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The Official Lucasfilm Response — Page 7

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I don't post here much, but I felt compelled to offer an even handed observation regarding this DVD release.
Basically, it provides LFL with several different marketing opportunities, as well as serving other interests simultaneously. I've come up with a checklist of various factors and points related to why this is happening:

1. It (mostly) quenches the demand for the OOT on DVD
2. It curbs the piracy of the OOT by making a legal product available, and thus less likely for consumers to buy copies (ebay), at least while it's in print.
3. It allows LFL/Fox to yet again resell the same SE versions during the 2006 Xmas shopping season, while using a "limited edition" sales pitch, just as was done with the 2005 SE box set.
4. By releasing these films NOW, as opposed to say next year, they are capitalizing on the tail end of the red laser DVD marketability. If they had waited until next year, when blue ray discs are more commonplace, their sales would likely be stunted, and they would encounter more criticism for releasing it onto standard DVD, instead of a blue ray DVD.
5. By releasing the OOT as bonus material, instead of as the main product, it relieves LFL of any real responsibility or motivation to put any effort into the DVDs. Their justification is that it's only bonus material, and not what Lucas intended, so digging up LD masters and transferring them is minimal in terms of effort and expense, and maximum in terms of profitability. Someone else pointed out that Lucas' ex-wife is entitled to a percentage of profit when something related to the OOT is released, so by doing it this way, it skirts the issue. I don't know if this was part of the motivation, but if this is true, then it was likely part of the decision.
6. It allows LFL to permanently wash their hands of the OOT, because they can now simply point to the upcoming release and say, "It's out if you want it".

From LFL's point of view, this is a win-win situation, because what everyone was clamoring for IS being released, albeit not in the form most expected. Personally, I am disappointed that no real effort is being made for these releases, but am also glad that they ARE finally being released in some form. Anyone can tell you that a 1993 video master -> DVD is going to look a lot better than an LD capture -> PC -> DVD would ever look, despite the fact they won't be anamorphic. Personally, I hate the way the SE versions look, with the over processed video feel to the films, the excessive grain removal and oversaturated color scheme, the audio mixing and saber coloring problems, and horribly dark picture. I'd rather watch a 10+ year old LD master anyway instead of the "restored" versions. I'm sure that once the DVDs go out of print, they will be pirated/altered in huge numbers. In an earlier post in a different thread, I predicted this would eventually happen, so it's no shock-I just wasn't expecting it so soon. I hope this can answer some of the questions as to why this is going down the way it is.



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"We had so many requests for these versions, we wanted to find a way to bring those to DVD, and we thought this would be a fun way to do that," Singh said.

Sure, it was kinda fun for them, I suppose, but considering the backlash, I guess it's not so fun anymore. It's frustrating and sad that Lucas can't just leave things alone. I draw, and there always comes a point where I have to stop or I'll just make things worse. When it's done, it's done. I will clean it up a bit if I've scanned it and there was dirt on the glass that showed up on the image, but that's it. Not so with the OT.

"Basically, that means Lucasfilm is asking fans to shell out another $90 (each disc is $29.98) for movies they probably already own — the 2004 restored versions — just to own a sub-par DVD version of the nostalgic theatrical films," Hunt said.

"It’s disappointing on a personal level, and also not in line with the image of Lucasfilm as a cutting edge leader of moviemaking technology," he said.

Such good points. All they'll have to do is print up those new covers, because they'll have so many unsold copies of the SE DVDs already. This whole venture seems fairly cost efficient/high profit for them.

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Both Bill Hunt and Ron Epstein have pretty much thrown in the towel, so the efforts just kinda dissipated and dissapeared like a fart in the wind. It was a good run, guys, but we're not gonna get what we want, it looks like.

Bill's suspicion as to why this got released has mirrored my own for about 3 or 4 years now: We got this release because Marketing has wanted to release this SO BAD for SO LONG now, and they finally got the go-ahead--but not the finances to do it right. When Marketing says they probably won't EVER get that money, I doubt they're exaggerating (for once) mostly because they had to fight for about 5 years straight just to get THIS OUT.

