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Darth Dougal

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Join date
4-Mar-2020
Last activity
29-Nov-2020
Posts
50

Post History

Post
#1389526
Topic
Richard Marquand's effect on Return of the Jedi
Time

SilverWook said:
Yoda dying off camera and never being seen again would have been pretty lame. In the original making of ESB book, Lucas laments he couldn’t shoot a scene for Jedi during production on ESB, as there was the issue of saving and storing the Dagobah set for the next film. What he had in mind either had not been written yet, or the need to finish ESB took precedence.

Found the quote. ‘Empire Building’ by Garry Jenkins, p. 262:

“Marquand was not entirely averse to expressing an opinion. It had been his idea that Yoda be re-introduced in the film. In the original draft, Luke had simply referred to a conversation he had with his master before he had died. ‘I insisted we put him back. I felt we needed to see the conversation’, Marquand said at the time.”

Post
#1385422
Topic
Richard Marquand's effect on Return of the Jedi
Time

Wonderful! Thanks for linking this. I haven’t read the JW Rinzler book yet, but I think it’s pretty safe to say Marquand made his own contributions to Star Wars.

I checked the book at the weekend. To my great embarrassment there is nothing in there about Marquand wanting to bring Yoda back. However I did read that somewhere, so a search is in order.

Rinzler includes a decent index and the entries regarding Yoda are in fact easy to find - more embarrassment (might as well get some while it’s cheap!).

I was struck by how much emphasis there is on the difficulties Marquand faced on set. The multiple camera set-ups were for George’s benefit, not his, and led to various problems for Marquand and the cinematographer. I get the impression that if only two cameras had been used rather than three (or more), the compositions would have been better.

The book itself has rocketed in price, only a few ‘new old stock’ copies seem to be around. I hope it will be reprinted in time for ROTJ’s 40th anniversary.

Post
#1384267
Topic
Richard Marquand's effect on Return of the Jedi
Time

Yoda wasn’t coming back originally? How on earth was that supposed to work story-wise?

I would need to check in the book (easier said than done, it’s pretty dense) but I think Yoda’s mention of the other Skywalker would just be folded into Obi-Wan’s dialogue - and the Luke/Obi Wan discussion would not happen on Dagoba. IIRC the idea was for Obi Wan to tell Luke that Yoda was now one with the Force.

I’m not sure if this script development took place before or after talk about the Force ghosts of Yoda and Obi Wan appearing during Luke’s duel with Vader. Not to mention the two Death Stars!

Back to the OP - I found an interview with Marquand that relates to your question:

https://www.denofgeek.com/movies/richard-marquand-interview-return-of-the-jedi-star-wars/

Post
#1384167
Topic
Richard Marquand's effect on Return of the Jedi
Time

Marquand had plenty of input. Check out J.W. Rinzler’s book on the making of the film.

Perhaps the most important decisions he made were to cast Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine and to bring back Yoda. He also had his choice of Director of Photography and editor - hopefully the different look and pacing of ROTJ compared to the previous two films is apparent.

One of the highlights of Rinzler’s book is a transcript of a conversation between Lucas, Marquand and Larry Kasdan. Most of it comprises an argument between Lucas and Kasdan - you get the impression Marquand is listening patiently and then suddenly he cuts in and chides them for their behaviour. No mere servant.

It’s clear that Marquand was ‘inexperienced’ (being kind) or ‘out of his depth’ (being harsh) regarding the Star Wars shooting method, which in the early 80s was still unusual and more technically demanding than other franchises like Bond or Star Trek. But he was not inexperienced when it came to dealing with actors, as he had been one himself. He also knew how to shoot quickly and economically - that, plus his willingness to relcoate to the US - made him an easy choice for director in Lucas’ eyes.

Post
#1383219
Topic
Possible 'proof' that Greedo was always meant to shoot
Time

… Notice I did not say ‘shoot first’😉

Apologies if anyone else has already commented on this (ran a Google search but no results).

Paul Duncan has posted an unboxing video for his Star Wars Prequels book, published by Taschen. It’s a weighty tome indeed:

link

At the 2:04 mark he mentions finding a document (which seems to be part of a shot list) with a specific frame timing for Greedo shooting at Han. Frustratingly he does not confirm whether this was part of a shot list for the OT film or for the Special Edition.

If it was intended that Greedo fire off a shot in the OT film, it goes some way to explaining GL’s tinkering. I would not for one second agree it was a good idea to alter the scene for the Special Editions though.

