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Mielr

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15-Jun-2006
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Post
#219140
Topic
The Official Lucasfilm Response
Time
Originally posted by: boris
Originally posted by: Mielr
Yes, and remember that all of the "new" stuff for the SE, weren't added onto to the original camera negatives (that would be impossible)- all of the original elements were scanned, then the new stuff added digitally, then it was all output to NEW negatives.
They can be and they were.

They can be and they were...what? I'm not sure what you mean.

Digital effects cannot be physically added to a 30-year old negative (to be clear- I'm not talking about cutting and splicing here- I'm talking about actually changing the content of the original negative frames). The negative can be scanned, and the digital effects can be combined with the original image via computer, but then the final result must be output onto a new piece of film.

Post
#219065
Topic
Addresses and contacts for various media outlets go in here
Time
This thread is great! I'll try to send emails to everyone on the list.

Again, here are the email addresses for the folks at Lucasfilm (in case anyone's interested):

lynne.hale@lucasfilm.com
jim.ward@lucasfilm.com
john.singh@lucasfilm.com
publicity@lucasfilm.com

What about film preservation organizations, like AFI? Film preservationists are strictly against altering classic films, I wonder if there might be some sort of angle here in terms of George Lucas saying that the original trilogy can't be put on a DVD in anamorphic film because essentially the films supposedly "don't exist" anymore. Hearing that will piss the preservationists off to no end.

AFI:
Ken Wlaschin - kwlaschin@afionline.org

The Association of Moving Image Archivists:

amia@amianet.org

http://www.amianet.org/


Also, I wonder if the Library of Congress has complete prints for all three films?
Post
#219031
Topic
Remember when everyone hated Return of the Jedi?
Time
Originally posted by: Obiwampa
Remember that? The Ewoks? The banal dialog between Luke and Leia?, ("But why must you confront him?!"), The musical number in Jabba's palace? The musical number in the Ewok village? Muppets. Muppets everywhere. (A plethora of puppets, if you will.) Vader unmasked? ANOTHER Death Star?! I find it amusing that everyone now considers ROTJ to be an equal member of the original-original trilogy, and a 'classic'. I just seem to remember a time, hmmmm, when was it? A time when ROTJ was considered the worst of all the SW films...hmmmm, when was that, AHA! Before Episode I!!!!!!!

I never hated it. I saw it in 1983 and was totally blown away by it. Empire will always be my favorite, but it doesn't mean I love Jedi any less. I really don't remember anyone criticizing the Ewoks back in '83- all of that talk seemed to come years later.

However, I DETEST the SE of Jedi. The new musical number, the removal of the Ewok song, the addition of "Young Anakin" to the DVD finale....blech!!!

Post
#219018
Topic
The Official Lucasfilm Response
Time
Originally posted by: zombie84
Here is what appears to be a fairly accurate post from hometheaterforum:

"At first, the intention was simply a re-release of ANH only, using new elements struck from the o-neg. But when they had a look at it, they discovered that much of it had "gone pink". Much of the film had been shot on a new Eastman stock that, as it turned out, was unstable (I recall reading that the Jaws negative also suffers from this).

This shows that when the film was originally conformed, original camera negative was cut, and not dupe negative as is sometimes done instead.


A few bits of negative were too far gone and had to be replaced using new neg struck from existing postive(s). One such source was a three-strip Technicolor (yes!) print Lucas had had made back in the day for his personal archive. I know that sounds unlikely as late as 1977 but that's what I came across in my research.


New negatives of these shots were then cut into the negative, replacing the deteriorated portions.

This process inspired Lucas to let ILM warm up for the prequels by creating new material for the re-release. So all the necessary shots (not the entire movie) were scanned in at 2K, the new CG elements added, and were then shot back out to film and cut into the negative. A few 1976/7 special effects shots were scanned in for the sole purpose of cleaning them of printed-in dirt and whatnot; I have b-roll of an ILMer clone-stamping out dirt blobs from Luke training with the lightsaber aboard the Millennium Falcon, a shot that was not plastered with new CG elements.

You see what's happening to the negative all this time? It's being subsumed by new material, bit by bit. Some of it avoidable, some not. Somewhere I have a sound bite of Lucas saying the negative now contains something like 250 (I don't remember the exact number but it's in the 200s) pieces of new negative. This is the reason Lucas has said the original "doesn't exist anymore", because from the perspective of original elements as the ideal, it doesn't. The fact that one could always go back to existing positive elements is of course what made the statement truthful only from a certain point of view."