So this is the white flag, I guess. We got their attention and put them on the defensive, but Marketing can't get this done on their own, I don't think. Hale, Ward and Singh I believe would LIKE to have gotten this done right.

To address TR47's claims: The SE laserdiscs are a much better quality, containing much better detail. The color is too blue, but that can be corrected in a fanjob--but the smearing and detail loss in the 93 LD's has been very much noted. I'm also not surprised you think the SE lasers are oversaturated, as your transfers from the LD's tend to be very much DE-saturated, I feel. Between the two transfers, the video feel is most definitely more pronounced with the 93 lasers, due to the age of the transfer and the video smearing introduced by the noise reduction applied during mastering.

I also think you vastly overestimate blue-laser's market inroads by this same time next year, by a fair amount. DVD is going to be a very profitable and viable money-maker for at least another 3-5 years, EASY. Maybe at the tail end of that time period, will we see Blu-Ray/Hd-DVD start to seriously eat into DVD's profits, but it's not gonna happen that soon, the early adoption rate isn't THAT high, and the results aren't that jaw-dropping for a lot of consumers.

I hold almost zero hope we're going to get these in future versions, looking at how it's going down.
The Best Show You've Never Heard
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I was referring to the SE DVDs, not the LDs. As far as the DVD marketing is concerned, I feel that way because LFL is perceived as being on the cutting edge, and red laser DVD is not cutting edge any more.
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If you're referring to the SE DVDs then your complaints are even more misplaced, I feel. Empire Strikes Back is probably one of the most beautifully rendered DVD's ever created. Maybe you're so used to actual over-processed video via the LD's that when you see something that VERY CLOSELY approximates the film presentations of Star Wars and Empire, it looks too clean for you? I dunno.

That's not taking into account the cgi updates and such, of course.

And Lucasfilm's cutting edge reputation has always come with innovation WITHIN the current generation. Just because something is new doesn't mean they utterly abandon the not-so-new. LFL was putting out trilogy VHS combos up until 2002, well into DVD's rapid upswing. This early in the game there is no way Lucasfilm shuffles away from red-laser, the installed user base is way too huge and way too profitable for them to turn their backs on that sort of profit just to look "cutting edge"

And as we've already seen with this release, commitment to quality isn't as important as it once was at Lucasfilm, anyway.
The Best Show You've Never Heard
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Some will--some won't. From what I understand it's dependent on the individual manufacturers of the machines and whether they feel like including a second red-laser transport along with the blue-laser in the same machine.

i think most of them will, though, simply because it makes the hardware easier to market. Value-added extras and all that stuff.
The Best Show You've Never Heard
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Lucasfilm truly did not expect or intend to create such a fervor about the original versions' DVD releases, Singh said.

This is the best statement of all. Lucasfilm is singlehandedly responsible for creating all of the audio-videophiles, thanks to THX's brilliant marketing in the 90s. If DVD was the technology that got your Average Joe into Widescreen presentation and surround sound, it was preceded by that good ol' THX trailer blowing anybody away the first time they saw it.

Lucasfilm created this monster. Now they're seeing how angry the monster gets when you poke it in the eye.
I am fluent in over six million forms of procrastination.
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Good points from TR47 and The Biz.
Originally posted by: The Bizzle
We got this release because Marketing has wanted to release this SO BAD for SO LONG now, and they finally got the go-ahead--but not the finances to do it right. [...] Hale, Ward and Singh I believe would LIKE to have gotten this done right. I agree - see here.
...the video feel is most definitely more pronounced with the 93 lasers, due to the age of the transfer and the video smearing introduced by the noise reduction applied during mastering.
Let's hope it was applied during mastering, rather than during telecine.Empire Strikes Back is probably one of the most beautifully rendered DVD's ever created.
I'm not normally into net slang, but WTF??? Gotta disagree with you here, Biz.

