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danny_boy

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23-Oct-2009
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25-Jun-2017
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Post History

Post
#1084098
Topic
4K restoration on Star Wars
Time

Fang Zei said:

What Cobra Kai said.

I’ll only add that next year will be seven years since the blu-rays first debuted, just as that was seven years after the dvd, which was seven years after the '97 SE.

If an official OOT restoration ever happens, I wouldn’t expect it until after Episode IX, which means I’m definitely not expecting it next year. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if we finally start hearing some solid news after seven years of the same old blu-rays.

That theory just popped back into my brain again, about how LFL could always give us what we want on regular blu-ray in the short term (even if that means Fox getting a cut of the sales on all six movies), only for us to go through this all over again with 4k in a few years.

We’ll see.

Hmmmm…

The Star Wars 7-8 year itch:

BluRay 7 years after DVD.
DVD seven years after 1997 SE’s.
1997se’s Eight years after 1st ever widescreen releases(on laserdisc in USA).
Widescreen Eight years after 1st ever home release on VHS.

Post
#1069639
Topic
George Lucas
Time

As far as I can see, no-one seems to have touched on the one issue which may truly have effected Lucas more than any other.

He lost his mother in 1989 and his father in 1991.
Despite the differences he may have had with his parents, he seems to have remained very close to them until the their respective deaths.

That kind of experience is enough to re-calibrate anyone’s perception of life and it’s intrinsic values.

The prequels touched upon Anakin’s unwillingness to let Padme die.

Projecting himself onto/through Anakin, it could have been Lucas’s own way of his dealing with his pain…and the fact that he was unable to save his own parents…despite all his wealth and power.

Post
#1068646
Topic
4K restoration on Star Wars
Time

Fang Zei said:

danny_boy said:

Fang Zei said:

danny_boy said:

Fang Zei said:

danny_boy said:

Fang Zei said:

danny_boy said:

Fang Zei said:

danny_boy said:

Fang Zei said:

danny_boy said:

Fang Zei said:

doubleofive said:

My friend who is a projectionist talked to the projectionist at Celebration for us:

https://twitter.com/mumbles3k/status/853102458909978624

Spoke to the projectionist at #SWCO and confirmed that these are the same 2K DCPs used for the OT Blu-rays. No 4K (except for Rogue One).

I seriously question just how confidently the Orlando projectionist can actually state which master the dcp is derived from.

Again, let’s not forget Tack’s report on one of the roadshow screenings last summer. I’d be more interested in how the image actually looks in terms of color, contrast, grain, et cetera.

Also, the 2004 masters (the same ones used for the blu-ray) weren’t even done at full 2k resolution. They’re 1920x1080 hd. The Lowry guys were very specific about that during a press conference for the dvd way back in '04.

Anyway, I wonder if we can find out from an attendee in Orlando how the picture actually looks. Of course it would have to be someone who actually knows all the color timing quirks of the '04 master like we do, and I doubt there are many fans there who do.

Empire and Jedi are tonight.

I think the 2004 master was derived from the conventional 2048x1536 resolution scanning parameters (for scanning O-negs) in the early 2000s .This would also conform to the geometrical proportions of a 35mm anamorphic negative frame of film.

I honestly think that the 2004 article which stated that Star Wars was scanned at 1920 X 1080 was an editorial mistake.
You would be cropping out segments of the actual frame if you did scan at this resolution as well as introducing geometric distortions when optically(or digitally) stretching the frame back out to 2:35.

As far I am aware(correct me if i am wrong) the 2004 DVD/2011 Blu Ray features all the picture information(in terms of content-not resolution) when digitally re-scaled to the 2:35 aspect ratio(within the 16:9 HD frame).
This would indicate that it was indeed scanned at 2048 X 1536.

Yes, but I wasn’t talking about the scanning resolution. I was talking about the resolution of the final master Lowry delivered. The 1920x1080 number doesn’t come from an article, it came straight from the mouth of one of the Lowry guys at the press conference for the dvd back in '04. I had an audio recording of it sitting on my old computer I’ve since gotten rid of. Hamill, Kershner, and Jim Ward (President of Lucasfilm at that time) were also in attendence. There was a part where someone asks the Lowry guys if the new master is 2k and one of them responds “no, 1920x1080 HD,” which probably meant that the actual picture was 1920x817 because of the scope AR, with the black bars filling out the rest.

Maybe you are not remembering that Press exchange correctly.

An 8K,4k or 2k scan of a film negative(or 1st generation Interpositive) has to be re-scaled to 1920 X 1080 for the master of ANY Blu ray title.

In the case of the DVD from 2004, the 1920 x 1080 master(derived from the 2K scan)became the basis for that release.
And this would have been the case for any Standard Def DVD title from the early 2000s(or even now).
Many did not even get this luxury.
A lot of DVD transfers were generated from telecines of 35mm theatrical film prints(be they flat or anamorphic)…the same process used for Laserdisc,Selecta Vision, VHS,Beta and V2000 home video releases of the early 1980s.

The James Bond films(some of them) and Star Wars were among the first set of flicks to get the benefit of 1080p masters(that would subsequently be down rezzed to 480p) for DVD.

Which finally brings us back around to my original point, which was that the resolution Lowry finished their restoration at was 1920x1080 HD and not 2048x1080. Jim Ward called it a “digital negative” back in 2004, which might have been considered true at that time given the limits of digital projection technology in the cinema. But even then, I’m pretty sure they were already finishing new movies at actual 2k res (Oh Brother Where Art Thou, Lord of the Rings, etc) and even starting to finish some movies in 4k (Spider-Man 2, released in 2004, was the first 4k DI).

The DCP for Star Wars that would be projected in a commercial cinema must be either 2048 X 1080 or 2048 X 1536 as stipulated by the SMPTE.

I think there has a been a lot of confusion that has been disseminated(unintentionally or otherwise) over the years from forums such as these and elsewhere.

For commercial projection they would use the DCP(2048 X 1080).
For Home Video they would use the 1920 X 1080 master which is no different to any other hi-def(or standard def)title on the market.

According to the video engineer who goes by the name of Vidiot(from the Steve Hoffman forum) Star Wars was scanned at 2K using a Spirit 2k scanner. It was also color corrected at this resolution.
Those 2k Files were also manipulated by Lowry for the re-scale for home video(DVD & Blu Ray).
But the DCP had to be 2048 X 1080.

In 2007, for the 30th anniversary, they used a Christie Digital Micromirror Device™ 2K 3-chip DMD DLP Cinema™
(2048 x 1080 pixels) to project all 6 films.
AOTC and ROTS DCPs would be upscaled to 2K.
The OT would use the DCPs which were already at their native 2k resolution for front projection.

Maybe the Lowry guy was only talking about the hd master for dvd and eventual hdtv/blu-ray, but he definitely specified 1920x1080. I suppose it’s possible they finished their cleanup at actual 2k first and then made an hd video master from there, but that’s not what I remember Lowry guy saying.

Lucasfilm’s color-correction would have happened first, so that doesn’t really tell us anything about what exact res Lowry was working at.

Even if the dcp’s being used for these screenings are 2k, they still wouldn’t truly be 2k if they’re being upscaled from a 1920 source. As Wazzles pointed out, even AOTC and RotS had their cgi and color-timing done at 2k.

According to the Digital Cinema Initiative Protocol (8.2.2.7.) there are only 2 options(2048 X 1080 or 2160 X 4096) for front projection.
So the DCPs for Star Wars had to be at 2048 X 1080 as a MINIMUM requirement.
The DCI protocol specifies that 2048 X 1080 can be upscaled to 4K IF the projector is 4k capable.
There is no allusion to 1920 X 1080 upscales to 2k (which is impractical for any number of reasons).

It also makes no sense for Lowry or ILM to have scanned at 2K…down rezzed to 1080p (for a master)…to only have that upscaled again for 2k commercial projection. That would introduce digital scaling artifacts, something the DCI is firmly against.

Then my question would be:

Do you think it’s possible, if Lowry was in fact only working at 1920x1080 res, that a 2k digital cinema master could have been made from the HD master (slightly upscaled at the source) as opposed to it being upscaled on-the-fly by a 2k projector?

One would presumably yield better results than the other.

My Sony 4K projector has a native resolution of 2160 X 4096.
The UHD discs are mastered at 2160 X 3840.

I notice the artifacts when I scale from 3840 to 4096.
I achieve incremental brightness by imaging the entire breadth of the Projector’s 2160 X 4096 panel.
But the picture is marginally sharper when staying at the native resolution of 2160 X 3840.

As for Star Wars,it makes sense that the DCP is 2K(to be used for commercial projection).
For the home video market, the 1080p master(derived from the 2k scan) suffices.

I’m like 99% sure the lowry guys specified that they were working at 1920x1080, meaning the final master is stuck at that resolution and any 2k dcp would had to have been upscaled slightly (upscaled at the source as opposed to being upscaled on-the-fly by the projector). I tried searching for the audio recordings of that press conference I listened to on TFN way back when but only found a written story about it. It was called Star Wars Media Day. Google even turned up this:

http://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Star-Wars-Media-Day/id/1103

Thanks for that Fangzei.