Yes, and remember that all of the "new" stuff for the SE, weren't added onto to the original camera negatives (that would be impossible)- all of the original elements were scanned, then the new stuff added digitally, then it was all output to NEW negatives.

BTW, I have several strips of a 70mm print of Star Wars from 1977, and they ARE pink!

And...I'm still not buying that there are no existing, useable prints of the original trilogy, that they could use for a decent anamorphic DVD transfer.
Post
#218966
Topic
The Official Lucasfilm Response
Time
Here's the letter I've sent to Lynne Hale, John Singh, and Jim Ward at Lucasfilm (with slight variations for each). It might help, it might not, but at least I let my feelings be known. I suggest you all do the same, if you haven't done so yet.

lynne.hale@lucasfilm.com
jim.ward@lucasfilm.com
john.singh@lucasfilm.com
publicity@lucasfilm.com

Dear Mr. Ward,

I recently found out that the “original” versions of the Star Wars Trilogy will be released on DVD on September 12th. My initial excitement was dashed, however, when I found out that the films will not be presented in the anamorphic format.

I’ve read the response that Lynne Hale has sent to those concerned about this issue, and I must admit, I’m a bit puzzled by it. She stated that “We want you to be aware that we have no plans – now or in the future – to restore the earlier versions”. Star Wars fans such as myself, never asked that the original movies be “restored” or “remastered” or even “cleaned”, for that matter. All we asked for, was a new anamorphic transfer of the films for DVD, which is not the same thing as a “restoration”.

Star Wars fans are among the most sophisticated film enthusiasts on earth, due in no small part to the very high standards that George Lucas himself set with his THX program. To present these films in a non-anamorphic format, which will not display properly on today’s 16:9 televisions, quite frankly, smacks of laziness. All films released on DVD in 2006, no matter how obscure, are presented in the 16:9 format, if that is how the movie was originally filmed. Why? Because most new television sets have a screen ratio of 16:9.

To say that “we could not put the extraordinary time and resources” into the DVD transfers of these films is insulting. Star Wars fans are some of the most loyal on the planet, and have purchased multiple releases of the Star Wars Trilogy over the years, spending hundreds of dollars - without complaint - all because we were just thrilled to have the latest and the best editions of our favorite films. To now present these films on DVD from the 1993 Laserdisc masters, is simply unacceptable. Are the "powers that be" even aware that there were problems with the 1993 Laserdisc masters that had to be corrected for the 1995 Laserdisc release? For instance, with Return Of The Jedi, there was a hair hanging in the gate during the first shot in the film, which was "fixed" by removing several top scan lines. Finally, the problem was correctly fixed by removing the hair and restoring the missing scan lines for the 1995 Laserdisc release. Which version should we expect to appear on DVD? The version with the hair? The version with the missing scan lines? Or the corrected 1995 version?

Ms. Hale also stated that “The negatives of the movies were permanently altered for the creation of the Special Editions, and existing prints of the first versions are in poor condition”. That is patently false. It is common knowledge that George Lucas himself owns a British Technicolor print of Star Wars, that is in pristine condition. As a matter of fact, it was used as color reference when the films were restored for the Special Editions in 1997. Also, I highly doubt that there are NO existing prints of original versions of The Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi that would be suitable for a new DVD transfer.

I know that this is just one of many letters you will receive about this matter. I hope that all of these letters will convince you to reconsider this project, and release these films in the 16:9 anamorphic format, thus giving the films, and the fans, the respect they deserve.

Sincerely,
------------
Post
#218789
Topic
The Official Lucasfilm Response
Time
Originally posted by: zombie84
The original negative ITSELF was what was deteriorating because of the film stock. Sometime dupe prints are made but in this case the rotting of some sections of the emulsion indicates that it was not a dupe but the original negative. The interpositive from 1985 is fine AFAIK --it was even used for the 1993 Laserdisk.

I don't know, but that's not the way I understood it. It's true, that ALL of the film stock (camera negatives, INs, IPs, prints, etc.) is in some stage of deterioration, but from the info I've seen, the elements that were in the best shape were the original camera negs. But even with the original camera negs, in order to make new IPs, they had to wash the sand off much of the film that was collected when they were shooting in Tunisia (which could have only happened to a camera negative) because it was incorrectly washed the first time. They said that they couldn't just use a print (even one in good condition- like the LD prints or IPs) because the resulting prints would end up being to grainy after duplication, to use in theatrical releases. And as far as I know, GL doesn't have Technicolor D-T prints for ESB or ROTJ. Technicolor had stopped making D-T prints in the early '70s in the US, and in the late '70s in England (which means GLs Technicolor print is from England).
Post
#218785
Topic
The Official Lucasfilm Response
Time
Originally posted by: zombie84
Originally posted by: Mielr
Originally posted by: zombie84
Wasn't the technicolor print used to restore the OOT? Shouldn't it have frames missing?


