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LETS PRETEND: A Star Wars Technicolor print is for sale

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For maximum effect, read this thread while listening to this music

 

Since this doesn't seem to be happening any time soon in real life, let's escape to the land of dreams.

After doing a bit of research, it is clear that the Technicolor print of Star Wars (1977) is the holy grail of this community. They showed it at The Senator theatre, and we all wished we were there. That print is pretty much exactly what we want on Blu Ray.

So lets say, out of the blue, the guy who lent his print to the Senator theatre was completely outraged over the 2011 changes to Star Wars, and decided that print was better off in the hands of the community. Or something.

So he starts a thread here and decides to sell it. Now, the questions:

1. How much is a Technicolor print of Star Wars worth?

2. If we got our hands on it, how much would it cost for the machinery to scan it?

2a. Does anyone know how to use this machinery/get the film into a viewable format for the masses?

Then, the final step. How do we sneak by Vader- uh, Lucas- without being detected? Of course, we'd have to hide the print in an R2 unit. And if anyone asks, deny deny deny! I don't know what you're talking about! This is a technicolor print of the Wizard of Oz!

Would they be able to actually track us down and confiscate the print if the sale goes down on a forum like this? I'm sure an interested buyer would contact the seller via email and not just start talking about it over the forum, but just how far is the reach of Lucasfilm?

I think the community is large enough that we could afford pretty much any price a collector throws at us... unless it's in the millions. UNLESS there are some hardcore millionaire Star Wars fans? =)

 

At this point, I think we have a better chance of convincing a collector to sell... heck, TEMPORARILY LEND his technicolor print and make that into something watchable rather than wait for Lucas to release the films on blu ray in respectable quality.

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A technicolor print meaning just an original film print that was originally distributed to theaters in '77?

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rpvee said:

A technicolor print meaning just an original film print that was originally distributed to theaters in '77?

 

From savestarwars.com:

Floating around in the world are a few private 35mm copies of the Star Wars films. They are on Eastman Kodak film, and, although different individual prints fade at differing rates, would by now be unpresentable as is. A few weeks ago, I saw a 1975 print of Jaws, and the title card that was supposed to be white-on-black was now white-on-red, so vivid that I thought it was an alternate title card timed to look like blood. Sadly, the rest of the print was very pink. It was also scratched to hell from being played for thirty years. Most of those private prints of Star Wars floating around probably look about the same--even if never played, the photochemical emulsion of Kodak film would have turned pink by now. Except for one print. One print is special. It is a Technicolor imbibition dye-transfer print. This means: it has a finer grain and better picture, but, more importantly, it looks exactly the same as the day it was printed. Properly cared for, it will outlast all of us.

A bit of history is in order here. When color photography was first invented for motion pictures in the 1920s and 1930s, it was achieved through the use of dyes, and eventually Technicolor emerged as the technological leader in this field. They used three strips of dyed black and white film that recorded each spectrum of colour--red, blue and green. When these three strips were combined, a full-colour reproduction was possible, with famously vivid hues. Prints were made through a similar use of dyed strips. By the 1950s, however, Kodak had figured out how to do colour using photochemical emulsions, much like black and white. The earliest efforts were murky and crude, but by the 1960s filmmakers had abandoned the Technicolor three-strip process because Kodak colour film was so much cheaper, even if it wasn't as vivid. Technicolor survived a while longer, however, by offering imbibition (I.B.) dye-transfer prints of Kodak negatives as premium releases.

Regular 35mm prints are made through photochemical means and printed on Kodak Eastman stock.  The grain is much coarser than Technicolor, detail not as fine, the colours are less accurate and not as vivid, and it will start fading after a decade. Why does everyone print on photochemical film then? It's really cheap, quick and easy. While Technicolor still made dye-transfer prints in the 1960s, the films of the 1970s made the grainy, desaturated Kodak stocks a virtue through the gritty, countercultural films that were popular at the time. There was no more need for Technicolor and by the 1970s it had closed down in the United States. In Britain, however, it clung to existance for a few more years. When Star Wars opened in England, there were a couple of Technicolor prints made for special showings. George Lucas had one printed for himself--it was used as the reference for the 1997 Special Edition colour timing because it was fade-free. How many of these existed overall? Certainly not more than a handful. Which is why it is fortuitous than one was--somehow--smuggled or obtained through legitimate means (which did sometimes happen in rare circumstances--but probably it was simply stolen). Technicolor closed down in Britain not long after Star Wars opened there, and there were no prints made of the two sequels.

