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pittrek

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Join date
16-Nov-2005
Last activity
14-Nov-2022
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Post
#1480223
Topic
Help needed with preserving Star Trek: The Cage (unaired pilot)
Time

Tack said:

In terms of the COMPLETE version of this pilot, there is a chance it was released on a Portuguese VHS tape in about 1987. A clip of this has shown up on YouTube where it doesn’t cut from the uncut black and white footage to the color 1967 footage. I think a couple of complete shots could have also been taken from the original trailer for The Menagerie.

From what one TrekBBS user has said, the original editing was much looser and the ending in particular was very noticeable with this (the final conversation with the Talosians is said to be much more somber in the original than the Menagerie recut).

I don’t know if this Portuguese VHS has ever been ripped or not, but it would be seemingly invaluable.

EDIT: Proof: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMg5IuQRlMo

My copy comes from a South American collector, not sure about the original source. But it could be this one. So any good tips for colorization? 😃

Post
#1480145
Topic
Help needed with preserving Star Trek: The Cage (unaired pilot)
Time

This is my first post here in 4 years, so the first thing … Hi everybody who remembers me 😃

I have a small request regarding The Cage, an unaired 1964 pilot to a show, which you probably heard about, called Star Trek. There are multiple versions available, a brief re-cap.

The first 1964/1965 version was shown only to NBC execs and their family members. It existed as a full color 35mm film. The writer/producer of the pilot, Gene Roddenberry, had in his possession a 16mm black and white copy of this version, which he has shown on numerous conventions during the 1970’s. This version was never shown on TV, or released commercially.

In 1966 during the production of the first season the production team was not able to deliver a finished episode every week, especially because of the optical effects which took much longer than they thought. To save some time, Roddenberry wrote a new two part story called The Menagerie, and they incorporated different bits of The Cage into The Menagerie. The editors thought that they are working with just a print of the pilot threw out all of the scenes they didn’t use in The Menagerie, not knowing that they have been given the original negatives and that they have basically forever destroyed it. They have done tons of other changes too, mostly in the audio mix, they added or replaced music, and added new sound effects. Also, the mail voice of The Keeper was pitch shifted to sound more female.

In 1986, for the 20th anniversary Paramount wanted to give the fans something special, and they wanted to release The Cage for the first time, that’s when they found out that the original negative no longer exists. So they went to Roddenberry, who gave them his 16mm black & white copy. The result was a so called “extended version”, which starts and ends with a new footage by Roddenberry, and mixes footage from The Menagerie (including the new Talosian voice and new music/effects) with the 16mm black and white footage. For whatever reason they didn’t do it properly and the result is roughly 30 seconds shorter than the original version, cutting out mostly dialogue.

In 1988 the full color trims, which were cut out in 1966 were found by Bob Furmanek. He gave them back to Roddenberry, who sold them to Paramount. The result was a new full color version, mixing footage from The Menagerie with the newly found color trims. However they probably didn’t find ALL of the trims, or some of them were unusable, because there are shots which were slowed down to make up for the missing seconds. The audio is the same as in the 1986 version. This was first released as a part of the 1988 TV special “The Star Trek Saga - From One Generation To The Next” which aired between seasons 1 and 2 of Star Trek The Next Generation, and a few years later released on Japanese laserdiscs (and maybe even elsewhere). Again, this version was full color, but still roughly 30 seconds shorter and some shots were slowed down.

In 2001 (NTSC) / 2004 (PAL) Star Trek was released on DVD, and it was yet ANOTHER version, this time even shorter. They cut out the “You were like a wild little animal” line (probably because political correctness started to creep in at that time and comparing a woman to an animal considered to be tolerable anymore), lots of shots were trimmed, and some shots are in a different order.

For 2009 the Blu-ray versions were released and they featured not one, but 2 new versions of The Cage, the first one is again shorter than the DVD version, and again has a different order of shots in some scenes. The second version is the same cut, but all effects scenes were replaced by new CGI effects.

If you are interested in a much more detailed comparison of all versions, check these youtube videos I made a few years ago:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYJ0L12Tidw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ik16AZsRzzI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9f3huRphs7c
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uytyu8coPDM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6VrLjKPj_I
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgGf_JDbKc8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Lw4Eev7tZc

Anyway, back to the topic.

I have the holy grail of all Star Trek collectors - a copy of a VHS transfer of the original 16mm black and white version. It looks really bad, it is low resolution, and it is cropped too much compared to the Blu-ray, but it’s the real thing - it has the original soundtrack, featuring the real voice of Malachi Throne as the Keeper, it has the missing 30 seconds, it’s all there.

The first thing I have of course created was a mix of the Blu-ray footage and the new black and white footage. Meaning I have literally cut the Blu-ray version scene by scene and replaced the black and white shots with them. The final result is of course hard to watch. You see some cuts are very small, like 2-3 frames from the end of the shot, meaning when you watch my combined edit, you watch a shot in full colour, suddenly it changes to black and white for a split second and then it continues being full color. So I have created a second version, in which I decided to slowly fade out the color version of the shot, so the changes come much more natural and this version is much more fun to watch, but still, it’s far from perfect.

