Hi, guys, I know I haven’t updated you in quite a while and it’s because I haven’t really been working on Despecialized.
One reason was that I have been waiting for the new 4K Blu-Rays to come out and now they have and together with the 4K77 project, they should be a great source for a version 3.0 - they do seem to offer have more detail than the 2011 BDs, even though the DNR is pretty awful, but I will definitely try to add grain to them - ideally real scanned 35mm grain, which I might even be able to extract from Star Wars scans to keep it super-authentic.
Right now there are several problems with using the new UHD masters though.
- The UHD Blu-Rays haven’t come out in Europe yet, as far as I know.
- They are really expensive, so I’ll have to think twice before purchasing them when they do.
- Even if I buy them, I don’t even have a UHD player, let alone UHD BD drive, so I haven’t got the ability to rip them or even view them.
- Even if I could rip them or get them in some other way, I have no idea how to properly work with HDR streams.
So, if someone could help me with the proper HDR workflow, it would be appreciated. I don’t even really want to make the final result 4K HDR - I’d like the result to be a regular BD, as I feel like this way the sources will match better and there shouldn’t be a significant loss in quality anyway but would like to source the HDR BDs to use the better dynamic range for color-grading.
But maybe, in the end, it would be best to just use the regular BD versions of the new transfers, which would eliminate all the above problems and I could work as I am used to.
The main reason work on Despecialized has slowed down significantly in recent years is that I have a full-time job in the visual effects industry and, frankly also more of a social life, so I have far less time to work on Despecialized and, to be honest, also less drive, because after coming home from work, where I stare at a monitor all day and work on VFX, I seldom feel like doing the same thing at home.
Another reason is that the 4K77 version is wonderful and for my own viewing pleasure it is quite sufficient and I actually really enjoy it for its retro-charm.
But it is still more of a preservation of what the experience of watching a slightly beat-up print in drive-in theater would have been rather than what a proper modern transfer of a milestone film should look like and that’s what Despecialized v3.0 should supplement, when it gets finished.
In my country, the COVID-19 crisis, at least so far, hasn’t reached a point where it would prevent me from going to work, so I’m still working, albeit, since there’s no new productions being made, the post production side of things is winding down as well. But after the current big work-project is finished, which should be at the end of may, I’d like to take some time off and finally get going on Despecialized again. I’m not sure, though, if, given the current economic climate, I’ll be able to afford to do that.