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Post #537279

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Spielberg comments on digital alterations to his films
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Date created
17-Sep-2011, 2:12 AM

I more or less agree with Mr. Spielberg. However, I have mixed feelings when new flaws begin to occur as a result of the cleaning up the image for modern HD.

He uses the original War Of The World as an example and states that he would not want to see the wires digitally removed. I respect his idealism of not wanting to mess with things, but the fact remains that those wires were never visible in the original film prints (all of the FX tests were done taking into account the kind of film stock they were using). Over the years however, different versions of the film appeared on different kinds of film stock, and the wires started to become slightly visible. The original DVD release actually used a print that thankfully did not have too much wire work showing at all. Then, when the anniversary edition was released, it featured a remastered transfer that had great color, but made the wires pop out as plain as day! In this case I think that removing the wires might have been acceptable, since it is being done just to return the film to it's original theatrical intention.

Or perhaps there is another solution... don't remaster everything the same way. Older movies were shot taking into account the resolution of the film image of the day. When these images are remastered with modern digital clarity, often the results are horrible. Backdrop paintings start to look way more obvious, as do make-up and wardrobe defects that were never intended to be visible... and out-of-focus backgrounds just look plain weird. These details personally take me out of the film.

Is it possible to remaster an image for HD without changing the film's original image? To just provide high quality images that match the theatrical image with quality color... and without any enhancements? I know very little about the processes used to do these things, but I hope there's a way, and I hope it gets used on some of these classic films. In the case of War Of The Worlds, I just watch my older DVD and only pop in the newer version if I want to hear the commentary.

Just my humble opinion...