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Gold Standard Collection #3: THX-1138 (theatrical cut and first Director's Cut) (a WIP)

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 (Edited)

I’m just starting work on a 4K THX-1138 restoration project. Unlike other restoration projects that cobble together the Italian 35mm print, the Director’s Cut Blu-ray, and the laser videodisc release, I’m going to use the Director’s Cut Blu-ray for the most part, and only splice in segments from the Italian 35mm print as necessary. I’ll also try and re-edit a text shot that resulted in the laser videodisc release being used at one point in that project, resulting in a rather noticeable flaw at the very start of the next shot, so that only the highest quality sources will be used.

I’ll do this in 2 versions. Initially, I’ll conform the Blu-ray, with spliced-in Italian 35mm segments as necessary, to the 1971 theatrical cut, which trimmed the scene with SEN and the children near the end and rearranged a few scenes in the middle leading up to THX’s imprisonment. Later on, I’ll do the 1977 Director’s Cut. Both times, I’ll retain the MPAA card at the start (the 1971 theatrical cut will use the GP card from Patton, while the 1977 Director’s Cut will use the PG card from The Evictors).

Restoration processing will be done with EBSynth, Blender (for color correction), and GIMP. I’ll also use GIMP to edit the text shot I’d mentioned earlier, and I might consider testing EBSynth’s potential for depth map generation (for purposes of 3D conversion) on the climactic chase sequence. If necessary, I might also attempt a color restoration of the black and white 35mm print I’ll be using as a guide for the 1971 theatrical cut.

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Wow - you certainly have many, many projects on the go, Charles Threepio. How are the other projects coming along?

Wishing you well with this one 👍
 

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Thanks. I’d finished with v1.0.2 of my Toy Story project last month and took a bit of a break from it, satisfied thus far with my progress; I plan to get back to it and work on v1.1 sometime this winter or spring, both to clean up visual imperfections and to start adding foreign language versions.

For Akira, I’m currently waiting on some very important materials before getting started with that one; however, I do have most of what I need for the project.

As for this project, I’m laying the foundations for this one as we speak and should have at least some of the 1971 theatrical cut assembled in Blender over the weekend.

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Awesome news! Thank you for giving this film some attention! Been looking forward to the other project(s) for some time now, as they’ve been put on hold or have been in limbo, so having one more is fantastic. Much luck to you on this project!

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What part of this is in 4k? I thought the only commercially available blu ray was 1080p. And the only version of the Italian print I’ve seen is a low bitrate 720p encode.

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I’m upscaling using Avisynth and nnedi3_rpow2 with slight sharpening intervals to enhance the quality. Hopefully, I can beat George Lucas to the punch in releasing a 4K version of this, so that fans can enjoy it in 4K before the 2004 DC gets the 4K treatment.