"A Star Is Born" Garland in 6k resolution

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Danoldrati, May 23, 2008.

  1. Danoldrati

    Danoldrati Stunt Coordinator

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    'Star' to be born in new light
    Warner Bros. restoring George Cukor's 1954 film

    By Carolyn Giardina

    May 23, 2008, 01:00 AM
    Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging is restoring George Cukor's 1954 "A Star Is Born" in 6K resolution.

    The film, starring Judy Garland and James Mason, is believed to be the first restoration project where the scanning, restoration work and mastering will be completed at that resolution.

    Digital film restoration is most commonly accomplished at 2K, though an increasing number have been using 4K. A 4K file contains four times as much picture information -- measured in pixels -- as a 2K file, and 6K contains 2 1/4 times as much as a 4K file.

    Ned Price, vp mastering, Warner Bros. Technical Operations, said that the facility's reason to go to higher resolution was because "The original camera negative contains more information than 2K, though 2K is today's typical display resolution. But we anticipate higher display resolution in the future. So we are attempting to preserve the asset, rather than just create an element for exhibition."

    The key goal of the project is preservation, but the restored version of the film will also eventually be released on Blu-ray Disc and standard DVD.

    "There has been photochemical work done on this particular title, but with new digital tools we are able to retrieve the original color balance of the faded negative in a way that we could not reproduce photochemically," Price said. "We made film preservation elements since the film had differential fading, meaning ... the edges of the film had more oxygen and deteriorated quicker. By scanning it, we're able to get a completely flat field of color."

    Numerous restoration industry leaders share the belief that the community needs to step up to a resolution higher than 2K for restoration and preservation. Still, opinions vary, as more storage and bandwidth is needed to handle these larger files, which along with cost, is a challenge.

    "6K is typically a costly proposition, so that's why we are testing the waters on 'A Star is Born,' " Price said. "As the size of data is more easily managed and the tools become more accessible, we will increase our resolution."

    Restoration of "A Star Is Born" is expected to take four to six months. Said Price: "Our expectation is that the restoration would live for easily 100 years."

    Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging, the studio's digital post and restoration facility, has recently restored such titles as "Bonnie and Clyde," "Dirty Harry," "Cool Hand Luke" and "How the West Was Won."
     
  2. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    Great news! I hope that they also restore and release the original 30s version. It's in desperate need of a rescue from PD hell!!
     
  3. Simon Howson

    Simon Howson Screenwriter

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    This is great news. I think A Star is Born is the first CinemaScope masterpiece. I just hope when this release makes it to Blu-ray and DVD that they present it with seamless branching option so you can skip the still sequences if you want to. It is good that we have them, Haver did some great work, but when I watch the film I find the still image sequences quite disrupting.
     
  4. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Cinematographer

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    Nothing on whether or not the lost scenes from the film have been reinstated or not.
     
  5. Scooter

    Scooter Screenwriter

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    I look forward to this as well. I attended the AFI Premier of this at Radio City. Sat right in front of Liza and next to James Mason.
     
  6. JohnRa

    JohnRa Stunt Coordinator

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    This is the most exciting news I have read lately. I love this movie and am really looking forward to seeing the results. It gets more and more difficult to resist Blu-ray. [​IMG]
     
  7. Richard M S

    Richard M S Supporting Actor

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    Hey Scooter, I was there as well! What a fantastic night that was to see the film and the restored sequences on such a large screen.

    I am really looking forward to the eventual release of this film as well, and it may be the catalyst to move me to purchase a Blu-ray player.
     
  8. Mike*HTF

    Mike*HTF Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for that post -

    Does anyone (Jack Theaston?) know what level you would need to scan a film to achieve the equivalent of 35mm?
     
  9. Brian Borst

    Brian Borst Screenwriter

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    Excuse me for asking this (perhaps dumb) question, but what good would a 6K transfer do, to a regular 35mm film? That already has a 4K resolution, doesn't it? Or does it has to do with the fact that it's Cinemascope (it's anamorphic, and 6K would give a far better transfer?)?
     
  10. Simon Howson

    Simon Howson Screenwriter

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    I would've thought that 4K would be more than enough given the coarse grain structure of Eastmancolor stocks of that vintage.

    But maybe they did some tests and found that 6K was an improvement?

    Or maybe they worked out that 6K doesn't cost that much more than 4K, so thought they should use the extra resolution in the interests of future proofing?

    Maybe having a 6K scan of the negative means they can go back to that master in 5 or 10 years time as digital restoration tools improve, thus meaning they won't have to scan the negative ever again.

    Or maybe it is just a bit of over kill to ensure the board that they are doing an absolute cutting edge restoration.
     
  11. Darren Gross

    Darren Gross Supporting Actor

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    I wish they would just pay off the guy that has the complete prints and finally release it full restored. I'm sure transferring at 6K would cost more than whatever the guy wants.
     
  12. Paul Hillenbrand

    Paul Hillenbrand Screenwriter

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  13. Brian Borst

    Brian Borst Screenwriter

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    Probably all those options [​IMG]. I'm sure they want to test it, because they want to use it on films that are going to need it (Ben-Hur perhaps/probably). Although on this one, it seems indeed a bit like overkill.
     
  14. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    I saw this on HDNet movies, and it looked pretty good, but not perfect. The Blu-Ray should be sensational!

    But I'm surprised they would do 6K. Would an early Cinemascope production have that much info on its OCN to begin with?
     
  15. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    My guess is that Warner has given up on trying to deal with him. Perhaps he's afraid of going to jail, like the one collector who had one of the negatives to the cut numbers when they were first reconstructing it it.
     
  16. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    This sounds pretty interesting. I never seen it. Are the lost scenes part of what was originally shown upon it's itintial release, or a directors cut thing? I'm outta the loop.
     
  17. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I doubt that the OCN has 6k information, but there's no harm in harvesting an image at 6k via a Northlight, and downrezzing to 4k, which should perform nicely.

    Taking the project through all phases at 6k would seem like overkill, especially in dirt cleanup, but a nice (albeit expensive) experiment nonetheless.

    Warner is, and has been, extremely quality conscious with their in-house restoration projects.

    RAH
     
  18. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I doubt that the OCN has 6k information, but there's no harm in harvesting an image at 6k via a Northlight, and downrezzing to 4k, which should perform nicely.

    Taking the project through all phases at 6k would seem like overkill, especially in dirt cleanup, but a nice (albeit expensive) experiment nonetheless.

    Warner is, and has been, extremely quality conscious with their in-house restoration projects.

    RAH
     
  19. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    For a movie as fine as this one, nothing is too good.

    (Yep, I'm a fan!)
     
  20. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    Will this still have the missing scenes with audio only, or has that footage been found?

    Great to see another classic coming! Thank you Warner!!!

    Doug
     

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