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HALLOWEEN - Fixing the audio and re-creating 1999 color timing

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http://chirb.it/cqIrdm

Well once again a Blu-Ray for HALLOWEEN has been released that is causing controversy. First of all, it is indisputable that the mono mix is just a downmix of the remix. It is NOT the original audio. 

Just as bad is the color timing, which, while better than the prior BluRay, is nothing like the 1999 THX DVD that had color timing giving the film a Fall appearance. The two BD's do not look like fall at all and Dean Cundy and John Carpenter both supervised and approved the 1999 telecine. 

I'm not saying that version is right. I am saying it feels more true to a story set on Halloween. 

So I am thinking that this may be film I have to 'rescue' but color timing is difficult. VERY difficult when dealing with 4:2:0 H.264 video. I'm curious is anyone else feels as annoyed as I do...?

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From what I've seen the color timing is still way off for the day scenes. The fall colors are just as absent as they were in the 07 release, though the night scenes seem much better.

Well, I guess according to the interview the old THX and Criterion editions were wrong too? Didn't Cundy and Carpenter supervise those as well?

I'm still down for someone to have a go at correcting this.

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we need access to the criterion ld for the pcm mono audio and might get an idea what the transfer looked on there... see if the old thx dvd is similar or different as well.

matt how do you know the mono mix on the new bd is a downmix of the remix?

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The 99 THX color timing is not how it looked in theaters. Cundy had stated they could not possibly afford to photo-chemically time it the way they wanted. It was a very very low budget film. So the 99 DVD was a "what-if" release. 

And frankly, I think it works far better that way. I was so distracted by the first BD being overly summery green I couldn't enjoy it. 

For me, the older color timing is king and I wonder if it is possible to alter the current BD to match. I am thinking it would take some serious work. Far beyond what I am capable of. :(

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Matt_Stevens said:

I'm saying that version is right. I am saying it feels more true to a story set on Halloween. 

 

I have a problem with this.  This isn't preservation or fixing, but tinkering to suit preference.  Sure, no problem in doing it for fun, but I wouldn't call it fixing a problem.

I have yet to see the new transfer, but knowing Cudney signed off on it gives me a little bit of satisfaction and comfort.

As for the audio, and the reports I've heard?  Fuck that.  Gimme the original mono track please. :)

 

 

"Alright twinkle-toes, what's your exit strategy?"

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I offer myself to do it... not right now - I have several project on my agenda - but soon... after all, I've made a color regrading project on John Carpenter's movie "The Thing" with good results - and it will be revised to be almost perfect, soon or later - probably later...

Meanwhile, I could make a test to see if it's possible to produce good results: I just need a small clip (10/20s) of both BD and DVD, possibly lossless; to see if my technique produce artifacts, the scene should contain the highest white levels possible - usually a really bright light would go.

This is because, if the BD or DVD has clipping white, there will be ever problems on that affected shots, as I discovered myself with "The Matrix"... I worked hard to solve that problem, but after a month of testing, I realized that it's impossible to recover clipped whites, even if there are other way to accomplish that task for those scenes too, it will takes only more time...

And I strongly suggest everyone to do a Color IQ test, to discover if you have color vision problems, or your display is not well calibrated (or worst, both...)

The ResolveR ultimate restoration workstation | [Fundamental Collection] thread | blog.spoRv.com | fan preservation forum: fanres.com |

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Thank you, Andrea.  Even if you save this project for next year or the year after that, I'd still be incredibly appreciative to finally have as close to the THX version in HD as possible.  I know it's not the way the film looked in 1978.  It's just a fun way to watch the movie... as Matt Stevens stated, it's a "what if" scenario where cool colors make it more enjoyable for me personally.  I'm not alone in this as many feel the same way.

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It's really difficult to say which is the right color reference for a given movie... you can't trust your memory, so you must find some kind of reference. Photographs taken at the theater could in theory be a proper one, but could an analog camera take a reference picture in a dark theater, without flash?

Then there are production stills, documentaries, books, magazines... back to "simple" reference, I tend to think the oldest, the better - in term of color reference... see, for every new video format there is a new version that claim itself "the best, the most close to the theater experience", and often the director and/or the director of photography says "I approve it, this is the definitive version"... the problem is, it could happen two, three, even four times, and everytime each version is different from the former, even if each is THE definitive version... so, which is THE right one?

I think that, with year, directors - as they are human beings like us, did you know? - began to grow old, and tired, and when they were young they were all involved in their movies, from the beginning to the end of production and after... then, when they grow old, if a young representative of a studio go to them and say "Mr. Director, we'll release a new version of your movie... this time it's THE definivie edition, with the best video quality, the right colors, the greatest sound... just sign here, and here you are your check!" what could they do? Just sign the paper, and take the check to their bank... (^^,)

The ResolveR ultimate restoration workstation | [Fundamental Collection] thread | blog.spoRv.com | fan preservation forum: fanres.com |

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borisanddoris said:

Matt_Stevens said:

I'm saying that version is right. I am saying it feels more true to a story set on Halloween. 

