Smileboxed THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM -- Will it ever make it to Bluray?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by GerardoHP, Jul 25, 2009.

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  1. GerardoHP

    GerardoHP Supporting Actor

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    I just found this excerpt from TWWOTBG in Smilebox on YouTube:

    Now, for years I've been reading that this movie doesn't exist in its original three-camera format anymore. Yet, it seems to me that this excerpt couldn't have been taken from a flat version of the film because it shows the side panels wider than the central panel, which is standard for Cinerama but not for the flat versions of Cinerama movies.
    So, does this mean that, somewhere, there's a three-panel print of this movie that could be used for a Bluray transfer a-la HTWWW?
     
  2. BillyFeldman

    BillyFeldman Supporting Actor

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    Where on Earth did you read that the original three-camera material doesn't exist? As far as I know, they've never attempted to use it for any transfer - they used the 35mm composite for the laserdisc. I'm sure a beautiful Smilebox transfer could be made off the original elements, just as How The West Was Done was done.
     
  3. GerardoHP

    GerardoHP Supporting Actor

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    I would remember if I'd read it in just one place but it's been said for years, sometimes in our forums right here. I remember reading something to the effect of Pacific Theaters, which owned the rights, had let it decay to the point of no recovery with reels missing panels, faded color, etc.

    Somebody pls. correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  4. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    Pacific Theatres owns the Cinerama process, the name, and the original Cinerama Films, but Warner's owns the movie and all release rights through their pre 86 MGM library as they do with HTWWW. I have heard that for TWWOBG to be released on DVD (SD or Blu-ray) that the elements would need a lot of work.

    I have heard two different stories about the seven films released from Cinerama.(This Is Cinerama, etc.) in that Pacific has worked on them and gotten them into good shape and that they have been left to decay. I have no idea which is correct.
     
  5. john a hunter

    john a hunter Supporting Actor

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    I recall the guy behind Cinerama Adventure stating that some reels of the neg had been badly waterdamaged while being stored at the Forum Theater where all the Cinerama negs and prints were(are?) held. As a result no chance of TWWOTBG making it to HD.I would love to be wrong!!
     
  6. Jeff Newcomb

    Jeff Newcomb Second Unit

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    I don't know the source of the information, but Wikipedia says:

    The New York Post confirms the water damage story.

    It sure sounds like composite prints are the only usable elements. At least the current composite appears to have all of the picture information from all three panels. Maybe they can apply the Smilebox process to that in order to compensate for the "fisheye" appearance?
     
  7. BillyFeldman

    BillyFeldman Supporting Actor

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    I did some research and have found out that it is not the entire thing that's water damaged - it's one panel (not sure if it's the center panel or one of the two side panels). I wonder if with all of today's technology it could somehow be fixed - but the cost vs. sales would probably prohibit it.
     
  8. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    At one of the chats, Warners admitted they weren't even considering it at the time of the chat. At this point, I'd be reasonably happy with an anamorphic DVD of the widescreen version they play on television just so I could retire the laserdisc. A Blu-ray would be beyond my wildest dreams.
     
  9. Jim*Tod

    Jim*Tod Second Unit

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    If you notice there is a reel change indicator at one point in this on the right hand upper corner of the screen... and it is eliptically shaped indicating this was taken from a 35mm anamorphic print, not a three strip element. I suspect this is the video version we have seen on TCM for years with some of the smilebox processing applied. The sound is actually pretty good and very directional as it would have been in its Cinerama version. I doubt given the lack of commercial interest that we will see this restored on blu ray anytime soon. The other thing is.... it isn't a particularly good movie. Of course I would like to see all the Cinerama features restored with the smilebox processing on blu ray.
     
  10. GerardoHP

    GerardoHP Supporting Actor

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    I also noticed that reel change indicator and figured someone used Smilebox technology to reshape the old TV broadcast. Yo're right, it's not a particularly good movie but that sequence I posted a link to is almost better (Cinerama-wise) than any scene in HTWWW. I wonder if they could extract a decent Bluray version of the film from the 35mm scope print we're looking at here, or if it just wouldn't be worth it.
     