Our own OriginalTrilogy member, Zombie, made the mistake many years back,be it deliberate or otherwise, of repeating ad nauseum, that the O-Neg of Star Wars was scanned at 1080 X 1920. Of course he was only referencing that 2004 video magazine.
But the author of that article never DIRECTLY quoted any of the engineers as saying that it was scanned at that resolution. It seems like the author of that article misunderstood or misinterpreted what was relayed to him by Rick Dean and John Lowry.

A little bit more research and common sense indicates that you cannot scan a 35mm anamorphic negative(such as Star Wars) at the native resolution of 1080 X 1920. It would not be conducive to attaining all the picture content of the entire length and breadth of the image as the geometry of a 35mm anamorphic frame does not conform to the dimensions of what would be a hypothetical HD(16:9) imaging sensor.
It’s why the scanning parameters are either 2048 X 1536(2k) or 4096 X 2160(4k)

The best information we have is from Vidiot, who worked directly with Lucas:

“As a result, it was done on a Spirit 2K scanner (at Post Group/LA). We did the color correction at IL+M’s offices on
Kerner Blvd. in San Rafael, using a temporary room with a Pandora Pogle Platinum color-corrector, working with 2K files
coming from a Quantel IQ server. Five years ago, there was no way to work with 4K files in real time; now, it can be
done, but it’s a slow and expensive process.”

They did do lots and lots and lots of digital 2K restoration on the project over at Lowry Digital in Burbank, and I thought it was a nearly-pristine image once they got done with it."

http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/star-wars-will-the-original-cinema-versions-ever-be-released-on-blu-ray.202658/page-3

There’s a difference between the resolution of the source scan (which was indeed 2k for scope as you said, but that’s more like 1820x1536 since the frame is 1.20:1 and not 1.33:1) and the resolution of the workflow it was actually restored at. I’m not 100% convinced that Vidiot isn’t using the terms 2k and 1080p interchangeably.

LexX’s post above suggests that not even the color correction was done at more than “high definition” resolution. That description (4:4:4 RGB) is exactly what I remember the lowry guy specifying in the audio of the press conference. He was also very specific when he said 1920x1080. The person asking him about it then said “so 2k?” and lowry guy then responded “well, no, 1920x1080 HD, but we were working at full RGB.”

Like I said, I really wish I could find the audio of this. TFN had a page with four audio files broken up by the people being interviewed (Kershner, Hamill, Jim Ward, and the lowry guys). I don’t remember now how I found it, this was of course way back in September of '04.

It was definitely 2k(and not 1080p) for the scan.
And Vidiot should know, because he freelanced for John Lowry on the Star Wars project.

People are confusing a 1080p master(used for the Blu ray and DVD) with a 2K scan to be subsequently used as the basis for the DCP.

Vidiot wrote:
"Yep. Once John Lowry died (right around the time he won an Oscar for the Lowry Process), they changed the sign. And all
that’s in LA as far as I know is just a sales office; all the technical workers and artists are in Mumbai.

I worked on a bunch of that stuff(Star Wars & Return Of The Jedi), and all that I saw was 2K."

http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/which-star-wars-complete-saga-br-to-buy.610811/

Post
#1068605
Topic
4K restoration on Star Wars
Time

Fang Zei said:

danny_boy said:

Fang Zei said:

danny_boy said:

Fang Zei said:

danny_boy said:

Fang Zei said:

danny_boy said:

Fang Zei said:

danny_boy said:

Fang Zei said:

doubleofive said:

My friend who is a projectionist talked to the projectionist at Celebration for us:

https://twitter.com/mumbles3k/status/853102458909978624

Spoke to the projectionist at #SWCO and confirmed that these are the same 2K DCPs used for the OT Blu-rays. No 4K (except for Rogue One).

I seriously question just how confidently the Orlando projectionist can actually state which master the dcp is derived from.

Again, let’s not forget Tack’s report on one of the roadshow screenings last summer. I’d be more interested in how the image actually looks in terms of color, contrast, grain, et cetera.

Also, the 2004 masters (the same ones used for the blu-ray) weren’t even done at full 2k resolution. They’re 1920x1080 hd. The Lowry guys were very specific about that during a press conference for the dvd way back in '04.

Anyway, I wonder if we can find out from an attendee in Orlando how the picture actually looks. Of course it would have to be someone who actually knows all the color timing quirks of the '04 master like we do, and I doubt there are many fans there who do.

Empire and Jedi are tonight.

I think the 2004 master was derived from the conventional 2048x1536 resolution scanning parameters (for scanning O-negs) in the early 2000s .This would also conform to the geometrical proportions of a 35mm anamorphic negative frame of film.

I honestly think that the 2004 article which stated that Star Wars was scanned at 1920 X 1080 was an editorial mistake.
You would be cropping out segments of the actual frame if you did scan at this resolution as well as introducing geometric distortions when optically(or digitally) stretching the frame back out to 2:35.

As far I am aware(correct me if i am wrong) the 2004 DVD/2011 Blu Ray features all the picture information(in terms of content-not resolution) when digitally re-scaled to the 2:35 aspect ratio(within the 16:9 HD frame).
This would indicate that it was indeed scanned at 2048 X 1536.

Yes, but I wasn’t talking about the scanning resolution. I was talking about the resolution of the final master Lowry delivered. The 1920x1080 number doesn’t come from an article, it came straight from the mouth of one of the Lowry guys at the press conference for the dvd back in '04. I had an audio recording of it sitting on my old computer I’ve since gotten rid of. Hamill, Kershner, and Jim Ward (President of Lucasfilm at that time) were also in attendence. There was a part where someone asks the Lowry guys if the new master is 2k and one of them responds “no, 1920x1080 HD,” which probably meant that the actual picture was 1920x817 because of the scope AR, with the black bars filling out the rest.

Maybe you are not remembering that Press exchange correctly.

An 8K,4k or 2k scan of a film negative(or 1st generation Interpositive) has to be re-scaled to 1920 X 1080 for the master of ANY Blu ray title.

In the case of the DVD from 2004, the 1920 x 1080 master(derived from the 2K scan)became the basis for that release.
And this would have been the case for any Standard Def DVD title from the early 2000s(or even now).
Many did not even get this luxury.
A lot of DVD transfers were generated from telecines of 35mm theatrical film prints(be they flat or anamorphic)…the same process used for Laserdisc,Selecta Vision, VHS,Beta and V2000 home video releases of the early 1980s.

The James Bond films(some of them) and Star Wars were among the first set of flicks to get the benefit of 1080p masters(that would subsequently be down rezzed to 480p) for DVD.

Which finally brings us back around to my original point, which was that the resolution Lowry finished their restoration at was 1920x1080 HD and not 2048x1080. Jim Ward called it a “digital negative” back in 2004, which might have been considered true at that time given the limits of digital projection technology in the cinema. But even then, I’m pretty sure they were already finishing new movies at actual 2k res (Oh Brother Where Art Thou, Lord of the Rings, etc) and even starting to finish some movies in 4k (Spider-Man 2, released in 2004, was the first 4k DI).

The DCP for Star Wars that would be projected in a commercial cinema must be either 2048 X 1080 or 2048 X 1536 as stipulated by the SMPTE.

I think there has a been a lot of confusion that has been disseminated(unintentionally or otherwise) over the years from forums such as these and elsewhere.

For commercial projection they would use the DCP(2048 X 1080).
For Home Video they would use the 1920 X 1080 master which is no different to any other hi-def(or standard def)title on the market.

According to the video engineer who goes by the name of Vidiot(from the Steve Hoffman forum) Star Wars was scanned at 2K using a Spirit 2k scanner. It was also color corrected at this resolution.
Those 2k Files were also manipulated by Lowry for the re-scale for home video(DVD & Blu Ray).
But the DCP had to be 2048 X 1080.

In 2007, for the 30th anniversary, they used a Christie Digital Micromirror Device™ 2K 3-chip DMD DLP Cinema™
(2048 x 1080 pixels) to project all 6 films.
AOTC and ROTS DCPs would be upscaled to 2K.
The OT would use the DCPs which were already at their native 2k resolution for front projection.

Maybe the Lowry guy was only talking about the hd master for dvd and eventual hdtv/blu-ray, but he definitely specified 1920x1080. I suppose it’s possible they finished their cleanup at actual 2k first and then made an hd video master from there, but that’s not what I remember Lowry guy saying.

Lucasfilm’s color-correction would have happened first, so that doesn’t really tell us anything about what exact res Lowry was working at.

Even if the dcp’s being used for these screenings are 2k, they still wouldn’t truly be 2k if they’re being upscaled from a 1920 source. As Wazzles pointed out, even AOTC and RotS had their cgi and color-timing done at 2k.

According to the Digital Cinema Initiative Protocol (8.2.2.7.) there are only 2 options(2048 X 1080 or 2160 X 4096) for front projection.
So the DCPs for Star Wars had to be at 2048 X 1080 as a MINIMUM requirement.
The DCI protocol specifies that 2048 X 1080 can be upscaled to 4K IF the projector is 4k capable.
There is no allusion to 1920 X 1080 upscales to 2k (which is impractical for any number of reasons).

It also makes no sense for Lowry or ILM to have scanned at 2K…down rezzed to 1080p (for a master)…to only have that upscaled again for 2k commercial projection. That would introduce digital scaling artifacts, something the DCI is firmly against.

