A new version of this reconstruction is out! Check the OP for details or the spleen to see it for yourself.
That looks really nice! I imagine the bulk of the color correction will be something along those lines, plus maybe a slight decrease in the red levels – though the former might take care of that, since the area adjusted to black would presumably suffer from the same color imbalances as the rest of the picture, though perhaps a bit less pronounced.
As for our “team,” it’s just the two of us, so anything you suggest in here will definitely reach everyone involved!
I appreciate the advice! And yeah, I hear you regarding the colors. As far as references for the colors go, the best we have is the master used on the US VHS and LD releases, which I think I’ve heard someone say isn’t great in that regard. There is some kind of color reference frame at the beginning of some of the reels that might be useful, but I don’t know just how useful.
Hey! Yeah, I changed my URL a while back when I started the YouTube channel I’m doing now. All my old stuff’s still there, only the username is kyodaikino now.
As for how you can help, we are looking for donations, like I said. PM me if you’re interested. I’ve also got a Patreon that you can find from my Tumblr or any of my other pages if periodic smaller contributions are more feasible; at least part of anything pledged there will go towards this and projects like it.
Aside from that, if you happen to know anyone who’s done projects like this before and has any tips on anything from color correction to cleanup, what software to use, soundtrack restoration, encoding, anything like that, do send them my way. I’d love to hear from them.
We’ve just gotten back a preview scan of reel one. Note that these screenshots are from a low-bitrate .mov with no color correction or even physical print cleanup, encoded at 1080p, so they contain some digital artifacts that would not be so obvious in a finished version.
There is a New World Logo before Bambi Meets Godzilla; it starts a little before this but well after the beginning of the full animated logo:
Logo before the movie proper, in all its open matte glory:
Underrated logo imo:
The borders of the textless Toho credits are visible through the title cutout:
And I would walk…
Toho splice at the bottom:
New World splice at the top:
Steve Martin decorates for 1.85:1 but protects for Academy:
Never noticed this book until I did my old reconstruction. It’s a nice touch:
The amulet, in glorious HD:
Looks like RoG was hard-matted in camera if this flare is anything to go by:
Rollllllll credits (ding):
Toho cue mark:
I really like this shot. Something about it is just especially '80s. Maybe it’s the colors of the sky combined with their clothes:
New World cue mark:
We’ve already paid for wet gate scans of this print and of a 16mm UK print of Terror of Mechagodzilla, but the cost of renting the prints from the collector who owns them has left us a bit short on cash for software to clean these up. We’re not sure at the moment the exact programs and costs involved, but we will be discussing it and will hopefully have more precise numbers soon. In the meantime, you can PM either of us if you’re interested in supporting the project; anything not spent on these will be put toward similar projects in the future.
Hey folks, as some of you may have heard, Servanov and I are trying to organize a film scanning and restoration endeavor. Servanov has found a collector who owns a 35mm low-fade print of Godzilla 1985, as well as several late-Showa Godzilla prints; and a scanning technician who’ll give us a pretty solid rate on scanning 1985 and one other film (TBD).
These’ll be 4K scans covering the full area of the film including sprocket holes, so I imagine the encoded releases will most likely be at 1080p since the frame proper wouldn’t be at full 4K resolution, but the upshot is a solid reference point for stabilization in the form of the sprocket holes and access to whatever info appears on the edges of the print about the film stock and so on. Once we receive the scans, we’ll be releasing a grindhouse version in relatively short order and possibly making the raw scans available, then setting about cleaning up and color-correcting the scans to produce our finished release. 1985 is our highest priority, but the other feature will receive similar treatment as well.
Right now, though, we’re trying to raise the money to cover the scan and any accompanying shipping, storage, and/or software expenses – we’re looking at a goal of about $2500 overall.
If you’re interested in contributing, please shoot me or Servanov a message! And if you’ve got any advice or questions, please drop them in this thread! I’ve never done a project like this before, but Servanov does a lot of work with film, and we’re also in contact with a guy who really knows a lot about this sort of thing, but we’re always open to more input.