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Back to the thread title:
We hoped that releasing those “original” movies on a bonus disc would be a way to have some additional fun with the debut of the movies as individual DVDs. We certainly did not want it to become a source of concern or frustration for any of our fans. Read: we are surprised, we honestly thought you guys would be pleased.
The negatives of the movies were permanently altered for the creation of the Special Editions, and existing prints of the first versions are in poor condition. Read: it would cost a lot of money to restore the Original Trilogy properly.
So many fans have requested the original movies, we wanted to find a way to bring them to you. But since these movies do not represent George's artistic vision, we could not put the extraordinary time and resources into this project as we did with the Special Editions. Read: but since these movies do not represent George's artistic vision, we could not put the extraordinary time and resources into this project that we would like to.The 1993 Laserdisc masters represented the best source for providing the original versions as DVD bonus material.
Read: which is the only way we can release them right now as George has not approved a full release.We want you to be aware that we have no plans – now or in the future – to restore the earlier versions.
Read: he will probably never approve a full release.We hope you will understand our decision and, again, want to let you know how much we appreciate your interest and enthusiasm.
Read: we did what we could to give you what you want, honest!
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from the homemediaretailing.com article:
Fans are upset because that means the original versions will not be given an upgrade to account for the improvements in widescreen technology over the past 15 years, and there will be no digital restoration of the prints, said both Bill Hunt, editor of TheDigitalBits.com and Ron Epstein, who runs HomeTheaterForum.com.


This is a source of annoyance for me personally - blending together the wish for an anamorphic transfer with "digital restoration". I don't think I'm alone in thinking it's not worth taking a chance on LFL restoring without making things worse i.e. artifacts from digital filtering applied to the entire film.

and regarding digital clean-up, isn't just a bit sad & bizarre that people don't question for a moment that the X0 project will simply "do it right", where on the other hand it seems more likely than not that LFL would screw things up somehow with a restoration?

The more I think about it, the more I think it should be made clear that the fans are upset about the lack of anamorphic format. Leave the delicate restoration part to people that care about the originals. Better safe than sorry.
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The more I think about it, the more I think it should be made clear that the fans are upset about the lack of anamorphic format. Leave the delicate restoration part to people that care about the originals. Better safe than sorry.


I agree. I think a lot of people are thinking this what we are complaining about. It is not.
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Well, I'm not quite ready to throw in the towel. I think that a lot can still be done to educate the masses on this issue. The war isn't over until the discs actually are shipped and in the stores.
Keeping The Star Wars Hoiliday Special alive. Once person at a time. Stir, stir, whip, whip, stir, beat, beat.
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Originally posted by: Lynne Hale
I wanted you to know how much we appreciate the passion and enthusiasm you have for Star Wars, and thank you for sharing your concerns about our upcoming DVD release.

The DVDs being released in September will contain two versions of Star Wars: Episodes IV, V and VI – the Special Editions (which represent George’s vision of the movies) and the first versions, which will be included as bonus material. We hoped that releasing those “original” movies on a bonus disc would be a way to have some additional fun with the debut of the movies as individual DVDs. We certainly did not want it to become a source of concern or frustration for any of our fans.

As you may know, an enormous amount of effort was put into digitally restoring the negatives for the Special Editions. In one scene alone, nearly 1 million pieces of dirt had to be removed, and the Special Editions were created through a frame-by-frame digital restoration. The negatives of the movies were permanently altered for the creation of the Special Editions, and existing prints of the first versions are in poor condition.

So many fans have requested the original movies, we wanted to find a way to bring them to you. But since these movies do not represent George's artistic vision, we could not put the extraordinary time and resources into this project as we did with the Special Editions. The 1993 Laserdisc masters represented the best source for providing the original versions as DVD bonus material. Although these are non-anamorphic versions, they do preserve the original widescreen composition of the movies.

We want you to be aware that we have no plans – now or in the future – to restore the earlier versions.

