:

http://www.lddb.com/search.php?search=holy+grail&sort=title

I'm not that fond of the 2001 re-release soundtrack remix, as they added music and effects that weren't there originally. Unfortunately, if you catch a theatrical screening today, that's the soundtrack you get.

Actually LDDB reports 4 ratios!  Love that 1.75:1 ratio, way to anticipate HDTVs!

I'm already decided on mono sound (MAYBE with 5.1 as an option).  Well I'll let this thread simmer and gather posts and see how it stacks up.  Certainly 1.66 is both easier AND people seem to like it, so really it's just my residual nervousness keeping me away from it.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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captainsolo said:

Unless it was an original print. I missed out on both Grail and am still pissed over missing Brian at an art house. A triple bill with Meaning of Life would kill.

Keep in mind that the home video ratio typically depends on the studio releasing the film and the features of the source used. I don't think that Grail would gain or lose anything at a 1.75:1 ratio as on one of the LDDB entries ( like the variable ratios for VistaVision) but for all intents and purposes, the 1.66:1 would be the correct ratio to use.

ANFSCD was a small release by Sony several years back. The use of 1.85 could have been from lack of checking, or more likely from using a US print source which would be set for 1.85. Jabberwocky was a Columbia movie anyway, and I don't think it was specifically composed for either ratio. I'm just glad that was ever released at all on DVD.

The print I saw a couple years ago was definitely post 2001, and well worn in places. I'd be be amazed if any earlier prints were still in circulation.

There's another screening coming up next month I might attend. I need some coconuts though.


Where were you in '77?

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Well, if you don't hear from me on this for a while, I'll be giving the following a whirl:

Remove the Dingo scene, have the only English soundtrack be the mono one.  I am sticking with 1.66:1.  I'll see what I can do about dubs & subs, but that's secondary.

This could take a long time.  I'm in no hurry and am learning as I go.  If all goes well, maybe I'll try to re-yellowify Do the Right Thing, who knows...  Basically I'm looking at movies where the video quality is already damn near perfect on the Blu-Ray except for one little easily fixed issue.  Suggestions welcome!

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Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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Weird, I had to check Imdb.  I've never seen the 'get on with it' scene.

I saw this in theaters around 1996 or so, and have 2(?) different DVD releases and it was news to me.

I didn't realize they kept messing with the cut of this film.

The extended Anthrax scene was on Comedy Central's broadcast the first time I saw it, then the 1996 theatrical re-release and the 2001 2-disc Special Edition.  I'm pretty sure it wasn't an original theatrical scene.

I'm confused, isn't the original 2000 DVD release what you're looking for?

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Dr. M

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Consider yourself lucky.  I think the extra bits really drag the whole pace of the scene down (which is, I'm sure, why it was cut in the first place, and why I'm bothering re-cutting it).

The original 2000 DVD release may very well not have the extra Anthrax scene, yes.  But I'm doing all of this based on the Blu Ray release, editing to match those frames (more or less).

So, having looked at the sequence now, I could probably still use some reference frames (I can probably work with the CED frames but I'm not sure how accurate they are).  It looks like the cuts are not made during a camera change, so with the scene removed it may "jump" a bit at the cut point.  A frame on each side of the jump is what I'd like ideally.

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Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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I think the first DVD release was 1999, actually.

Would it help you if I captured the last frame before and first frame after the Anthrax scene off the Laserdisc?


Where were you in '77?

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Are you going to reinstate the Dentist on the Job false start?  I don't have the BD yet, and it looks like they don't include it, even though it was in the theatrical cut.

Edit: Btw, I now realize the error of my confusion.

I thought you all were referring to a different deleted scene than the Castle Anthrax one... so yeah, have it and seen it a lot, love it, and it's reputed to be the director's intention that it be in the film.  So I'm good.