 

I have a problem with this.  This isn't preservation or fixing, but tinkering to suit preference.  Sure, no problem in doing it for fun, but I wouldn't call it fixing a problem.

I have yet to see the new transfer, but knowing Cudney signed off on it gives me a little bit of satisfaction and comfort.

As for the audio, and the reports I've heard?  Fuck that.  Gimme the original mono track please. :)

First, unfortunately I mis-typed (typing too quickly) and forgot the 'not' in "I'm not saying this version is right." My bad. 

What's certain is that every single transfer looks different. None of them are alike. It's crazy. But there are documentaries showing Carpenter and Cundy talking about how they supervised the 99 THX DVD and how for the first time they had the means to color it the way they wanted. Blah blah blah. So for me, that's good enough and no doubt it feels more right. 

No doubt directors are now falling in love with colors that were not used all that much prior to DI's. Orange and teal are all the rage and guys like Cameron are changing the blue tints in their films to teal tints. I hate it. 

 

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I have the Criterion LD but no way to capture bit perfect audio, sorry.  I would however like to see this look like the 99 DVD .... it's my go to disc for my Halloween fix.

:)

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The '99 THX DVD color-timing just makes the film, for me, so much creepier and foreboding.  I think Carpenter said in the original commentary that Halloween 1978 owes a lot to Suspiria.  In fact he definitely stated this in that Criterion commentary track.  It's like an homage of color to Argento.  Now I am no authority on Suspiria or Argento, having just been recently exposed to his work.  But I now more fully understand what Carpenter was getting at.  Modern technology may have allowed him to more fully realize that vision.  It may not be definitive or correct, but it sure is awesome to behold.  It's really my favorite version of Halloween.
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My two cents. I think the 1999 color timing is certainly revisionist, honestly; however, it's a damn good look. In other words, it's aesthetically pleasing to me. The new one looks like a fairly accurate representation of the negative.

The true mono, though, is definitely worth preserving.

I've said this before for Alien, but a good color reference to see how prints looked would be the Horror Documentary "Terror in the Aisles." It's scanned in HD at the Halloween II Universal BD. It features a bunch of clips from horror and action movies that likely were taken from 35mm prints. As I recall, it has loads of Halloween clips.

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I grew up mostly watching the Criterion disc so that one is my go to. 

I honestly can't remember the 99 DVD. Sold it off ages ago in favor of that LaserDisc. 

I'll have to get my hands on this new Blu-ray. 

"Alright twinkle-toes, what's your exit strategy?"

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I might need to pick up the THX if it's still cheap. I have the 25th Anniversary DVD, and the bonus features are nice, but I could certainly go for a little change of pace.

Would like to pick up the TV cut some day, too.

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borisanddoris said:

I grew up mostly watching the Criterion disc so that one is my go to. 

I honestly can't remember the 99 DVD. Sold it off ages ago in favor of that LaserDisc. 

I'll have to get my hands on this new Blu-ray. 

I'd like to see the Criterion disc get captured nicely ... it would make a great companion for sure.  I grew up with the VHS since I wasn't in to LD at the time so when the THX disc came along I was pleased to see the change as it enhanced the experience for me. 

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Yes, that is the one indeed.  It even has the date in the description... release date 1999 and the THX logo is clearly there at the bottom.  On the back of the box, it will say color-timed by Adam Adams and approved by Dean Cundey.  It was first available in a 2-disc Limited Edtion set back in '99.  Later they released the two discs separately.  The second disc is the extended television cut, with all the footage from the original and also the TV scenes added in.  It's nice that way because it's the R-rated version and the Adam Adams/Cundey approved color-timing is still there.  The TV scenes technically might not have the coloring, but that is debatable.  The vast majority of that cut is from the theatrical version and all that has the THX coloring anyway.
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I would think restoring the color timing to the 1999 version would still be a preservation of sorts.  It might not be a preservation of the original theatrical version but it's a preservation of the 1999 remaster.  I would like to see this.  I thought the color looked really good on the 1999 DVD release.

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Hey, there's the original 1999 2-Disc Limited Edition with lenticular cover featuring Michael and the pumpkin killer image.  Toggle it back and forth for kicks.  It's fun for the whole family.  I happen to own three of these, one for use and 2 still sealed in their original packaging from BB.  You can still get copies on Ebay.
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Just grabbed the 2007 re-release of the 1999 THX for $6 B) Can't wait to give it a spin or two.

I was worried because it doesn't mention mono audio on the box, but online reviews say it's there.

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