We hope you will understand our decision and, again, want to let you know how much we appreciate your interest and enthusiasm.

Sincerely,
Lynne Hale
publicity@lucasfilm.com


Why must Lucasfilm act so amazingly stupid? Did they honestly expect Star Wars fans to fall for that bs? Looks like my ban on buying anything Star Wars related is back on.

Message to Lucas: When are you going to wake up and treat the O-OT with some respect? When are you going to realize that this isn't about your artistic vision? This is about giving the fans a choice. Does it really make sense to call the movie that made you what you a "bonus feature"? Non-anamorphic might have been acceptable when DVDs first came out and almost no one had Widescreen TVs. But now it is not. What can't you just admit it is possible for someone to prefer the O-OT over the SE? Just give your fans THE CHOICE of watching the O-OT or the SE with both versions being prints a equal high quality. I refuse to believe there was no possible way of making the SE without altering the negatives that is pure BS. I also refuse to believe that there is no possible way to do a high quality restoration to the O-OT. The fans are willing to pay for it, just DO IT! If you are unwilling, then allow someone who is willing to do so. I just can't understand why you want Star Wars fans to continue to hate you and not buy anything from you. Things would be so much better in the Star Wars world if you would just get you head out of your rear end and release the O-OT the way you know it should be released. STOP BEING SO ARROGANTLY, STUBBORNLY, AMAZINGLY STUPID!!! Until you do, you won't get one red cent of my money.


E!-A!-G!-L!-E!-S! EAGLES!!!
SUPERBOWL LII CHAMPS!!!

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I know I'm gonna get slammed for this, but I really don't mind that the OOT DVDs will basically be copies of the LDs. They say be careful what you wish for and I wished for the bare minimum of the LDs copied to DVD when the SEs came out on DVD in 2004. I figured it's better than nothing. What does irk me is that I have to pay an additional $10 for the crappy SE versions which I don't want. If Lucasfilm has to be cheap about this and just port over the LDs, at least make it a budget release by skipping the inclusion of the SE crap and selling the LD ports for $10 or less. Let's hope a third party like Criterion can take this over and give the originals the treatment they deserve but I wouldn't hold my breath.
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Originally posted by: JacDan
They say be careful what you wish for and I wished for the bare minimum of the LDs copied to DVD when the SEs came out on DVD in 2004.


So essentially this is all your fault then?











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Originally posted by: ADigitalMan
Lucasfilm truly did not expect or intend to create such a fervor about the original versions' DVD releases, Singh said.

This is the best statement of all. Lucasfilm is singlehandedly responsible for creating all of the audio-videophiles, thanks to THX's brilliant marketing in the 90s.

I was into high quality audio and video long before THX came into the picture. And I lost faith in THX certified videos in 1995 when the THX certified Stargate laserdisc came out with......a defective soundtrack! One of the stereo digital channels was slightly delayed, and it was unlistenable in surround sound! Wasn't THX supposed to be a seal of approval that this set matched the filmmakers wishes? The disc was recalled and corrected, but the damage to THX's reputation was done for me.

Neil

Well at least the reversed surround channels have been addressed.

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This is like a nightmare. Laserdisk rips?!! Neil was right all along?!! I can't believe it. Even with a fraction of the profits taken from increased sales due to the "bonus disks", Lucasfilm could easilly afford to make a proper representation of the original film on DVD. How could they do this?!!!

This is pure evil.


Originally posted by: Invader Jenny
This has now gone way beyond just giving the fans the old "fist up the ass." We are now talking about the criminal neglect of one of the most influencial and historically important films in cinema history. To hell with Lucas's "vision." To hell with profit margins and sales quota. To firey hell with it all.

This is about preservation of HISTORY, and Lucas is trying to bury it in light of his rewritten version. Our culture's most provocational film is in jeopardy and if we quiet our voices, these movies will die.

Exactly. I'm wondering if legal action is the best course to take at this point. Have non-Lucasfilm-funded preservation projects begun or something. George Lucas is now totally insane. It may be horrible to say this, but the day he finally dies may be the day Star Wars in its original form will be saved. Makes me sick to think about.


