A Few Words About A few words about...™ Halloween 35th Anniversary -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. JoshZ

    JoshZ Second Unit

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    I would disagree that there was less "monkeying around." It was pretty common for studios to crank up the brightness and color saturation of VHS transfers in an attempt to make the picture look "better" on the crappy TVs of the era. The notions of calibration or attempting to preverse the look of the theatrical presentation weren't given much thought at all until much later.

    At the same time, the quality of film scanners and video transfer equipment was extremely primitive and often wildly inaccurate in those days.

    A crummy old VHS tape cannot be used as a reference for what the original theatrical prints looked like. I feel like that should be self-evident and not need stating.

    None of this is to say that I think the new Blu-ray is "wrong" or that the 1999 DVD was more accurate. I'm not close enough to the movie to make a judgment on that one way or the other.
     
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  2. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    If the VHS looks like the new Blu-ray, It's a step back in the original, analog age (at least in that scene). The original THX disc was color timed by Adam Adams and he did in my opinion and for many fans, the best job done on that film ever, enhancing it's visual presentation and impact, using technology which probably, of course, didn't exist in 1978.

    It may not have been the original film as it was in the theaters or VHS (that was the previous DVD now hopefully forgotten), but it was as we remembered it in our minds. The original was low budget, the prints probably made on the cheap, so why would anyone preserve it kinks, and drab colors (as they probably were), warts and all, when you can make the movie actually look as it should be and should always have been? That's what Adam Adams did. (I think he also did Terminator 2 and Titanic, unless I'm mistaken)

    [​IMG]

    Now, it looks again like where it was shot (ie California, spring) instead of where it's supposed to be (Haddonfield, Halloween). The rest of the movie is probably great looking, but at least in this instance, it's a step back.

    My prefered version so far (excluding the new Blu-ray) is the THX one by Adam Adams. So it is for many fans. I wonder why it wasn't totally used as reference for every scene there. I'm sure apart from that, the rest of the movie looks great thought.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Screenwriter
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    Sorry, but film scanners and transfer equipment of the 1980 period would NOT take a golden amber look in the trees and change it green/yellow. Not without some intentional use of filters or such.

    I'll agree that a "crummy old VHS" transfer cannot be depended on to be a 100% reference to the original film elements. But the crummy old VHS can be a piece of the puzzle when trying to figure things out. It is HIGHLY unlikely that the original film had golden amber leaves and the VHS transfer magically shifted them to green/yellow.

    You want to disqualify the VHS transfer in its entirety. I'm simply saying there's merit to considering what it shows.

    Mark
     
  4. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Screenwriter
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    The 1999 THX DVD is revisionist. It might be appealing to some, but it's not faithful to the original look, feel and intent of the filmmakers. It's decidedly unfaithful.

    Just as George Lucas should have never monkeyed with the original Star Wars films, we shouldn't see this type of color timing monkeying going on with any other film. Cleaning up scratches, dirt and other defects is one thing. Those defects were never meant to be seen. But completely changing the original color timing is quite another thing. It simply shouldn't be done.

    Mark
     
  5. bgart13

    bgart13 Screenwriter

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    I'm of the side that the new bd is right, 100% finally. My statement is that VHS -- and laserdisc -- has poor color reproduction compared to something like blu-ray. I don't think that can be argued in any way.
     
  6. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    I disagree about "revisionism", if that, then putting the movie on any other format than VHS would be revisionist, because LD, DVD, BD didn't exist in 1978. Remixing the movie in 5.1, 7.1 or whatever would be revisionist too.

    You now have tools to make the movie better looking than it ever was. It's called remastering. If the original release lacked (and there, as I said, the California in the spring scenes look like california in the spring when in the storytelling of the movie, they are supposed to be Haddonsfield Halloween), you use those tools to enhance the film and make it the best experience on that particular new support that didn't exist then.

    Does the Italien GBU Blu-ray looks like the original film? I doubt it, the original looks like the 98 DVD (I've seen old prints of the film, I can tell). Does it make the version revisionist? No. It makes it the best movie watching experience of it at the present time. That's all there is to it.

    It's nice that the new Halloween preserve the original look if it does, but those bloody California scenes look like California in the spring and it probably will take me out of the movie.
     
  7. JoshZ

    JoshZ Second Unit

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    Let's play Devil's Advocate here for a second. We know that the movie was shot in California in the spring, and that the colors recorded on the negative were probably very green. The DP may have intended that the film be color timed in the lab to look more orange and gold, like the later 1999 DVD. If the VHS master was scanned from an intermediate film element without completed color timing, it would show the original greens. That doesn't make it correct, just because it's older than the DVD. That would just make it incomplete.

    Again, I don't know that this is what happened. You may well be right that the new Blu-ray is the most accurate representation of the original intent and the original theatrical prints. I'm not in a position to form a judgment on that. I never saw the movie in a theater, just on TV and video. Nevertheless, we just can't use an bad VHS transfer as a reference to what the movie is supposed to look like. If that were the case, we could argue that the Blu-ray has way too much picture on the sides, because the VHS only showed us the 4:3 portion in the middle!
     
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  8. JoshZ

    JoshZ Second Unit

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    And here is where I switch sides to back Mark up. :)

    Uh, yeah, remixing a mono soundtrack into 5.1 or 7.1 is definitely revisionist.


    If it's been altered from the original presentation, then yes, it's revisionist. That's what revisionism means.
     
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  9. bgart13

    bgart13 Screenwriter

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    Well...um...doing that is revisionism...
     