Post
#1372405
Topic
4K restoration on Star Wars
Time

Rodney-2187 said:

Has the level of restoration combined with modern home theater technology achieved a level that surpasses what audiences originally were able to see in theaters?

A facile reply would be, ‘Depends on the theater’.

The theatrical experience in 1977 was compromised by factors such as:

  • The duplication stock (projection print) and how the print was made. If you saw a print made by Technicolor in the US, it might have weaker tonality than one made by Technicolor in Rome for the European market because of the high speed duplication preferred by the former. Dupe stock has improved a lot since the 70s as well, so a projection print in 1977 is less likely to have been faithful to the final answer print approved by the director.

  • Projection of the print at less than full luminance. This money saving trick is still alive and well, and I noticed it the second time I saw Solo (the first cinema I saw it at were not so stingy).

  • Projecting a worn out print.

  • Poor maintenance of the projector and not correcting for faults like misfocus, dirt behind the projector lens, motor instability and tears in the optical track.

  • Under-powered amplification and damaged speakers, and not enough speakers for Dolby Stereo (hence the need for the SW mono mix).

If you saw a new print at a theater with a good projectionist and a responsible manager, the picture quality would be pleasing but not as sharp as what you would see from a modern 4k projector. However the soundtrack would be nowhere near as immersive, even if it was in Dolby Stereo through decent speakers.

Saying that, in 1977 it is more likely there would have been an usher on hand to kick out people who were talking. And no mobiles 😁

Post
#1371342
Topic
Harrison Ford in "Solo: A Star Wars Story" - Amazing deepfake (up on youtube)
Time

ZigZig said:

I feel that using deepfakes is more in the way of filming of George Lucas than Disney: Lucas has always tried to do without “living” actors in his films, and to replace them with image banks or CGI-characters that he could assemble at will during the film editing (IIRC, he speaks frankly about this wish in the bonuses of AotC).

I believe that he would probably use these deepfakes extensively in his new films if he had kept the license of SW. And the result wouldn’t be as ugly as CGI-Leia and CGI-Tarkin, nor as rambling as using Carrie Fisher’s old takes in TRoS and trying to make a story around them.

This chimes with a quote from the late Mel Smith, director of ‘Radioland Murders’ and a well-loved member of the British comedy anti-establishment.

In a December 2010 interview with the Daily Mail, he is quoted as saying:

"George doesn’t understand comedy, so the movie [Radioland Murders] flopped. At least it taught me how to use CGI. George is obsessed with it and used too much in the last two Star Wars films — which I thought were ghastly.

“He’s been buying up the film rights to dead movie stars in the hope of using computer trickery to put them all together in a movie, so you’d have Orson Welles and Barbara Stanwyck appear alongside today’s stars.”

Lucasfilm denied this was the case afterwards, but it has stuck in my mind since I first read it.

Post
#1370861
Topic
Flash Gordon Rumor - now a 'general discussion' thread for Flash Gordon
Time

I imported the 5-disc set from the UK and just finished watching the 4K version. It’s outstanding. Unlike many HDR presentations, I rarely felt like it went overboard in terms of contrast. Still mostly looked filmic.

Hi Jay, did you notice any problems with the soundtrack?

I’ve got the Zavvi 3 disc 4K steelbook, which is the Studio Canal UK edition of the remaster. I can only watch the blu-ray (no 4K gear yet) but the 5.1 DTS MA soundtrack on my disc is a mess. One of the AV forums here in the UK has picked up on this as well.

The Queen soundtrack is phasey and distorted, music was routed through the front right and centre speakers. I’ve asked Zavvi if they have heard about a recall yet (unlikely).

Update: Turns out the dialogue is meant to be routed through the front speakers and everything else through the rear ones. Re-setting the speaker mode on my receiver should fix the problem. The stereo soundtrack is fine. Perhaps the studio created a surround mix from the original stereo magnetic track using something like CEDAR Cambridge software.

Post
#1368291
Topic
4K restoration on Star Wars
Time

In the UK, the 3-disc steelbook releases of the individual Original Trilogy films (exclusive to Zavvi; 1 4K disc, 1 blu ray disc, 1 bonus material disc) does apparently feature the 2019 SE version on the blu ray.

Unfortunately there are reports of scratched cases with these steelbooks. I have not had a chance to check mine yet and won’t be able to for a couple of weeks.

People have been offered partial refunds, but not exchanges, which suggests there are no more discs left. Episodes IV and V were offered for sale twice, VI just once I think. The prequel discs have been offered twice, the sequel trilogy just once as far as I’m aware (that is, for the current ST steelbooks, there have been previous editions).

