The original 1925 version of the Phantom of the Opera only survives as a spliced together dupe of 16mm prints in fairly low quality. The higher quality surviving 35mm print is of a version prepared alongside the sound re-release of Phantom. It is edited with different continuity than the 1925 version, cutting and rearranging scenes, as well as replacing footage with shots from the sound version. In addition, the 35mm material comes from the b-negative camera, using different angles and takes from the primary camera. Because of its higher quality, it has been the preferred version for restorations, even though it is much shorter than the 1925 version. An in depth exploration of the various versions exists here: http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/2013/12/versions-and-sources-of-phantom-of-opera.html
This is an attempt to reconstruct the 1925 edit of the film using the higher quality 35mm material. The scenes present in the 1929 version use 35mm footage, while all the material exclusive to the 1925 version comes from the 16mm print.
I have used Ben Model’s excellent organ score for the 1925 version. (As heard on reelclassicdvd’s DVD). To sync this edit to a preexisting score, I adjusted the speed of the footage throughout the film, generally keeping it within 16-24 frames a second, with the majority of the footage presented at around 20fps. The final file is a 60fps 1080p MKV (not blu ray compatible) with the real framerate being variable. When further edits were required to keep the sound and picture in sync, I made (hopefully unobtrusive) edits to the soundtrack.
The Technicolor sequence in the middle of the film uses Gaylord Carter’s organ score. Reelclassicdvd’s DVD used the BFI/Channel 4 version of the Technicolor bal masque sequence, which runs at a very slow speed (around 13 fps). This is a more natural level of motion, as the Technicolor camera had to be cranked very slow to get enough light, but it is not very period-accurate, looks bad and slows the pace of the scene. I have this sequence running at around 20fps, using a slowed down version of Gaylord Carter’s organ score taken from the Kino/Image bluray.
As the various home media releases of Phantom have differing levels of quality, this edit uses the Kino, Image, and BFI blu-rays for the 1929 footage, with the 16mm footage coming from the HD transfer on the BFI bluray (including the title cards).
Video: 1080p 60fps 21gb MKV - Black and White with technicolor sequence and tinted sequence – 01:45:44
Aspect ratio: Around 1.33:1 for the 16mm material and cropped 1.2:1 for the 35mm
Audio: PCM stereo - Ben Model and Gaylord Carter score
Pm me for a copy. Also on Myspleen.
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