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The Phantom Menace - Bobson's Theatrical Recontruction v1 (Released!)

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 (Edited)

Here’s yet another HD Theatrical Version of The Phantom Menace. Why make one when at least 3 others are in the works by people more talented than myself? Good question.

Why also use the 2011 BR as the main source even though it’s riddled with the waxy over-DNRed look instead of the HDTV version? I’d say that you’re just full of questions today. The HDTV rip I have has burnt in subtitles in a very boring Calibri font and I assume the only way to remove them to add back some more theatrically accurate subtitles would be to patch that area with maybe the PAL DVD or maybe just use another HDTV Rip. Either way, I’ll do it later, for now, the BR will do.

Other sources include Althor’s LD preservation which will be used for the Naboo bridge, senate aides and Palpatine’s office shots. I’ve just used part of the bridge and aides shots and put them ontop of the BR shots, but for Palpatine’s office, I’ve just used the entire shot with some colour correction. Later on I will replace this with ZigZig’s PaNup SDTV preservation, as it is better quality, but for now, the LD is here.

Palpatine’s Office - https://vimeo.com/293678392
Senate Aides - https://vimeo.com/293680790
Naboo Bridge (not 100% yet) - https://vimeo.com/293679565

I believe I have the subtitles mostly accurate, as starwars.com made a “font announcment” when TPM was in pre-production

ITC Franklin Gothic Demi Bold, 69 point with -30 tracking

I haven’t got the actual scenes done yet due to me not having the exact timing and placement which I believe is in the “Z” bootleg (that I am yet to aquire), but just making a quick test makes it look about right. I also added the drop shadow, which is apparently either down and to the right, or just straight down. I’ve just made it down and to the right.

oh no anakin

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Hi Bobson,

I’m not sure I understood why you’re embarking on this great adventure… (Ah, too much questions 😃 )

Anyway:

  1. I am very happy that TPM has a regain of interest today, I have always believed that this film was underestimated
  2. I will be happy to help you in any way; do not hesitate to contact me in PM if you need something.
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Looks fantastic! I was one of the people who started a project similar to this, but got in over my head and had no time. What you’ve done looks much better than what I have, and I’d be happy to help you however I can. Best of luck, Bobson!

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Since you’re using the BR as a base, are you replacing CGI Yoda with Puppet Yoda, or is this going to be the theatrical edit with CGI Yoda (something I’d actually be interested in believe it or not)?

*JEDIT: Not to say I’m not interested if you’re keeping Puppet Yoda, I’ve just been toying with the idea of confirming the BR with its visual changes to the theatrical cut for a while now, something no one else seems to have considered.

a trolling bantha

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ChainsawAsh said:

Since you’re using the BR as a base, are you replacing CGI Yoda with Puppet Yoda, or is this going to be the theatrical edit with CGI Yoda (something I’d actually be interested in believe it or not)?

*JEDIT: Not to say I’m not interested if you’re keeping Puppet Yoda, I’ve just been toying with the idea of confirming the BR with its visual changes to the theatrical cut for a while now, something no one else seems to have considered.

I’ve noticed that there are a few other people in other threads and around the site that have wanted the theatrical version with the CGI Yoda (which I prefer to the strange looking puppet) but I’ll most likely make 2 versions of it. One with the puppet, and one without.

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Now armed with ZigZig’s PaNup SDTV source, I’ve updated the timeline to include it at a higher quality. The Palpatine’s office bit now fades in on both ends (Qui-Gon and Anakin/Jar Jar) and hopefully isn’t as noticable as a hard cut.

https://vimeo.com/294771071

I’ve also started on the subtitles, but am taking some creative liberties with them as to make them more eye-pleasing to me as it appears the subtitles are rather squashed, even when scaled back to how it originally should look. It’s now just the 69pt and -30 tracking, which looks better IMO.

alt
!

Compared to what it would look like if it was closer to the Z Bootleg

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The transition is very subtle, great job!