Then my question would be:

Do you think it’s possible, if Lowry was in fact only working at 1920x1080 res, that a 2k digital cinema master could have been made from the HD master (slightly upscaled at the source) as opposed to it being upscaled on-the-fly by a 2k projector?

One would presumably yield better results than the other.

My Sony 4K projector has a native resolution of 2160 X 4096.
The UHD discs are mastered at 2160 X 3840.

I notice the artifacts when I scale from 3840 to 4096.
I achieve incremental brightness by imaging the entire breadth of the Projector’s 2160 X 4096 panel.
But the picture is marginally sharper when staying at the native resolution of 2160 X 3840.

As for Star Wars,it makes sense that the DCP is 2K(to be used for commercial projection).
For the home video market, the 1080p master(derived from the 2k scan) suffices.

I’m like 99% sure the lowry guys specified that they were working at 1920x1080, meaning the final master is stuck at that resolution and any 2k dcp would had to have been upscaled slightly (upscaled at the source as opposed to being upscaled on-the-fly by the projector). I tried searching for the audio recordings of that press conference I listened to on TFN way back when but only found a written story about it. It was called Star Wars Media Day. Google even turned up this:

http://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Star-Wars-Media-Day/id/1103

Thanks for that Fangzei.

Our own OriginalTrilogy member, Zombie, made the mistake many years back,be it deliberate or otherwise, of repeating ad nauseum, that the O-Neg of Star Wars was scanned at 1080 X 1920. Of course he was only referencing that 2004 video magazine.
But the author of that article never DIRECTLY quoted any of the engineers as saying that it was scanned at that resolution. It seems like the author of that article misunderstood or misinterpreted what was relayed to him by Rick Dean and John Lowry.

A little bit more research and common sense indicates that you cannot scan a 35mm anamorphic negative(such as Star Wars) at the native resolution of 1080 X 1920. It would not be conducive to attaining all the picture content of the entire length and breadth of the image as the geometry of a 35mm anamorphic frame does not conform to the dimensions of what would be a hypothetical HD(16:9) imaging sensor.
It’s why the scanning parameters are either 2048 X 1536(2k) or 4096 X 2160(4k)

The best information we have is from Vidiot, who worked directly with Lucas:

“As a result, it was done on a Spirit 2K scanner (at Post Group/LA). We did the color correction at IL+M’s offices on
Kerner Blvd. in San Rafael, using a temporary room with a Pandora Pogle Platinum color-corrector, working with 2K files
coming from a Quantel IQ server. Five years ago, there was no way to work with 4K files in real time; now, it can be
done, but it’s a slow and expensive process.”

They did do lots and lots and lots of digital 2K restoration on the project over at Lowry Digital in Burbank, and I thought it was a nearly-pristine image once they got done with it."

http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/star-wars-will-the-original-cinema-versions-ever-be-released-on-blu-ray.202658/page-3

This post has been edited.

Post
#1068426
Topic
4K restoration on Star Wars
Time

Fang Zei said:

danny_boy said:

Fang Zei said:

danny_boy said:

Fang Zei said:

danny_boy said:

Fang Zei said:

danny_boy said:

Fang Zei said:

doubleofive said:

My friend who is a projectionist talked to the projectionist at Celebration for us:

https://twitter.com/mumbles3k/status/853102458909978624

Spoke to the projectionist at #SWCO and confirmed that these are the same 2K DCPs used for the OT Blu-rays. No 4K (except for Rogue One).

I seriously question just how confidently the Orlando projectionist can actually state which master the dcp is derived from.

Again, let’s not forget Tack’s report on one of the roadshow screenings last summer. I’d be more interested in how the image actually looks in terms of color, contrast, grain, et cetera.

Also, the 2004 masters (the same ones used for the blu-ray) weren’t even done at full 2k resolution. They’re 1920x1080 hd. The Lowry guys were very specific about that during a press conference for the dvd way back in '04.

Anyway, I wonder if we can find out from an attendee in Orlando how the picture actually looks. Of course it would have to be someone who actually knows all the color timing quirks of the '04 master like we do, and I doubt there are many fans there who do.

Empire and Jedi are tonight.

I think the 2004 master was derived from the conventional 2048x1536 resolution scanning parameters (for scanning O-negs) in the early 2000s .This would also conform to the geometrical proportions of a 35mm anamorphic negative frame of film.

I honestly think that the 2004 article which stated that Star Wars was scanned at 1920 X 1080 was an editorial mistake.
You would be cropping out segments of the actual frame if you did scan at this resolution as well as introducing geometric distortions when optically(or digitally) stretching the frame back out to 2:35.

As far I am aware(correct me if i am wrong) the 2004 DVD/2011 Blu Ray features all the picture information(in terms of content-not resolution) when digitally re-scaled to the 2:35 aspect ratio(within the 16:9 HD frame).
This would indicate that it was indeed scanned at 2048 X 1536.

Yes, but I wasn’t talking about the scanning resolution. I was talking about the resolution of the final master Lowry delivered. The 1920x1080 number doesn’t come from an article, it came straight from the mouth of one of the Lowry guys at the press conference for the dvd back in '04. I had an audio recording of it sitting on my old computer I’ve since gotten rid of. Hamill, Kershner, and Jim Ward (President of Lucasfilm at that time) were also in attendence. There was a part where someone asks the Lowry guys if the new master is 2k and one of them responds “no, 1920x1080 HD,” which probably meant that the actual picture was 1920x817 because of the scope AR, with the black bars filling out the rest.

Maybe you are not remembering that Press exchange correctly.

An 8K,4k or 2k scan of a film negative(or 1st generation Interpositive) has to be re-scaled to 1920 X 1080 for the master of ANY Blu ray title.

In the case of the DVD from 2004, the 1920 x 1080 master(derived from the 2K scan)became the basis for that release.
And this would have been the case for any Standard Def DVD title from the early 2000s(or even now).
Many did not even get this luxury.
A lot of DVD transfers were generated from telecines of 35mm theatrical film prints(be they flat or anamorphic)…the same process used for Laserdisc,Selecta Vision, VHS,Beta and V2000 home video releases of the early 1980s.

The James Bond films(some of them) and Star Wars were among the first set of flicks to get the benefit of 1080p masters(that would subsequently be down rezzed to 480p) for DVD.

Which finally brings us back around to my original point, which was that the resolution Lowry finished their restoration at was 1920x1080 HD and not 2048x1080. Jim Ward called it a “digital negative” back in 2004, which might have been considered true at that time given the limits of digital projection technology in the cinema. But even then, I’m pretty sure they were already finishing new movies at actual 2k res (Oh Brother Where Art Thou, Lord of the Rings, etc) and even starting to finish some movies in 4k (Spider-Man 2, released in 2004, was the first 4k DI).

The DCP for Star Wars that would be projected in a commercial cinema must be either 2048 X 1080 or 2048 X 1536 as stipulated by the SMPTE.

I think there has a been a lot of confusion that has been disseminated(unintentionally or otherwise) over the years from forums such as these and elsewhere.

For commercial projection they would use the DCP(2048 X 1080).
For Home Video they would use the 1920 X 1080 master which is no different to any other hi-def(or standard def)title on the market.

According to the video engineer who goes by the name of Vidiot(from the Steve Hoffman forum) Star Wars was scanned at 2K using a Spirit 2k scanner. It was also color corrected at this resolution.
Those 2k Files were also manipulated by Lowry for the re-scale for home video(DVD & Blu Ray).
But the DCP had to be 2048 X 1080.

In 2007, for the 30th anniversary, they used a Christie Digital Micromirror Device™ 2K 3-chip DMD DLP Cinema™
(2048 x 1080 pixels) to project all 6 films.
AOTC and ROTS DCPs would be upscaled to 2K.
The OT would use the DCPs which were already at their native 2k resolution for front projection.

Maybe the Lowry guy was only talking about the hd master for dvd and eventual hdtv/blu-ray, but he definitely specified 1920x1080. I suppose it’s possible they finished their cleanup at actual 2k first and then made an hd video master from there, but that’s not what I remember Lowry guy saying.

Lucasfilm’s color-correction would have happened first, so that doesn’t really tell us anything about what exact res Lowry was working at.

Even if the dcp’s being used for these screenings are 2k, they still wouldn’t truly be 2k if they’re being upscaled from a 1920 source. As Wazzles pointed out, even AOTC and RotS had their cgi and color-timing done at 2k.

According to the Digital Cinema Initiative Protocol (8.2.2.7.) there are only 2 options(2048 X 1080 or 2160 X 4096) for front projection.
So the DCPs for Star Wars had to be at 2048 X 1080 as a MINIMUM requirement.
The DCI protocol specifies that 2048 X 1080 can be upscaled to 4K IF the projector is 4k capable.
There is no allusion to 1920 X 1080 upscales to 2k (which is impractical for any number of reasons).

It also makes no sense for Lowry or ILM to have scanned at 2K…down rezzed to 1080p (for a master)…to only have that upscaled again for 2k commercial projection. That would introduce digital scaling artifacts, something the DCI is firmly against.

