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mverta

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15-Apr-2004
Last activity
5-Jun-2017
Posts
575

Post History

Post
#934955
Topic
StarWarsLegacy.com - The Official Thread
Time

SilverWook said:

Finnius said:

…it’s been real quiet for over a month…my guess is Mike had a heart attack from all the stress of the project…

Not funny.

I thought it was funny. Partly because the “other” project I’m on nearly HAS given me a heart-attack. 😃

Legacy is slowly moving up the chain. Executives are nervous, skittish creatures.

Post
#911028
Topic
StarWarsLegacy.com - The Official Thread
Time

RU.08 said:

To be fair to Lucasfilm, what they gave us was decent enough for 2004 standards, and was only intended to be for DVD. The fact they couldn’t be bothered to do a proper restoration for HD is where the issue lies.

You must have a different 2004 DVD than I do, because what I have was unnecessary and unforgivable for any era, and most of it still rippled into the Blu-Ray even now.

Post
#910364
Topic
StarWarsLegacy.com - The Official Thread
Time

Actually, if you’ll notice, what trips the alarm is releasing something. That generates both press and blowback. Discussions don’t draw any attention. The traffic spike for Legacy jumps by orders of magnitude when something else is released, but it only gets a blip when some related article is written. I don’t think it matters much, in the end. But in truth, there isn’t much more to say about it 😃

Post
#910231
Topic
StarWarsLegacy.com - The Official Thread
Time

Oh that’s right! - I was going to try something else with the crawl; I forgot about that. Oh well, turns out it wasn’t necessary anyway. Still, yeah, bad mojo there. But you know what they say? “The truth will out.” You just gotta wait and stay cool, sooner or later, people burn themselves.

Post
#910205
Topic
StarWarsLegacy.com - The Official Thread
Time

Darth Lucas said:

We’re all rooting for you Mike. Hope the presentation goes well. Nobody would be happier for our hub to go relatively obsolete than we on this forum.

Any ETA on when frames will be posted? Not trying to rush you or anything, just wondering.

I’ve been mostly out of the country, and otherwise working my ass off to dig myself out of this abyss of Legacy debt 😃 So far so good, but that’s why it’s been quiet. But in terms of releases, I don’t want to put anything out ahead of the pitch. I don’t want to risk having any thunder stolen. I want to be able to end the pitch with a mic drop, basically.

Post
#910184
Topic
StarWarsLegacy.com - The Official Thread
Time

laserbawz said:

mverta said:

I didn’t end up using much of it, but I had it scanned at 4K. I was also loaned a “so-so” Tech by Person #2, and a really nice Tech by Person #3. For safety, Person #2 was given digital copies of both his AND Person #3’s scans. Person #2 was, at the time, assumed trustworthy, if for no other reason than self-interest. But then things changed. Person #2 decided to give ALL the scans in his possession to -1. Person #3 rightfully freaked the fuck out - he wanted nothing to do with -1,

What do you mean with “For safety” ? as a backup?

Yep, basically.

Post
#910166
Topic
StarWarsLegacy.com - The Official Thread
Time

Swazzy said:

Your resolve is inspiring and I hope all goes well after how much you’ve worked towards this. Best of luck!

Thank you, brother. Appreciate it!

Towne32 - my assumption is we’re geeks and nobody knows nothing. My presentation is structured to begin with a lot of “wow factor” before-and-afters with what it IS officially right now on Blu-Ray, compared to Legacy. Back to back, that is a pretty stunning contrast, easily discernible by anyone, and a good place to start. In fact, that back and forth can go on so long, be so damning, that it can start to look cruel and unusual to the Blu-Ray, and is around that point that I’ll be shifting into a bit on “how did this happen?” - a bit of a history lesson - which again is designed to be informative and interesting. But to most people, it’s hard to believe, unless they really see it, just how bad a shape Star Wars is in. I mean, no other important, relevant release (they’re still making Star Wars movies, you’ll notice) is so mistreated and neglected. But a pitch is a show - all pitches are. And I’ve done God-knows-how-many of them in my career. It’s a full multi-media presentation in a theater, with lots of eye candy, and aims to lead the audience towards an inescapable conclusion. But how it’s unique and different, and most importantly, profitable, are just key elements. So certainly an analysis of the market and making that case is part of it. But it’s gotta stay entertaining, and potential laden. Legacy, should it be adopted, would be the first truly new offering in a long time - not just another repackaging, and not just a bit of hype. This is a Star Wars nobody’s really ever seen, ready for 4K… ready for a limited theatrical release if they wanted to do it. It’s a strong pitch just on its merits, but that’s by no means a slam dunk. It’s got to be done just right, pitch-perfect, at the right time with the right people and every last pushback planned for. I have help from a fantastic team. We’re on it.

This post has been edited.

Post
#910152
Topic
StarWarsLegacy.com - The Official Thread
Time

Swazzy said:

But here’s a dismal thought that crossed my mind: if your work is approved for release, could you imagine Disney perhaps further modifying it, in a way that would ‘satisfy its creator’ per say?