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Not bad at all! And in the absence of a true 35mm scan to use as a reference, I’m with you on the subtitles.

a trolling bantha

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Bobson Dugnutt said:

I believe I have the subtitles mostly accurate, as starwars.com made a “font announcment” when TPM was in pre-production

ITC Franklin Gothic Demi Bold, 69 point with -30 tracking

I haven’t got the actual scenes done yet due to me not having the exact timing and placement which I believe is in the “Z” bootleg (that I am yet to aquire), but just making a quick test makes it look about right. I also added the drop shadow, which is apparently either down and to the right, or just straight down. I’ve just made it down and to the right.

oh no anakin

LOL… I’d actually love to see versions of the SW films with similar subversions for R2’s subtitles. 😄

Or has such a project already been done?

“Logic is the battlefield of adulthood.”

  • Howard Berk
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Bobson Dugnutt said:

Now armed with ZigZig’s PaNup SDTV source, I’ve updated the timeline to include it at a higher quality. The Palpatine’s office bit now fades in on both ends (Qui-Gon and Anakin/Jar Jar) and hopefully isn’t as noticable as a hard cut.

https://vimeo.com/294771071

I’ve also started on the subtitles, but am taking some creative liberties with them as to make them more eye-pleasing to me as it appears the subtitles are rather squashed, even when scaled back to how it originally should look. It’s now just the 69pt and -30 tracking, which looks better IMO.

alt
!

Compared to what it would look like if it was closer to the Z Bootleg

Perhaps the ‘squashed’ look would be better for a large screen, so that audiences could more easily read the entire text.

Here’s an attempt at replicating the bootleg subtitles in Photoshop, using Franklin Gothic Demi Condensed, the settings are 63 pt with 109% letter height and a value of zero for tracking. Drop shadow is 150 degrees.
With a bit of blurring (1.8%) to approximate the bootleg, this is what it looks like:
Bootleg
Blurry

http://www.framecompare.com/image-compare/screenshotcomparison/W7YGNNNX

What a grand and intoxicating innocence. How could you be so naive? There is no escape. Come, lay down your weapons. It is not too late for my mercy.
Episode 9 Rewrite THE SHATTERED SWORD (Complete!)
The Force Awakens Restructured (V3 Released!) and The Starlight Project (WORKPRINT RELEASED!)

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Oh wow those are some great results there!

It was the 2016 election…I regret this name choice

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I’ve restarted work on this project armed with a few new sources and the newest Blu-Ray. I’ve also used the BR footage to fit the theatrical podrace, instead of dropping the bonus feature straight in. The only remaining footage is 2 short shots of the crowd and Watto. The new BR also includes hard-coded subtitles, which are close enough to my recreation for me to be happy with.

CHANGES

  • Used HDTV opening titles and crawl as the BR was recomposited
  • Replaced portions of the Jedi speed effect with the HDTV
  • Replaced the Trade Fedaration approaching Naboo as the shot was redone for the BR
  • Podrace has been restored to its theatrical edit, cutting a lot of the new footage done for the DVD
  • Air Taxi sequence added to the DVD has been cut, an extended shot of Qui-Gon, a new shot of Palpy’s office and another extended shot of Anakin and Jar Jar from the Laserdisc has been added
  • Human Senate Aides replaced with Laserdisc shot
  • Coruscant sunset replaced with HDTV shot
  • Naboo bridge removed with lasersics shot

I’ve rendered out a v1, with the CG Yoda as a test. I’ll upload it if there is is intrest for anyone.

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Theatrical cut but with CGI Yoda?

Yep, I’m very interested!

a trolling bantha

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Me too!

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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Color me interested as well. I’m loving your work on the prequels.

Luke astro-projects himself to Salt Lake Planet, gets shot at by gorilla walkers, has a non-lightsaber duel with Darth Millennial, then dies of a broken heart, inspiring broom boys throughout the galaxy to get creative with their sweeping. - DuracellEnergizer

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TPM is a great (and greatly underrated) movie and I support any project that tries to bring us closer to its theatrical presentation. Sadly, we have yet to see a true 4k99 (1080p will more than do), and I hope we will some day. To me, the mood and atmosphere of the film as seen in its original form is something quite different from what we get in all the official releases. Colors, lighting, film grain, the uniformity of image quality throughout the whole thing,… these all play a huge role in how we feel about the story and have a great impact on the mood those movie images evoke in all of us.

Personally, I do not mind the CGI Yoda, but any future projects that attempt to restore TPM from a good theatrical source should definitely retain the puppet as a first choice.

