Yes, I do have better transfers of some things, and I have cartoons that Chris won't have until I send them to him. =) I need his address actually.
A MUCH better transfer of "I Drew Roger Rabbit" is coming in from Jonathan Sloman, hopefully soon.
I do have what I say is a slightly better transfer of "Richard Williams and The Thief Who Never Gave Up," courtesy Baby Hum, but Chris' version is also a great, pro DVD quality transfer.
I have a slightly better version of the Thief workprint, courtesy Guillermo Gomez. Still not great, but I've color corrected and cleaned it up for my edit.
Other cartoons to be included are: Raggedy Ann and Andy: A Musical Adventure, Ziggy's Gift, Ziggy Cartoons, Charge of the Light Brigade segments, Return of the Pink Panther segments, and The Princess and the Cobbler.
The centerpiece of course will be this restored edit of The Thief.
So, you ain't seen nothin' yet!
I've finished about 19 minutes of my edit so far. (Ending after the chase scene as Tack is thrown in jail.) This is the most painstaking edit I've ever done. Every shot is being handled with extreme loving care, and work is being done on the sound. I'm adding some music and even sound effects to "finish" the workprint.
I'm proud of how I've done little things like change the mouth movements on a character to make it match the words I want it to. This was in the scenes with Tack and Yumyum before her bath, in which the Calvert version "kind of matches" many of the storyboards from the workprint, except completely rearranged and reworked ... so I did a LOT of fancy footwork with every shot in the edit, using whatever I could where I could to tell the story right ....
I had a shot of Yumyum saying "Tack." Two frames of a changed mouth and she was saying "Cobbler ..." =)
Her line "Tack ... that's your name? Tack ..." was resynced using a bit of repeated footage. It all has worked a treat.
If you could throw us a bone, and occasionally upload little samples of the completed work compared to the workprint, it'd be greatly appreciated.
BTW, what are you going to do with scenes that are only animated pencil outlines in the workprint, and which have no counterparts in the finished works? Or rather, are there such scenes? If so, how will you handle it? The outlines hardly show up in the workprint. I would suggest the rather painstaking task of redoing the outlines in photoshop (or it possible to do that within FCP?), but that's a hell of a lot of work.
It'll be quite interesting to see how you pull all of this off. Details, man, details.
There are some scenes which only appear as pencil tests. These are being carefully color corrected so you can see 'em better. In the case of a scene with One-Eye, I color corrected it to be red and black, to match the rest of the scene.
I wasn't going to mention it, but yes, I am kinda planning to "throw y'all a bone" and upload portions of the film as I work on it. =D
I'm nearly finished with the first "half" of the movie ... 45 minutes or so long.
Ending as King Nod screams "The golden balls are gone! My city will come to destruction and death!"
Have some sound and picture work left, but it's going well. I keep tinkering with it. Much like Richard Williams did. Heh.
Did something unusual for a Thief sequence during the Polo game. The sequence appears in the credits with text all over it. I decided to matte out the text from the middle of the image, and try to combine this better quality footage with the awful quality workprint. The results were quite good, I think. It took forever to do, and the very different quality of the sources made it hard to disguise (especially since my tape has a lot of dropouts during this one shot!) ... but eventually I was able, with a lot of work, to get the shot looking good.
Crazy, aren't I ...
I might post the entire first half, as a teaser. We'll see.
