The Abyss

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Todd Erwin, Jul 23, 2008.

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  1. Van Ling

    Van Ling Insider
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    Thanks to all for the kind words... if it works out that I work on The Abyss for Blu-ray, I'll do my best to include everything and more... working on the film was one of the formative experiences of my life and I will always try to do right by it.
    Michael, I'm sure you know Jim Cameron has the utmost respect for the Military... one of his brothers was in the first Gulf War even as we were shooting T2. And honestly, I didn't see DeMarco's reaction in The Abyss as being "seething" at all... but maybe that's just me.
    V
     
  2. Michael Rogers

    Michael Rogers Supporting Actor

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    You might be right Van, I could be reading too much into it. It still would've been a lovely cap to have the guy say "looks like you guys might be out of a job" and DeMarco, relieved and grateful that WW3 was averted and that they all have a life to go back to say back "I certainly hope so pal..."
    I always seemed to sense that J Cameron had a lot of respect for the Military, which is why I took notice of the moment.
    In any case, "The Abyss" blu-ray is already a sure buy for me and I can't wait to see what you guys come up with.
     
  3. Mike Wadkins

    Mike Wadkins Supporting Actor

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    Hi Van,

    Loved all your work on the previous discs you had a hand in.

    With the Abyss being a Fox title and most likely region locked, do you know if the UK have to live with the cut "Rat" sequence again ?

    As for extras was Under Pressure: Making The Abyss shot on film or video ?

    It looks to my eyes like video but if it was shot on film, a 2 disc package with that in HD on disc two would be great.

    The thing I would most like to see is a look back retrospective from the VFX guys about how it changed what we know to be VFX in 2009

    Thanks for putting great care into your discs.
     
  4. Michael Rogers

    Michael Rogers Supporting Actor

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    Without going back and looking at it, I am quite sure the documentary was done on video. Yeah, the VFX retrospective is a great idea. A look back at the time that CGI was accomplishing more and more things that people had never seen before in films. The water testicle just totally floored me when I saw it but now, effects like that are almost expected of today's big budget effects affairs.
     
  5. Van Ling

    Van Ling Insider
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    Mike and Michael: I agree that the VFX retro would be great... let's hope we can do it when the time comes...
    Yes, the "Under Pressure" doc was mostly shot on video (3/4" and even some VHS!) with a smattering of 16mm material. I doubt we'll be able to redo it in HD.
    As for the cut "Rat" sequence, that still falls under the RSPCA jurisdiction, I think, so it would likely still be cut out in the UK. I don't know if their guidelines or those of the BBFC have changed at all, but if it's anything like in the States, they've gotten MORE conservative rather than less so. At least we didn't shoot Beany the Rat in the kneecaps or headbutt him --these are two of the major BBFC no-no's-- although I'm sure that the censors wish we had put clothes on him or something... ;-)
    V
    PS: Michael, your calling the pseudopod a "water testicle" brightened my day!
     
  6. Mike Wadkins

    Mike Wadkins Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the info, a region free BRD player in my future !
     
  7. Michael Rogers

    Michael Rogers Supporting Actor

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    Whoops! LOL!! It was a totally innocent mistake but still, I bet the pre-visualization on such a thing would be jaw dropping.
     
  8. MachinesofHate7

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    hahaha, testicle!! [​IMG]
    tentacle is the word I think you were looking for.
    yeah, I agree that a retrospective look doc on The Abyss BD would be pretty amazing. I'm pretty sure Ed Harris would be happy to contribute as he speaks quite highly of The Abyss and seems to be very proud of that film.
    I was kinda expecting Fox to get the BD out by this year as it's the 20th anniversary and they could also use it as somewhat of a tie-in to Avatar. Maybe something which could help promote Avatar the same way they re-released Independence Day to help promote The Day After Tomorrow.
    while I dislike Fox strongly and do my best to avoid their super, heavily trimmed, dumbed down flicks and their very greedy nature of constant double dipping, I am glad that for *the most part* they've been somewhat consistent with their Blu's and The Abyss is one film that I would gladly buy over and over again.
    Van, this may seem like an odd question, but what aspect ratio was The Abyss originally shot in? the non anamorphic DVD always made me question that. sorry if it's already been asked.
     
  9. Van Ling

    Van Ling Insider
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    The Abyss was shot in Super-35 with a 2.35 aspect ratio. The only reason there has never been an anamorphic DVD of the film is that Jim has never yet approved an HD transfer of the film... the only approved transfer available right now is the letterboxed 4x3 transfer we did back in 1992! Obviously, Fox is trying to get Jim to supervise or approve a new HD transfer (which will still be letterboxed, of course, since it's 2.35) so that we can proceed with a shiny new BD... so I'd be surprised if it gets done this year, given Jim's full attention is on Avatar right now... and we ALSO need him to look at T1, etc...
    BTW, do you have links to Ed Harris talking about the film? I have not seen anything over the years...
    Thanks,
    V
     
  10. Michael Rogers

    Michael Rogers Supporting Actor

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    I've heard more than once that Ed Harris felt that making The Abyss was such a harrowing experience that he never wants to talk about the movie.
     
  11. Van Ling

    Van Ling Insider
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    which is why I asked... ;-)
    V
     
  12. Michael Rogers

    Michael Rogers Supporting Actor

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    I'm hoping that enough time has passed so that Ed has enough distance to perhaps talk about the movie on the BD release.
     
