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The Phantom Menace HD Theatrical Reconstruction (First very rough draft uploaded)

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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:

  1. 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)
  2. At 7:10 frame 18 until the shot starting at 7:14 frame 14, the HDTV was used for the Force speed shots.
  3. At 7:18 frame 21, he Neimoidian viewscreen shot and the following “They’ve gone up the ventilation shaft!” shot are from the HDTV
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. At 01:20:59 frame 19, this whole scene is replaced with the HDTV for puppet Yoda
  7. 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.
  8. At 01:26:16 frame 19, the sunset on Coruscant shot with Obi and Qui-Gon is taken from the HDTV
  9. At 01:26:30 frame 20, this whole sunset puppet Yoda scene is from HDTV
  10. At 01:29:47 frame 18, This nighttime Yoda scene is HDTV
  11. 01:33:26 frame 11 starts the hyperspace jump and the wipe to the Theed palace. These two shots use the ORF for now.
  12. 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
  13. 02:03:07 frame 11, puppet Yoda scene uses the HDTV
  14. 02:04:37 frame 6, puppet Yoda from HDTV is used.
  15. 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.
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Here is the link to a gallery i’ve made with various photos showing the differences in color grading from publicity photos.
http://imgur.com/a/gzFFA
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!

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Hey, great project and can’t wait to see how progress goes when you update it. However, you should probably remove the google drive link, as direct links to fanedits aren’t allowed on this forum.

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Darth Lucas said:

Hey, great project and can’t wait to see how progress goes when you update it. However, you should probably remove the google drive link, as direct links to fanedits aren’t allowed on this forum.

Ahh, gotcha. Any suggestions for the best place to upload them?

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LHSmarchingredcoat said:

Darth Lucas said:

Hey, great project and can’t wait to see how progress goes when you update it. However, you should probably remove the google drive link, as direct links to fanedits aren’t allowed on this forum.

Ahh, gotcha. Any suggestions for the best place to upload them?

Myspleen is the go-to for most Star Wars edits.

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I wonder if it would be worth the trouble (inb4 nothing TPM related is worth any trouble) rotoscoping Yoda like you say. It isn’t as though the blu-ray quality is anything marvelous to be matched. It’s overly DNRed, so you could perhaps just degrain the HDTV shots?

I don’t mean to drag his name through the mud or necessarily start up a full conversation about this again, but KK650’s edit is a bit on the yellow side. He has gone back to the OT and given them a bit more life (though perhaps still less than some prefer), but the PT I don’t believe have been updated. I forget if Hal9000 ended up color correcting the blu-ray for his project. I know he added grain back.

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Wazzles said:

LHSmarchingredcoat said:

Darth Lucas said:

Hey, great project and can’t wait to see how progress goes when you update it. However, you should probably remove the google drive link, as direct links to fanedits aren’t allowed on this forum.

Ahh, gotcha. Any suggestions for the best place to upload them?

Myspleen is the go-to for most Star Wars edits.

I prefer MEGA because it doesn’t lead to the thread getting overrun with invite requests.

Episode I: The Ridiculous Menace / Episode II: Attack Of The Ridiculousness / Episode III: Revenge of the Ridiculousness

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Kk650’s prequels were not as yellow as his OT to begin with. They look pretty consistent with his new OT regrades and his TFA regrade.

Anyway, this project is pretty cool.

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I liked kk650’s regrading for the most part on TPM, and he adds a layer of grain that wasn’t terribly distracting to me. Right now though, I am considering just using the regular Blu Ray cut and getting a consensus from y’all on how best to color grade and grain that footage. Some of the color timing in the publicity shots I like more than what I’ve seen anywhere else, but I do want to make this look as close to the theatrical as i can, so if anyone knows what the best options are, that’d be helpful.

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Well, I’m not doing it in full HD. I’m using the ORF and TB put together to make the complete theatrical version. Each one has some errors. I’m also using the LD and blu-ray to help. One reel change seems to be missing a couple of frames in both ORF and TB. I’m still looking for the raw DTS tracks to verify whether I need to add in those frames or not (I have Adywans reconstruction with the edited DTS audio). It goes along with the best existing version of the SE OT being the TB and G’kar copies and the low resolution of the in theater video of Ep 2 (and the 3 shots that were changed from 35 mm to DVD) and the leaked copy of Ep 3.

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I just wanted to thank you for doing this. Even though I’m not a fan of the prequels, they also belong to the Star Wars universe and their theatrical versions deserve to be properly preserved. Just one question, sorry if you answered it and I missed it - will you “un-correct” all the shots which were “corrected” for the Blu-ray? From memory I remember some shots of the 2 headed monster during the podrace

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Just letting you know, the Yoda council scenes don’t match up sadly. I tried the opposite, and couldn’t make it work.

Some people call them Force Ghosts. I call them Midichlorian Swarms.

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pittrek said:

I just wanted to thank you for doing this. Even though I’m not a fan of the prequels, they also belong to the Star Wars universe and their theatrical versions deserve to be properly preserved. Just one question, sorry if you answered it and I missed it - will you “un-correct” all the shots which were “corrected” for the Blu-ray? From memory I remember some shots of the 2 headed monster during the podrace

My pleasure! 😃 I just figured every project has kinda of stopped in it’s tracks before it gets somewhere that we at least have some kind of watchable product, so I thought i’d take a shot at it. I have a huge soft spot in my heart for this movie, so I want to see this preserved just as much as the OT.
Yes, the theatrical Podrace from the DMC has that shot where his arm goes through their chest, that stuff will remain in. My next step is to recreate the Podrace using Blu Ray footage that’s reordered and synced to the Theatrical, but any shots only found in the Theatrical versions will use their respective best source.