I’m currently looking at whether to try and obtain a 16mm print of Destroy All Monsters, which I’ve just started a thread about. What I’m not sure about is whether a print as faded and red as the one up for sale will be salvageable via color correction by expert hobbyists like the OT crowd, or if it would need professional attention. I’m also on the fence about whether to try and get my hands on this myself and seek out other fans who can do something with it, or pass the word along to Criterion, since they now own Destroy All Monsters (as well as Rodan and Monster Zero!) and may or may not be preparing Blu-ray releases of these films, and I know Toho doesn’t keep materials for the US versions on hand, so who knows what kind of elements Criterion has access to through UPA’s successors or whoever they dealt with to get these rights.
I guess what I’m saying is, we might be able to get something done through fan circles, but it might also be worth getting in touch with Criterion to see if these prints would be of any use to them.
I’ve just become aware of a complete 16mm print of Destroy All Monsters on eBay. It’s the original AIP dub released in the US in 1969; the print itself looks like a cropped version for TV.
The print, however, is extremely faded and red, and I don’t really know how much color correction can do for a case like that, so I’m not sure how useful it would be for preservations or reconstructed versions. On the other hand, though, it isn’t terribly expensive – about $150 after shipping, though there is an existing bid on it, and I don’t know what their max is.
I’m reaching out to you guys to ask for your advice, particularly with regard to whether a film in this condition can still benefit from color correction. After that, it’s a matter of whether to bid on the thing myself and see about finding someone who can scan and color-correct it, or to alert, say, someone at Criterion to its availability, on the off-chance they might find it useful for their possibly-pending release of this and several other Toho Godzilla films, since Toho doesn’t seem to keep any kind of elements for these original US versions on hand whatsoever.
OT.com is a Russian psyop
In any case, I’d be interested in seeing someone scan this. The Blu-ray isn’t terrible, but it’s really nothing special either, especially considering the work Lowry did on the Eon films.
EDIT: Didn’t notice how old this post was; that’s browsing message boards exhausted at 3am for you.
Sorry for the late update, but the reconstruction is available to download! I’ve been at the mercy of hotel wifi the last few days, so the MKV is currently only available on the spleen over a horribly slow connection, but the MP4 is available in the usual spots, and the MKV will be as well once I’m on a better connection.
The Son of Godzilla reconstruction is available now!
The 1080p HD reconstruction of the original US TV version of Son of Godzilla is completed and available to download! Have a look on the spleen or send a private message for details.
Notes on this release:
- The Toho transfer had its contrast and saturation boosted to alleviate its flat appearance; other sources were color-corrected to roughly match this source.
- The original US version has only ever existed in 4:3 pan-and-scan, so no widescreen sources for the US title card or textless opening/ending exist. A capture of the 1997 Anchor Bay VHS was used for these portions of the film.
- Numerous other shots throughout the film have frames missing, with reel changes suffering the worst. Some shots were replaced entirely using the 2004 TriStar DVD, others with the Blu-ray of All Monsters Attack, which reused some of the affected shots, and others had the missing frames reinstated using a roughly 16:9 copy of the French version of the film.
- The original Walter Reade Organization logo is reinstated at the end, using the recreation featured in the Ghidrah reconstruction.
I’ve been kind of scarce around here my last couple projects, haven’t I? In any case, I figured I’d start a thread for my latest project, which will be released on Christmas.
This project is a recreation of the original US TV version of Son of Godzilla in HD and widescreen. Obviously this isn’t as perfectly faithful a job as some of the other reconstructions I’ve done, since the US version of this film has only ever existed in a 4:3 pan-and-scan version, but I’ve done my best to accurately reflect the overall form of the US version - for instance, the spots where the Japanese title, credits and end title appear all play without text in this version. Since there’s no widescreen source for the textless shots, those portions of the film are shown in 4:3, taken from an excellent VHS capture by Jetrell Fo.