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  10. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Screenwriter
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    You don't have to take my word for it. Cundey has CLEARLY stated the 35th Anniversary Blu-ray represents the original look and feel that the filmmakers intended. Today's tools for color timing adjustment are far superior to what was available in 1980 or 1999. If golden amber tree leaves is what they intended, why isn't it presented that way on the new Blu-ray?

    The THX DVD release is revisionist. Revisionism that I seriously doubt was Cundey's idea in the first place. Otherwise, the new Blu-ray would look that way too. Either that, or he changed his mind about treating Halloween's color timing in a revisionist way.

    Either way, we have it from Cundey himself that this new Blu-ray is the way it's SUPPOSED to look.

    If you're a believer in "as originally projected", there really isn't anything else to argue about.

    Mark
     
  11. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    LaserDisc existed in 1978.

    Vincent
     
  12. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    "Intermediate film elements" are color timed. The color timing occurs when printing the IP from the negative, and I doubt they'd have scanned the negative for the original VHS.

    Vincent
     
  13. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Does anybody have the link? I'm curious to read it and see if he mentions why he sold us the 1999 version saying it was the original look and feel.

    Either way, does anyone expect him to come out and say that he screwed this one up and it's not the original look?

    For me the evidence will come in five years when we get a new release and the image is the same as this one. If it is then I'll cast my vote for the 2013 but if it once again looks different then we're just being sold a bunch of P.R. crap.
     
  14. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Screenwriter
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    I provided the link in a message on the previous page, but here it is again:

    http://www.horrorbid.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=279&t=24807

    The part of the interview that is applicable to our discussion:
    Mark
     
  15. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Thanks Mark.

    Well, to me it really doesn't prove anything and is just P.R. stuff to sell the disc. I'm somewhat confused by what he said because he did approve the version that looks the most different from the latest one he approved and says is correct. There's a MAJOR gap between the two so it's not "someone else" going behind his back and messing with the image. The biggest change has come from himself and if this latest version is correct then whoever went behind his back on the first Blu did the correct job whereas he did the wrong job in 1999.

    This is where nothing more than fan-boy theories come into play but the 1999 disc looks like what the actual weather would have been on Halloween in Illinois. This doesn't prove that it's correct because perhaps Cundey just changed to look to match what they "originally wanted" but couldn't do for obvious budget reasons.

    The first Blu and the 35th Blu look the closest. The theory then kicks in to what time of day it is in the movie and considering the girls are just getting off school and walking home, I'd say the first Blu looks correct. I don't think it would be quite that dark unless the girls got out of school around six and were walking very slowly.

    Again, that theory about time of day doesn't prove which was the original look in 1978. Looking at your screenshots and judging right here, I'm going to step away from my original thoughts that the 1999 disc was correct. I'm going to say that I still don't know but that first Blu looks "correct" to me but there's no doubt the 35th looks the "best.". What really bothered me about some of the versions "in between" were the shots inside the house and especially when Curtis is about to break the glass to escape. That blue tone was always the deal breaker for me.
     
  16. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    I believe Mr. Harris has said to the effect that the tools and process are in place to get a more accurate looking product with Blu-ray when it comes to color timing compared to the DVD days. This in conjunction with Cundey's comments from the interview and how the new Blu-ray just takes on a very natural look leads me to believe this is the most representative version of the original color timing.
     
  17. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    Here's the bottom line for you autumnal fans: When you wash an entire transfer so that the leaves look golden and there is less green to the greenery, then every other color in the scene is not what it should be and that's the case with that DVD - skin tones are off as are other colors - that's pretty clearly obvious.
     
  18. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    So in 1999 technology didn't allow leaves to be green? The technology must have allowed Cundey to completely re-paint the scene if either of the Blu discs are correct. I'm sorry but those screenshots you posted have nothing to do with technology then or now. Those are like images from two different movies yet they were approved by the same person. How can you say those orange leaves are correct and then say the bright green ones are correct? There's nothing remotely close in those two images so his comments passing the blame to anyone else just completely blows my mind. Of course, being a P.R. and happy to have an interview, it appears the person asking the question didn't bother to find out why the two images are so far apart.

    You're acting as if the two Cundey transfers are just bits and pieces off from one another and that the current technology has brought out a little more realistic view.

    I'll pass this off to Travis since he's actually seen it but are those old FRIDAY THE 13TH images that far apart from the current Blu? Did technology really change those films as much as it has changed this one?
     
  19. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Screenwriter
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    I contend that, other than the monkeying that was done with the 1999 THX DVD transfer, there hasn't been any significant changes in color timing from the theatrical release all the way to the 35th Anniversary Blu-ray. Yes, there have been minor color timing changes, even between the two Blu-ray versions. But nothing like the changes we see with the 1999 THX DVD release.

    The 1999 THX DVD release is the anomaly. I'm 100% convinced that it's not how the film looked in the theaters. I'm equally convinced the new Blu-ray is closest to how it originally looked in theaters. I don't have an explanation for how Cundey approved the THX release or any information on his level of involvement in that transfer. But I did find that interview with Cundey regarding the 35th Anniversary release and, according to Cundey, the new Blu-ray is how the film looked in theaters.

    If someone finds an interview with Cundey regarding the 1999 THX DVD, please let me know.

    Mark
     
  20. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    None of the Friday The 13th movies have had as much variance in looks as Halloween has had. Maybe it's because there's a good number of releases over the years or because I'm very familiar with the movie but I'm hard pressed to think of any movie that has had as many fairly distinct colorings as Halloween has had.

    Maybe if Cundey OKs another transfer, the movie will have yet another look but I'm very happy with the video on this disc. I like what he did with the coloring on the 1999 DVD but since the movie now looks like what they must have shot (green trees), I think this is the closest to the original as has been put out on video.

    Once again, I think the complaints should be about the mono track.
     

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