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Dr. M

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I could use before/after frames from laser or DVD, just any source where I'm sure I'm getting the exact frames.  They may be the same as the CED frames in the previous link (well, technically the CED frames are the beginning and end of the new bit, so they're one frame off, but it's still the same point), but again I just want to be extra sure before I do any cutting.

I don't believe Dentist on the Job was originally theatrical, although it may have been added to the 2001 theatrical run with the revised print/surround audio, so it's theatrical in that sense.  Either way it's beyond my capabilities to mix different sources at different resolutions and have it come out looking halfway decent, so no I'm not doing it.  I'm not Harmy ;)

 

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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Dentist on the Job was added for the 2001 DVD. The pre-restoration print I saw at the Paramount in Oakland back in 2003 most certainly did not have it. It didn't have the extra "get on with it" bit either. (And I seem to recall that it was screened at 1.33:1 open matte.)

I'd track down the 1999 DVD, I'm pretty sure it's the original theatrical cut. Before the 2001 DVD, I think the only American video releases that included the extra scene were on laserdisc and CED. I know that when I used to rent it on VHS, the scene was not there.

Also, that Cinema 5 logo only showed up on the U.S. theatrical run. It wasn't on the 1999 DVD, and it wasn't on the theatrical screening I attended - both of those just started with "PYTHON (MONTY) PICTURES LTD in association with MICHAEL WHITE presents". This project shouldn't have any logo at the beginning, or anything preceding that credit.

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TServo2049 said:

Also, that Cinema 5 logo only showed up on the U.S. theatrical run. It wasn't on the 1999 DVD, and it wasn't on the theatrical screening I attended - both of those just started with "PYTHON (MONTY) PICTURES LTD in association with MICHAEL WHITE presents". This project shouldn't have any logo at the beginning, or anything preceding that credit.

Not to worry.  This project is in the hands of someone who is not only inexperienced, but also fairly lazy.  I wouldn't worry so much about me overreaching so much as finishing the project at all ;)

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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It was on the PBS airings I saw as well. Are we talking original "theatrical" experience or not here? *confused*

The 2001 reissue print I saw has a completely different logo at the beginning. I was so startled by it I didn't even catch the name of the distributor.


Where were you in '77?

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We're talking theatrical... to the best of my abilities ;)

I'm not sure one way or the other about the Studio 5 logo.  Certainly the Blu Ray has no logo (old or new), but that doesn't mean anything, except that's what the final product will look like unless someone convinces me otherwise.

...and I'm only half-joking about my ability to pull this off at all.  The whole POINT of me choosing this movie was because it was so darn easy to fix and presented a good learning proof-of-concept.  If it gets much harder, it's a less attractive choice for a beginner like me.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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The Cinema 5 logo would not have been on the original UK release, only the original US release, so I'd leave it off.

It shouldn't be hard. Just take the Blu-ray version, start straight out with the opening credits, remove the extra scene, and use the mono soundtrack.

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That's the current plan.  The hangup is getting the software to cooperate (I'm attempting to cut based on the CED screenshots right now, and it's taking F-O-R-E-V-E-R, let's see if my feeble hardware can handle it), and then if I want to port over the dubs & subs too (and you know that's a hard trap for me to avoid).  And chapter stops.

EDIT: Laser/DVD screenshots still very much welcome.  The CED-based cuts don't seem ideal to me (which doesn't mean they're not correct, but still)

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Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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Okay, I'm basing this on when the aspect ratio and color shifts on the Laserdisc. (Also presuming the CED used a different print.)

First frame of Castle Anthrax extension.

http://img706.imageshack.us/img706/5136/vlcsnap2012041723h56m24.png[/IMG]

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

 

 

Last frame

http://img856.imageshack.us/img856/2449/vlcsnap2012041800h00m29.png[/IMG]

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

 

First frame as aspect ratio and colors return to normal.

http://img220.imageshack.us/img220/7485/vlcsnap2012041723h58m01.png[/IMG]

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