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John Woo's The Killer - Color Correction?

Hi everyone,

I’m a new member but a long time lurker. I’ve learned a whole lot about film restoration on this site, so I owe you guys a lot for all that I’ve learned.

I’m currently working on a fan restoration of John Woo’s The Killer.

I’m a little unclear about the best method of color correction, however.

The best quality version I think happens to be a Scandinavian PAL DVD from a company called Scanbox. However, the best colors are still on the Criterion laserdisc and DVD.

What I intend to do is upscale and restore the Scanbox DVD version, then color grade it to match the Criterion.

Is there a consensus best method for color correction of this sort?

I’m aware of Dr Dre’s Color Matching Tool, but if I’m not mistaken that tool merely takes one frame as a reference and then applies that single reference histogram to multiple frames.

Wouldn’t it be better if you could match each identical frame to each other? Meaning, a tool that will create a new histogram per frame automatically, and apply the correction to the matching frame from the other source?

I know there have been many projects for color correcting Star Wars, but I haven’t followed all these projects closely.

Is there a general consensus best way to do color matching for a project like I’m describing?

Thanks for the help.

Tips for using Dr Dre's Color Correct in the most accurate way possible?

Hello everyone,

I have posted on this forum a few times in the past but not recently. I work with a group called Hong Kong Rescue and we make custom versions of Hong Kong action films. I’ve been looking for the best method to color match one video source to another.

Frequently I see situations where the HD Blu-ray version of a film, say of a Jackie Chan film, has colors that look off. Either too blue, or too dark, or whatever. Usually there is a DVD version, or even a laserdisc version in some cases, that looks far closer to the original theatrical correct color grade. Much more natural and accurate.

So of course I’d like to find the best way to match the color, frame to frame, of the HD Blu-ray video to the DVD version with the best colors.

It would seem that Dr Dre’s Color Correct tool is ideal for this task. But the problem I’m having is that if I build a color correction model from a single frame and apply it to a large clip, it doesn’t always appear accurate throughout the entire clip. The color balance changes sometimes shot to shot.

Ideally, I’d want a method that will build a color correction model for each frame and then apply that model to just the equivalent frame in the target video. That way would be the most accurate. But that method would need to be automated, because doing it by hand frame by frame would take ages.

Is there any way to get Dre’s Color Correct Tool to do this automatically or is there another way I could match the color of a source to a target more accurately like I described above?


Hong Kong Rescue Project - Preserving Asian Martial Arts and Action Cinema Classics!

Matt_Stevens said:

Easy easy… okay people. I know this guy and have him working with him on recent projects. While I started on my own, J and I began to work together after I saw he really wanted to put forth an effort and release the best possible versions. So what I do is I handle all of the audio on these releases. I typically also do work on subtitles. J takes over from there due to my bad back, which has made it very difficult for me to edit the last few months. It is extremely painful just to sit down. Being perfectly frank, without our partnership none of the recent titles would have been released. 

That's the story and I hope everyone will get along. I'm currently dictating this message via my iPhone as I struggle with what I think is the flu. But I thought it important enough to post this message to prevent any misunderstandings.

 Thanks Matt.  I hope your feeling better.  I guess there was a hostile reply or two that I missed?  Just to be clear, I am not just spamming this site with ads for our project.  I've actually learned quite a lot reading these forums on how to do various technical things involved with editing films.

I just honestly thought you all would appreciate what we've put together.  I just want to get these films out there for people who would like them.

Hong Kong Rescue Project - Preserving Asian Martial Arts and Action Cinema Classics!

Hello everyone,

I thought you all might be interested in a project I am involved in called "Hong Kong Rescue".  We create definitive hybrid versions of classic martial arts and action movies on Blu-ray.  We have completed four Jackie Chan movies and one John Woo movie so far. 

We've released Hard Boiled, Police Story, Drunken Master, Drunken Master 2 and Supercop.  In the near future, we will be releasing Project A, Fist of Legend, Iron Monkey, Wheels on Meals, Armour of God and many others.

