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The Shining - Restoring the German Version (WIP)

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After Barry Lyndon, I decided to give the other Kubricks a try. And my next preservation will be the German version of…

Things to be addressed:

  • 4:3 Fullscreen version in HD
  • German and English mono audio
  • German intro credits
  • German intertitles
  • German typewriter footage
  • German End Credits
  • 70s WB logo
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Sources:

Eurocut BluRay (2007)

Eurocut Web-DL (4:3)

German 4:3 TV airing. The intro sequence and intertitles have been redone digitally, but it does contain the typewriter scene in good quality.

German VHS (mostly for time reference).

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 (Edited)

The Intro Credits

As it is well-known, Kubrick (at least up to and including The Shining) used to do complete localization for credits for his movies. The Shining is no exception in this matter. The entire intro sequence is in German.

I had two sources of German credits. One was the VHS version, the original theatrical sequence was used. Unfortunately, it has a rather bad quality.
Then, the version by TV station ZDF. This has been re-created digitally.

After several attemtps of upscaling VHS footage, I was quite unhappy with the results. Neither the AI approach, nor my AVS filters could produce anything of at least of a decent quality, even after color-correction.

So I decided to take the English footage and rotoscope out the titles that need translation. For that, I broke up the relevant sequences into single frames and edited them one by one.

My first approach was using Photoshop’s Content-Aware Fill feature. That worked quite okay, however, it had noticeable flaws at high-contrast areas. Then it tends to produce artefacts which I deemed unacceptable. They are especially visible in motion (see the random piece of rock at “L” in “STANLEY”). But what’s even worse, are the boundaries between the mountains and the sky. That was quite inacceptable.

After that, I had to refine my workflow. The German TV version has proved quite helpful, as the credits are rolling there at different locations and with a different speed. Therefore, I could combine the two footages (albeit after alignment and color correction) in order to cover up the credits in original footage.
As there were still differences in color, brightness etc., I have combined the two approaches. After that, some retouching by hand frame-by-frame still remains though.

Here a video sample I am quite content with.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9CjRbTVCas

Screenshot:

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 (Edited)

I’m intrigued! Could you possibly post the German typewriter footage?

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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SilverWook said:

I’m intrigued! Could you possibly post the German typewriter footage?

Why, here some examples.

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 (Edited)

Status update: front credits are finished! Rather happy with how it turned out.

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Thank you a lot for your efforts. The “final cut” should be preserved.

“People who alter or destroy works of art and our cultural heritage for profit or as an exercise of power are barbarians”

“In the future it will become even easier for old negatives to become lost and be “replaced” by new altered negatives. This would be a great loss to our society. Our cultural history must not be allowed to be rewritten.” --George Lucas on March 3, 1988

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 (Edited)

By the way, I just became aware that the helicopter sequences were filmed by Greg MacGillivray from “MacGillivray Freeman Films”, the company responsible for a whole load of those nifty IMAX documentaries!

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I saw a trailer for one of those docs when I was at the IMAX dome in San Jose to see one of the Star Wars sequels. Just when I was thinking the aerial shots were a lot like The Shining, I saw their credit. 😉

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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Hi! Excellent work, sadly there aren’t localized versions these days! I wonder if there’s an HDTV broadcast of the Spanish version to preserve it too?

Do. Or do not. There is no try…

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I decided that I will be restoring not just the 4:3 fullframe version, but also the 16:9 widescreen (as the BluRay has a higher bitrate).

For the title credits, I had to recomposite the entire sequence once again for the correct aspect ratio.

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Now, pray, what’s wrong in this picture?

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Is the 4:3 HD version available to watch anywhere? I’ve always wanted to see it.

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Had some technical issues with sync on the 16:9 version (because of the darnded VC-1 codec).
Seems to work now. 😃

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When is the project going to be finished?

I’m an obsessed fan of filmmaking and especially animation.

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Pretty soon, I guess. Since I actually solved the sync error on the 16:9 version. 😃

Some small but still important things still need to be done, like the right set of subtitles, etc.

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That’s great. This has been one of the most anticipated projects ever for me.

I’m an obsessed fan of filmmaking and especially animation.