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RU.08

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Join date
5-May-2011
Last activity
2-Mar-2021
Posts
1,267
Web Site
https://valeyard.net/

Post History

Post
#1407358
Topic
Alien 1979 - 35mm scan opportunity (a WIP)
Time

Hey great question.

I am independent, not part of TSWT.COM but I am in good contact with them. This project is being handled by someone else (not me and also not TSWT.COM) unless you hear otherwise they are anonymous.

I also use my own scanners, although I have invited others to use them from time to time not everyone chooses to.

I am not asking for any more funding for this project and I’m focusing my efforts on Disney in particular.

Thanks!

Post
#1370665
Topic
Info: Mike Verta’s 4K Restoration - May 2020 Livestream
Time

Cthulhunicron said:

I know, but they said the o-negative has faded because it some of the film stock was notorious for quick fading, and some of it was unusable.

Film that couldn’t be scanned in the 90’s because it was too far faded can be scanned today.

Other sections of the negative were destroyed when they cleaned it.

No doubt, but there is as I said plenty of other material.

In 1997, they said they restored the negative by making duplications of sections from internegatives, interpositives, and the separation masters. So it seems to me that around 1997, what Lucasfilm is calling the “restored negative” (now conformed to the 97 SE), it would have to partially (or mostly) consist of new pieces of film printed in the 90s. All cgi shots were printed onto film, all digital composites were printed onto film, and the restored sections were new film created from IN, IP, or SM sources.

Right, but just because they printed those sections onto film doesn’t mean the interpos, dupe-neg, and separation film is gone.

If there were any sections of the restored negative that were actually from the original negative, it seems like they would have faded even worse by 2013 when they did the 4K scan.

Of course, but the scanning technology is much, much, much more advanced now. In the 90’s no one was scanning for digital 2K. They were doing it for TV, DVD, or digital effects on film.

Unless they were able to avoid additional fading through better storage methods. I suppose worst case scenario, if the sections of the negative that were printed prior to the 90s were unusable , they could have been scanned from the separation masters, since those don’t fade. I’ve heard even the IPs and INs had fading.

Separation masters are black-and-white film, so obviously can’t fade. That said, any dupe-neg would do fine to do a restoration from if the o-neg and the interpos are unavailable, and there would have been several dupe-negs.

Post
#1370521
Topic
Info: Mike Verta’s 4K Restoration - May 2020 Livestream
Time

yotsuya said:

They way he described it was that he was removing grain that was the result of additional generations. So yes, the grain is reduced/removed, but if he did it right, it would be the o-neg level of grain which was made worse with each generation.

That’s what he said but it’s not what he did.

However, as someone who watches quite a lot of 35mm projected I can tell you the grain you see in a scan, even a top-quality scan with no visible scanner noise, is significantly more than is apparent on projection. So it is quite reasonable to do some grain reduction to match projection.

Cthulhunicron said:

So, the O-negative had badly faded by 1994, so it seems like that means that what Lucasfilm is calling the O-negative is actually partially (or mostly) comprised of new film printed in the 90s. We know parts of the o-negative were unusable, and other parts were destroyed in the cleaning process. Damaged sections were re-created from the separation masters, interpositives, and internegatives. Any shots containing CGI (including digital recomposites) were rendered in 2K and then printed to film in 1997.

So when they did the 4K scan, most of what they were scanning would logically have to be new film printed in the 90s, correct? Also, is it possible that the 1997 version contains more frames from the actual o-negative than the 4K scan? It seems like if there were any o-negative frames in 1994 that had survived with minimal fading, then the fading would have been even worse by the time they started working on the 4K version.

There’s plenty of material because they kept everything. The best material is the camera negative, then there’s the dupe positives, the dupe negatives, the separation masters, and so on.

Post
#1369945
Topic
Info: Mike Verta’s 4K Restoration - May 2020 Livestream
Time

act on instinct said:

I think there’s some sour grapes on here because we don’t have access to Legacy, but this is more than a decade of work and it has been a labor of love, I’m not comfortable brushing aside all that dedication and effort as MV just doing whatever he wants, he could really be much less considerate if it was the case that he was exclusively altering to personal taste.

There’s no sour-grapes from me, I just want people to know/understand what Legacy is and what it isn’t. It’s up to people to decide for themselves whether they would call this project a “restoration” or something else. I personally would not call it a “restoration” and whether you want to call it a “fan made special edition” or “fan edit” or something else is up to you.