Cut to 2010. Pretty much no one has seen the original version of Star Wars since the 1990s. There are memories of a 70mm revival screening in 1990 in California, but even then the print was starting to go pink, and probably isn't very watchable now. Baltimore's historic Senator Theatre was getting ready to close down after financial troubles, to be transfered to new managers, and owner Tom Kiefaber wanted to send it off in style. His family had owned the theatre for 71 years, and in that time had made a few connections. On the last day of operations, July 21, 2010, amid some moderate media coverage (including ABC news), Kiefaber decided to hold free screenings of Star Wars to a packed house--and not just the original version. He knew of a privately owned Technicolor print.

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Adium said:

At this point, I think we have a better chance of convincing a collector to sell... heck, TEMPORARILY LEND his technicolor print and make that into something watchable rather than wait for Lucas to release the films on blu ray in respectable quality.

We just need him to lend it to someone who can do a 35mm telecine or scan of some kind. As far as I know, that's not actually anyone of the regular posters on this forum?

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I've said it before.  We need a forum member to get a job in a transfer shop and work on this after hours.

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maybe it's already happening... hmmmmm

shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...

!?!?!?

 

later

-1

[no GOUT in CED?-> GOUT CED]

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Oh, so that project is still being worked on?  What happened to the bad condition of the ESB print?

a trolling bantha

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 (Edited)

Ah!  Holiday snaps then.

 

Um... That's all I have to contribute to this topic. 

Adieu.

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The music just made me feel like I was in "Buy Mode" of the original Sims game.

Keep Circulating the Tapes.

END OF LINE

(It hasn’t happened yet)

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I just discovered a guy who has a ROTJ print and a projector, says it's in good condition. Hopefully we'll see him here. :)

And in the time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as the Son of the Suns.

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Bingowings said:

Gentlemen please remember no image only posts outside the loonyzone (Off Topic) ;-D

Unless it is on-topic and adds value to the discussion....*

 

 

*Not an endorsement or indictment of the image itself, just a clarification

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I once saw a print of such up for sale on ebay.  It did not sell because the asking price was too high, the guy who was willing to pay the steep price did not purchase it because it did not have the original crawl.

I believe the baltimore screened print was the same as the one this uk collector owned and had up for sale once.

Doubt he will ever list it again cause if Lucas got his hands on it he would destroy it.

Making his copy the only one left in the world, we must not allow such a thing to happen.

 

There is also the fact that licensed copyrighted motion pictures especially 35mm, or 70mm cannot be bought traded or sold. 

I have no idea where companies like Lucasfilm stand on super8mm or 16mm prints, the only authorized copies long out of print and only authorized for sale in the united kingdom. Like Derann and only super8.

Most 16mm i know of unless they are military prints, library prints, rental prints, or prints made for conventions, are duped off a release print not from a negative and are therefore illegal copies.

How many bootleg 16mm copies exist is anyones guess, but the telltale sign is usually lack of sharpness and the dupey qaulity.

The prints that were sold on the super8forums were made from a  negative in the 1990's, i have no idea where that gentleman procured them but apparently they were official Lucasfilm prints.

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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Sky, do you remember that asking price? I'm curious as to what people would ask for SW. I've seen some IB prints on collector listings sell for usually several thousand or so.

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.

“George didn’t think there was any future in dead Han toys.”-Harrison Ford

My review blog: thehificelluloidmonster.wordpress.com

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captainsolo said:

Sky, do you remember that asking price? I'm curious as to what people would ask for SW. I've seen some IB prints on collector listings sell for usually several thousand or so.

I think it was like 2 grand or something.   Too much for me .

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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I know someone who says they have a film reel thing of the original film.  But I don't know any details beyond that (what version, what quality, etc.).

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Still that's not too outrageous. That's what all the IB prints I've seen sell for. Hmm....perhaps....a collection might be in order....

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.

“George didn’t think there was any future in dead Han toys.”-Harrison Ford

My review blog: thehificelluloidmonster.wordpress.com