That's right, this thread is for discussion of my telecine transfer of a 16mm widescreen ("scope") print of the Empire Strikes Back. Unless someone comes up with a better name, I plan to call this edition "Puggo Strikes Back". I have already started work on it this past weekend. As was the case for the Puggo Grande, I expect this to take a while to finish -- at least a few months. But I will post regular updates and screencaps here and on my website as work proceeds.
I have added a PSB page to my website (see link in my .sig). There isn't much on it yet.
The print I am currently transferring was provided by Jaxxon, the same individual who provided the prints used for the Puggo Grande and for the Stjarnornas Krig. I'll leave it up to him if he still wishes to remain anonymous.
The quality of this print is excellent - better than the prints used for the PG. Color on all three reels is superb. There are some scratches at the beginnings and the ends of each reel, but the middles are pretty clean. Reel three will require some slight repair at the very start. The print is marked "1980", and appears genuine to me.
As was the case for the PG, I will be using a WorkPrinter-16 to transfer the video. For those of you unfamiliar with the PG or the Workprinter, it is a very clever machine manufactured by Roger Evans of MovieStuff (www.moviestuff.tv), that enables frame-by-frame capture. It is a slow process, though, as the Workprinter runs at about 6fps, or about one quarter speed. I cheat on the scope, adjusting the aspect ratio in post and then setting the anamorphic flag to fake scope projection (same as I did for the PG). I also will use the pulldown flag rather than doing pulldown in post. The final product will be SD, DVD-5. I am still using the Sony TRV900 camera that I used for the PG.
No I can't afford to do an HD capture. And no, pointing an HD camera at the WorkPrinter doesn't work.
I am using a different projector to grab the audio than I did for the PG... this time an ELMO 16CL (for the PG I used an Eiki). Synching the sound with the workprinter capture is always painstaking, as the slightest variations in speed on the elmo make it lose sync quickly. It has to be stretched and shrunk by hand scene by scene.
Jaxxon and I have discussed the possibility of providing an alternate stereo audio track.
Here is what I have done so far:
- transferred the raw audio from each reel into .wav files.
- reviewed the films through the ELMO for any necessary repairs/concerns
- I'm halfway into my first pass through reel 1 on the WorkPrinter (it is running as I type this post)
As with the Puggo Grande, I expect to make two or three passes through each reel at various exposure settings, and combine scenes from various takes depending on which settings look the best from which takes. It is a tedious process because the Workprinter is SO slow. The multiple passes are necessary because film has a wider frequency range than video, so one setting rarely works across an entire reel.
As always, I will warn everyone that captures like this will be loaded with scratches, dirt, grunge, dropouts, lint, wobbles, dust, furballs, speckles, heavy grain, lousy cropping, and assorted mouse droppings. It cannot compete even with a stabilized GOUT, much less a despecialized HD multi-layer blu-ray megadisc. However, much to my surprise, some of you honestly seemed to enjoy watching the Puggo Grande, and early indications are that this edition will be noticeably better. For one thing, this looks like it will have deep, rich color saturation throughout... which will make it a whole lot more fun for me to work on! No wrestling with red-shift -- yay!!
"Close the blast doors!"
Puggo’s website | Rescuing Star Wars