  11. NY2LA

    NY2LA Screenwriter

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    I've learned that since Pacific doesn't own more than a percentage of West and Grimm they don't hold the elements. Warner does. I believe only the Cinerama travel movies were being stored in the basement of the Forum theatre as stated earlier. I don't think they're there now as I thought I heard they finally sold the Forum. Maybe they're under the Pacific now. Not sure about that.
    It's been stated by the guy who is working on Cinerama stuff (and I now see he was quoted earlier in this thread) that the Grimm neg is not anywhere near as damaged as the rumors have claimed, that it's just the very edge of one of the panels, (probably B - the center) and he only said "some" damage, meaning it's not the whole length of the movie.
    George Feltenstein from WB said in an online interview that the water damage occurred in MGM's vault, (so it was damaged not at Pacific OR Warners)
    (I see it was also mentioned above that) both sources said WB still have the Technicolor seps that can be used to replaced any damaged neg section if necessary. The only real factor seems to be cost.
    Since that was posted, (couple years ago when the West redux came out) it's been announced that an original IB Tech "archival" 3 strip Cinerama print has been located which is to be shown at a festival this year. I've also noticed that someone online with some experience recently said newer technology for transfers to video could get a good, if not ideal, picture from that print.
    Meanwhile the company now working on scanning other old 3 strip Cinerama movies for video say their own new process can somehow digitally correct for age, color, damage, etc (the kind of stuff often referred to as "restoring") so I'd bet they would say they can do a great job with this archival print - again, if someone pays for it.
    I think it all boils down to money. If Warners really wanted to, they could use the Technicolor seps and do their proprietary "UltraResolution" scanning and realigning process on both Grimm and West (which could look as stunning as Singin in the Rain or Gone With The Wind) then apply the line blending and linear rectification programs on top of that and (since they did NOT do an Ultra res on WEST) the result would be even better than West looks now. It would also (as stated before) cost a fortune, but maybe by the time Homevid goes Even Higher def and they need more resolution to sell those titles again, that technology might have gotten cheaper. That part about cost going down eventually was even alluded to by Mr. Feltenstein a couple years ago. But again that was before the new technology being used on the travel movies was announced. So at least they haven't closed the door on the subject.
    Latest info on this title is Newly Posted British Pathe News Premiere footage showing lost Denver Cooper Cinerama and notable arrivals: http://www.britishpathe.com/video/the-wonderful-world-of-the-brothers-grimm-preview
     
  12. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    Warner's has said several times on the WAC Facebook page that it all boiled down to money and the cost that would be involved. They said the interest in Grimm is not as large as it is and was for HTWWW and they of course needed to make sure it paid for the work that needed to be done. They also said that the damage is repairable and again spending the money would yield a good transfer. They went on to say that the Archives would not be a place for the film, again due to the amount of money they would have to throw at it, it needed a mass market release.

    This was also the same for RAINTREE COUNTY. It needs a lot of work and to make it viable it would have to be a mass market release.

    I have looked on 70mm.com at some of the restoration shots on a couple of the Cinerama films, and while it is a marked improvement to what it was, I don't think that Warner would deem it acceptable. After all they set the standard with HTWWW and Ben-Hur. Don't get me wrong, I will be all over the Cinerama films when they are released in Blu-ray.
     
  13. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Cinematographer

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    I wouldn't hold your breath on this one. It would be a big chunk of Warner's restoration budget for a largely forgotten film that not that many people want to see.
     
  14. NY2LA

    NY2LA Screenwriter

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    The same could be said for any number of films that inexplicably find their way to disc every year. Where did you get the impression anyone was holding their breath? Have you actual figures on how many people want to see it? Obviously some people are interested enough to keep talking about it, and there is nothing wrong with that, is there?
    If we all gave up and forgot about titles we want that are not thought to be obvious best sellers, can you imagine how much smaller this site would be?
     