No, I don't think they actually cut up the Technicolor print, they used it as a guide as to what the color saturation should be, etc. Even if it was directly used, I imagine the frames would have been scanned, rather than physically cut.


No, if it was used it would have been cut, not scanned and copied. Hmm. I had also heard that the 85 interpositive was used to fill in the rotting section. But then someone told me it was the technicolor print. I wonder which one it really was now (both? neither?)

I doubt very much that they cut apart the Technicolor print. It was my understanding that the INs -which were the notorious CRI or "color-reversal intermediate" Kodak stock that was used in the 1970s, and it deteriorated quickly, so they had to go back to the original camera negatives.

Post
#218764
Topic
The Official Lucasfilm Response
Time
Originally posted by: Yoda Is Your Father
Originally posted by: Mielr
I know for a fact that George Lucas owns a pristine, Technicolor Dye-Transfer print of Star Wars. As a matter of fact, he wanted the folks at YCM (or whoever did the '97 SE restorations) to use the print as an example of what he wanted the finished restorations to look like (Dye-Transfer prints don't fade like chemical-based Kodak prints do).
How do you know this?

I read an interview with one of the film restorationists who worked on the SE (can't remember the guy's name- it may have been someone at Lowry) who said that Lucas took him into a vault, and showed him the print and said something to the effect of "this is what I want the film to look like".
Post
#218761
Topic
The Official Lucasfilm Response
Time
Originally posted by: canofhumdingers
I wonder how people would feel if da Vinci came back from the dead and repainted the Mona Lisa to look like Pamela Anderson because his tastes changed?


Sorry to go off on a tangent, but, after the stupidity with which the "Da Vinci Code" has blinded the general populace, i have to correct you. (No, i'm not saying you're dumb, just that people have been fed all sorts of falsities from that book/movie) & this is one i just can't stand. Leonardo da Vinci's name is LEONARDO. Da Vinci is NOT A NAME. It simply clarifies that you're talking about Leonardo from the town of Vinci, and not some other Leonardo. It'd be like if you knew a guy named Bob who was born in Chicago and contantly referred to him as "from Chicago"..... "hey, from Chicago, wanna go catch a movie tonight?"


Yes, but that's how all last names started. People with the last name "Tailor" or "Taylor" are decended from people who were tailors by trade, people with the name "DiGiacomo" (which means "Of James") were decended from someone named "James", or some people's surnames came from the region they came from like "Da Vinci". So, it's not really incorrect to refer to him as Leonardo DaVinci.

Post
#218756
Topic
The Official Lucasfilm Response
Time
Originally posted by: ricarleite

Are you telling me that there are no copies of STAR WARS left? Lucasfilm and Twentieth Century Fox, two multi-billion corporations from the United States of America, who produced and distributed the most popular movie in the world, cannot provide ONE SINGLE COPY of the movie in it's original form? They have to resort to a LD because there is NO other way? And he has used the original films to make the SEs? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't see how it's possible to overwrite celluloid. What did he use to make the 1993 and 1995 sets? It obviously didn't come from an inferior form. Did he BURN it afterwards? Maybe they just burned it as an accident and are too embarassed to say, because that is the only reasonable explanation that comes to mind.

I know for a fact that George Lucas owns a pristine, Technicolor Dye-Transfer print of Star Wars. As a matter of fact, he wanted the folks at YCM (or whoever did the '97 SE restorations) to use the print as an example of what he wanted the finished restorations to look like (Dye-Transfer prints don't fade like chemical-based Kodak prints do).

Why couldn't we have that gorgeous print on DVD? Even if he doesn't own D-T prints of ESB or ROTJ, at least we could have a beautiful example of SW on DVD for posterity.

When they say "laserdisc" masters, do they mean the one with the hair in the gate? (from ROTJ) Or the one with the scanlines removed, to hide the hair in the gate? Or, the corrected 1995 versions?

Am I the only person who doesn't think the people involved in this would even know the difference? They "searched exhaustively" for laserdisc masters? Give me a freakin' break!