Ok, I think I’m getting around it all. It appears that FOTR and TTT both suffer from varying color and exposure shifts over their different reels.
ROTK is much more uniform, I’m thinking the print was just in better condition overall.
I’m in the process of correcting them the best I can in Resolve. Really broad brushes here, nothing too clinical, mostly just fiddling with the green/magenta balance and I’m only applying grades to whole reels, not on a scene to scene basis.
It’s funny going over those movies like that, one really realizes how funky they went with the grading! You correct one scene that seems too green and then the next one is way too magenta! It’s a fine line to navigate, I even purchased some original 35mm cells from ebay to project them as slides and have a reference, but those were shifted as well. And one can hardly use the home video masters as a reference, the grading is just so different in many places, plus the prints have a lot more contrast, which really emphasizes the grading shifts.
Anyway, here’s where I’am at the moment on FOTR. It’s hard to shoot for 100% accuracy without a proper reference point, so I’m mostly trying to make it feel right, tell me what you think: https://imgur.com/a/hOzQV5K
Awesome! Will you be releasing your grade of the 35mm? Are you working on the extended or theatrical 35mm?
I’m working on the theatrical! Not too interested in the extended versions to be honest, I’ve watched them almost exclusively for the last 20 years, only to realize that my decreasing love for this trilogy was solely due to the extended sequences. Like it’s been said before, for a couple of nice bits, I think you get a lot of stuff that’s just plain bad and undermine the movies a great deal (the pirate scene, the stew scene, the whole army of the dead business,…) The theatricals are just better movies overall IMO, and so says the director!
I would really love to be able to do a release but I’m not sure I have the means of actually sharing the files with the world, so maybe someone can chime in and offer a solution…
I’ve said it before, but I can’t state enough how much these scans are by far the best way to experience these movies! Everything is just so seamless, it’s crazy how much the grain holds it all together! After spending many hours on this grade the last couple of weeks, I put the 4K remaster on my projector last night, and honestly, it is just painful to watch. It really does feel like watching a bad videogame at times.