  15. NY2LA

    NY2LA Screenwriter

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    Yeah, what wasn't in the laserdisc version that is there in what TCM shows now didn't just appear out of thin air... and no one has ever said that the elements used for the current TCM airings aren't viable for at least a decent MOD DVD. I met Feltenstein a few years ago, asked about Grimm, The Boy Friend and Mame. He hadn't been planning any of them and was not encouraging about the prospects. I believe he said he couldn't locate stereo tracks for Mame and didn't want to release it without them. Mame and Boy Friend are both out now via MOD. Mame was released flat mono and Boy Friend isn't perfect either. So there is a precedent for Warners releasing something in a lesser form than they'd stated they'd like to.
    I recall another old movie that was not a hit in the first place, and the studio said cost was prohibitive to release on video. Enough people made enough noise aimed at enough of the right ears, that not only was it released, it was mastered from much better than standard elements. It's very likely some classic "studio accounting" was used to bury the cost into a more successful related title, but it got done and released within 2-3 years of the noise beginning. Sony just shocked a bunch of us by releasing the fun but notorious 73 Lost Horizon on MOD, with the cut stuff put back, and supplements, too - so you can't say it's all that unlikely for a studio to put out something that has "limited appeal."
    I suggest if you really want something released, ignore the naysayers and make some noise. Worse that could happen is some wet blanket telling you to forget about it. But you can always follow Cee Lo Green and say "forget" them! ; )
     
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  16. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Cinematographer

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    Easy there big fella, don't shoot the messenger! And where did I say you can't talk about it? Best to direct your anger at Warner, as its release or non-release has nothing to do with me.
     
  17. NY2LA

    NY2LA Screenwriter

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    What I was addressing to you is not anything to do with Warner, just your using your opinion about the movie as a reason we shouldn't hope for anything.
     
  18. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Cinematographer

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    Oh for crying out loud, what's the matter with you! I thought this forum was all about opinions. It's my opinion that a Brothers Grimm Blu-ray release won't happen. You don't like that, fine, but I'm still entitled to state it. And...I didn't even give an opinion of the movie, I'd buy a Smilebox version, but a very expensive restoration of a film of limited appeal (that's right, LIMITED APPEAL) = don't hold your breath. I wonder what Robert Harris thinks of the chances of it happening? You can have a go at him then. I'd love a full restoration of The Alamo, but if some posts that it's not going to happen, I'm not going to blow a gasket. The End.
     
  19. NY2LA

    NY2LA Screenwriter

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    From what I can see it has been at least two years or more since Warners has said anything on the subject of Grimm, and a lot has happened since then. The technology now being used on the older Cinerama films was apparently not known of then, nor was the existence of an archival print, etc. And they never really mentioned what kind of 35mm composite element was used for the laser and current TCM showings and if that could be fixed up enough for MOD, did they? (Idunno 'cause I don't do facebook, but I bet not)
    As for what's being done with the old travel titles, who knows what their shape is compared to the Grimm elements? There seems to be several different ways (with variable costs) in which Grimm could make it onto some form of DVD MOD (if using the 35mm composite shown on TCM) or BRD.
    Within a year the first and last Cinerama titles have 50th and 60th anniversaries, and as a result they are all being given a lot more attention than they normally would. So it seems a good time to revive the discussion.
     
  20. NY2LA

    NY2LA Screenwriter

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    Yeah you did. "a largely forgotten film that not that many people want to see." Sounds like an opinion to me.
    An expensive restoration (we'll sidestep the fact that like HTWWW, it wouldn't likely actually BE Mr. Harris' definition of a restoration) isn't necessarily the only option.
    And I am entitled to disagree with you, especially when your first post here today really added nothing new or constructive to the discussion, just an attempt to dump on it.
    I disagreed, as there is some new development since the last time the topic was discussed, and I have some experience that keeping a dialogue open can change a situation from being told nothing was possible to having it all done in the best available means.
    But I did not choose condescending words like "Easy there big fella" and a huffy tone, or resort to personal attacks as you did. I did not ask "what's the matter with you" or characterize your words as anger, even though there is more evidence of anger "for crying out loud" in your words than mine. I did not "blow a gasket" though it sure seems like you did.
    Back to topic: has anyone looked at that premiere footage yet and does anyone remember seeing this movie in ANY kind of theatre?
     

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