I’ve thought through that particular situation many times. Ultimately, it hinges purely on their “getting it,” because there is no way to compel them to leave it alone. You can’t say, “Take it or leave it,” because in truth, they can damn well take it and do what they want to it. Not literally, of course - “my” Legacy is safe and sound no matter what. But in terms of a release, part of my job in pitching it to them is to make the case for why it should be untouched. It’s a pitch I’ve had 15 years to prepare, and I’m pretty good. 😃

_Mike

Post
#910141
Topic
StarWarsLegacy.com - The Official Thread
Time

theMaestro said:

So I have a question. Let’s say you present this to Disney/Fox and they end up absolutely loving it. If they offered you a job to restore Empire and Jedi in the same manner, would you do it? I ask because I haven’t seen anyone put as much care and attention to detail into a restoration as you have and it would be great if the latter movies could also get the same treatment.

Absolutely. I don’t have the same love for those films, but absolute respect for their rightful place in film history. It’s just taken so much to get Star Wars together… so much time, so much energy. I’m so deeply in debt because of it, that the idea of going through all that again is just… what a nightmare. But if I was given the references - I mean, if somebody did the legwork and handed me the stuff and said, “fix this,” it would be great fun, and I’ve got the process for it. I mean, sure. Totally.

By the way, I notice there is talk about “speculation” regarding the “unethical” use of scans. There is no need for speculation, I am happy to provide the specific facts. They are as follows:

Legacy ultimately features the contributions of 4 (really 4 1/2) Tech prints in addition to various Eastman prints. Early on, I was loaned the “Spanish” print by -1. I didn’t end up using much of it, but I had it scanned at 4K. I was also loaned a “so-so” Tech by Person #2, and a really nice Tech by Person #3. For safety, Person #2 was given digital copies of both his AND Person #3’s scans. Person #2 was, at the time, assumed trustworthy, if for no other reason than self-interest. But then things changed. Person #2 decided to give ALL the scans in his possession to -1. Person #3 rightfully freaked the fuck out - he wanted nothing to do with -1, for all the reasons which should now be clear, but it was too late. Of course, relationships have been severed and damage done. Interestingly, in the middle of this process, a member of team -1 reached out to me because they didn’t have the Greedo scene for shit. To be cool, I actually gave them a nice Tech scan of that scene, not knowing they already had it, or were in the process of getting it. So no good deed goes unpunished, I guess.

So -1 ended up with scans they were not supposed to have, and did precisely with them what people were afraid of them doing. However, that’s spilled milk. -1 is in possession of some decent scans, which, when examining their work, should pretty much put to rest any question about how important ability and experience is in film restoration. Clearly, having decent scans ain’t enough.

This post has been edited.

Post
#910108
Topic
StarWarsLegacy.com - The Official Thread
Time

I haven’t checked in on this thread in a while so I’m afraid to see what’s on the preceding few pages, but I understand there’s been some drama recently.

Let me just clarify a few points:

  1. Legacy will be screened for Fox/Disney executives later this year. At least, that’s the plan, the discussions have started/invitations beginning, and so far, so good. We’ll see.

  2. Legacy uses an absolute shit-ton of references, most of them privately held, to help arrive at an accurate representation of the original photography - and yes, of course I take into account deliberate grading done during production. But I have been provided many references taken from known cameras, on known film stocks with known response curves, often photographed standing 2 feet away from the film camera while shooting concurrently with the live action. In many cases, the stills I’ve seen capture moments from the actual takes which ended up in the film, so these are very useful references which can easily be reverse-engineered to help provide something as close to an accurate reference as possible. Combining that data with the scans from several prints of varying pedigree, and examining original artifacts in the Archives - all of which I’ve done - just build up a huge library of comparative data, and it truly makes all the difference. Ultimately, the look of Legacy is one that tries to maintain the original signal path - I recapture the original photography as far as possible, and then follow the intentional grading done photochemically. The look is neither Technicolor nor Eastman, both of which have idiosyncrasies which color the image in different ways. If I had to describe the final look, it’d be something along the lines of “if Eastman and Tech had a baby,” but not exactly. It’s hard to describe, and it depends on the shot. Final frames will ultimately all be online, and then you can see. Some things just read better on Eastman, and some things read better on Tech, and by “read better” I mean capture what was really on the original negative. But…

  3. It took time. 15 years. Legacy is complete and in a state to be screened. Of course, I still see a billion things I’d like to do to it, still, because that’s always how it is. Even after having gone just berserk and insane on it, still, I will be forever haunted by “what ifs.” Even now, I’m doing some additional R&D on another idea I had recently which might squeeze another percent or two out of things. And of course, I’ll be asking Fox/Disney for a shot at the original materials. That’s the dream.

  4. For all the drama, I just have to say that karma’s a bitch. Stolen scans, ego-driven righteous indignation? That only ends up one place. I have caught more shit in the last however many years for my careful, deliberate, and measured approach to this stuff, and it continues to pay off. But that’s the difference. I care about Star Wars, and not being “the guy who saved Star Wars.” Couldn’t care less about fame or recognition. I married a celebrity once, so I’ve seen all that anyway. I have said many times that the future is uncertain and crazy and we should all just keep the faith. Patience: it is the way of The Force.