Then my question would be:

Do you think it’s possible, if Lowry was in fact only working at 1920x1080 res, that a 2k digital cinema master could have been made from the HD master (slightly upscaled at the source) as opposed to it being upscaled on-the-fly by a 2k projector?

One would presumably yield better results than the other.

My Sony 4K projector has a native resolution of 2160 X 4096.
The UHD discs are mastered at 2160 X 3840.

I notice the artifacts when I scale from 3840 to 4096.
I achieve incremental brightness by imaging the entire breadth of the Projector’s 2160 X 4096 panel.
But the picture is marginally sharper when staying at the native resolution of 2160 X 3840.

As for Star Wars,it makes sense that the DCP is 2K(to be used for commercial projection).
For the home video market, the 1080p master(derived from the 2k scan) suffices.

Post
#1067078
Topic
4K restoration on Star Wars
Time

Fang Zei said:

danny_boy said:

Fang Zei said:

danny_boy said:

Fang Zei said:

danny_boy said:

Fang Zei said:

doubleofive said:

My friend who is a projectionist talked to the projectionist at Celebration for us:

https://twitter.com/mumbles3k/status/853102458909978624

Spoke to the projectionist at #SWCO and confirmed that these are the same 2K DCPs used for the OT Blu-rays. No 4K (except for Rogue One).

I seriously question just how confidently the Orlando projectionist can actually state which master the dcp is derived from.

Again, let’s not forget Tack’s report on one of the roadshow screenings last summer. I’d be more interested in how the image actually looks in terms of color, contrast, grain, et cetera.

Also, the 2004 masters (the same ones used for the blu-ray) weren’t even done at full 2k resolution. They’re 1920x1080 hd. The Lowry guys were very specific about that during a press conference for the dvd way back in '04.

Anyway, I wonder if we can find out from an attendee in Orlando how the picture actually looks. Of course it would have to be someone who actually knows all the color timing quirks of the '04 master like we do, and I doubt there are many fans there who do.

Empire and Jedi are tonight.

I think the 2004 master was derived from the conventional 2048x1536 resolution scanning parameters (for scanning O-negs) in the early 2000s .This would also conform to the geometrical proportions of a 35mm anamorphic negative frame of film.

I honestly think that the 2004 article which stated that Star Wars was scanned at 1920 X 1080 was an editorial mistake.
You would be cropping out segments of the actual frame if you did scan at this resolution as well as introducing geometric distortions when optically(or digitally) stretching the frame back out to 2:35.

As far I am aware(correct me if i am wrong) the 2004 DVD/2011 Blu Ray features all the picture information(in terms of content-not resolution) when digitally re-scaled to the 2:35 aspect ratio(within the 16:9 HD frame).
This would indicate that it was indeed scanned at 2048 X 1536.

Yes, but I wasn’t talking about the scanning resolution. I was talking about the resolution of the final master Lowry delivered. The 1920x1080 number doesn’t come from an article, it came straight from the mouth of one of the Lowry guys at the press conference for the dvd back in '04. I had an audio recording of it sitting on my old computer I’ve since gotten rid of. Hamill, Kershner, and Jim Ward (President of Lucasfilm at that time) were also in attendence. There was a part where someone asks the Lowry guys if the new master is 2k and one of them responds “no, 1920x1080 HD,” which probably meant that the actual picture was 1920x817 because of the scope AR, with the black bars filling out the rest.

Maybe you are not remembering that Press exchange correctly.

An 8K,4k or 2k scan of a film negative(or 1st generation Interpositive) has to be re-scaled to 1920 X 1080 for the master of ANY Blu ray title.

In the case of the DVD from 2004, the 1920 x 1080 master(derived from the 2K scan)became the basis for that release.
And this would have been the case for any Standard Def DVD title from the early 2000s(or even now).
Many did not even get this luxury.
A lot of DVD transfers were generated from telecines of 35mm theatrical film prints(be they flat or anamorphic)…the same process used for Laserdisc,Selecta Vision, VHS,Beta and V2000 home video releases of the early 1980s.

The James Bond films(some of them) and Star Wars were among the first set of flicks to get the benefit of 1080p masters(that would subsequently be down rezzed to 480p) for DVD.

Which finally brings us back around to my original point, which was that the resolution Lowry finished their restoration at was 1920x1080 HD and not 2048x1080. Jim Ward called it a “digital negative” back in 2004, which might have been considered true at that time given the limits of digital projection technology in the cinema. But even then, I’m pretty sure they were already finishing new movies at actual 2k res (Oh Brother Where Art Thou, Lord of the Rings, etc) and even starting to finish some movies in 4k (Spider-Man 2, released in 2004, was the first 4k DI).

The DCP for Star Wars that would be projected in a commercial cinema must be either 2048 X 1080 or 2048 X 1536 as stipulated by the SMPTE.

I think there has a been a lot of confusion that has been disseminated(unintentionally or otherwise) over the years from forums such as these and elsewhere.

For commercial projection they would use the DCP(2048 X 1080).
For Home Video they would use the 1920 X 1080 master which is no different to any other hi-def(or standard def)title on the market.

According to the video engineer who goes by the name of Vidiot(from the Steve Hoffman forum) Star Wars was scanned at 2K using a Spirit 2k scanner. It was also color corrected at this resolution.
Those 2k Files were also manipulated by Lowry for the re-scale for home video(DVD & Blu Ray).
But the DCP had to be 2048 X 1080.

In 2007, for the 30th anniversary, they used a Christie Digital Micromirror Device™ 2K 3-chip DMD DLP Cinema™
(2048 x 1080 pixels) to project all 6 films.
AOTC and ROTS DCPs would be upscaled to 2K.
The OT would use the DCPs which were already at their native 2k resolution for front projection.

Maybe the Lowry guy was only talking about the hd master for dvd and eventual hdtv/blu-ray, but he definitely specified 1920x1080. I suppose it’s possible they finished their cleanup at actual 2k first and then made an hd video master from there, but that’s not what I remember Lowry guy saying.

Lucasfilm’s color-correction would have happened first, so that doesn’t really tell us anything about what exact res Lowry was working at.

Even if the dcp’s being used for these screenings are 2k, they still wouldn’t truly be 2k if they’re being upscaled from a 1920 source. As Wazzles pointed out, even AOTC and RotS had their cgi and color-timing done at 2k.

According to the Digital Cinema Initiative Protocol (8.2.2.7.) there are only 2 options(2048 X 1080 or 2160 X 4096) for front projection.
So the DCPs for Star Wars had to be at 2048 X 1080 as a MINIMUM requirement.
The DCI protocol specifies that 2048 X 1080 can be upscaled to 4K IF the projector is 4k capable.
There is no allusion to 1920 X 1080 upscales to 2k (which is impractical for any number of reasons).

It also makes no sense for Lowry or ILM to have scanned at 2K…down rezzed to 1080p (for a master)…to only have that upscaled again for 2k commercial projection. That would introduce digital scaling artifacts, something the DCI is firmly against.

Post
#1066954
Topic
4K restoration on Star Wars
Time

Fang Zei said:

danny_boy said:

Fang Zei said:

danny_boy said:

Fang Zei said:

doubleofive said:

My friend who is a projectionist talked to the projectionist at Celebration for us:

https://twitter.com/mumbles3k/status/853102458909978624

Spoke to the projectionist at #SWCO and confirmed that these are the same 2K DCPs used for the OT Blu-rays. No 4K (except for Rogue One).

I seriously question just how confidently the Orlando projectionist can actually state which master the dcp is derived from.

Again, let’s not forget Tack’s report on one of the roadshow screenings last summer. I’d be more interested in how the image actually looks in terms of color, contrast, grain, et cetera.

Also, the 2004 masters (the same ones used for the blu-ray) weren’t even done at full 2k resolution. They’re 1920x1080 hd. The Lowry guys were very specific about that during a press conference for the dvd way back in '04.

Anyway, I wonder if we can find out from an attendee in Orlando how the picture actually looks. Of course it would have to be someone who actually knows all the color timing quirks of the '04 master like we do, and I doubt there are many fans there who do.

Empire and Jedi are tonight.

I think the 2004 master was derived from the conventional 2048x1536 resolution scanning parameters (for scanning O-negs) in the early 2000s .This would also conform to the geometrical proportions of a 35mm anamorphic negative frame of film.

I honestly think that the 2004 article which stated that Star Wars was scanned at 1920 X 1080 was an editorial mistake.
You would be cropping out segments of the actual frame if you did scan at this resolution as well as introducing geometric distortions when optically(or digitally) stretching the frame back out to 2:35.

As far I am aware(correct me if i am wrong) the 2004 DVD/2011 Blu Ray features all the picture information(in terms of content-not resolution) when digitally re-scaled to the 2:35 aspect ratio(within the 16:9 HD frame).
This would indicate that it was indeed scanned at 2048 X 1536.

Yes, but I wasn’t talking about the scanning resolution. I was talking about the resolution of the final master Lowry delivered. The 1920x1080 number doesn’t come from an article, it came straight from the mouth of one of the Lowry guys at the press conference for the dvd back in '04. I had an audio recording of it sitting on my old computer I’ve since gotten rid of. Hamill, Kershner, and Jim Ward (President of Lucasfilm at that time) were also in attendence. There was a part where someone asks the Lowry guys if the new master is 2k and one of them responds “no, 1920x1080 HD,” which probably meant that the actual picture was 1920x817 because of the scope AR, with the black bars filling out the rest.