Here’s an early version of the visual switch from the VHS to the Japanese Blu-ray: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fy5dy3H6RM4 (I’ve since color-corrected the VHS source and adjusted its initial aspect ratio; I hadn’t taken pixel aspect ratio into account when positioning it in the frame)
Here’s what I ended up doing for the ending after my efforts to recreate the textless shot in widescreen didn’t work out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYwl6WVKrac
I’ve also gotten some fantastic cover art from Video Collector, if he’d like to share them in this thread. They’ll be available as always with the MKV version of the project.
I’ve got a friend working on rendering the project right now; my laptop frequently overheats while rendering and she’s got a real beast of a desktop, so sending her the project file and source media for rendering makes the whole process a lot quicker and less of a hassle. If everything goes smoothly, you folks should be able to download this project Christmas morning!
The Godzilla vs. the Thing reconstruction is available now!
The 1080p HD reconstruction of the original US version of Godzilla vs. the Thing is completed and available to download! Have a look on the spleen or send a private message for details.
Notes on this release:
- The Toho transfer has had its contrast and saturation boosted somewhat to alleviate its flat appearance. The Simitar DVD has had its brightness and contrast adjusted and its saturation drastically boosted in order to compensate for its even worse color palette. Contiguously-employed DVD sources have been color-corrected to match the enhanced Simitar transfer as closely as possible, while the Siren DVD’s credits have been matched as closely as possible to the colors of the Toho transfer.
- The opening credits are from the 16mm-sourced Siren PAL DVD, the English newspaper headlines are from the Simitar letterbox DVD, and the ending AIP title is from the Classic Media DVD.
- The Frontier Missile sequence is mainly taken from the Simitar letterbox DVD, with one missing shot and a missing portion of the next shot sourced from, respectively, the German Marketing-Film DVD and the Classic Media DVD, the latter of which results in a brief bit of footage appearing in pillarboxed 1.78:1 as opposed to the original film’s 2.35:1.
- The Siren DVD was the main audio sync reference used in this project, with the Classic Media DVD used to sync audio that the former has out of sync for most of reel 2.
- The reconstruction audio is primarily taken from the Simitar DVD, with gaps and splices filled in using the Siren and Classic Media DVDs.
- The beginning of the film features a brief “overture,” consisting of the music that plays where the Japanese title card would be, before the AIP credits begin. This was a feature of the original theatrical release that has not been replicated on any home video release.
Hey all! Just released a v2.0 of this reconstruction that addresses numerous errors in and issues with the original version, including the noticeable gate weave in the last shot, the confusion of the missing frames around that optical wipe with an intentional edit, and duplicating the missing frames in the reference copy in the recon. It’s in all the usual places; I look forward to hearing how you all like it!
It’s the same dub, but conformed to the editing of the Japanese version - for instance, the scenes of the Controller speaking the language of Planet X are included (reverting to the Japanese audio), and Namikawa’s note to Glenn is shown using the original Japanese shot as opposed to the insert with the English note found in the US version (the differing shot lengths cause a hiccup in the synchronization for a moment after Namikawa’s voiceover ends).
The Invasion of the Astro-Monsters reconstruction is available now!
The 1080p HD reconstruction of Invasion of the Astro-Monsters’ International version is completed and available to download! Venture spleenwards or send a private message for details.
Notes on this release:
- The Toho transfer had its contrast and saturation boosted to alleviate its flat appearance.
- This version was synchronized to the UK VHS release of the International version (which was slowed down from PAL speed), and also uses that release’s audio track, which was adjusted slightly for better synchronization.
- The opening credits were carefully digitally recreated.
- The expository text at the beginning and the end title card are presented using a combination of the Simitar DVD (to retain the entire image) and the Classic Media DVD (to reduce artifacting around the text itself).