There are many issues with 4K77 as well of course that make it at best an incomplete restoration, and some of the decisions there were as well to remove some of the imperfections that are in the original film rather than only print/scan imperfections like dirt and scanner noise. As far as fan projects go of course it is very good and really significant improvements will require new film scans (not easy to acquire!)

Post
#1369557
Topic
Info: Mike Verta’s 4K Restoration - May 2020 Livestream
Time

Okay so I watched a little bit of the vid, and I can tell you that Mike is being both loose with the truth, and not fully forthcoming about what he has changed. The '77 crawl as I mentioned he rotoscoped every letter, it’s in one of his Vimeo videos, yet he says it’s what he got just from layering prints! He removed the colour distortions from optical compositing and the “garbage mattes” from space composites because he feels that audiences didn’t see them in 1977. That’d be no different to claiming that Terminator audiences in 1984 didn’t see the wires attached to the HK models as a justification for removing them. He goes on about how the Mos Eisley drive-through shot is the worst looking shot in the film, but he doesn’t make clear that lots of movies have one low quality shot like that in them, or that actually all of the optical composite shots especially involving optical zooms, dissolves, and wipes typically come out at lower quality. Which is why higher budget films do those effects using a 65mm intermediate. Touching them up to bring them up to the quality of the rest of the film is exactly what the intention of the 1997 Special Edition was - it was a photochemical restoration more than anything else, with a few CGI shots inserted.

Finally Mike says that Legacy is the “original version” - I disagree. It’s his version, that he is happy with and that’s perfectly fine. But he has made alterations to it to make it the way he feels the movie should look, including making it way sharper than was ever intended in 1977.

Post
#1369514
Topic
Info: Mike Verta’s 4K Restoration - May 2020 Livestream
Time

44rh1n said:

I wish Disney would just release his restoration. It looks phenomenal!

Mike’s “restoration” (if you can call it that, it’s really more of a fan-made special edition) is not a professional restoration. From feedback I received from someone who has seen it, it’s inconsistent and the best looking shots are ones where the camera is static since Mike focused on resolution and dirt removal. The reason why it looks phenomenal in his previews is because he’s hand-picked his best looking shots. Since resolution was his focus he also oversharpened the entire movie, not unlike the 2004 Lowry Digital restoration. As per his own videos he rotoscoped certain elements to make them sharper (for example the opening crawl) resulting in them looking nothing like they do on film. The re-compositing is ironically the same thing that GL did in 1997 as the main changes for the Special Edition, and Mike has also fixed things in the original the he didn’t like, so it’s odd that MV calls his edition a “restoration” when he’s making similar changes to what GL did, just using different tools and techniques. From what I understand the quality of the movie is not consistent since the techniques that he developed only work well for certain shots and not others. Mike’s creative decisions aside, he doesn’t have the tools or expertise for correct colour timing, to fix warpage, or reduce flicker.

This isn’t to criticise Mike, I haven’t seen Legacy myself. It’s his project and up to him to decide what he likes. It’s just to let people know that Mike’s idea of a completed restoration is an edition that he is happy with, with a bunch of changes in it, which looks different to the original film due to his own creative decisions, and without many of the restorative corrections made which most people would expect out of a professional restoration. If you want the original Star Wars, the O-OT, Legacy isn’t it. If Disney released it, well I honestly don’t know who it would really please (besides Mike obviously) we’d still be asking them to restore and release the original 1977 movie without any changes.

Post
#1344097
Topic
Alien 1979 - 35mm scan opportunity (a WIP)
Time

Thanks SilverWook.

We have scans from two prints, and I’m still waiting on a rescan of one reel. Until that happens that reel won’t match the quality of the rest of the scan.

As others have mentioned there are all kinds of reasons for scanning delays. Covid has probably caused all kinds of logistical issues as well with many of them - whether that’s in sourcing cleaning fluid, getting scanning equipment maintained or repaired (that’s very specialised and usually the “mechanics”/maintenance technician need to travel internationally or from another part of the same country to do that), getting spare parts manufactured, and so on. It’s no different to any other workshop equipment - like say a CNC machine in a joinery, if it breaks down and needs maintenance you can sometimes have to wait weeks or months to get a technician out depending on where you’re located, how many technicians there are, how busy they are, etc. Getting affordable time with a good scanner doesn’t just happen by magic.

brad86 said:

Another ‘took the money and ran’ is more than likely. Love to be proven wrong, but it’s all too easy, which is a real shame.

