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Help: looking for... 'Special Effects: Anything can Happen'

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Is this special out there in any decent shape? I only ask because this has the intriguing alternate IMAX version of the opening scene to STAR WARS. There is a YouTube clip, but:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I733E_EtD2M

it looks as  if it were shot off a TV screen of a bad VHS copy. Just curious, did this ever surface?

 

Mod Edit: Website : IMDB Page : Wikipedia Page : Ripplin’s Ben Burtt’s “Special Effects: Anything Can Happen” OT•com thread

I’m just here because I’m driving tonight.

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Not officially, no. I remember seeing this when it was released, and noted at the time that IMAX probably wasn't ideal for this type of effects shot. It was fun to see, but all that quality/resolution seemed to show more clearly that the ship was just a large model. That said, I'd be curious to see it again!

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Odd there has never been an official video release of any sort. IMAX docs were coming out on video long before DVD even. Maybe it's a rights issue?

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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Wow, that's awesome!  I would really love that.  A request on MySpleen or tehparadox might turn something up.  If something turns up, please let me know!

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Yeah, I saw that. Someone had to find that clip I posted anyway, right?

I’m just here because I’m driving tonight.

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Very interesting.  TWC301, none's preservation with this particular IMAX portion is on MySpleen.  Sadly there are currently no seeders.  Hopefully my request will spur someone to reseed.

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Wait, so this whole documentary was preserved by none?

You know of the rebellion against the Empire?

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I think so.  At least portions of it, if you check out the links bttfbrasilfan posted.

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So I finally managed to snatch the Treadwell Collection portion with the Special Effects: Anything Can Happen Star Wars segments.  Sadly, it's a very low quality bootleg of an actual IMAX theater showing.  I'd rather watch it on VHS, so truthfully I'm a little disappointed.  No disrespect to none for his preservation work, but it is far too low quality to really appreciate.  I think the only way we're going to see a decent version of the new opening is if someone purchases the VHS on Amazon (for $75) and captures it that way.  Kind of an expensive purchase for a few seconds of footage :(

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The Amazon VHS is actually a NOVA documentary about the making of the King Kong segment from the IMAX film. It's not the actual IMAX film itself. :(

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Oh, I guess I didn't understand.  That is disappointing indeed.  I guess the best I'll get for now is the YouTube video and the Treadwell Collection bootleg.  I can live with that for now, but hopefully the better version eventually comes to be.  Can't help but wonder why GL never inserted this IMAX version into his special editions, considering all the other changes he willingly has made.  That's some pretty cool work!

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pittrek said:

This one seems more interesting : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4D6L34BkNs - the first widescreen version of the Jabba scene I have seen

Now that's interesting. I remember renting a copy of the original trilogy as a kid not too long after seeing the Special Editions in the theaters. I remember it having a little lead in at the beginning about the restoration process for the special edition (this may have been a rental-only release of the special editions, or a copy of the OUT, I was too young to really remember at the time), but what sticks out to me all these years later is that the mini-documentary was different from the one on the sell through release of the Special Editions. Seeing that clip, I'm pretty sure it was made up of scenes selected from The Mystery and the Magic, if not the whole thing chopped up into three parts. Seems like the ones on the official VHS was too, but it didn't use all of the same clips. That scene with the guy talking in a room with a TIE Fighter model is one thing that sticks out as having been on the rental tape but not the one I later owned.

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So I rewatched none's bootlegged version of this, and it's really not as bad as I remembered.  It's obviously not the ideal way to see it, but hey, it's something.  But more exciting is that I have a lead on how to get a VHS copy of this.  Not the whole documentary, mind you, but at least the IMAX opening.  This will of course be part of my promised deleted scenes project.  Perhaps getting this will be the motivation to finally finish it up.

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As pointed out in: http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic.cfm/Ben-Burtts-Special-Effects-Anything-Can-Happen/post/583695/#TopicPost583695 the PBS edit of this doc was available for purchase from the PBS website, many years ago.  So that VHS/DVD may show up someday on reselling websites.

The TWC301 preservation contains most of the Star Wars portion of the doc, as shown at a 1996 convention hosted by Steve Sansweet.

TWC289 also has a piece of the doc as broadcasted by various news programs. 

Storyline - 02 - Star Wars IMAX/Special Effects
32 - Turner Entertainment Report Hollywood - IMAX/"Special Effects" (pkg) Produced by: Linda Mour
33 - Turner Entertainment Report Hollywood - IMAX/"Special Effects" (vosot) Produced by: Linda Mour

Here is a comparison of the redone opening Star Wars scene from the two Treadwell Collection discs:

TWC301 - 1996 Convention

TWC289 - 1996 News broadcast package

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None, you are an amazing archivist with no one to match!  I didn't realize it was also available on another disc, even in edited form.  I'll have to try to grab that!

PS I hope nothing I've said has been insulting.  I really do appreciate your work.

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Well, at least the search for the Star Wars portion has come to an end. Great job, Mr. none!

I’m just here because I’m driving tonight.

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Having been to the Omnimax dome that used to be at Caesar's Palace in Vegas, I'm envious. The space shuttle launch sequence I saw was equally impressive.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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I had the opportunity to see this in Omnimax at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, waaay back in '96. The redone opening was absolutely breathtaking and far better than ANYTHING the Special Editions offered up. The initial shot of Tatooine came alive with a much more vibrant starfield. There were also some visual effect "enhancements" and additions to the sound mix that really rocked. When the Star Destroyer comes across the screen while firing at the Blockade Runner there's a very massive explosion that shook the room when one of its laser bolts hit the ship, generating a circular shockwave similar to the Veridian III special effects shot from Star Trek: Generations. There were also several shots being fired back from the Blockade Runner exploding with Earth-shaking force in the back of the auditorium. Of course, when the Special Editions came out and the revised opening wasn't included, my huge letdown began...

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Me too...at the museum in Philadelphia.  It was breath taking.. I believe there was a short piece on the Special Edition with the stormtrooper reshoot as well?

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Yeah, they had some bits about the new additions. If I remember correctly Jonathan Lithgow narrated it.