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For me, making a master theatrical cut version is very important. My method is to use TB and ORF along with the LD, DVD, and BR versions. While some sections of the movie are vastly different, the majority has remained the same since the theatrical version. I found that Adywan’s reconstruction is missing 2 frames that are in the DVD and Blu-ray. They appear to be at a reel change so I pulled the frames from the home video. I’ve had to the same thing with 1 frame in Empire and 8 in Jedi (2 each at 4 reel changes), so having to do it once for TPM from the same sources makes sense. As the DTS tracks are by reel, and they overlap, this means that the DTS should cover these whether you chose to add them back in or leave them out. As I just got my hands on the original DTS discs and I’ve been working on the SE video mix, I have not yet had the time to extract the TPM and ATOC audio (my goal is not a DTS track, but an accurate AC3 track and a mixdown to Dolby Surround encoded stereo).

And TPM was not cropped right initially, though the cropping matches the SE release. So to stay faithful to the theatrical version, you have to match the original cropping, or find a way to restore the rest of the frame in the changed shots (quite hard so not something I’d aim for). That leaves about 5 shots that only exist in the lower quality (well, two full shots, one partial shot and two shots that transition to a low quality shot). Better than ATOC that has 4 shots for which all we have is the camera print of. I’m pretty much done except for pulling the DTS audio and making sure my edits line up and have Cinema DTS audio. If I were aiming to do this, I would start with the HD broadcast of the DVD version. The cropping and most of the edits are pretty close to the original theatrical version. Then you can use the Blu-ray to patch any glitches in that version (and crop it to match). At least that is the way I would do it. A lot less work. I’m sticking with only original versions so for 5 out of the 6 I am limited so I’ve gone ahead and used the ROTS DVD version with the one wipe restored as the theatrical version (it matches the leaked theatrical version that I have exactly).

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The film strip scanning idea is interesting, and would help to determine how to color grade the film. I have this widescreen version and filmstrip somewhere. Perhaps if enough people had frames we could mail them to someone (Dr Dre, Poita, etc) for proper scanning and color calibration, and this would be better than relying on promotional images.

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A New Hope Technicolor Recreation (Released!)
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I could probably scan mine with if that helps. My dad has a scanner with a section for scanning negatives.

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This would be a great step in correcting the horrendous color timing of both the HDTV and the Blu-ray versions of the film. Being that it’s the best of the prequels, it’s a shame it has never been presented with its proper color timing.

“That said, there is nothing wrong with mocking prequel lovers and belittling their bad taste.” - Alderaan, 2017

MGGA (Make GOUT Great Again):
http://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Return-of-the-GOUT-Preservation-and-Restoration

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You know, there are certain shots where small details… Like clouds http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/212074
Cropping is in order!

THE LUCASFILM/DISNEY STAR WARS DICTIONARY
Character: a vessel by which an ulterior motive is expressed, including social trends, one-liners, or cliché wisdom.
Derivations of Original Trilogy characters are necessary until told otherwise.
Expanded Universe: lol wat
Nostalgia: originaltrilogyoriginaltrilogyoriginaltrilogyoriginaltrilogyoriginaltrilogyoriginaltrilogy
Story: any element of a movie that can be adapted, in part or whole, from the Original Trilogy; See also: nostalgia.

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Skippy The Jedi Droid said:

Really cool seeing someone else trying to do this after RU.08 gave up on his porject. Such a shame because it seemed it was going pretty well.
I wish you the best of luck! You seem to know what you’re doing 😃

Yeah, it would be nice if some of the elements of it were available. He seemed to be doing a great job. But oh well, it’s his project and his decision. 😃 These kinds of projects can take a lot of time and energy. As much as I think a theatrical TPM should exist, I can’t imagine motivating myself to keep working on it.

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He shared a lot of his scripts I believe.

If Funimation responded to critics of the Orange Bricks…

“We are always impressed with how closely fans watch the many different versions we have made for the Dragon Ball series over the years. It is flattering to know that, indeed, the audience is watching. Consequently, each version comes out differently and any changes that you see on the all-new 1080p high-definition transfer of the original Japanese masters on the Dragon Ball Z Season Set One DVD are deliberate creative decisions. We can confirm that there are no technical glitches as has been reported.”

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clutchins said:

He shared a lot of his scripts I believe.

Ah, you’re right. I was just thinking in terms of raw video, but this should be helpful as well!

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Hi!

I just wanted to share this very recently uploaded 4K scanned 35mm print of The Phantom Menace Trailer B:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnhqwRQf04A

Thanks to Q-branch and thestarwarstrilogy.com! I’ve been trying to find one for a while now because most of the trailers seem to have been sourced and upscaled from DVD if I’m not mistaken. That beautiful REAL film grain, contrast and warm colors make the CGI look so much better… as expected 😃
Now it’s even harder for me to watch any of the official releases of TPM.

How does this help the project? Well… I really don’t know… but at least it gets you in the right mood! 😛

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I’m not terribly impressed with that transfer. The colors are so muted and it is so dark.

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