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The Original Trilogy restored from 35mm prints (a WIP) — Page 34

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Very cool stuff. You should add some text in the video descriptions as to what you are up to.

Donations welcome: paypal.me/poit
bitcoin:13QDjXjt7w7BFiQc4Q7wpRGPtYKYchnm8x
Help get The Original Trilogy preserved!

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poita said:

Very cool stuff. You should add some text in the video descriptions as to what you are up to.

Thanks, I’ll do that!

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Looking forward to it.

Donations welcome: paypal.me/poit
bitcoin:13QDjXjt7w7BFiQc4Q7wpRGPtYKYchnm8x
Help get The Original Trilogy preserved!

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poita said:

Yes, it goes quiet here from time to time 😃
Sometimes a month or two can go by without an update, I try to only update if something worthwhile is happening.

My personal life can get a bit chaotic, I have ongoing health issues (which is a bit of an understatement) , I have 4 kids ranging from 5-17 years old, and the 12 year old is permanently at a cognitive age of around 18-24 months old, so free time is challenging, as is earning a living, as I am the primary carer for the kids.

Currently, I’m out of time and money, I have some paid restoration work this month that is eating around 16 hours a day, which is good to pay the rent, unfortunately restoration doesn’t pay very well, even at the commercial level, and the work is gruelling.

The last month or so has been particularly busy.
I’m recovering from a mild heart attack, and this month has seen the youngest need a tonsillectomy and adenoids removed, and the hospital is a 3 hour drive away, so it meant extra nights away, and the recovery was rougher than I’d hoped. I also do casual work to make ends meet, and I’ve had to take a few shift the last two months to feed the beasts.

My eldest is sitting her HSC exams this year (similar to the SATs or GCSE A-Levels) so a lot of the remaining spare time is spent helping her study and with assignments and essays, and the youngest needs stories at bedtime and isn’t at school until next year, so parenting takes up any non-working waking hours.
My 12 year old is fully-grown, so is the size of a fully grown woman, but has the temperament and abilities of a toddler aged 2 years or less in some areas. This is immensely challenging and time consuming, and creates a lot of safety issues for the 5 year old as you can imagine. When a ‘grown-up’ has a tantrum and lashes out if you take a toy off her, the results can be literally deadly to a small child, so managing them all can be, well, interesting to say the least.
She needs help toileting, bathing, with stairs, getting in and out of cars, pretty much everything you have to do for an 18 month old, and it will be that way forever sadly.

So my work on restoring films here comes in fits and starts. There are times when I am out of paid work, and can throw a reasonable amount of time and energy into it. Sometimes I get some better paid work and can sink some more funds into getting prints, getting them cleaned and scanned, so that stuff tends to happen in chunks as well.

Lately, equipment has been a real PITA. High end scanners are temperamental beasts, and the main unit had a focus motor problem, which took a while to get fixed, then the focus motor blew completely, which required the whole optical assembly to be removed and sent away. This creates a backlog on the commercial jobs and pushes the stuff here back a bit until the backlog is cleared.
Then sometimes the scanner unit is available, but physical exhaustion kicks in and you just can’t drag yourself to do it that night. (it all happens from midnight till dawn typically).
Cleaning a reel costs around US$200, and freight is annoyingly expensive as well, purchasing or renting the prints is also costly, and you always take a bit of a punt as to what condition the film will be in.

Scanning a reel at triple flash, with infrared at 4K full frame takes about 12 hours per 20 minute reel, and is around 4TB per reel, (and another 4TB to back it up) so it is a big undertaking of time and resources, and then sometimes the film will unspool due to a dodgy splice, or some crap will get in the gate and you have to rescan, or the scanner will just decide to be a recalcitrant old fart and not co-operate, and you have to wait for another night to scan that reel.
The restoration work once the scan is done then takes a huge amount of time and resources, just moving the files around can take ages. I’m currently waiting 12 hours for a file transfer to finish - backup two reels from my server to another hard drive so that I can clear enough space to load up the next scanned reel to start work on it.

So that is a long way around of saying that best laid plans sometimes go a bit off track, and that sometimes life and money get in the way, and things go quiet for a while.