Maybe you are not remembering that Press exchange correctly.

An 8K,4k or 2k scan of a film negative(or 1st generation Interpositive) has to be re-scaled to 1920 X 1080 for the master of ANY Blu ray title.

In the case of the DVD from 2004, the 1920 x 1080 master(derived from the 2K scan)became the basis for that release.
And this would have been the case for any Standard Def DVD title from the early 2000s(or even now).
Many did not even get this luxury.
A lot of DVD transfers were generated from telecines of 35mm theatrical film prints(be they flat or anamorphic)…the same process used for Laserdisc,Selecta Vision, VHS,Beta and V2000 home video releases of the early 1980s.

The James Bond films(some of them) and Star Wars were among the first set of flicks to get the benefit of 1080p masters(that would subsequently be down rezzed to 480p) for DVD.

Which finally brings us back around to my original point, which was that the resolution Lowry finished their restoration at was 1920x1080 HD and not 2048x1080. Jim Ward called it a “digital negative” back in 2004, which might have been considered true at that time given the limits of digital projection technology in the cinema. But even then, I’m pretty sure they were already finishing new movies at actual 2k res (Oh Brother Where Art Thou, Lord of the Rings, etc) and even starting to finish some movies in 4k (Spider-Man 2, released in 2004, was the first 4k DI).

The DCP for Star Wars that would be projected in a commercial cinema must be either 2048 X 1080 or 2048 X 1536 as stipulated by the SMPTE.

I think there has a been a lot of confusion that has been disseminated(unintentionally or otherwise) over the years from forums such as these and elsewhere.

For commercial projection they would use the DCP(2048 X 1080).
For Home Video they would use the 1920 X 1080 master which is no different to any other hi-def(or standard def)title on the market.

According to the video engineer who goes by the name of Vidiot(from the Steve Hoffman forum) Star Wars was scanned at 2K using a Spirit 2k scanner. It was also color corrected at this resolution.
Those 2k Files were also manipulated by Lowry for the re-scale for home video(DVD & Blu Ray).
But the DCP had to be 2048 X 1080.

In 2007, for the 30th anniversary, they used a Christie Digital Micromirror Device™ 2K 3-chip DMD DLP Cinema™
(2048 x 1080 pixels) to project all 6 films.
AOTC and ROTS DCPs would be upscaled to 2K.
The OT would use the DCPs which were already at their native 2k resolution for front projection.

Post
#1066918
Topic
4K restoration on Star Wars
Time

Fang Zei said:

danny_boy said:

Fang Zei said:

doubleofive said:

My friend who is a projectionist talked to the projectionist at Celebration for us:

https://twitter.com/mumbles3k/status/853102458909978624

Spoke to the projectionist at #SWCO and confirmed that these are the same 2K DCPs used for the OT Blu-rays. No 4K (except for Rogue One).

I seriously question just how confidently the Orlando projectionist can actually state which master the dcp is derived from.

Again, let’s not forget Tack’s report on one of the roadshow screenings last summer. I’d be more interested in how the image actually looks in terms of color, contrast, grain, et cetera.

Also, the 2004 masters (the same ones used for the blu-ray) weren’t even done at full 2k resolution. They’re 1920x1080 hd. The Lowry guys were very specific about that during a press conference for the dvd way back in '04.

Anyway, I wonder if we can find out from an attendee in Orlando how the picture actually looks. Of course it would have to be someone who actually knows all the color timing quirks of the '04 master like we do, and I doubt there are many fans there who do.

Empire and Jedi are tonight.

I think the 2004 master was derived from the conventional 2048x1536 resolution scanning parameters (for scanning O-negs) in the early 2000s .This would also conform to the geometrical proportions of a 35mm anamorphic negative frame of film.

I honestly think that the 2004 article which stated that Star Wars was scanned at 1920 X 1080 was an editorial mistake.
You would be cropping out segments of the actual frame if you did scan at this resolution as well as introducing geometric distortions when optically(or digitally) stretching the frame back out to 2:35.

As far I am aware(correct me if i am wrong) the 2004 DVD/2011 Blu Ray features all the picture information(in terms of content-not resolution) when digitally re-scaled to the 2:35 aspect ratio(within the 16:9 HD frame).
This would indicate that it was indeed scanned at 2048 X 1536.

Yes, but I wasn’t talking about the scanning resolution. I was talking about the resolution of the final master Lowry delivered. The 1920x1080 number doesn’t come from an article, it came straight from the mouth of one of the Lowry guys at the press conference for the dvd back in '04. I had an audio recording of it sitting on my old computer I’ve since gotten rid of. Hamill, Kershner, and Jim Ward (President of Lucasfilm at that time) were also in attendence. There was a part where someone asks the Lowry guys if the new master is 2k and one of them responds “no, 1920x1080 HD,” which probably meant that the actual picture was 1920x817 because of the scope AR, with the black bars filling out the rest.

Maybe you are not remembering that Press exchange correctly.

An 8K,4k or 2k scan of a film negative(or 1st generation Interpositive) has to be re-scaled to 1920 X 1080 for the master of ANY Blu ray title.

In the case of the DVD from 2004, the 1920 x 1080 master(derived from the 2K scan)became the basis for that release.
And this would have been the case for any Standard Def DVD title from the early 2000s(or even now).
Many did not even get this luxury.
A lot of DVD transfers were generated from telecines of 35mm theatrical film prints(be they flat or anamorphic)…the same process used for Laserdisc,Selecta Vision, VHS,Beta and V2000 home video releases of the early 1980s.

The James Bond films(some of them) and Star Wars were among the first set of flicks to get the benefit of 1080p masters(that would subsequently be down rezzed to 480p) for DVD.

Post
#1066744
Topic
4K restoration on Star Wars
Time

Fang Zei said:

doubleofive said:

My friend who is a projectionist talked to the projectionist at Celebration for us:

https://twitter.com/mumbles3k/status/853102458909978624

Spoke to the projectionist at #SWCO and confirmed that these are the same 2K DCPs used for the OT Blu-rays. No 4K (except for Rogue One).

I seriously question just how confidently the Orlando projectionist can actually state which master the dcp is derived from.

Again, let’s not forget Tack’s report on one of the roadshow screenings last summer. I’d be more interested in how the image actually looks in terms of color, contrast, grain, et cetera.

Also, the 2004 masters (the same ones used for the blu-ray) weren’t even done at full 2k resolution. They’re 1920x1080 hd. The Lowry guys were very specific about that during a press conference for the dvd way back in '04.

Anyway, I wonder if we can find out from an attendee in Orlando how the picture actually looks. Of course it would have to be someone who actually knows all the color timing quirks of the '04 master like we do, and I doubt there are many fans there who do.

Empire and Jedi are tonight.

I think the 2004 master was derived from the conventional 2048x1536 resolution scanning parameters (for scanning O-negs) in the early 2000s .This would also conform to the geometrical proportions of a 35mm anamorphic negative frame of film.

I honestly think that the 2004 article which stated that Star Wars was scanned at 1920 X 1080 was an editorial mistake.
You would be cropping out segments of the actual frame if you did scan at this resolution as well as introducing geometric distortions when optically(or digitally) stretching the frame back out to 2:35.

As far I am aware(correct me if i am wrong) the 2004 DVD/2011 Blu Ray features all the picture information(in terms of content-not resolution) when digitally re-scaled to the 2:35 aspect ratio(within the 16:9 HD frame).
This would indicate that it was indeed scanned at 2048 X 1536.

This post has been edited.

Post
#1066736
Topic
4K restoration on Star Wars
Time

Mike O said:

Fang Zei said:

Mike O said:

JawsTDS said:

Fang Zei said:

Cthulhunicron said:

What exactly does it mean for the negative to be disassembled?

The negative has been conformed to the SE since 1997. George decided to cut the changes directly into the negative because, as far as he was concerned, the SE was the official version of the movie now.

We recently got confirmation from the relevant person at Fox that the pieces of the negative replaced for the SE were indeed put into storage and not discarded.

I think I remember reading on zombie’s website that the negative need not be disassembled to reconstruct the unaltered version. Because a modern restoration would be done digitally anyway, they would simply need to take a scan of the o-neg as it is now, scan in the pieces that got replaced, and rebuild everything in the digital realm.

For further context, the negative is the first-generation source for the footage used in the final cut. They are also without any color timing as that comes later in the process, and unlike a 35mm print, which is a few generations down from the negative, there is only one layer of grain to deal with (this is not the case with SW as there is optical compositing).*

*if I’ve made any mistakes, please correct me.

Would any IPs or separation masters still be usable and around?

Nothing I’m reading here suggests ANY hope for a remastered OOT.

The separation masters are still intact, as are other film elements closer to the o-neg than the theatrical prints.

Robert A. Harris emphasized several years ago that “these assets are well-protected.” If a user on the blu-ray.com forums is to be believed, Disney has been meticulously going through every last piece of Star Wars film material and scanning them in. It’s simply a matter of time … and of timing.

I hate to be eternally negative, but A) why believe this, and B) how much time?! I’m not getting any younger.

