I suppose after two years of silence, we can safely assume Legacy will not be seeing a release through the official channels in the foreseeable future. It’s a pity we never got to see anything beyond individual shots. The last update from the actual restoration itself stems from 2015, I believe. It would have been neat to at least get some kind of trailer with sound, such that we could get a sense of how such a release would look with a proper color grading. A comparison with the official 4K restoration released in 2019 would also be very interesting, since that restoration is obviously much more detailed than the much maligned 1080p 2004 master. Ah, well. Que sera sera.
I have to admit, I’m intrigued by this video, that Mike has on his vimeo channel:
It’s the so called worst shot in the film. While all the techniques discussed are really interesting, I’m having difficulty viewing this particular shot as restored. In my view a restoration in the truest sense of the word would get the highest quality source possible, preferably the original negative or separation masters, repair any damage, remove dirt that was not in the original shot and present the shot as is, warts and all. Which would very likely include a lot of grain, dirt and color noise as Mike points out in his video. However, Mike goes well beyond that using modern digital techniques to get the shot to look better and most notably smoother than it could ever have looked in 1977. Now, how is this different from going back to the original elements and using modern digital techniques, namely digital compositing to get the shot to look better than ever, which aside from the CGI Ronto is exactly what we got with the Special Editions. So, isn’t this shot not just another Special Edition? Additionally, I see a problem in removing grain this way. Namely, the lack of detail is indelibly linked to the grain and overall degradation of the shot. Removing this much grain and noise without significant detail enhancement results in a DNR-ed waxy image, that I’m not sure is a real improvement over the grainy alternative. What do you think?
I should add, that I really like the idea of taking multiple prints and combining them in an effort to get an image much closer to the original negative, but many of the shots Mike discusses go well beyond that. I also fear, that the focus on maximizing detail and minimizing grain for individual shots will result in a lack of cohesion between shots, because the techniques used may work wonders on one shot, but much less so on another. The result will be a mishmash of shots that are supremely detailed approaching the negative, and others that are only slightly better than the best technicolor prints.