I haven’t taken any of your money brad86, so you’re in no position to feel ripped off. It’ll be done when it’s done.

I’m sorry to hear about the Demolition Man print, unfortunately shit happens. You’re always best to check with people involved in scanning privately if they know who a seller is and have any experience - some collectors are really fantastic and others are not so much.

Post
#1313315
Topic
JJ's style and shaky cam in TFA and TROS
Time

Broom Kid said:

Star Wars isn’t a genre. I haven’t missed your point, I think maybe you’re not grasping the terms you’re trying to use to arrive at the definitions that aren’t quite right. And your description of genre honestly doesn’t have much to do with filmmaking techniques anyway, because now you’re talking about character types and characterization tropes.

It’s made in a combination of genres, that’s the point. Lucas calls it “space opera”. Fantasy-adventure-drama is probably a lot more accurate than his description. In adventure films the protagonist goes on a quest, in action films they face a clear enemy usually in the name of justice or survival. There’s overlap of course, but the point of the quest in the adventure film (often the MacGuffin is a shared gaol between the protagonist and the antagonist rather than them having opposite goals) is to both propel the story and lead the protagonist (or antagonist) on a character arc, where they might learn new things, go on a journey of self-discover, be exposed to a foreign environment, that kind of thing.

One of the problems with Phantom Menace is that it’s not clear who is the main character. Do you know who it is?

Post
#1313265
Topic
JJ's style and shaky cam in TFA and TROS
Time

Broom Kid said:

Star Wars was never a “niche” genre. It’s not a genre unto itself (despite various people’s attempts to make it as such) either. And if you see a similarity between superheroes and fantasy-based mythologies, it’s because they both draw from the same ideas. Jedi are, more or less, superheroes.

With respect you’ve missed my point. Star Wars is a “niche genre” because of how Lucas combined other genres to make the movie. There’s a difference between superhero/villains who cannot be defeated except by other superhero/villains, and the much more relatable mortal superhero/villains who’s powers don’t make them impossible to defeat. Watto easily defeats Qui-Gon’s attempt at force-influencing him. Admiral Motti’s line to Vader: “Don’t try to frighten us with your sorcerer’s ways”. Contrast that with Superman II - General Zod can only be defeated by Superman because he is too powerful. That trope is used so often in superhero movies, and pre-dates the modern superhero genre by quite a bit as you see with that example, it’s used because it’s very convenient way to explain away why the military, police, or other authorities can’t oppose the super-villain.

You’re arguing it has to look and feel like it did in 1977 and that’s death.

That’s not my argument - my argument is that the sequels have been made in a fundamentally different style and genre. One that lots of people enjoy, but which is not for me.

Post
#1313222
Topic
JJ's style and shaky cam in TFA and TROS
Time

DominicCobb said:

The camera does not shake in that shot. I’m losing my mind. There is a difference between a non-static camera in shaky cam.

Shaky-cam is just one part of the overall filming style that JJ goes for.

More to the point, the sequel trilogy is standard Hollwood style, that’s a big part of the problem for me. Disney turned down making the original Star Wars movie because it was sci-fi and Hollwood didn’t like sci-fi, horror, or “blockbusters” in the 70’s. Lucas didn’t want to make his movie in the standard Hollywood style. Within the standard Hollywood formula you only hire the top 10% of attractive actors, your most attractive actor is always the leading man (by that formula Harrison Ford should be the leading man), no children or animals, and so on. The “Hollywood universe” often feels completely unreal.

