Roy Budd was a British jazz pianist and composer best known for his film scores, including Get Carter and The Wild Geese. In 1993, Roy Budd composed a symphonic score for the 1929 version of the 1925 silent film The Phantom of the Opera, realizing a long-held dream. Unfortunately, his abrupt death prevented the score from being heard, until it was recently released on CD and DVD in conjunction with a premiere of the score at the London Coliseum.
The DVD uses a version of the score recorded in the mid-nineties, and the picture is a low quality telecine prepared for that release. This version syncs the score to an HD picture. This updated version of my first effort improves the picture quality further (utilizing the latest HD image I’ve prepared for Phantom) while adding tinting inspired by the tints used on the Roy Budd DVD.
The film largely plays at 22 frames second within a more standard 60fps file and is synced to the score as it appears on the DVD.
Video: 1080p 60fps 16gb MKV - Tinted black and white with technicolor sequence – 01:25:55
Aspect ratio: 1.2:1
Audio: Untouched Dolby Digital from the DVD (there are brief dropouts, but those are on the DVD)
Producer Euan Lloyd in discussion about Roy Budd’s score to the Phantom of the Opera (I’ve edited together two interviews available on Roy Budd’s website)
BBC 1 story
From the DVD:
Interview with Get Carter director Mike Hodges
Roy Budd playing piano with the Roy Budd Trio at the 1983 Bob Hope Gala
Video technical notes:
This release largely uses the image from my previous rare scores collection (with some small fixes) while added tinting inspired by the tints used on the Roy Budd DVD. I’ve added some additional tints to scenes to keep things varied.
As the various home media releases of Phantom have differing levels of quality, this edit uses the Kino, Image, and BFI blu-rays for greatest picture quality.
The Image and Kino blurays use the same underlying master. The Kino master is a much better encode with a better grain structure, but inadvertently crushes the black levels of some scenes while trying improve the look of the tinting. It also has various small editing and sync errors, mostly introduced while trying to fix splice marks. I created a composite by syncing the two together and overlaying the mid-tones and highlights from the Kino disk over the shadow detail from the Image disk. This helped me preserve shadow detail while correcting sync errors. The resulting picture is somewhat softer than the Kino disk, while still looking much better than the Image disk. This affords a good look to the film with less problems than the Kino or Image presentations on their own and in my mind is the best option outside of evaluating the picture on a shot-to-shot basis.
The opening of the film through Carlotta speaking to the owners is taken from the BFI bluray, as it digitally removes the troublesome hair that wiggles all around the gate. Because the BFI bluray runs at 24fps and uses frame duplication to sync to it’s soundtrack, I had to use a decimate filter and then carefully match the footage frame by frame to the Image/Kino source to ensure there were no frames missing.
Some shots in the cellars were taken from the newly discovered sound reel of Phantom on the BFI disc. It lacked the damage in the other 35mm copy.
Bal masque sequence: The BFI bluray has poor coloration. The Kino Bluray and 24fps Image bluray has frame blending from an incorrect frame rate conversion. I took the interlaced 20fps Image bluray and deinterlaced it, eliminating as many blended field frames as possible.
Rooftop scene: The shots of Christine and Raoul come from the BFI bluray (better detail), with color correction to fix the rather poor tinting. The shots of the Phantom come from the Kino disc (better detail than the BFI, which uses a copy taken from an earlier Channel 4 restoration).
Finale: The Kino Bluray and 24fps Image bluray again have frame blending from an incorrect frame rate conversion. The BFI bluray is tinted so strongly here as to be indiscernible. Even color correction shows that there is no detail to regain. I took the interlaced 20fps Image blu-ray and deinterlaced it, eliminating as many blended field frames as possible. This results in a rather soft look with lots of dirt (the interlaced master had no computer restoration done on it), but it’s the best the sequence has ever looked on home media.
Pm me for a link or available on myspleen.
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The Phantom of the Opera - 1925 Version Reconstruction - Rare Scores Collection - Roy Budd Score