Combining the separation masters will not yield the same quality as that which can be derived from a scan (or even a photochemical replication to a first generation interpositive) from the original negative.

A massive chunk of the original negative was lost/damaged beyond repair from the scene where Supes confronts Lex Luther in Superman The Movie.
For the restoration in 1999, they recombined the separation masters to recreate that scene.
But the colors were slightly out of sync and the resolution noticeably compromised.

Lucas has already gone on record saying that the separation masters for Star Wars were not preserved correctly(Fox were to blame).

So the original negative is the only salvation for Star Wars.

Post
#1059078
Topic
Laserdisc....
Time

I have a 4k projector and have been conducting side by side tests of the (upscaled to 4K)blu rays(2011) with the original Pan & Scan laserdiscs(released from 1982 to 1986)
The projector has component jacks which allows for analogue connectivity.

I have chosen the P&S formats because they have the greatest native vertical resolution.
The widescreen releases (be it DVD,Laserdisc or VHS)have diminished vertical resolution due to the “unused” black bars at the top and bottom.
For the record, I also have the 1987/87 Japanese widescreen special collectors editions and the 1995 Faces(also widescreen) laserdiscs but they were not appropriate for these tests.
From an artistic point of view I know P&S has been derided because of the cropped nature of the video framings BUT they still had the largest amount of picture information within those frames.
And to boot they had no digital manipulation applied to them(be it picture or sound). DNR ,edge enhancement or compression algorithms are wonderfully absent from these laserdiscs.
It’s also great to hear the original optical Dolby Stereo surround tracks in their original LCRS configuration and to see the film grain undulate and oscillate from frame to frame.
Original 1st generation home theater enthusiasts from the early 1980s would not have been able to observe these discrepancies because they would have been viewing these laserdiscs on smallish TV screens(unless they had CRT projectors!).Plus their surround sound decoders did not encapsulate the center channel until 1987-88.

4K projection enables the viewer to notice any anomalies within the image.
One thing I have noticed is that intentionally defocused backgrounds(part of the original cinematography) look much more natural on the laserdiscs.
Blu Ray(or DVD) ,due to compression artifacts, make these same scenes(which have de-focused backgrounds) have a very baked(unaturally sharp) appearance.
The opticals(e.g when Artoo gets shot by the Jawas) also suffer with HD(or UHD) compression.
DNR has been applied on the Blu Ray to keep the look consistent between 1st generation live footage(without opticals) and SFX shots. At 4K resolution, the shimmering induced by the DNR and compression(to obscure the increased grain densities) is very prominent.
The same scenes on the laserdiscs have no such problem.
Finally the mastering used for the 2011 Blurays(and 2004 DVDs) whereby certain scenes(e.g inside the Sandcrawler) creates a very dark crush on shadow detail.
It’s almost hilarious to see laserdisc transfers(which predate the Blu rays by almost 25-30 years!) have superior shadow detail.

So all in all those P&S laserdiscs are my personal guilty pleasures.

Post
#793071
Topic
What if TFA is awful?
Time

sunglassesatnite said:

danny_boy said:

sunglassesatnite said:

I think TFA WILL be awful.  I’m not hoping for it to be awful, but I think it will be.

Although J.J. Abrams has achieved mainstream success,  I have never truly gotten “on board” with his style of filmmaking.  And it’s not that his movies are completely “awful” any sense.  It’s just that  every time I’ve left out of the theater after seeing one of his movies I have a gnawing, hungry, not-quite-satisfied feeling—similar to the feeling one has after eating at McDonald’s.  Not terrible, but not quite satisfying.  In other words, totally un-OOT-like.

This is a vague feeling and it is hard to explain, but there are micro-moments in Abrams’s various  films where I get sucked straight out of the movie, out of the fantasy--and into a realm where “this doesn’t quite make sense.” Or, “that seems odd why that character would do [or say] that.” 

There are several of these “micro-moments” from J.J.’s films that I could get into (but won’t).  There is, though, one in the latest behind-the-scenes TFA footage (presumably from San Diego, but I’m not certain about that) which, at least for me, demonstrates what I am talking about.  For a few seconds, a guy appearing  to be Oscar Isaacs is being hustled down a very Death Star-looking starship passageway by a Stormtrooper.

 I will get accused of being overly anal about this, but something  about the composition of that shot and the body language of the characters was just wrong.  It immediately made me think of similar shots in the OOT where our captive heroes are being made to walk places they don’t necessarily want to go (think of Han Solo at the Carbonite chamber, or the surrendered starship troopers at the beginning of A New Hope).  Not really a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but in the TFA footage it just looked “off.”  For one thing, in J.J.’s footage the Stormtrooper has his gun on Oscar Isaacs with one hand, while attempting to briskly shuffle him down the passageway with the other; presumably to take him to some kind of “detention block.”  The thing is, why does the Stormtrooper have his gun on Isaacs when they are presumably on the Stormtrooper’s own ship to begin with?   Why the hell is the Stormtrooper in such a hurry when, again, they are on the Stormtrooper’s own ship?  Why aren’t there two Stormtroopers handling Isaacs?  Why am I being so completely anal about two seconds of footage, the completed version of which I haven’t yet seen?

The reason is because it just looks “wrong.”  It doesn’t look like Star Wars (or at least the only Star Wars that exists to me—namely the OOT).  In the OOT, a shot like this would have had two Stormtroopers walking behind our hero, weapons at port arms, with a pace and body language that suggested power and control…thereby infusing the scene with a sense of gravity and foreboding.  This scene, by contrast, just doesn’t come off well.  It just looks like a Stormtrooper hustling some dude down a hallway, and doesn’t really communicate anything beyond that.  Worse, it kind of makes the Stormtrooper look like--in the words of late-great TV series the Wire—“a graspy little bitch” who can’t handle his business somehow. 

Am I making  my prediction of TFA’s lack of quality based on this one scene?  Hardly.  I am merely attempting to give an example of how J.J. Abrams’s style, for me, doesn’t completely work.  

 

Great post.

The language of cinema has constantly evolved to reflect a cultural aesthetic that relates to the time that the product is made in.

So that little clip in TFA trailer where hundreds of StormTroopers are assembled together ......reeks of the thousands of  Orcs from Lord Of The Rings, the Agent Smiths in the Matrix, The Chitari and Ultrons from the 2 Avengers movies ....and yes the clones and droid armies from the prequels. 

It definitely does not resemble anything from the OT.....the technology simply did not exist to convey thousands and thousands of troopers in attendance together(apart for that brief matte painting in ROTJ on the death star when the emperor arrives).

In the OT....size(e.g army of the Empire) was implied and simply left to the imagination.....which in my opinion is a far more potent storytelling technique.

These days nothing is left to the imagination......it is shown. 

Hence the creative lull that we find ourselves in.

The existence  of the TFA is proof of that.  

  

Thanks.  You made an interesting observation about the massed troopers shot being similar to shots we see in modern films, which I totally agree with.  That got me to thinking about another aspect of this so-called "First Order:" I really hope that this film isn't going to have a bunch of political deconstruction and exposition about why the Empire is still around.  If it does, I think the film will suffer for it.  

One of the great things about the OOT is that it didn't require much in the way of explanation as to the motivations of the Rebellion.  The audience gleaned that information gradually as the story progressed.  There was some political talk ("if word gets out, it could generate sympathy for the rebellion..." etc.), but very little of it was macro-level, and tended to arise from situations where characters were immediately involved.  In other words, the audience wasn't hit over the head with it.

The thing is, I don't really care about why the Empire is still around.  Some may think that this needs to be explained, but I don't think it needs to be explained. Or at least explained very little.  Let the audience figure it out.  The Empire was a big organization, and the possibility always existed that it could come back after a devastating blow.  The politics don't matter.

 

Yes exposition can be a burden if there is a lack of equilibrium with other story telling factors(character arcs, plot devices, editing and pacing ect).

The OT literally threw the audience head first into an unfamiliar and mysterious universe(one of it's biggest drawing points).

On the other hand,The Force Awakens is throwing you back into a universe that you are already familiar  with( the 2 TFA trailers accentuate this fact)......yes there will be new characters and stuff .....but will it be enough to engage and stimulate?

using Abram's interpretations of Star Trek and Mission Impossible as a template ......I have my doubts.

   

This post has been edited.

Post
#792688
Topic
What if TFA is awful?
Time

DominicCobb said:

danny_boy said:

So that little clip in TFA trailer where hundreds of StormTroopers are assembled together ......reeks of the thousands of  Orcs from Lord Of The Rings, the Agent Smiths in the Matrix, The Chitari and Ultrons from the 2 Avengers movies ....and yes the clones and droid armies from the prequels. 

Weird, it reminds me of something else.

It definitely does not resemble anything from the OT.....the technology simply did not exist to convey thousands and thousands of troopers in attendance together(apart for that brief matte painting in ROTJ on the death star when the emperor arrives).

 

Yeah too bad they are not moving!

I was referring explicitly to the mobile CGI armies which have become prominent since the advent of TPM.

But yes that is a great shot(be it the original 1977 matte or the 1997 "update"--where they move a little). 

  

This post has been edited.