The run has been estimated as about 3,500 per title. Zavvi exclusives usually sell out within a day, the SW titles sold out within hours.

Given the steelbook situation I might get the plastic case 4k discs from FNAC or Amazon France as they have them for sale, unlike Amazon UK and Zavvi.

Post
#1364640
Topic
Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga 4k UHD -- 27 DISC Boxed Set -- 3/31/2020
Time

Just wanted to say that Zavvi in the UK now have pre-orders open again for the OT 4K steelbooks. Right now (Thursday morning) orders are only open for ‘Red Carpet’ members but if there are any discs left, they will probably open orders on the main site later today or tomorrow. Unfortunately the Empire disc still shows the teaser poster image of Darth Vader as the cover art, which breaks the flow with the images for ANH and ROTJ.

Post
#1359802
Topic
Is it Lucas, or Fox, who has prevented the restored OOT release?
Time

LexX said:

While it was interesting, it barely covered anything. All the questions seemed to be beforehand asked/selected. I’d love to hear the full Marcia interview, that would be so great. It would be nice to know what she thinks about the prequels or if he and George have been in touch at all etc.

Unfortunately he did not address the OOT question. I didn’t realise questions had to be sent via Twitter.

However, regarding Star Wars in general, he said as much as he could without putting himself in legal peril. There are comments in the Youtube video that some will use as fuel on the fire regarding Disney and the sequels.

The Kazanjian book sounds interesting. Two versions on the way.

Post
#1359664
Topic
Harmy's STAR WARS Despecialized Edition HD - V2.7 - MKV (Released)
Time

The video telecines are not good references for color, and generally oversaturated. I’m using 35mm print frames as a reference for these colors. C-3PO is a brass color, and the rebel soldier has slightly peachy pink skin with red blush.

Ah, okay. That makes sense - thanks for your reply 👍

I wondered if the ‘sunburn’ was caused by the infamous summer of 1976 but those corridor shots were filmed in April.

Post
#1359650
Topic
Harmy's STAR WARS Despecialized Edition HD - V2.7 - MKV (Released)
Time

DrDre said:

In light of the colors for the Vader/Antilles sequence, that I’m very happy with, I think there’s too much yellow in the earlier shots:

I’m looking at the screen capture on a calibrated monitor and it does not seem too yellow to me. If anything, it just looks desaturated in red/magenta (rebel skin tones) and yellow (Threepio). The middle aged rebel who gets the close up is possibly ‘supposed’ to appear sunburnt, for example. At least that is how he always looked to me on PAL VHS tapes and UK broadcasts.

Post
#1358488
Topic
Is it Lucas, or Fox, who has prevented the restored OOT release?
Time

SilverWook said:

No, but if as many of us as possible were in the chat and ask the same question? But is Rinzler in any position to know or comment on it?

He may know GL’s position on whether the OT should be given a high quality release, but may not be able to comment.

Hopefully he can explain why his Star Wars blog had to be withdrawn (we can guess, but it would interesting if he gave more details) and also confirm whether his ‘Making of the Force Awakens’ book will ever be published.

Post
#1351987
Topic
Idea: Interstellar - Is an audio remix possible?
Time

One of my biggest bugbears with Chris Nolan’s Interstellar is the soundtrack. Overbearing sound effects, incomprehensible dialogue, deafening music… you get the drift. I know it was all intentional but I have to ride the volume control the whole time when viewing the film.

I would like to know if it is possible to extract the audio from the DTS-HD 5.1 blu-ray and remix it.

Any suggestions welcome.

Post
#1349879
Topic
Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga 4k UHD -- 27 DISC Boxed Set -- 3/31/2020
Time

Zavvi UK do have the individual 3-disc Steelbook releases for the OT as being available from June onwards… so hopefully there’ll also be individual releases for the various ‘Skywalker Saga’ films available around then too…
 

The New Hope and Empire 4K steelbooks are sold out for preorder, though there may be more stock later in the summer.

The Return of the Jedi 4K steelbook is now available for preorder.

Update 06/04/20:

Zavvi have just sent an email notification that more than 20 previously sold out steelbook titles will be on sale again in the next few days, but only to subscribers to their Red Carpet service (£10 for one year). I suspect the ANH and ESB steelbooks might be two of the titles on offer. This is annoying but over one year the subscription might pay for itself.

Another update (sorry!):

Panic over - none of the steelbooks are Star Wars titles. Mainly Marvel.