director: Richard Williams producer: Richard Williams Imogen Sutton writers: Margaret French Richard Williams (and John Patrick Shanley)
ZigZag the Grand Vizier: Vincent Price King Nod: Anthony Quayle Princess YumYum: Hilary Pritchard Chief Roofless: Windsor Davies Mighty One Eye: Paul Matthews Mad Holy Old Witch: Joan Sims Dying Survivor: Clinton Sundberg Phido the Vulture: Donald Pleasance Tack the Cobbler: Sean Connery Narrator: Felix Aylmer Brigand: Joss Ackland Goblet and Tickle: Kenneth Williams Gopher and Slap: Stanley Baxter Princess MeMe: Catherine Schell (scenes deleted) Prince Bubba: Thick Wilson (scenes deleted) Dwarf: George Melly Hoof: Eddie Byrne Hook: Thick Wilson Goolie: Fred Shaw Hoof: Eddie Byrne Maiden from Mombassa: Miriam Margolyes Other Brigands: Dermot Walsh Declan Mulholland Peter Clayton Mike Nash Derek Hinson Ramsay Williams
Have finished the first 45 minutes of the edit, and saved that to disc.
I converted this to a 300 meg DivX AVI with the intention of posting it somewhere. Unfortunately, when I checked the DivX file, the sound was out of sync for some reason. I tried fixing this in Quicktime via some copying and pasting, but it seemed to screw up the file, so I'll try encoding it again.
Why even use DivX? That's the reason. You probably used VBR audio... Simply use XVid. It offers better quality, it's much faster, it is infinitely more flexible, it is much more powerful, it doesn't require a c... erm, anything additional.
I agree w/ Sammy--use xvid, with cbr audio at, say, 160 or 192 kbps. I'm looking forward to checking this out: will you up the test file at myspleen, or what?
BTW, Sean Connery is in this? I was reading on imdb that Connery's participation was rumored, but that any audio he recorded is lost. Info to the contrary would be very nice to hear. And Vincent Price and Donald Pleasance? Damn....that's nice.
Yes, a few names in the cast that'll be familiar to Star Wars/Lucasfilm fans.
Eddie Byrne also did some voice work here, he played General Willard in Star Wars, his last film.
Declan Mulholland, the immortal Jabba the Hutt himself, also appeared in one of Richard Williams' other films, Charge of the Light Brigade. That's probably where Williams met him. You can spot Mulholland in a few scenes there.
Sean Connery delivers exactly one line in the film. The last line. A quite important line, at that. =) It's an unusual cameo, but who could turn down Connery ...
Vincent Price is at his best here ... Donald Pleasance only gets to squawk a bit, playing Price's vulture Phido.
Clive Revill, Empire's Emperor, replaced the late Sir Anthony Quayle as King Nod for the Fred Calvert version. A couple of times in my edit you'll hear Clive Revill deliver a line instead of Quayle ... their performances are similar enough that it doesn't stand out.
Note that the cast list mentions "Princess MeMe" (or MeeMee) and "Prince Bubba," two characters who were deleted from the film. Prince Bubba can be seen briefly in the documentary "Richard Williams and the Thief Who Never Gave Up" ... seems to be a prince who fell under a spell and became a troll.
Princess MeeMee I don't know much about ... She's mentioned quickly at Eddie Bowers' site.
http://www.geocities.com/eddie_bowers/princess.jpg (Meme and Bubba - drawing) http://www.geocities.com/eddie_bowers/prince.jpg (Bubba and witch)
There's a puzzling thing in the workprint ... we see Princess YumYum bathing - it's a pencil test, not finished animation - and next to her, in the background of each shot, is what appears to be a SECOND Princess Yumyum, in another bath.
I think this might be Princess Meemee. A sister, perhaps. The Thief steals TWO backscratchers from Yumyum in this scene, so who knows -- the other backscratcher could have been Meemee's.
Deleted from the war machine finale - Zigzag summons a giant dragon ... http://www.geocities.com/eddie_bowers/dragon.jpg "I conjure demons, charm beasts ..."
I've edited together a trailer. A really good one. I'll post that when I can get it uploaded.
I've converted the first half to DVD. I'm working on an AVI or MOV, in some format or another.
Well, I'm having trouble with my webspace, so having trouble uploading the trailer. But it'll get up somewhere soon.
I've burned a DVD that has just the first half of the new cut, and the trailer. As a test to see how it all looks I guess ...