So my idea was very “simple”. Just colorize the black and white footage. Sounds simple, right? I mean we have the perfect color reference for every single shot, what could possibly go wrong? Well, I tried everything. I tried every method I could find online. I tried automatic methods, I tried manual methods. The best looking versions I achieved when I first ran the shots via DeOldify, which created versions with almost perfect skin tones, but the rest was pretty bad, and then imported these into DaVinci Resolve, where I tried to match the shots to the Blu-ray footage, but I just can’t do it.

So, after almost a year, I give up. Then I remembered that this forum actually used to be read by a huge number of very talented people, many of them being fans of the original Star Trek. So, I am here 😃 Is here anybody who has the knowledge how to colorize the black and white shots in a way that cutting or cross-fading them with the Blu-ray footage would be “watchable”? We are talking here about roughly 30 seconds of footage. Anybody who could help me with this? Thanks a lot

Post
#1237121
Topic
Rian Johnson to Head New Star Wars Trilogy
Time

Days? No clue, I usually try to watch every movie on the first day it opens, but I honestly don’t remember if I’ve seen every one of them on the first night. Other theatres? Nope, I live in a small town which had 4 theatres in the 90’s but after the digitalization a few years ago we have now just one which works the whole year and one which is showing movies only in the summer. However a multiplex should be in a huge shopping center which is being built right now, so the situation should improve in the next few months.

Post
#1236921
Topic
Rian Johnson to Head New Star Wars Trilogy
Time

DominicCobb said:

pittrek said:

Collipso said:

SilverWook said:

Disney is probably going to focus on Episode IX for now. Once Galaxy’s Edge opens in the theme parks they have the perfect opportunity to cross promote or announce new movies.

Funny how Solo has made more money than Ant-man & The Wasp and nobody is calling that a bomb. 😉

Solo didn’t make more money than the new Ant-man and it was 100 million-ish dollars more expensive.

https://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=untitledhansolostarwarsanthologyfilm.htm
https://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=ant-manandthewasp.htm

A film needs to make 2 - 2.5 times its budget to only break even.
Solo budget - 275 millions, needs 550 - 687.5 millions to break even, made 213 millions.
Ant-Man and the wasp - budget 162 millions, needs 324 - 405 millions to break even, made 211 millions.

So in the case that the numbers I just googled are correct, both movies bombed, but Solo lost more money.

Not necessarily true as you aren’t factoring in worldwide grosses were Ant-Man made a decent bit more.

Ultimately the bigger failure for Solo was the foreign grosses (which is what tentpoles moreso rely on there days). SW has always had a predominantly American fanbase - perhaps the fact that this was a film made specifically for a fan favorite character hurt perceptions. People in China don’t have any real allegiance to Han Solo, so maybe there was a failure in marketing there to make it seem not just for the hardcore fans.

Yes, I used only US domestic results, because those were the numbers I found.

Now speaking for myself - I have seen all of the Star Wars movies since the 1997 special editions in the same theatre. During the 1997 SE run, it was sold out. During the prequels it was full, almost sold out. TFA was sold out, Rogue One was pretty full, TLJ was pretty empty. You know how many people have been there for Solo? If I remember correctly something around 6. Star Wars used to be pretty popular here, but it’s slowly dying.

Post
#1236797
Topic
Rian Johnson to Head New Star Wars Trilogy
Time

Collipso said:

SilverWook said:

Disney is probably going to focus on Episode IX for now. Once Galaxy’s Edge opens in the theme parks they have the perfect opportunity to cross promote or announce new movies.

Funny how Solo has made more money than Ant-man & The Wasp and nobody is calling that a bomb. 😉

Solo didn’t make more money than the new Ant-man and it was 100 million-ish dollars more expensive.

https://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=untitledhansolostarwarsanthologyfilm.htm
https://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=ant-manandthewasp.htm

A film needs to make 2 - 2.5 times its budget to only break even.
Solo budget - 275 millions, needs 550 - 687.5 millions to break even, made 213 millions.
Ant-Man and the wasp - budget 162 millions, needs 324 - 405 millions to break even, made 211 millions.

So in the case that the numbers I just googled are correct, both movies bombed, but Solo lost more money.

Post
#1235462
Topic
Info: Star Wars - The Lost Cut is not exactly what you think it is....
Time

I have absolutely no proof for this so feel free to ignore this post, but the bootleg version I used to watch on my VCR in the early 90’s was a bit different. During the chasm jump Luke first missed, then Leia kissed him, then he tried again, this time he made it and Leia kissed him again, “for luck”. I remember thinking it’s funny what a young guy can do when he’s “properly motivated”. The second difference was during the meeting before the Death Star attack. After the wamp rats comment Luke and the pilot next to him shook hands and introduced themselves. And I’m pretty sure the guy introduced himself as “Wedge”, and I was pretty confused that there are 2 different pilots named Wedge. The third and last change I remember was the third Biggs scene right before they go inside the ships. I was very confused when back in 1997 I found online a list of SE changes and this scene was listed there - to me, it was always a part of the movie. I actually had a feeling that it originally was a bit longer.

