Howdy! My name is Ray, and the other day I was at a Goodwill and found the Collector’s Edition of The Phantom Menace on Widescreen VHS. The whole boxset, tape, book, filmstrip and all, in near mint condition. Paid 2$ for it. Going throught that box gave me quite the nostalgia trip, being that as a 19-year-old now, I loved the prequels as a kid. To me, everything was Star Wars, and all of it was amazing, none of the prequel-hating drama I had seen way too much of as I grew up. I began looking through the forums here to see if anyone had started a theatrical reconstruction of my childhood favorite, and saw that Adywan had done a DVD version, which looked really great, and saw on myspleen NSP had uploaded the DTS 5.1 theatrical soundtrack somewhere, so this became my starting point, what I would sync up to. Schorman13 was kind enough to send a copy of the Theatrical Podrace scene from the Digital Movie Collection, I tracked down an Standard Definition ORFeins German broadcast of the theatrical cut, Schorman’s 1080p HDTV capture from about 2009 I think?, and started throwing stuff together in Premiere Pro to see what would need to get done. So here, as my first project, I have completed a rough draft in 720p, which you can PM me for a link to as I upload this to MySpleen.
The main source of each shot is kk650’s RegradedV2 of the 2011 Phantom Menace Blu Ray, except the following:
- 27 seconds frame 21. STAR WARS, opening crawl, and the pan down shot have been taken from the HDTV (something I forgot to do for this first rough draft upload)
- At 7:10 frame 18 until the shot starting at 7:14 frame 14, the HDTV was used for the Force speed shots.
- At 7:18 frame 21, he Neimoidian viewscreen shot and the following “They’ve gone up the ventilation shaft!” shot are from the HDTV
- From 54:59 frame 20 until 1:07:19 frame 10, the entire Podrace scene has been taken from the Digital Movie Collection’s Theatrical Edit, courtesy of schorman13.
- At 01:19:14 frame 6, the shot of Qui-Gon’s “much more complicated” line and wipe transition to a shot of Palpatine’s quarters is taken from the ORF Broadcast.
- At 01:20:59 frame 19, this whole scene is replaced with the HDTV for puppet Yoda
- At 01:25:40 frame 17, Orn Free Ta’s human aides shot is back in using the Orf. However, there seems to be 3 frames missing from the end of that shot compared to Adys, so I slowed this shot a touch to compensate.
- At 01:26:16 frame 19, the sunset on Coruscant shot with Obi and Qui-Gon is taken from the HDTV
- At 01:26:30 frame 20, this whole sunset puppet Yoda scene is from HDTV
- At 01:29:47 frame 18, This nighttime Yoda scene is HDTV
- 01:33:26 frame 11 starts the hyperspace jump and the wipe to the Theed palace. These two shots use the ORF for now.
- 01:45:47, the shot in the Nemoidian battle station had a slight zoom, missing from the Blu Ray. I recreated this slight zoom in Premiere Pro using the Blu Ray
- 02:03:07 frame 11, puppet Yoda scene uses the HDTV
- 02:04:37 frame 6, puppet Yoda from HDTV is used.
- 02:05:46 frame 7, puppet Yoda from HDTV is used
Other shot length changes:
• After syncing the BR back up to Adywans reconstruction, it appears that the BluRay version of the necklace shot starting at 01:17:11 frame 23 has an extra frame compared to the soundtrack and Adywans version. That frame has been removed, syncing the BR back to Ady at 01:17:15 frame 08
• At 01:19:21 frame 1, we start having some shot length discrepancies due to a glitched frame in the ORF that I’m using, compared to Adywans for reference. The ORF broadcast is in sync until here, when it seems that 3 frames of the outside shot are removed, going to Ani and Jar Jar 3 frames before Ady does. For this shot, I cut it into two parts. The first part, from this timecode until Panakas arm comes into frame, is slowed down to match Adys timing. The second part, from 01:19:23 frame 10 to the next shot at 01:19:27 frame 17, is also slowed down at a different rate, to keep timing with Adys reference. After that, we are back in sync for a long stretch.
• At 01:41:16 frame 20, the Blu Ray shot of Sidious’s hologram runs 2 frames longer than Ady, so removing those synced us up
What I’d Like to do (from highest priority to lowest):
• Try to rotoscope puppet Yoda from the HDTV into the Blu Ray shots, but that will also need some color correction done.
• Rotoscope the bridgeless shot of Theed at night into the BR shot, also with color correction.
• Rotoscope Orn Free Ta’s aides into the Blu Ray shot,
• Burnt-in Subtitles
• Use the DMC Theatrical Podrace as a reference, then replace all possible shots with the Blu Ray.
• Redo theatrical cropping if possible
• Create a Blu Ray disc modeled after njvc’s Despecialized discs. This would require an isolated score, foreign language tracks of the Theatrical if anyone can find them, subtitles, and audio commentaries, such as Pablo Hidalgo’s SW.com or an edited Rifftrax, whatever we can find.
An idea had come up to me a while ago that could help. The Collector’s VHS comes with a strip of the theatrical film print, and perhaps someone has a strip that contains any frames of shots 5, 7, and 11, which are linked below. It’s a stretch to recover these entire shots, but if we have any frames, and can scan them, they’d be vital to getting closer to a theatrical reconstruction.
I’ve also found that a bonus feature on the Complete Saga Blu Rays include an HD version of the theatrical shot of Palpatine’s quarters, but it is quite shorter than the same shot on Adywans version.
Here is the link to a gallery i’ve made with various photos showing the differences in color grading from publicity photos.
I feel like if there’s any color correction needing to be done to more footage, these could be helpful.
All work so far has been done in Premiere Pro CC 2015.4, and some work in After Effects CS6. If anyone can help me upscale a couple shots from SD to look better at all, that would be very appreciated! I look forward to getting your input and help on this!
This post has been edited.