Post
#792655
Topic
What if TFA is awful?
Time

DominicCobb said:

I was about to make a counterpoint - then I remembered we're arguing about the quality of a movie that hasn't come out yet. Hmm.

It's funny because people are claiming that Abrams is just a rip-off artist who won't add anything new to the franchise and that is film will just be a shallow rehash of the OT. At the same time, people are claiming that Abrams has a style that is inconsistent with the OT and that he will not respect the source and that the film won't fit into the franchise. So some complain there won't be anything new while some complain there won't be anything old. The truth is that none of us will know until December so there's no use complaining about it now.

 

You misunderstand completely.

Abrams did not like Star Trek( much).

He therefore transposed his "Armageddon meets Star Wars " style onto Star Trek when it blatantly did not need it.

Therefore he did not respect the source material.

Because he clearly loves Star Wars he will be respecting the source material.....but does he have the creative impulse to make a good movie?

Judging by his efforts on Super 8....I would not be surprised if the TFA falls short. 

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#792653
Topic
What if TFA is awful?
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DominicCobb said:

I was about to make a counterpoint - then I remembered we're arguing about the quality of a movie that hasn't come out yet. Hmm.

Well..... we are arguing about a conditional statement.

What if  the TFA is rubbish .

And if  it does turn out to be rubbish then why is it so.

And looking at the litany of generic garbage that JJ has produced  so far....it will not surprise me if TFA turns out to be so.

 

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#792652
Topic
What if TFA is awful?
Time

sunglassesatnite said:

I think TFA WILL be awful.  I’m not hoping for it to be awful, but I think it will be.

Although J.J. Abrams has achieved mainstream success,  I have never truly gotten “on board” with his style of filmmaking.  And it’s not that his movies are completely “awful” any sense.  It’s just that  every time I’ve left out of the theater after seeing one of his movies I have a gnawing, hungry, not-quite-satisfied feeling—similar to the feeling one has after eating at McDonald’s.  Not terrible, but not quite satisfying.  In other words, totally un-OOT-like.

This is a vague feeling and it is hard to explain, but there are micro-moments in Abrams’s various  films where I get sucked straight out of the movie, out of the fantasy--and into a realm where “this doesn’t quite make sense.” Or, “that seems odd why that character would do [or say] that.” 

There are several of these “micro-moments” from J.J.’s films that I could get into (but won’t).  There is, though, one in the latest behind-the-scenes TFA footage (presumably from San Diego, but I’m not certain about that) which, at least for me, demonstrates what I am talking about.  For a few seconds, a guy appearing  to be Oscar Isaacs is being hustled down a very Death Star-looking starship passageway by a Stormtrooper.

 I will get accused of being overly anal about this, but something  about the composition of that shot and the body language of the characters was just wrong.  It immediately made me think of similar shots in the OOT where our captive heroes are being made to walk places they don’t necessarily want to go (think of Han Solo at the Carbonite chamber, or the surrendered starship troopers at the beginning of A New Hope).  Not really a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but in the TFA footage it just looked “off.”  For one thing, in J.J.’s footage the Stormtrooper has his gun on Oscar Isaacs with one hand, while attempting to briskly shuffle him down the passageway with the other; presumably to take him to some kind of “detention block.”  The thing is, why does the Stormtrooper have his gun on Isaacs when they are presumably on the Stormtrooper’s own ship to begin with?   Why the hell is the Stormtrooper in such a hurry when, again, they are on the Stormtrooper’s own ship?  Why aren’t there two Stormtroopers handling Isaacs?  Why am I being so completely anal about two seconds of footage, the completed version of which I haven’t yet seen?

The reason is because it just looks “wrong.”  It doesn’t look like Star Wars (or at least the only Star Wars that exists to me—namely the OOT).  In the OOT, a shot like this would have had two Stormtroopers walking behind our hero, weapons at port arms, with a pace and body language that suggested power and control…thereby infusing the scene with a sense of gravity and foreboding.  This scene, by contrast, just doesn’t come off well.  It just looks like a Stormtrooper hustling some dude down a hallway, and doesn’t really communicate anything beyond that.  Worse, it kind of makes the Stormtrooper look like--in the words of late-great TV series the Wire—“a graspy little bitch” who can’t handle his business somehow. 

Am I making  my prediction of TFA’s lack of quality based on this one scene?  Hardly.  I am merely attempting to give an example of how J.J. Abrams’s style, for me, doesn’t completely work.  

 

Great post.

The language of cinema has constantly evolved to reflect a cultural aesthetic that relates to the time that the product is made in.

So that little clip in TFA trailer where hundreds of StormTroopers are assembled together ......reeks of the thousands of  Orcs from Lord Of The Rings, the Agent Smiths in the Matrix, The Chitari and Ultrons from the 2 Avengers movies ....and yes the clones and droid armies from the prequels. 

It definitely does not resemble anything from the OT.....the technology simply did not exist to convey thousands and thousands of troopers in attendance together(apart for that brief matte painting in ROTJ on the death star when the emperor arrives).

In the OT....size(e.g army of the Empire) was implied and simply left to the imagination.....which in my opinion is a far more potent storytelling technique.

These days nothing is left to the imagination......it is shown. 

Hence the creative lull that we find ourselves in.

The existence  of the TFA is proof of that.  

  

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#792648
Topic
What if TFA is awful?
Time

Anchorhead said:

danny_boy said:


Super 8 is a Spielbergiun Close Encounters/E.T rip off (and nowhere near as good as either of them!)  in style and tone. 

 Spielberg produced it so I wouldn't call it a rip-off.  It was much more of a collaboration\homage.  One which I welcomed and enjoyed.

TFA will do well just to  stand out from such a saturated crowd.

We'll all have the answer in just two months.

 

Raiders Of The Lost Ark and Star Wars are both  homages to the serialized cinematic adventures of the 40's and 50's........but they are not creative generic rip offs like Super8.

That is the difference between Lucas and JJ.

Lucas took tremendous  risks inventing original stories like THX 1138, American Graffiti and Star Wars(all be it with obvious cultural and literal references) and helping to create/fund/conduct research and development into new cinematic techniques(Motion capture and CGI).

In the world of cinema what has JJ invented?

Mission Impossible? Nope

Star Trek ? Nope

Star Wars? Nope

CGI? Nope

Yes he did invent the story of Super 8(trash like Lost is TV fodder...not cinema).

JJ adopts...he does not create.

And Star Wars has always been about trying to create something new....irrespective  of whether it succeeded  or failed.

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#792597
Topic
What if TFA is awful?
Time

Ryan McAvoy said:

danny_boy said:

Abrahams rather dumbly perceived Star Trek to be boring  and slow ect ect.

And we have witnessed his  Michael Bayesque reaction in 2009 and 2013!

 If you think JJs two ST movies were like Michael Bay movies... you need to watch more Michael Bay movies... wait no I take that back. I wouldn't wish that anyone ;-)

danny_boy said:

TFA will do well just to  stand out from such a saturated crowd.

 Really? Have you heard of this thing called Star Wars. I understand it's quite popular.

I meant "standing out " in terms of story telling style, production aesthetics  and general quality.

I would not say that the competition is great......rather it is all the same.

The Force Awakens will take on The Hunger games(as well as trying to outdo Age Of Ultron and Jurassic Park IV).

Star Wars went head to head with A Bridge Too Far and Smokey And The Bandit in 1977. 

Massive difference.

 

 

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#792576
Topic
What if TFA is awful?
Time

DominicCobb said:

danny_boy said:

DominicCobb said:

Bingowings said:

Ridley Scott is still a strong visual director but he allowed himself to be associated with a script mangled to death by Lindelof.

It's interesting that every time Lindelof is involved with something people always blame him for its perceived failures. If I remember from what I read, the main issues people have with Prometheus were Scott induced issues, a lot of them in the editing phase.

Not that it really matters in regards to TFA. Lindelof has nothing to do with that.

I like Super8 and Cloverfield but his first Star Trek is as bad/good as any TNG movie and the second one is truly painful in places. He didn't write the screenplay but he allowed himself to be closely associated with it. He is allowing himself to be closely associated with TFA.

But he wrote the screenplay to TFA, he didn't just allow himself to be closely associated with it. The challenge of directing a Star Wars movie vs. the challenge of directing a Star Trek movie is completely different. Sorry Trekkies, but the Star Wars one is a bigger challenge. Abrams is not a Trekkie - that's why they brought him on as director, so that he could reimagine the franchise and make the film engaging for everyone (I'm not saying that's what the film needed, but certainly it was what the execs wanted and it worked). Abrams is a huge Star Wars fan. That's exactly what TFA needs. Someone who loves the franchise (read: the good parts of the franchise) and who understands that if he effs this movie up he won't just be disappointing the whole world but himself too. Hence why he threw away the original, Lucas-story script and wrote a new one from scratch with Kasdan.

 You are correct to say that they are different assignments but as the director/producer/screen writer(who is inheriting a franchise) --you have to stay true to the source.

Abrahams veered way off course to supposedly make Star Trek more popular. And there in lies the rub....Star Trek did not need to be made more popular and it did not need a new movie or story-it had had plenty of both already.

  Star Wars does not need to be made more popular  or to have a  good story/movie --it has had plenty of both already.

