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Query: anyone done a The Empire Strikes Back Super 8 HD Recreation? (with release info)

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I discovered this version of The Empire Strikes Back cut down to 15 minutes to fit on to one reel. It’s really weird, it has no Hoth, no carbonite, no explanation of Yoda, and no “I am your father.” Would somebody be willing to do an HD recreation of this?

 

Mod Edit: see Joel’s posts in the thread below for his project and information. 👍

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Puggo’s version is DVD AFAIK and not HD

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pittrek said:

Puggo’s version is DVD AFAIK and not HD

true, it is a DVD. but what is the best you can expect to get from 8mm?

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I think a few people have thought about using this as a source for an HD 70mm recreation, since this source appears to have the 70mm audio/video differences in it. The problems are that since the source is incomplete, there may still be 70mm differences for which we don’t have any sources, and that the quality is so low that mixing it with better-quality sources would be pretty nasty. I think the 70mm audio mix is way more interesting than the video–I can completely see why they changed them, but it’s nice to hear the lines that actually match the onscreen lip movements, for example.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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Doesn’t the mono track on Puggo’s 16mm preservation have those same lines found on the Super 8?

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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No, 16mm mono is yet another unique mix, which really only has a few alternate C-3PO lines and some slightly different mixing. The 8mm digest (Puggo Edition) is way different in lots of places. Not to be confused with normal 8mm prints, which probably have the same audio as the 16mm prints.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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I believe he’s suggesting doing an HD recreation using something like DeD.

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Well, you could fake it, I guess. But the DeEd doesn’t have matching audio or video at all in some places, because it’s a different cut of the film.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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I stumbled across this post yesterday and since I had some time, I decided I’d look into doing this as a project myself.

Tonight - several immensely satisfying hours of learning Premiere, matching up shots, and searching for fonts later - I’m now exporting the hi-res video for Empire Strikes Back Reel 1. I used the Blu Ray for most of Reel one, so I kinda want to do a color pass, but for now…

The sound mix from The Puggo Edition (at least the version I have) is fascinating and I’m hoping I have enough source material between the GOUT, the 5.1 tracks from the Blu Ray, and the warbly Puggo version itself to reconstruct something close.

Whenever this is finished (may do a 4:3/mono version?), I’ll be happy to share with anyone who might care to check this out.

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Current update:

The video is finished. Even with the learning curve, matching up the video only took a couple of days!

The audio mix, however, is a total bear. Thankfully, some stuff is taken straight from the 1980 version of the film. Other parts, however, have different music, overlapping music, sound effects borrowed from other shots, etc. Making it more difficult is that the center channels (from every surround mix I have, anyway) usually have music married to the dialogue, so if the 8mm music is different, isolating the dialogue requires trickery that works better than others sometimes. This makes some choices necessary for compromise. I do realize, incidentally, that the intended audience is limited - and in fact may be just myself.

The good part is noticing bits of dialogue that are, AFAIK, exclusive to the 8mm digest version (and possibly the 70mm release): Leia saying “We’ve got to go BACK!” Instead of “I know where Luke is…” (btw, the footage suggests that she actually said “We’ve got to go Back” during filming), Lando speaking to Han off camera in Cloud City, Leia saying “Hurry Up” to Lando, and the (temp?) alternate Cloud Car Pilot lines…
The bad of course, is trying to get clean, usable versions of those.

Mad respect to the people who’ve had to deal with audio changes in their own projects.

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Reel 2 is finished! Same audio/video choices as the original ESB digest. Very weird.

After all this, I’m not sure I have it in me to do Reel 1, but I may come back to it during the holidays.
For now, enjoy Reel 2 on Vimeo!

https://vimeo.com/643128427

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The 8mm digest is unique audio, not found on the 70mm mix (morgands1’s in-theater recording confirms this). However, it may have some of the alternate video present on the 70mm prints. I think Puggo Edition actually has the missing radar dish on the Falcon that people report on the 70mm prints, and maybe others? Not sure, but I didn’t see this on your vimeo link. I also don’t know which ending it would have, although I suspect it’d have to be the 70mm ending, similar to what you have in your vimeo clip. You could use the morgands1 audio here to maybe get something that flows better, but the quality would drop, so maybe not.

Yes, I love that alternate Leia line because her lips actually match the dialogue for a change!

EDIT: I’m also not sure you’re clipping the right bits for the 70mm ending. What you’re clipping matches what adywan did, but I’m not sure adywan got it right either (but I could be wrong too). There’s three shots:

  1. Rear of fleet, not showing Falcon
  2. Front of fleet, showing docked Falcon
  3. Closeup showing Falcon and medical bay

Two of the three were added for the 35mm cut, but which two? Adywan removed 1 & 3, but the audio lines up just as well removing 2 & 3. Considering that the stated reason for the additional shots was “to allow the viewer to see where Lando and Chewie were with respect to Luke and Leia”, it seems like 2 & 3 are the shots that do that. Just having shot #1 gives you no idea, and then I can see why they added those other two scenes for the 35mm cut. Shot #2 gives you a decent idea on its own, so I’m not sure why someone would feel the need to add the other two shots, especially because #1 doesn’t provide any additional context at all.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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Ah, thank you very much Adywan, I was considering shots 2 & 3 from your link to be the same shot. Good source info though, it looks like you chose the right ones based on that. But now I’m doubly confused about why they thought it wasn’t clear where our heroes were with respect to one another. Nevertheless, I’m glad they did it, because I prefer the 35mm ending.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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Hey, someone watched it - Thanks CatBus!

My intention was to replicate the 8mm cut, not the 70mm, but I will take a gander to make sure I didn’t goof up the ending shots for that.

Meanwhile, (re-)construction of Reel 1 has begun.

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Yeah, I think the only problem I saw, aside from the rough audio edits at the end, was the possibly superfluous radar dish.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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Ah ha!

I admit that I thought the “missing radar dish” was a myth, and that people misunderstood the framing of that shot in the context of the 4:3 8mm ESB. But after enlarging the image and comparing, it turns out that it really was missing the dish!

It has now been removed. I smoothed the audio in a few of the scene transitions too. If you are hearing any rough audio edits that I’ve missed here, please feel free to let me know where.

The latest:

https://vimeo.com/643128427

Meanwhile, there’s less editing involved with Reel 1 so far. Still a WIP.

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Reel 1 is now up on Vimeo as well:

https://vimeo.com/652821260

I’ve done some work on a 4:3 version (as the 8mm film digest was presented) but it’s even more of a project than the audio… every shot has different framing, there are some pan & scan moves, and one shot (so far) is less cropped than any home release since GOUT. It might take a bit of time to complete.

Meanwhile, enjoy both Reels in 720P!

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I think the 4:3 version would be interesting to watch. The manual framing is an artistic choice by itself, as much as the editing. It’s worth doing.