At the moment, I am waiting on scanner access again to get the ANH SE scan finished, and I have five reels of a commercial restoration due in 3 weeks, and I’m going to be struggling to meet that deadline, but it will pay the rent, so I am working mostly on that. In the background I am transferring files around to make enough space so that I can get back to ESB as soon as that job is out the door.

Don’t expect to see much from me until May is done, then hopefully ANH might be scanned and I’ll have some time to get some progress on the original ESB.

Commendable and truly inspiring. Much love and best wishes to your family and especially your daughter.

George creates Star Wars.
Star Wars creates fans.
George destroys Star Wars.
Fans destroy George.
Fans create Star Wars.

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poita said:

Sorry, I hope it didn’t come off as a whine, or a sympathy pitch or something. I enjoy working on this stuff, it is my passion and the reason I got into the industry in the first place.
I was hoping to really just let people know why it takes ages.
I’d love to get 50 grand per movie then a restoration would take about 3 months, start to finish, but with it being the part-time third job that costs money instead of making money, it sometimes has to take the back seat.

Progress is happening, just a lot of it isn’t sexy ‘check out the pictures’ type progress. It is often just boring stuff like finishing and backing up a dust-busting pass, or finishing a backup, or working out a new Nuke script that can semi-automate finding artefacts created by the cleanup and removing them, that kind of thing. I tend to only post if there is something nice to look at, but it doesn’t mean nothing is happening during the quiet times. Progress is slow, but it is progressing.

Holy. Shit. NO, you didn’t come off as a whiner, but when it’s time to vote for someone on these forums who deserves sympathy or time to whine…you sir, would win in a landslide. A little perspective for us sometimes too eager fans of your work.
Stay well and read those bedtime stories. That stuff ALWAYS comes first.

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Take your time, Poita!

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In other news, a very rare opportunity has come up to secure an unfaded Empire Strikes Back print, but I will really need help on this one.

Donations welcome: paypal.me/poit
bitcoin:13QDjXjt7w7BFiQc4Q7wpRGPtYKYchnm8x
Help get The Original Trilogy preserved!

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poita said:

In other news, a very rare opportunity has come up to secure an unfaded Empire Strikes Back print, but I will really need help on this one.

Is this the same print being discussed in thestarwarstrilogy forums?

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I believe so.

I sent some cash your way for it, Poita. Wasn’t able to send too much this time sadly.

This is a really amazing find though, if anyone here has even a buck or two they can donate please do. This print of Empire will be invaluable for many reasons, but color is a huge one - it might even be the only quality complete color reference that has turned up for 1980 theatrical Empire.

I’ll try to send more with my paycheck next Friday, too.

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Yes, please help out if you can!

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Okay, I’ve gone into a bit of debt, but the Empire print has been purchased.

Donations welcome: paypal.me/poit
bitcoin:13QDjXjt7w7BFiQc4Q7wpRGPtYKYchnm8x
Help get The Original Trilogy preserved!

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poita said:

Okay, I’ve gone into a bit of debt, but the Empire print has been purchased.

Woo Hoo!

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Poita, you absolute hero. I am legitimately broke as shit right now but will send you through some cash as soon as I can afford it. Bravo.

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I am trying out some new software that we have written, and in my spare time (hah!) I am going to be testing it out on a few scenes, so I thought I may as well do something people want to see.

What scene from the original 1977 Star Wars would people most like to see restored?

Cast your votes here and I’ll pick one or two to use as the test and get everyone’s feedback as to the results.

Donations welcome: paypal.me/poit
bitcoin:13QDjXjt7w7BFiQc4Q7wpRGPtYKYchnm8x
Help get The Original Trilogy preserved!

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Put me down for Binary Sunset, thank you for all your hard work Poita!

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I’m interested to see what you can do with the Landspeeder scene.

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 (Edited)

poita said:

I am trying out some new software that we have written, and in my spare time (hah!) I am going to be testing it out on a few scenes, so I thought I may as well do something people want to see.

What scene from the original 1977 Star Wars would people most like to see restored?

Cast your votes here and I’ll pick one or two to use as the test and get everyone’s feedback as to the results.

Landspeeder shot from the Mos Eisley scenes, after meeting the stormtroopers.