I've had a really great response to these so far and I thought you all might want to check out what we have done.

You can reach me at

I've created a Facebook page for this project:

And here is a thread I've created on the Kung Fu Cinema forums:

And what you might be interested in hearing is that we ALWAYS try to use the laserdisc PCM audio of the original Cantonese soundtrack whenever possible.  A collaborator on this project has a friend extract the audio from the laserdisc and then he meticulously syncs up the audio to the HD transfer of the film.

I'd love to get your feedback on these fan projects.  If you'd like a copy, just email me and I'll tell you how to get one.

First time capturing Laserdisc video - Please help me?

Hello everyone,

I am planning on capturing a few titles from laserdisc to include in special edition Blu Rays I am creating.  I have never attempted this before and I would appreciate some help from experts on these forums.

1.  I need to buy the equipment I need.  First off is a laserdisc player.  I really don't want to spend more than I have to.  What is your opinion on Pioneer LD-V8000?  It can be had quite cheaply.

I am looking for the best quality video.  But I would prefer not to spend much more than $100.  I could stretch to $200 or so but I'm not thinking of spending anywhere close to the amount the high end Pioneer players are going for ($400 and up).

2.  Do I need a DVD Recorder or some other equipment with a high end comb filter?  Which would you recommend?

3.  I am thinking of capturing to my hard drive in a lossless format like Huffyuv.  Then I plan on editing it, filtering (if necessary) then finally encoding it with MainConcept Reference.  Since I am planning to include the video as a special feature on a Blu Ray title I am making, I was thinking of of encoding it in 1080p x264 at a high bitrate to preserve the most detail possible.  I do want to crop the top and bottom to create a genuine widescreen anamorphic presentation of the title.

Given all this, what hardware do you recommend?  Any suggestions you could give me regarding filtering and methods to capture at the highest possible quality?


Advice on improve video quality with Adobe Premier?

Hello everyone,

I am a new member here.  But I am in the process of attempting to create Blu Ray versions of classic Jackie Chan films, pre 1995.  Most Blu Rays are upscales but some are genuine HD, like Police Story (from the Japanese release).

I want to first find the best transfers available, which are usually on Japanese Blu Ray releases and then improve it if I can with Adobe Premier.  I do not intend to do anything incredibly complicated but many times I feel the colors, contrast and detail could be improved slightly.

Usually the films are too bright, so I can easily adjust the brightness with the Proc Amp plugin and perhaps boost the contrast slightly.  And sometimes the built in Sharpening tool can improve detail without looking artificial (set usually at 20 or so).

This is pretty much the extent of what I do.  But considering there are plenty of people here who are working on similar projects, what do you do to the video to improve it?  Are there any great Premier filters or plugins that you recommend?  

Anything that could boost the quality of a Fortune Star upscale?  Or even a not great condition genuine HD source of an 80s/ early 90s Hong Kong film?

What is your process to restoring video?


Second, it seems to me that most of the audio tracks for classic Jackie Chan films and Hong Kong films in general have been not great sounding 5.1 remixes rather than the original mono.  Some of the best audio I have heard for these films is sourced from the Laserdisc versions of these films.

For example, I recently did a fan project Blu Ray of Hard Boiled with the original mono PCM audio sourced from the Criterion Laserdisc and it sounds vastly better than any of the upscales.

The problem is it is hard to track down these laserdiscs and I don't have a laserdisc player to capture it from.  Do you know of any good sources to find laserdisc audio of classic Jackie Chan in good quality?

Or if any of you have any laserdiscs of Jackie Chan films (earlier films), I would be happy to trade for a capture of the audio or reimburse you in some way.

Please let me know.  I am very capable of putting together versions of classic Hong Kong films that surpass anything else out there but I just need to find the elements to make it happen.  Communities like this help a great deal and everyone benefits when one of us uploads a custom restoration, fan project of a film that is in need of it.