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Godzilla 1985 35mm -- Help Needed

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Hey folks, as some of you may have heard, Servanov and I are trying to organize a film scanning and restoration endeavor. Servanov has found a collector who owns a 35mm low-fade print of Godzilla 1985, as well as several late-Showa Godzilla prints; and a scanning technician who’ll give us a pretty solid rate on scanning 1985 and one other film (TBD).

These’ll be 4K scans covering the full area of the film including sprocket holes, so I imagine the encoded releases will most likely be at 1080p since the frame proper wouldn’t be at full 4K resolution, but the upshot is a solid reference point for stabilization in the form of the sprocket holes and access to whatever info appears on the edges of the print about the film stock and so on. Once we receive the scans, we’ll be releasing a grindhouse version in relatively short order and possibly making the raw scans available, then setting about cleaning up and color-correcting the scans to produce our finished release. 1985 is our highest priority, but the other feature will receive similar treatment as well.

Right now, though, we’re trying to raise the money to cover the scan and any accompanying shipping, storage, and/or software expenses – we’re looking at a goal of about $2500 overall.

If you’re interested in contributing, please shoot me or Servanov a message! And if you’ve got any advice or questions, please drop them in this thread! I’ve never done a project like this before, but Servanov does a lot of work with film, and we’re also in contact with a guy who really knows a lot about this sort of thing, but we’re always open to more input.

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Hello! To anyone reading, my name is Sergey Ivanov (aka Servanov), and I would like to also let you know that the Godzilla 1985 35mm print is, from what the print collector tells me, in pretty good condition. We will be scanning in 4K full aperture, and will have the theatrical Stereo mix included, and no DNR will be applied at all. Please consider helping me and RedMenace out for the 4K scanning and restoration of this film which has not seen an HD release before, and has only been officially released last in 1997. Any and all donations are accepted. Thank you!

https://www.instagram.com/servanov_/

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Hello! We decided to get a few trailers from my own collection scanned to show you the level of quality to expect from the final restoration. He scanned the trailer for Godzilla 2000 and Godzilla vs Megalon! They’re here:

https://archive.org/details/Megalon35mm

https://archive.org/details/G2K35

If you want to help support us for this project and see Godzilla 1985 scanned in 4K from a 35mm print! PM me or RedMenace!

Scan1
Scan2

https://www.instagram.com/servanov_/

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We’ve just gotten back a preview scan of reel one. Note that these screenshots are from a low-bitrate .mov with no color correction or even physical print cleanup, encoded at 1080p, so they contain some digital artifacts that would not be so obvious in a finished version.

There is a New World Logo before Bambi Meets Godzilla; it starts a little before this but well after the beginning of the full animated logo:

Logo before the movie proper, in all its open matte glory:

Underrated logo imo:

The GOAT:

Appropriate motif:

The borders of the textless Toho credits are visible through the title cutout:

And I would walk…

Toho splice at the bottom:

New World splice at the top:

Steve Martin decorates for 1.85:1 but protects for Academy:

Never noticed this book until I did my old reconstruction. It’s a nice touch:

The amulet, in glorious HD:

Looks like RoG was hard-matted in camera if this flare is anything to go by:

Rollllllll credits (ding):

Toho cue mark:

I really like this shot. Something about it is just especially '80s. Maybe it’s the colors of the sky combined with their clothes:

Soviet subs:

New World cue mark:

We’ve already paid for wet gate scans of this print and of a 16mm UK print of Terror of Mechagodzilla, but the cost of renting the prints from the collector who owns them has left us a bit short on cash for software to clean these up. We’re not sure at the moment the exact programs and costs involved, but we will be discussing it and will hopefully have more precise numbers soon. In the meantime, you can PM either of us if you’re interested in supporting the project; anything not spent on these will be put toward similar projects in the future.

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Hey! Yeah, I changed my URL a while back when I started the YouTube channel I’m doing now. All my old stuff’s still there, only the username is kyodaikino now.

As for how you can help, we are looking for donations, like I said. PM me if you’re interested. I’ve also got a Patreon that you can find from my Tumblr or any of my other pages if periodic smaller contributions are more feasible; at least part of anything pledged there will go towards this and projects like it.

Aside from that, if you happen to know anyone who’s done projects like this before and has any tips on anything from color correction to cleanup, what software to use, soundtrack restoration, encoding, anything like that, do send them my way. I’d love to hear from them.