“The ability to speak does not make you intelligent.”

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There’s room for both. I skimmed the v1 and I like it quite a bit, though of course the laserdisc snippets are noticeable, but way more seamless than any attempt I’ve seen in the past (and very watchable). I’d love a version of this in a full-bitrate ~35GB BD50-compliant encode with the theatrical DTS 5.1 audio synced to it! But the 5GB with stereo AAC audio will do for now.

And yeah, I’d still like to see a “true” TPM Despecialized/“4K99” for archival purposes but to be honest, in the future if I don’t watch a fan edit, this will almost certainly be the version I watch.

a trolling bantha

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Vladimon said:

TPM is a great (and greatly underrated) movie and I support any project that tries to bring us closer to its theatrical presentation. Sadly, we have yet to see a true 4k99 (1080p will more than do), and I hope we will some day. To me, the mood and atmosphere of the film as seen in its original form is something quite different from what we get in all the official releases. Colors, lighting, film grain, the uniformity of image quality throughout the whole thing,… these all play a huge role in how we feel about the story and have a great impact on the mood those movie images evoke in all of us.

Personally, I do not mind the CGI Yoda, but any future projects that attempt to restore TPM from a good theatrical source should definitely retain the puppet as a first choice.

Well this is still using the official blu-ray as the main video source so the DNR/sharpening are still going to be present. And I believe Bobson intends on releasing another version with puppet Yoda.

Luke astro-projects himself to Salt Lake Planet, gets shot at by gorilla walkers, has a non-lightsaber duel with Darth Millennial, then dies of a broken heart, inspiring broom boys throughout the galaxy to get creative with their sweeping. - DuracellEnergizer

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I have kinda accepted the official blu-ray for what it is and can somewhat enjoy watching the film in this form, even with the Wax Wars faces and ugly color changes (even subtle color changes can disturb the original atmosphere of the film’s wonderful locations and the uniformity of the film’s original visual style. Tatooine for example is like a whole different place in the Theatrical version and I like its original colors much better).
However, the moment those super blurry extended scenes/shots start presenting themselves in all their ugliness, I have to stop watching or skip an enitre sequence. Some of the most painful ones include the introductions of the podracers or sth like the shot of Anakin saying: “I will, mum. I promise.” as Shmi comes to see him just before the podrace begins.
These totally take me out of the viewing experience and ruin it for me. Their inclusion is even more obvious in the 4K UHD versions be it those on Disney+ or the official physical media. How, in his right mind, did George Lucas ever think that including such visual garbage in a high-definition release of his film was a good idea? The same GL who strives for perfection in his visuals and for a good while kept replacing what he had considered weak special effects with new ones?
Did he not notice how bad and ugly these shots look sticking out like sore thumbs? The one I mentioned above in particular feels like it’s from a compeltely different movie. But there’s a lot more of those in that sequence.

Unlike all the great guys here who are trying hard to preserve the theatrical version of the film in its original length and colors, GL had all the necessary material and resources to provide us with a wonderful, visually uniform high-def release of his favourite SW film back in 2011, something worthy of the new format. But no. A visionary, a man who always pushed the envelope of filmmaking technology and was always ahead of his time during his active career could not give us a decent release of his precious film in the format that he believes in so much and in a way helped to develop as well.

Baffling.

“The ability to speak does not make you intelligent.”

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I completely agree visually. But as far as the original edit goes, this is still the most accurate version released so far aside from the laserdisc.

Also Bobson, I have to reiterate ChainsawAsh’s post. This is very nicely done. The LD footage blends very well with the blu-ray footage and the pod race looks phenomenal. I think it blends better than Ady’s version. I’m very excited to see what you do with this going forward. Much love and many thanks.

Luke astro-projects himself to Salt Lake Planet, gets shot at by gorilla walkers, has a non-lightsaber duel with Darth Millennial, then dies of a broken heart, inspiring broom boys throughout the galaxy to get creative with their sweeping. - DuracellEnergizer

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I’m very hungry for a good looking, HD theatrical cut of TPM, so I applaud this effort. Especially if you’re still intending to release a version with puppet Yoda

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was 4k99 ever gonna come out? cause I saw on the forum that a 4k scan of the prequels was happening