The tape doesn’t exist anymore, I replaced it with the first official VHS tapes when they were released here and later with the SE tapes, so I have absolutely no proof that these are something else than messed up memories, but if you want a rumour list, here are mine.

Post
#1235020
Topic
Is <em>Revenge of the Sith</em> the Best or Worst Prequel?
Time

DominicCobb said:

pittrek said:

DominicCobb said:

I will say anyone who doesn’t think AOTC is the worst prequel (or the worst SW movie as a whole) is a fucking lunatic.

Wow. Thanks, I guess.

I will say I’m willing to hear an argument before I pass final lunatic status. But it’s not looking good for you.

I don’t remember insulting people who like TLJ, which is in my opinion the worst SW movie, and the worst movie I have seen in years, but OK. But what kind of “argument” you want to hear? There is nothing objectively quantifiable about opinions. I personally can’t take seriously anything which looks like a video game. Hell I’ve seen video games which look more realistic than this “movie”. If you can’t get “absorbed” in the movie, you will immediately start to notice different things. Like the acting, where you can clearly see the actors are doing it because they are contractually obligated to do so and not because they care. The story is much worse than in AOTC, it’s just a collection of random scenes followed by what seems to be a 10 hour long boring duel. Which reminds me - the editing. The scenes just come and go, most of them don’t have any beginning, middle or an end. Enough or should I continue? As I said the only positive thing I can say about this movie is that the score is great as every thing Williams ever did.

Post
#1234928
Topic
Is <em>Revenge of the Sith</em> the Best or Worst Prequel?
Time

The Phantom Menace is just boredom. The only reason why to watch it is the John Williams score and that it’s the best looking Star Wars prequel.
I actually LIKE AOTC (yes, I’m the one person who likes it). But still, the only thing I really like are the action scenes, because those are the only scenes in the whole prequel trilogy where I feel something and care about anything what’s going on.
Which means that ROTS is definitely the worst for me. It’s not even watchable. I honestly can’t say anything positive about the movie, except for John Williams’s score is brilliant as always. It LOOKS like a computer game, the story makes no sense, the acting is horrible, the actors stopped caring a long time ago, the dialogue is like it was written by a 8 years old… Well at least it’s funny if you’re drunk enough.

Post
#1234651
Topic
All Things Star Trek
Time

SilverWook said:

I totally did not know Adam Nimoy is married to Terry Farrell. That puts Dax swooning over Spock in Trials and Tribbleations in a weird new light. 😉

I had no clue, that’s actually impressive. By the way, a few days ago I was watching a documentary about the FX legends - Skotak brothers. To my surprise I found out that Dennis Skotak is married to D.C. Fontana

Post
#1234053
Topic
All Things Star Trek
Time

The main problem with First Contact for me are the Borg. Why is there suddenly a Borg Queen? That completely changes the character of the whole race. Why are they suddenly space zombies? Why do they fight their way to Earth through the whole fleet, and THEN travel back in time? Couldn’t they first jump to the past somewhere in the delta quadrant and then fly safely to Earth? Also why did they travel to the first contact time and not to let’s say ancient times? Why are they trying to assimilate mankind? Didn’t they use to assimilate races to get technological advances? What can they get by assimilating a bunch of savages which barely survived a world war?

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE the movie, but the plot makes no sense. And I don’t even start about Jean-Luc “The line must be drawn here” Picard.

Post
#1233916
Topic
All Things Star Trek
Time

Warbler said:

pittrek said:

Warbler said:

SilverWook said:

They can safely ignore Voyager. And Q flat out told Picard in the finale that the trial never ends.

There is one other problem with bringing Q back. John de Lancie has aged much since his last appearance in Voyager(did he make one in Enterprise). I will be obvious that he is much older. Qs are supposed to be omnipotent. I find it hard to believe they age.

That could be explained easily - he could WANT to look older to match Picard’s age or anything like that.

Possible, I suppose.

I have to say I have a bad feeling about bringing back Picard.

I have a bad feeling about Star Trek in general anymore. Once they started with the Kelvin timeline, they never should have returned to the original. The whole point of creating the Kelvin timeline was to start over and to leave the original universe to rest in peace. But now they have gone back to it. It is bound to confuse fans just getting into Trek. I think the continuity is so messed up and confused, I don’t think it can be fixed. I think I am done with it. Sorry.

Don’t be afraid, if the rumours are correct, the new Picard show will once and forever destroy the original timeline.

What do you mean by that?

There are many youtube videos covering that rumour, here is one of them https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLl17YXrAZY