Disney took Lucasfilm, and instead of respecting the flexible ambitious nature of the film-making that made Star Wars and Indiana Jones special and unique, decided to make them using the standard Hollywood conventions and the using the contemporary “superhero genre” of the 00’s-10’s (not to be confused with the older superhero genre of the 70’s-90’s). The visual style of Lucas’ movies was to make it grounded in reality so it felt real and relatable. Whereas the sequels have been made in the style of Marvel or Transformers and other comic-book/superhero movies that don’t appeal to me. Those movies have their fans, one of my friends his favourite movie of all time is one of those movies - I can’t even remember which movie it is because they’re all the same to me, I did watch it but I found it forgettable. Another movie in this genre I saw was Guardians of the Galaxy - I didn’t want to see it, but a friend and I were going to see another movie and it was completely sold-out at the cinema, he wanted to see Guardians (and he just loves those kind of movies) so we saw it, there are lots of people that love that kind of aerial action and adventure, but I really don’t remember much of it at all because for me it was a forgettable face-paced meaningless action ride. Jodie Foster might go a bit far in my opinion, but I agree with her frustration - this kind of “superhero genre” content has become so dominant that it has swallowed-up entire franchises.

An entire generation has grown up with these new movies, and for them that’s what Star Wars is now. Its been moved out of its own niche genre that Lucas created and into the dominant mainstream “superhero” genre. This has had the effect of making force-users superhumans, instead of regular people. Palpatine surviving Return of the Jedi makes him superhuman. Rey’s powers go well beyond Luke’s and those displayed in the OT and PT where the characters require deep concentration to move objects with the force, and even struggle to do so. In the superhero genre the only people who can oppose a superhuman is another superhuman, this is why in ROS it is Rey and Kylo who fight against Palpatine. In TLJ Snoke moves Rey around with the power of the force - that was never possible in the Lucas-saga films - once you allow a force user to simply levitate other people rendering them completely powerless like that the only people that can fight back are other equally-strong force-users. Whereas in the Lucas saga films the resistance is powerful in itself, they’re able to oppose the galactic empire effectively, and in fact ultimately succeed where the Jedi failed. Luke’s ethical dilemma in TLJ is taken right out of the superhero genre’s songbook - it’s one of the most common story tropes “with great power comes great responsibility” - it’s the force-users that caused all the galaxy-wide problems, the sooner they’re gone the better for humanity.

Post
#1312682
Topic
JJ's style and shaky cam in TFA and TROS
Time

DominicCobb said:

I just think you fundamentally have a different definition of the term. If you asked me I would say there’s only a couple shots that are “shaky,” and they’re in the cell block hallway.

Yes I think so let’s get the basics right so we’re on the same page. Are you happy to accept the Wikipedia definition?

Honestly, shaky cam on its own is not the problem. It is that it’s over-used and combined with other filming techniques that consistently move the camera unnecessarily. Like the shot that Finn takes of his helmet. To me it looks awful. If the camera was pulled back and steady it would look fine.

Post
#1312656
Topic
JJ's style and shaky cam in TFA and TROS
Time

DominicCobb said:

You must have a very liberal definition of shaky cam then. Do you think there’s any shaky cam in these scenes?
https://youtu.be/wtoHjGWc2s8?t=200
https://youtu.be/T_OSeRxhGOY?t=62

Yes the Tie Fighter attack has more, but they both have it. I’d say both are good examples of acceptable levels, there’s lots of shots in the Tie fighter scene where the camera is completely stationary to counter-balance that effect, whereas JJ barely ever allows the camera to be stationary.

Post
#1312625
Topic
JJ's style and shaky cam in TFA and TROS
Time

DominicCobb said:

I mentioned that one before. It’s one of the only moments in the entire film when the camera does that. The fact that that’s your only example does not help your case.

It’s not the camera at all, it’s intentional. This is what it would look like if stabilised:

https://imgur.com/a/JSvlGwk

No, the camera is shaking in that scene because it is a sort of ‘action’ scene, where they’re trying to repair the Falcon before the toxic fumes kill them. It’s one of only two dialogue scenes in the entire film with “shaky cam.”

There’s shaky cam when Finn takes off his helmet, basically any shot that has an extreme-close up like that has some level of it or some other annoying camera technique (lots of zooming, lots of focus-shifting), when they get to the bar that entire scene is filmed like it’s hand-held.

And the action scenes don’t have shaky cam either.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sarFZJl3h0

There’s what? Two, three shots total in this scene that if you squint you could call almost shaky cam? And I just picked a random scene.

Much of that shot and for that matter the movie feels like it’s framed for 1.85:1 not Scope (2.35:1) - i.e. the camera feels like it’s too close. Honestly there’s a ton of shaky-cam in that scene, I don’t know how you could possibly count two or three shots only. It’s not just shaky-cam, it’s a combination of things.