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The Phantom Menace: The Theatrical Version (cancelled project)

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 (Edited)

There have been a lot of theatrical recreations of The Phantom Menace out there. However none satisfy me as a true theatrical version. So my goal is to recreate the film as closely as possible. As many people know, every version of The Phantom Menace released on home video has some flaws. The VHS, Laserdisc and DVD versions all come from the same master. Due to the limitations of the technology at the time, they all have a strange pink tint and the entire picture is cropped by 8 percent. The Blu-ray and 4K releases are closer to how the film looked originally and are uncropped but have severe DNR. I decided to combine all these versions together. The main source for my project is the Laserdisc release as it’s the highest quality official release of the original version of the film. However, as stated before, it is slightly cropped and the color grading is off. I decided to upscale this version using AI. To get theatrical color timing, I used a 35mm print by Team Negative One and color corrected shot by shot to match. I also used this version to recreate the missing image detail on the edges. When I am done with this project, please PM me for a link.

Project creator and film enthusiast.

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Sounds great! Now I assume when you say theatrical, you will be using the original puppet of Yoda?

Filmfan78

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Yes. It will have puppet Yoda.

Project creator and film enthusiast.

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That’s awesome. Curious what kind of footage are you using for that… To my knowledge there’s been no HD version of the puppet Yoda from Episode I

Filmfan78

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I will be using Schorman’s HDTV version of the film for that scene.

Project creator and film enthusiast.

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Excellent. Obviously… This is going to be awesome. As I am an avid Star Wars fan I can’t wait. I imagine you probably don’t have an idea but if you do how long do you think this would take you to do; just curious…

Filmfan78

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Of course… I eagerly anticipate this one, sir! Thank you for taking the time and effort to recapture what I saw in the theaters in 1999

Filmfan78

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We could upscale the original DVD version, since thats currently the highest quality version of that scene

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The HDTV version is the DVD version in 1080p so I’m using that source.

Project creator and film enthusiast.

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I decided to change my workflow as the first version was taking too long. My new technique is to use the Czech 35mm print and use the laserdisc and HDTV for audio and subtitles. These sources will also be used to recreate the opening crawl. This will take much less time.

Project creator and film enthusiast.

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I tackled this for my own collection. I wasn’t too happy with the results. But it led directly to my personal desired edit of the film. I would disagree that the LD is the best version. I think the European broadcast is better, and there are two different ones. I processed the two to even out digital artifacts and then upscaled it (I don’t have the AI tool, I used something older that does a fair job). I kept the cropping of the DVD/HD broadcast. There are not many changes. But my edit is the theatrical cut (so I can use the DTS audio), but with the updates. So no puppet Yoda, no cropping (except for the small clip at the beginning of the pod race), and some color correction on reel 1.

But I would very much like to see what you come up with. It has to be better than what I’ve done.

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Most of the picture is going to be taken from the 35mm print. The only time I will use other sources is for the subtitles and even then I will use rotoscoping so that all of the original image is preserved. The audio is laserdisc sourced as the HDTV version is of the extended cut of the movie.

Project creator and film enthusiast.

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35mm! Awesome! Of the theatrical cut?

Filmfan78

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It was taking too much time.

Project creator and film enthusiast.