  13. MachinesofHate7

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    I've spent the better part of an hour just trying to find links to Ed Harris' comments on the Abyss. I am sorry to say that unfortunately I was not successful. I even checked Wikipedia, but strangely, not much there either.

    It was probably back in 2004 or 2005, I can't be sure whether I read it online or in a magazine, the fact that I cannot find it again online, leads me to believe that it was in a magazine.

    it was around the time where A History of Violence came out (or was coming out) and Mr Harris was interviewed. Ed went on to mention alot of things, including his slight distaste for the American government, went on to say quite a bit about the war in Iraq and when asked about certain roles, he went on to discuss them in not very much detail.

    he talked about working with Michael Bay and James Cameron and he didn't seem that enthusiastic when it came to describing what it was like to work with JC. He went on to say that The Abyss was a tough shoot, physically demanding and just an overall pain in the ass and that there was alot of 'tension' on set. He talked about doing most of his own stunts, I think he mentioned that the only stunt he DIDN'T do himself was when he's falling/descending down the wall to disarm the bomb.

    I wish I could remember *exact* quotes, but I cannot, I won't lie. Ed did go on to say that he's very proud of his work in The Abyss and there were times where he didn't think he could do it. JC was very tough and they didn't always see eye-to-eye but ultimately, he thought the film turned out good.

    this is as much as I can remember. the whole interview couldn't've been longer than 2 pages. at times, Ed Harris came off as a really cool guy and at times, he came off as a bit moody and somewhat arrogant. I won't lie, but in my personal opinion, it's refreshing to see a "movie star" who is genuine and is a "no Bull----" type person. Ed Harris certainly came across as such a guy.

    I just got the overall impression that Ed was very proud of his role in The Abyss as it's pretty much the only role he went on to talk about the longest (along with Pollock). I guess I sorta jumped the gun when I said that Ed Harris would be "happy" to participate in a new documentary regarding The Abyss, but I can't really see him flat out refusing.

    when I get some spare time, I'll comb through the internet for that interview (I'm determined to find it now) if only to assert myself that I'm not going crazy and that I didn't dream it.
     
  14. brap

    brap Stunt Coordinator

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    Van,
    In the old production diary on DVD Review you mentioned taking the new Special Edition master, editing it, and re-telecining scenes to achieve the theatrical cut. Was there any trickery like that needed for the new master? (eg. newer prints, elements...)
    Fingers crossed that the new master will approved soon.
     
  15. Greg Mariotti

    Greg Mariotti Stunt Coordinator

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    I sure hope this comes to fruition. I can't believe there hasn't been opportunities over the past 10 years...jeez...Cameron had time to make cameos on Entourage..can't he find some time to approve new transfers of his films?!
     
  16. Van Ling

    Van Ling Insider
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    Alisdair, you are correct that we'd have to retransfer both the SE version and select TH scenes (or vice versa) in tandem in order to have the components to branch the versions...there's a LOT of work involved.
    Greg, I agree with your sentiments, but everyone has their own priorities, and for some filmmakers, revisiting their older films is not high on the list when they could be doing something new... be it a new film or doing cameos on a TV show! ;-)
    V
     
  17. Mike Wadkins

    Mike Wadkins Supporting Actor

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    Since James Cameron did a commentary on T2 a new one for the Abyss would be great also
     
  18. Scott D S

    Scott D S Supporting Actor

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    I was scrolling through the TV listings last night when I saw that The Abyss would be airing on HBO and HBO HD this morning. When I woke up for work, I quickly tuned into HBO HD - alas, no HD version of The Abyss, just the same 4x3 version that's been airing for years.

    Man, you guys weren't kidding - there really is no approved HD master of the film lying around, is there?

    Can you provide us with any updates?
     
  19. camroncamera

    camroncamera Auditioning

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    Hi Mr. Ling and HTF members -

    First off, I'm very pleased to hear some first-hand news on the HD release of "The Abyss" and wanted to thank Van Ling for the groundbreaking Disc work he has done dating all the way back to The Abyss: Special Edition on Laserdisc, and for giving us Cameron fans a chance to provide our input on the supplemental content of upcoming releases. I must admit I stumbled here quite inadvertently, but boy, what a happy accident!

    All the suggestions listed here thus far are excellent contributions. One supplement I think would be pretty cool on this and other epic releases, would be a multimedia or straight featurette of the nuts and bolts of the remastering process, from scene to screen. I want to see OCN being scanned at 4K or more, a colorist using his or her special skills and telents to bring out the very best in the footage with the color grading equipment (daVinci, Scratch, Lustre, etc.), the digital retouch and restoration operators and their tools as they spruce everything up and describe the toughest shots to work with and the fine line between just-right and going too far, the finishing editor compiling the very best source elements as they appeared in the finished release, the asset authoring crew as they build the seamless branching of different versions and determine the optimal compression for consumer release, and a final before/after clip depicting all the hard work that went into its restoration. Probably has been done for other films, but I'd love to see this work being performed for The Terminator, Aliens, and The Abyss.

    I was lucky enough to catch the limited theatrical engagement of The Abyss: Special Edition at Cinema 21 In Portland, OR in 1993, after owning the Widescreen Laserdisc Box Set of the SE for a short time (and still have), and that was a real treat!

    Thanks again for lending us your ear!
     
  20. Jerome

    Jerome Second Unit

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    yes a new documentary will be great, not on the shooting like Under Pressure, but about the post production (the editing) and the release.
     

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