I'm having trouble encoding a DivX or other kind of web-viewable file of the first half of the movie that's any good -- the original DivX that I did was very nice apart from the strangely out of sync audio. I'm having bad luck with programs giving me files that don't work. It's been a big waste of time.
I'm working on the Raggedy Ann DVD before I do the second half of The Thief.
Here's a nice big scan of the video box for Raggedy Ann -- if some intrepid soul wants to screw around with it a bit and create a DVD cover, there y'go.
Just for the hell of it, I watched the first couple minutes of the workprint, followed by the first couple minutes of the Miramax cut. Going from that haunting opening narration of the original to Broderick's shooting star narration made me want to kill myself. Those bastards at Miramax are evil. Why, why would they dumb down the narration like that? Freagin' christ. BTW, looks good so far--and it looks like your copy of the workprint is better than the one that oldskool upped at myspleen--a big thank you to him for making that available. One nitpick--in that first shot of the hands around the ball, is there any way to remove the fuzzy black around the workprint part of the screen and replace it with the clean black background? But I have to say, I'm really impressed at how cleanly you combined the shooting stars from the new release with the shot in the workprint. Nice work.
But no more Matthew Broderick man--that blew bigtime. I don't think I can watch anymore of the Miramax cut.
Edit: I read the following in Summer's article from the Eddie Bowers page:
Williams’ son said his father is retired and living on an island off the west coast of Canada...He refuses to speak to anyone about Arabian Knight.
I can't even imagine how the poor bastard dealt with what happened. It'd be nice if somebody in the know could forward a copy of the restoration to him. Might keep him away from the guns and the bottles of pills.
The Miramax version .... is best if you never ever ever watch it.
In the "Princess and the Cobbler" version, the narration is done by an "old Tack," as a doddering old king, like King Nod.
Neither one is any replacement for "The world which we see is an outward and invisible dream, of an inward and invisible reality."
"The whole thing is in the language of a dream." - Richard Williams
>> In that first shot of the hands around the ball, is there any way to remove the fuzzy black around the workprint part of the screen and replace it with the clean black background?
I could, but I'm not making any more changes to part 1 - done and dusted, and wiped from my HD. Moving on to Raggedy Ann, then part 2.
Richard Williams still teaches animation, and is apparently working on a project, which he only half-jokingly hopes to finish before he dies ... His recent book "The Animator's Survival Kit" is a must for any animator.
Stuffit is a Mac program, I hope Winzip can handle this too. Anyway, when you download these two parts, you have to open up Stuffit (I'm using Stuffit Deluxe), click on "Join", and select the first segment. The two will join together into one lovely file.
If you don't have a program that can join these two files, check this one out.
This is pretty much the entire trailer. I was able to upload this much to my server before it stalled out. 2 megs are missing at the end. So, if you can't do the segmenting thing, that'll do nicely.
About my servers and the problems: Orangecow.org, for a year now, hasn't wanted to accept my uploading files larger than 20 megs. Which is ridiculous, and the people won't admit there's a problem. Need a new server. My FFrevolution.com has been hacked and I can't access it. Crap.
First time I see clips from this film....As I've said earlier to you (I'm the Lynch afficionado ), the film doesn't seem to have been distributed in my country (France).
But after seeing this trailer, I'm totally hooked...Graphically stuninng,and provoking (in a land dominated by cute Disney style at this time, I understand why executives were afraid by this kind of art).
It won't be a surprise for anyone but it seems that the Garret has done it again ! ...With the help of Mr Williams and his fellow animators.
Here's the original screenplay, courtesy again of Eddie Bowers, a really interesting read - lot of stuff in there that didn't make it. Thief and Yumyum being transformed by the witch over and over, the dragon at the end, Grand Vizier Goblet, the Princess singing a song (!) which might have helped the no-song quotient for Calvert ... the story was always changing, wasn't it ...
No sign of Tack fighting with Zigzag though. He fights with the dragon. And the nurse says "ass"!