Amirite? 😃

_Mike

This post has been edited.

Post
#788923
Topic
StarWarsLegacy.com - The Official Thread
Time

@Ronster -  JW scored to a locked cut of the edit.  This is the only way to assure the flow and structure has that wonderful linear, real-time development quality.  Now, there are usually a handful of minor adjustments made after the scoring session, which is what you have a music editor for - it's his/her job to be able to adjust our scores to fit the new timings whilst retaining the music's internal cohesion as much as possible.  One of the main differences in quality between Williams' OT scores and the prequel was that the prequel films weren't locked when he wrote the score.  He wrote, basically, independent cues and they were mostly music edited into the picture.  So while the individual cues might be great, the scores are missing what he does best - the interwoven connectivity which leads us from moment to moment during the film.  He does it better than anyone.

@Pittrek - Yes, much more coming!

Everyone else stay positive and keep the faith!

Post
#788819
Topic
StarWarsLegacy.com - The Official Thread
Time

Wook, for what it's worth, I don't mind.  I like organic branching.

However, watch as I seamlessly blend this off-topic tangent with a return to the discussion of Legacy:

My (now) 5-year-old has just seen the original, restored Star Wars for the first time.  In a theater.  He freaked the fuck out.  It is now, predictably, all Star Wars, all the time, in the house.  

Despite growing up in what is essentially a Star Wars museum, he's never really looked sideways at the models, costumes, props, posters, even the life-size R2 in the house.  Asked a couple of questions, but that's it.  He's never heard me talk about Star Wars (because I don't), he'd never seen a frame of the film, and he'd never heard a note of the music.  He was not excited about this plan I had for his birthday, to take him to a theater, and he was not excited to "see Star Wars."  Those were just words, to him.  He even asked, "Do I have to?" to which I merely replied, "Trust me."

In his periphery are things much more sophisticated than Star Wars, visually.  I do a lot of VFX work in the house, which he sees.  We've done some shooting of short films together, where we shoot him and his toys over greenscreen and do effects far more convincing than were ever in that film.  I sort of wondered if it wouldn't ruin the film for him; his eyes are much more attuned to vfx work than ours were in 1977.  It doesn't matter to me if he likes Star Wars or not, but I was curious to see how the experiment turned out: would a child born in 2010, surrounded by more sophisticated visuals, who works GUIs on tablets effortlessly, who is not being swept up into fandom and enthusiasm and hysteria about the film; for whom Star Wars has no intrinsic value, and is surrounded by enough iconography to take it completely for granted, still be affected by the film?

40 years old or not, that film has something special to it.  And for my son, suddenly the house he's grown up in has instantly become a billion times cooler.  It's like he noticed the stormtrooper in the corner for the first time.  He's asked me to turn on R2 and drive him around so he can play C-3PO, etc.  He's listening to the music, he's having lightsaber fights.  He's doing the dialogue, he's dressing up, he's asking questions, he wants to be a Jawa for Halloween. 

Also, he saw a picture of the upcoming Star Wars stormtroopers, and asked with a frown, "What's wrong with those stormtroopers, Daddy?"  "Everything." I told him, and kissed him for an hour.  The Force is strong with this one.

_Mike

Post
#788424
Topic
StarWarsLegacy.com - The Official Thread
Time

No.  

Craft is measurable, as is the absence of it.  There are threads which bind the best films of the last 100 years to each other which have recently been severed.  Do not mistake the dwindling options, lack of perspective, and rationalization for progress.  It is a devolution.  Any of today's disposable products could be elevated in the hands of better talent; the aims are not mutually exclusive.  But meanwhile, give people a choice between eating a bowl of shit and a bowl of spit, they'll eat the spit every time; doesn't mean spit is good.  

Post
#788280
Topic
StarWarsLegacy.com - The Official Thread
Time

Well what's the point of only enjoying people who agree with everything you already think?  That's gotta be pretty high on the narcissism meter, if you think about it.  Spirited, alcohol-fueled debates with smart people is, to me, a billion times better than Disneyland.

Post
#788005
Topic
StarWarsLegacy.com - The Official Thread
Time

I have said on the Legacy forum: believe me, this is just the beginning.  And, for better or worse, while there will likely continue to be some things which I just can't say, one thing I can assure you is that Star Wars is safely under the wings of some mighty protectors.

_Mike

Post
#787913
Topic
StarWarsLegacy.com - The Official Thread
Time

I can confirm it.  I am (mostly) out of the country between now and the end of Feb. on a very important gig, career-wise, but Legacy came in on schedule.  When I get back, it's to the business of laying it all out on the website (there will be a mouse-over before/after/otherversions thing where you can scroll through every shot of the film), plus more videos and a documentary in progress.  But that'll be awhile because of some...  well, there's more to the story, yet.  :)

_Mike

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