- The English Toho logo comes from the Godzilla vs. Gigan Blu-ray by Kraken Releasing.
- The textless riot montage was recreated using a complicated patching/masking process for one shot and reverting to the UK VHS source for the others; the VHS source presents the film in roughly 1.85:1 and so does not fill the entire 2.35:1 frame, but is placed appropriately within it.
- The Toho transfer is typically missing a handful of frames at the beginning and end of each reel. Where the missing frames couldn’t be compensated for in a satisfactory fashion, the sound/sync reference was trimmed to match what was there.
If I’m not mistaken, what’s meant by “the unaltered versions don’t exist” is that the OCN was cut up to insert the '97SE shots into it, right? So a full, intact copy of the original negative might not exist, but most of the OCN for the unaltered versions exists as part of the SE negative, and I imagine either the snipped portions still exist somewhere or complete prints of the unaltered versions exist that are only a generation or two removed from the OCN.
Basically what that means is that it’s not that the materials don’t exist to prepare a 4K restoration of the unaltered trilogy, but it would take some work to assemble the finished product from different materials - there’s no complete original negative they can just run through a scanner and be done with it.
So basically it’s not a question of whether they can, but whether they will.
Hey folks, quick update: I’ve basically finished the International version of this film and VC’s sent me the covers, so all that’s left to do now is render and upload it! It might be a little while as I’ve got to work around my classes, but it should probably be up in a week or so; two at the absolute most.
I’m glad you enjoyed it! I really appreciate the artwork you’ve contributed to my projects; I do my best to present the movies themselves as well as I can, but graphic design of that quality and complexity is a bit beyond me, and I think it really adds something to the presentation having covers that are easily better than what most actual distributors can be bothered to make for these movies, never mind a lot of fan covers.
It’s now available on the spleen and the other usual spots as well! One of the spleen mods has disabled the MP4 version saying there’s no need for multiple uploads of the same project (I think he just meant to hide it from the main page), but you can still get it from other spots - message me if you don’t know where to look.
Hope you all enjoy it!
Just got a message on Tumblr from someone saying they’d seen these covers; didn’t realize they’d gotten done. They look fantastic, and I love the variety. I think my favorite’s the German poster, but I really like the VHS cover aesthetic as well. Guess I’d better go download these and upload the reconstruction!
Ooh, I’ll have to keep an eye on this thread.
Naturally. I should probably go get in touch with a mod to get it approved first, as is apparently protocol for fan edits and the like.
Just went through and synced up the CM audio, added the grain and all that, looks like it’s pretty much done! I’ll be starting a test render in a minute here. It’ll probably be a while yet before the actual release, though; I’m still waiting on the cover art and Video Collector’s bought a German poster he wants to use for one of the variants that hasn’t arrived just yet. In the meantime, though, I’ll probably post some more BTS/shitpost videos to tide you guys over.
I’m afraid I know next to nothing about authoring and burning discs on Windows, let alone on a Mac; I know broadly what codecs are the right ones for Blu-ray but that’s about it. Someone else on here might be able to help you, though!
Well I finished syncing the Japanese HD footage to the Simitar DVD late last night, or early this morning, and in addition I’ve recreated the “Henry G. Saperstein Presents” and UPA logo cards at the beginning of the film. I’ve also set up the backgrounds for the recreated opening credits.
What’s left to do, then:
- Recreate the opening credits
- Deal with the other US version visuals (location cards, newspaper headlines, “The End”) either through masking, recreating or just substituting the SD shots
- Add the Classic Media audio since the Simitar audio has this weird volume inconsistency where most of the film is quiet, then the second-to-last reel is a lot louder, then the last reel is a little quieter and also skewed to one side for some reason
- Add grain to the whole thing, render, test, upload
Also I’m pleased to announce that Video Collector will once again be preparing Blu-ray art for this project. He hasn’t sent me anything yet, but as always I’m excited to see what he comes up with.