Films That Will Never Make It To Blu Ray.

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by stevenHa, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. stevenHa

    stevenHa Stunt Coordinator

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    Just Curious, we always seem to mention films that could be restored except for lack of funds or interest, but I'm curious if there are any important films that can't be salvaged anymore and will never be seen in a high definition format. What are they ?
     
  2. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Thousands of films have been lost, no doubt hundreds of them considered important. Martin Scosese's Film Foundation estimates that 90 percent of the films made before 1929 have been lost forever, and perhaps half of all tiles made since then are gone. Here are a couple of (subjective) "Top 10" list of important lost films, just to give you an idea of the kind of titles involved. Listverse Mental Floss Regards, Joe
     
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  3. stevenHa

    stevenHa Stunt Coordinator

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    I was wondering more from the standpoint of films that do exist in some form, can something always be done to bring it up to blu ray standards for viewing or is there some point when technology can't salvage a film. Are there any examples and why can't they be improved ?
     
  4. Ed Lachmann

    Ed Lachmann Supporting Actor

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    Per the Listverse Article cited above, one of the more interesting stories involving Theda Bara's CLEOPATRA is that a complete print in good condition did exist and was offered for sale to Henri Langois of the French Cinematheque in the early 40's. He opted not to buy it, as funds were scarce and he was committed to preserving classic French films before any others. It is enticing to hope that the print in question may be languishing in some private collection somewhere and is not "lost" forever. Same with the infamous 5 hour plus GREED, which supposedly existed as an immaculate print in a private collection in Buenos Aires. The owner had occasional screenings of it as the story goes, but he fell victim to the '43 Revolution and the story ends there. Still, they did find the lost METROPOLIS footage in Buenos Aires, so who knows what may pop up in the future? Of course when studios allow their treasures to simply rot away, as is the case with THE ALAMO and (we are praying not) with PORGY AND BESS, it becomes unforgiveable tragedy.
     
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  5. zoetmb

    zoetmb Stunt Coordinator

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    In spite of the fact that with home video and various methods of web distribution, almost all films have become valuable assets, especially if you consider what marketers call "the long tail", I think things are going to get worse.

    With the demise of film in movie theatres (currently projected (sic) for the end of 2013 in the U.S. and the end of 2014 internationally), studios are going to be anxious to dump prints to avoid storage costs. If they had solid negatives for everything, that wouldn't be a problem, but we know that many BDs have to be made from prints as the negatives either don't exist or are beyond restoration or because of special effects. Over the coming years, many more early films will be in the public domain and the studios won't release them unless they can obtain a new copyright on the restoration because anyone else can copy the film and also release it.

    So whether intentional or not, I think we're going to find over the coming decades that a lot more films have simply disappeared. I'm hoping that if the studios do dump prints, that they distribute them to museums and universities. While I'm not an accountant, I think this would enable them to both write down the asset AND take a tax deduction for a donation, so there would be some financial advantages to doing this and they'd be saving the cultural history of film as well.

    I would like nothing more than to be proven totally wrong and the studios do a great job of preserving their prints and source materials.
     
  6. Ken Volok

    Ken Volok Stunt Coordinator

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    An old time TV/music producer friend of mine swears Sid Luft screened a complete Star is Born for him in the 1960s.
     
  7. Lromero1396

    Lromero1396 Supporting Actor

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    The very thought of the resurgence of the practice of film junking like the studios once did sends paralyzing chill down my spine...
     
  8. Brian McP

    Brian McP Second Unit

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    Sadly most of the Laurel and Hardy shorts from the Hal Roach Studios era -- at least not until after the sainted people at UCLA are finished their full scale restoration, which will be probably many, many years in the future.

    A few L&H titles have gone blu -- "March of the Wooden Soldiers", "The Flying Deuces" (in Germany), the 20th Century Fox titles in Europe, one hopes "The Dancing Masters" material was upgraded beforehand -- but that's probably going to be it.

    The remainder of the Hal Roach shorts held by Turner or whoever these days could make it, one can always dream of a Thelma Todd or Charley Chase boxset, but marketing demographics may see them out of the bluray stakes permanently. It seems those with long memories aren't the target market -- if they only knew....

    Selling these movies at supermarket checkouts or gas stations (on bluray or dvd) at $5 each, would certainly have these people still making money for the studios after 80 years -- if they could be just let out of the vaults.
     
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  9. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    Just because the original negatives are lost doesn't mean a film can't be restored from other elements and benefit from Blu-ray. A perfect example is Singin' in the Rain, whose ONEGs were lost, yet you would never know it from the Blu-ray release. In a worst-case scenario some films might only exist as film prints or even 16mm prints (such as one of the Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes movies in the Blu-ray box set from MPI) but even a film print can be utilized for Blu-ray, though of course with less satisfactory results.
     
  10. Sumnernor

    Sumnernor Supporting Actor

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    These posts are in the wrong place- please move
     

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