You do not have to stay true to the source. There's no rule that says that. There are plenty of films that have succeeded by not staying true to the source. The producers of Star Trek 09 decided that it would be a reboot, so, by nature, only staying true to the source in some ways. Not Abrams's decision. 

The good news for you is that it seems like the goal for TFA is stay true to the OT.

No there is no rule.

There is only creative intuition and perception(or the lack of it).

Abrahams rather dumbly perceived Star Trek to be boring  and slow ect ect.

And we have witnessed his  Michael Bayesque reaction in 2009 and 2013!

The fact that he does not perceive Star Wars to be boring is intriguing.

I expect him to react the same way he reacted to Close Encounters and E.T.

By making a second rate generic homage piece.

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#792572
Topic
What if TFA is awful?
Time

Anchorhead said:

danny_boy said:


But you are entitled to your opinion...

 Thank you. I'll keep that in mind.

I won't address every bit of your response because I'm trying not to take us too far off-topic.  However, I do want to address the Star Trek film references.  I should have been more clear in explaining when I think the franchise veered off course.

I have no issue at all with any of the TOS films and I like and own a few of the TNG films.  However, when I was sitting in the theater and saw this scene;  https://youtu.be/NKFMWhxJask   I very nearly walked out.  For the Star Trek franchise, this scene was my 3PO telling campfire stories to plush toys moment.  It's when I knew it was time to part ways.

I didn't bother with Nemesis when it was released.  I saw a bit of it on cable about a year ago.  Like Insurrection, it looked and felt like a 1990s TV show.

For me, Star Trek2009 was a welcome return to characters and story. I haven't seen Cloverfield beyond a few minutes, nor have I seen MI3. Shaky-cam is a guaranteed no thanks in my world.  I don't chase the story around the screen trying to figure it out. I won't work or struggle to watch a film.

Abrams received an enormous amount of grief over the flares in Trek2009.  I suspect they'll be all but absent in TFA.  He understands what the fans want and the original atmosphere of the 1977 film.

That is fair enough.

Sorry I should have been more clear with regards to Star Trek.

I was referring principally to the TOS movies (Star Trek 1-6)....not TNG.

Star Trek V was a bomb(not dissimilar to Superman IV)....a good idea badly executed. 

But the others (Star Trek 1-4 and 6) are excellent(in my opinion).

They are quite varied too in terms of style and content(which I always believed was one of Trek's attractions) .

It is interesting that the 2 Trek films that Abrahams has done are practically identical in tone and rhythm.

But Nimoy's 2 Trek films(III and IV) are quite different.

III follows a dramatic  emotional arc and IV has drama combined with adult(primarily) humour.

Even Meyer's 2 Trek films(II and VI) are diverse.

II is revenge/action.

VI is a conspiracy whodunnit(with a little action).

The problem with Abrahams is that he is generic in his approach...irrespective of whatever that approach is.

So Mission Impossible and Star Trek 2009 + 2013 follow that crash bang wallop style  of Michael Bay(Abraham's chum on Armageddon).

And Super 8 is a Spielbergiun Close Encounters/E.T rip off(and nowhere near as good as either of them!)  in style and tone.  

As for doing stuff for the fans....that is not the point.

The original Star Wars of 1977 was not for the fans.

It just so happened that the fans were drawn to the film.

You were there in 1977.

And you know why.

Smoky And The Bandit,Saturday Night Fever, A Bridge Too Far,The Gauntlet, and The Deep (amongst others)were Star War's main competitors that year.

It is easy to see why Star Wars had the impact it did when it did....it was different.

A situation that cannot  be replicated. Ever.

The Force Awakens will be going up against The Hunger Games , the Martian, Dawn Of Justice .....all of which will be offering the same overinflated CGI wankfest that overpowers the storytelling in most contemporary sci fi/fantasy movies these days.

TFA will do well just to  stand out from such a saturated crowd.

Post
#792558
Topic
What if TFA is awful?
Time

DominicCobb said:

Bingowings said:

Ridley Scott is still a strong visual director but he allowed himself to be associated with a script mangled to death by Lindelof.

It's interesting that every time Lindelof is involved with something people always blame him for its perceived failures. If I remember from what I read, the main issues people have with Prometheus were Scott induced issues, a lot of them in the editing phase.

Not that it really matters in regards to TFA. Lindelof has nothing to do with that.

I like Super8 and Cloverfield but his first Star Trek is as bad/good as any TNG movie and the second one is truly painful in places. He didn't write the screenplay but he allowed himself to be closely associated with it. He is allowing himself to be closely associated with TFA.

But he wrote the screenplay to TFA, he didn't just allow himself to be closely associated with it. The challenge of directing a Star Wars movie vs. the challenge of directing a Star Trek movie is completely different. Sorry Trekkies, but the Star Wars one is a bigger challenge. Abrams is not a Trekkie - that's why they brought him on as director, so that he could reimagine the franchise and make the film engaging for everyone (I'm not saying that's what the film needed, but certainly it was what the execs wanted and it worked). Abrams is a huge Star Wars fan. That's exactly what TFA needs. Someone who loves the franchise (read: the good parts of the franchise) and who understands that if he effs this movie up he won't just be disappointing the whole world but himself too. Hence why he threw away the original, Lucas-story script and wrote a new one from scratch with Kasdan.

 You are correct to say that they are different assignments but as the director/producer/screen writer(who is inheriting a franchise) --you have to stay true to the source.

Abrahams veered way off course to supposedly make Star Trek more popular. And there in lies the rub....Star Trek did not need to be made more popular and it did not need a new movie or story-it had had plenty of both already.

  Star Wars does not need to be made more popular  or to have a  good story/movie --it has had plenty of both already.

 

Post
#792553
Topic
What if TFA is awful?
Time

John Doom said:

danny_boy said:

Lucas could have shot the Phantom Menace with lens flares,shaky cams and rapid fire editing(ala Michal Bay) in 1998 but chose to preserve the static compositions and conservative editing(by 1990's standards)of the OT.    

:D If Abrams turns TFA into another "michael bay", it may require careful fan-editing to slow down the scenes, but how to fix shaky cameras and lens flares?

danny_boy said:

But one factor that affected the prequels which hardly anyone notices is that the audience already new where the plot and the characters were headed(they just did not know how) across all 3 episodes(I,II and III).

What was the main attraction of the OT whilst it was unfolding?......the idea that you had no idea where it was heading and who would survive and who would not.

Big difference.    

If you think about it, the only character we knew would survive were Anakin, the Emperor, Obi-wan, the droids and Yoda. Vader's motives were at the core of the prequels and kept the audience's interest high, but in the end they didn't carefully handled them :\

 

Knowing the fate of the characters that you mentioned was enough to supress any potential excitement that can be derived from not knowing what is going to happen.  

In 1981,when I watched SW back to back with ESB for the first time , I thought Han was dead in the carbonite(despite Vader's, Fetts's and C3P0's assertion that he would be/was ok---hey I was 6 years old!) and I thought Luke would bleed to death on the gantry when his hand was sliced off.

When that did not happen I thought Luke would die when he jumped off  said gantry (only for him to get sucked into the airshaft).

And when that did not happen I thought he would die on the weather vane--lol! 

All of that excitement/adrenaline was accentuated by the fact that I(we) did not know what was going to happen in those tense few minutes.

Now maybe an  older person in 1980/81 would have anticipated that the hero/main protagonist would not die in ESB.

But compared to any of the prequels, there was never a threat of death or impending doom to any of the principle characters (for someone who was familiar with the Star Wars mythology).

The real test though would be to show the saga in episodic order(I- VI) to someone who is not familiar with it and see if it works(on them). 

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#792541
Topic
What if TFA is awful?
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John Doom said:

About Abrams, yesterday I (tried) to watch again Mission Impossible 3 to study his directing and, screenplay aside (which, I HOPE, he had nothing to do with), here's my opinion:

-the way he put faces VERY CLOSE to the frame is painful to watch, making the resulting screen look cropped. I think he said it looks more "intimate", but it just looks like bad composition to me;

-I understand quickly switching between shots is useful to give a sense of tension, but during gunfights he completely abused of this "trick", making most of the time hard to tell what's really going on;

-to this, add "lens flares": they're so strong (especially in the helicopter scene), that basically cover almost half the screen, making really hard to understand what's going on (though Abrams recently said he is aware of this issue and he's going to use them less);

-camera shaking: common "trick" to make the scene look live and add tension. He shaked it half the times so much (even when unnecessary) that it kind of gives you headache (again, helicopter scene).

So, so far I dislike his directing. Later on, I turned up TV and watched "Killer Joe" which was directed by William Friedkin, and his work looks WAY more professional than Abrams's.

 

Totally agreed on all the above.

Lucas could have shot the Phantom Menace with lens flares,shaky cams and rapid fire editing(ala Michal Bay) in 1998 but chose to preserve the static compositions and conservative editing(by 1990's standards)of the OT.

Lucas's main departure with the prequels was the use of CGI and the character (or lack of) portrayals.

But one factor that affected the prequels which hardly anyone notices is that the audience already new where the plot and the characters were headed(they just did not know how) across all 3 episodes(I,II and III).

What was the main attraction of the OT whilst it was unfolding?......the idea that you had no idea where it was heading and who would survive and who would not.

Big difference.

     

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