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Hey everyone interested in this thread! I’m Servanov, RedMenace’s partner in this project! As he said, any and all donation amounts are welcome and help us to preserve this previously unseen in HD film!

https://www.instagram.com/servanov_/

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We just received a preview scan of reel 2 in the wetgate process, cleaning it up immensely. Here’s a few interesting screencaps from the test scan:

An example of American-added opticals blending over hard-matted Japanese footage.
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Notice the white artifacts on the right side from the subtitle printing process.
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Gone with the subtitles.
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Boom mic:
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If you’re interested in getting this classic Godzilla film scanned and restored in 4K for the first time in High Definition, send me or RedMenace a message, we are accepting donations for hard drives as well as software for restoration!

https://www.instagram.com/servanov_/

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I must say, I am really impressed by what I am seeing, especially considering the fact that I was honestly expecting this to never come to actual fruition. Unfortunately, I cannot provide any real help though as much as I wish to, though I will give some minor tips if I think of anything useful, although you pretty much have your priorities straight for the most part and I can appreciate the no DNR aspect as well as the implementation of the original theatrical mix (though I hope it’ll be noise reduced, but if not, I’m sure someone can do that easily enough; not that I’m expert on any of that really though, so sorry). The only thing I can really say is that I recommend trying to refrain from screwing with the colors as much as possible to retain the theatrically intended color scheme (rather than trying to create a “clean, natural” look). I would recommend trying to simply reduce the fading and leave it at that.

As I said before, I wish I can say that I can be of help, especially as a fan who’s seen nearly every Godzilla movie out there–with this being one of the few exceptions–but sadly, I have no skills in any of these departments really nor any spare cash currently.

If I seem inactive, check me on FanRes: https://forum.fanres.com/user-1389.html

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I appreciate the advice! And yeah, I hear you regarding the colors. As far as references for the colors go, the best we have is the master used on the US VHS and LD releases, which I think I’ve heard someone say isn’t great in that regard. There is some kind of color reference frame at the beginning of some of the reels that might be useful, but I don’t know just how useful.

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Although I doubt this is a useful bit or anything since probably someone else is covering this base on your team of restorators, I believe that this movie will be easier to fix the mild fading issue than most others for the basic fact that it provides hard captions as well as much of the footage being hard matted. Theoretically, one can make a white balance using the hard matte as an obvious black point and the captions as a white point.

I made a little test real fast to demonstrate my point (although please note, I forgot the title was “Return” not “Revenge” so minor whoops lol): http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/132337

If I seem inactive, check me on FanRes: https://forum.fanres.com/user-1389.html

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That looks really nice! I imagine the bulk of the color correction will be something along those lines, plus maybe a slight decrease in the red levels – though the former might take care of that, since the area adjusted to black would presumably suffer from the same color imbalances as the rest of the picture, though perhaps a bit less pronounced.

As for our “team,” it’s just the two of us, so anything you suggest in here will definitely reach everyone involved!

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LucasGodzilla said:

Although I doubt this is a useful bit or anything since probably someone else is covering this base on your team of restorators, I believe that this movie will be easier to fix the mild fading issue than most others for the basic fact that it provides hard captions as well as much of the footage being hard matted. Theoretically, one can make a white balance using the hard matte as an obvious black point and the captions as a white point.

I made a little test real fast to demonstrate my point (although please note, I forgot the title was “Return” not “Revenge” so minor whoops lol): http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/132337

I’m willing to bet this scan has a fade-corrected grade on top of it already. Look at how the dirt is blue-green instead of black - that is a side effect of stretching the red channel.

Fading doesn’t affect just the highlights or just the shadows in isolation, or one part of the frame more than another. It is a uniform reduction in contrast of the affected dye layer or layers, edge to edge, throughout the entire, exposed image. In prints the shift is more obvious in the blacks since that’s where the most dye is. Fortunately, the magenta layer - which has the most sharpness - is usually the last one to go, and just from personal experience with this stuff, if you see a little yellow and blue and green left, there is enough dye left to recover a color balance close to the original. It would be really interesting if the scanner supplied snippets of the film without fade correction whatsoever.

You can’t always assume that the frameline or hard matting was originally perfectly, solid black throughout or that the most transparent areas were perfectly clear. The highlights may have a slight tinge to them due to the processing. I’ve noticed this in LPP color from around the same time as G85. Depending on how each scene was timed, the darkest information could swing between slight green or brown or red. This makes it impossible to determine exactly what the original color balance was, so you will always have to settle with an approximation… the Australian Roadshow VHS is a good reference since it’s a transfer of an original theatrical print, but you still need to keep in mind that Roadshow’s telecine may affect the look of the film along with the fact that VHS has extremely limited chroma.

Digitization is always going to be an approximation, so it’s good to keep in mind that the scan’s color is going to be affected by the sensor (i.e. its dynamic range, SNR, color separation) the type of light source the scanner uses (diffuse or collimated) and even the monitor that you’re viewing the scan on. It’s also worth remembering that the film would have had a different color quality from screening to screening depending on the color temperature of the lamp and slight variations in color quality from print to print during the same print run.