Originally posted by: MeBeJedi
http://myweb.cableone.net/dlarson1/baddvds.jpg


Heh. That's awesome.

"Now all Lucas has to do is make a cgi version of himself.  It will be better than the original and fit his original vision." - skyjedi2005

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and the said part... my wifes copy of Clueless is anamorphic and we can't get Lucas to release this in Animorphic widescreen. I read these forums a lot but rarely post. But forget it I'm not buying this pile of crap hes packaging up.

oh one more think people over at the home theather forum have posted these amazon links:

A New Hope:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FQJAIW/qid=1148632035/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/103-5744385-7613414?s=dvd&v=glance&n=130

The Empire Strikes Back:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FQJAJG/qid=1148632052/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_2/103-5744385-7613414?s=dvd&v=glance&n=130
Return of the Jedi:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FQVX78/qid=1148632101/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_2/103-5744385-7613414?s=dvd&v=glance&n=130

And, if you want to do it twice:

A New Hope (Full Screen):

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FQJAIM/qid=1148632035/sr=1-5/ref=sr_1_5/103-5744385-7613414?s=dvd&v=glance&n=130

The Empire Strikes Back (Full Screen):

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FQJAJ6/qid=1148632052/sr=1-3/ref=sr_1_3/103-5744385-7613414?s=dvd&v=glance&n=130

Return of the Jedi (Full Screen):

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FQVX6Y/qid=1148632101/sr=1-3/ref=sr_1_3/103-5744385-7613414?s=dvd&v=glance&n=130

and have been giving the dvd's the reviews they deserve.
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Originally posted by: Laserschwert
Originally posted by: JacDan
They say be careful what you wish for and I wished for the bare minimum of the LDs copied to DVD when the SEs came out on DVD in 2004.


So essentially this is all your fault then?













Yes.

I'll get the cross and nails ready ;-)
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In the words of Jack Bauer, "DAMN IT!!!!"

George, what is wrong with you?!!!
George Lucas was seduced by the dark side. The OOT ceased to exist in his mind and became the Special Editions...." "They're more maching now than movies. Twisted and evil."
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Originally posted by: Neil S. Bulk
And I lost faith in THX certified videos in 1995 when the THX certified Stargate laserdisc came out with......a defective soundtrack!

That stinks. Another "how did that get by so many people?!" moment that shows that even the most impressive/influencial of companies can have ridiculous quality control issues.

I also once had a bad experience with THX. I used to have a job that had me spending a couple of weeks at a time in Michigan (I live in Ontario) and one time, I decided to buy an Onkyo receiver at Circuit City, mostly because it was "THX Certified" and I was looking to upgrade my sound system a bit anyway. I was convinced that because it had THX on it, it would be great! Well, it turned out that there was a constant hissing noise that wouldn't go away. The kind of noise you get if you turn the speakers way up while nothing is playing. The DSP modes were pathetic once I tried them, too. I'm sure it was more down to the machine than the THX certification, but still, I was highly annoyed, especially since I wasn't able to return it before the limited warranty was up. I ended up trading it towards a new Yamaha, which was a million times better anyway. Oh well...

P.S. I read your article "The Anamorphic Issue" at UGO, Neil, and it was very thorough. Thanks for a nice informative read!

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Originally posted by: Ripplin
I read your article "The Anamorphic Issue" at UGO, Neil, and it was very thorough. Thanks for a nice informative read!

Thank you for the kind words. Be sure to pass it on to all of your friends. Let's make some more noise about this.

Neil

Well at least the reversed surround channels have been addressed.

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Originally posted by: Steve
and the said part... my wifes copy of Clueless is anamorphic and we can't get Lucas to release this in Animorphic widescreen.


Clueless?

My dear fellow, my copy of Prophecy is anthromorphic. Click the link if that title doesn't ring a bell. It's not the movie with Christopher Walken.