The rendered reels are now available if anyone wants to see them in their unrestored glory. Consider this a pre-grindhouse release.
The raw files are 1.32 TB in size but this render brings it down to a more manageable 24.3 GB. Each reel is roughly 4-5 GB and all I’ve done to them is zoom in to crop out the sprockets and soundtrack on either side of the film.
Other than that I haven’t done any cropping at all, so expect to see the curved edges of the frame, glimpses of adjacent frames at the top/bottom of the image, some sort of scribble between shot changes, and all sorts of stuff that would usually have been masked off in the cinema.
I’ve not had any time to sync the English soundtrack yet so if you want to see these then come prepared for Russian!
Each reel has it’s own “flavour” and problems; reel 1 is pretty “splicey”, reel 2 and 3 are pretty nice, reel 4 has problems with a magenta patch on the right hand side along with horizontal scratches, reel 5 has a bit of the magenta problem but is overall pretty nice.
There’s quite a bit of wobble in the picture, but believe it or not the scan has already been stabilised! The sprocket holes in the unzoomed scan are rock steady and never move, but watching the corners you can see the image moving about. So the wobble is “built in” to the print. It’ll be fun trying to stabilise that.
Now that all the reels are rendered I’m going to start work on a proper grindhouse release that combines the separate reels into one continuous film, and sync up the English soundtrack (which may take a while due to all the splices in reel 1). I’ll probably also crop the image a bit to mask off the stuff that wouldn’t have been seen in the cinema.
After that I think I’ll work on a “grindhouse+” version where I try to patch the splices using other sources to provide a smoother viewing experience. It’ll also give me a good feel for how all the sources mesh and will help me decide how best to go about bringing the film to true HD; a combination of Blu Ray and restored bits of the 35mm, or bite the bullet and try and restore as much of the 35mm as I can.