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NEW BEN HUR - original sound?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Joe Caps, Mar 30, 2005.

  1. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    Glad that Warners is redoing the 1959 Ben Hur.
    Warners, can we also have the original 1959 Academy Award winning soundtrack instead of the 5.1 remix?
    That would make it great.
     
  2. Jay Pennington

    Jay Pennington Screenwriter

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    Or in addition to, rather.
     
  3. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    If they offered a stereo track consistent with the PCM track on the last non-dolby digital laserdisc, that would be pretty great. If they did a straight repurposing of the original mix to a discrete multichannel DD or DTS track, that would be even better.

    Regards,
     
  4. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    I want the original mix preserved as faithfully as possible within the confines of the 5.1 capability of DVD.

    Directional dialog, no re-EQ, no new noise-reduction. Just take that original mix, restore it if necessary given possible degradation over time, and give it to me.
     
  5. TedD

    TedD Supporting Actor

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    I almost asked this last night, but I didn't want to stir up a hornets nest.....

    The new transfer from the 70mm elements: Would that be from the original Ultra-Panavision elements at 2.76:1, or from some strange surviving Super-Panavision element at 2.20:1????

    At any rate, I have yet to see a transfer from 70mm that looks near as good as the current state of the art 35mm transfers. I keep waiting.... 80 Day's is OK, but certainly not state of the art.

    Hopefully, they didn't do this one on one of the older generation Spirit telecines just so they could use a 70mm element....

    Ted
     
  6. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Just as long as we don't get *additional* cropping (to "fake" the 70mm presentation), I'd be happy with a 35mm print source. Just leave it at the proper 35mm AR...
     
  7. Bryan Tuck

    Bryan Tuck Screenwriter

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    I missed the Warner chat, I guess. This is good to hear, though. Hopefully there will be multiple sound options.

    Also, the cropping on the last release was unfortunate and unnecessary. I'm with David, whatever source they use, I hope they keep it at that ratio, rather than cropping it even further.
     
  8. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    I think Criterion's SPARTACUS (which was taken from a 65mm source) is stunning, and easily one of the best looking DVDs I have.

    BTW, check this link for a great example of how badly cropped on all four side the current WB dvd of BEN-HUR really is: http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/special/camera65.htm

    Vincent
     
  9. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Screenwriter

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    Yes, we want the original 2.76:1 AR if at all possible. Restore the original negatives Warner Bros. don't just do a digital restoration at HD video levels!

    Full directionalized dialog and effects as well for the restored soundtrack!

    Calling Mr. Harris! If only he and his team could work on it!

    Dan
     
  10. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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  11. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    I just hope they get the original mix on there...historically their sound department doesn't seem to have the same regard for the integrity of historic mixes as the other studios (Fox, for instance carefully preserving directional dialog/mix for their Sound of Music DVD release)...
     
  12. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    Everyone always points to the Widescreen Museum for the information on the cropped DVD. It's there, of course.

    But he seems to be in favor of a cropped version of this movie for home video, less wide, but showing more detail in the center.

    Just pointing this out.

    http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/widescreen/lbx2.htm
     
  13. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    If Warner did Ben-Hur's new transfer at 2.55:1 extracted from the max. 2.76:1 width using Ultra Panavision, it would be just right. The amount sliced off using 2.55:1 width instead of 2.76:1 makes almost no difference... it's much more important to get the full height of the image. That's what the real problem with the 2001 DVD.

    As for the sound, let's hope for 5.1 reflecting the original mix. Warner did an outstanding job adapting directional Todd-AO sound for Around the World in 80 Days last year. So, I hope the same mixing house gets a hold on Ben-Hur.

    Directional sound = [​IMG]
     
  14. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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    Marty Hart, curator of the Widescreen Museum web site, has a post to the newsgroup rec.arts.movies.tech entered last night that says about the DVD:

    "This is not only good news, but you must remember who is putting this package together. I have had some communication with Ned Price at Warner Home Video and he is pleased with the new transfer. That means a LOT. Looking at the special packages that WHV has released over the past few years tells us we'll be in for a thrill. Mind you, other than being severely cropped, the current WHV DVD of "Ben-Hur" is pretty good looking. I have been anxious about this project since I was told about it a few months ago. I'm glad to hear that the news is out because I was busting a few stitches trying to keep from mentioning it prematurely.


    Lastly, while I strongly support the idea of cropping "Ben-Hur" to a 2.5:1 ratio, which was the recommended shape in 1959, Ned tells me that we'll be getting more of the picture than that. I'd really bitch about it if it wasn't for the fact that these guys have done such a fantastic job on so many classic films. It is obvious that they respect the films they are working on and it shows in the loving care given to them."
     
  15. frank manrique

    frank manrique Supporting Actor

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    quote:

    I think Criterion's SPARTACUS (which was taken from a 65mm source) is stunning, and easily one of the best looking DVDs I have.

    BTW, check this link for a great example of how badly cropped on all four side the current WB dvd of BEN-HUR really is...
    __________________________________________________ ________

    1.- Criterion's SPARTACUS DVD transfer is indeed a superb job! I only wish I could have it on hi-definition, tho.
    The HD master was done from restored 65mm (70mm) film elements, so WB should learn from them on how to do a proper video transfer from such 70mm elements.

    2.- This is also something I've been saying all along, and made it well known when I reviewed the DVD transfer for AVS when it first came out. I totally agree with Mart Hart's assessments!

    Regardless, am really excited about the possibility of seeing Ben-Hur been given the best treatment it truly deserves when it comes to video transferring, both in terms of VISUAL and SOUND aspects...

    -THTS
     
  16. GerardoHP

    GerardoHP Supporting Actor

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    Wait a second, it's my understanding that whether a HD master is extracted from 35mm or 70mm elements doesn't make any difference when it comes to the quality of the DVD itself. 70mm only inherently looks better when it's projected on a large screen because it's blown up a lot less and therefore the image looks steadier and sharper. Also, the issue of the correct matting and cropping of the image is a completely separate one that has nothing to do with the elements used for the transfer.
     
  17. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    Actually, in this case the elements ARE the reason for the cropping. What I've read (I'm sorry I don't have the source for this handy, but I have the info tucked away in my memory- it may even have been the widescreenmuseum site) is that the current "widescreen" transfers of BEN-HUR were made from an incorrectly reduction-printed 35mm element that cropped the image on all four sides. Apparently, the lab set up their equipment wrong, and while the resultant 35mm reduction was in good condition, it was badly cropped. The fact that they've went back to the original 65mm elements for this new transfer means they have access to that picture information that simply didn't exist in the 35mm element they used the last time.

    Also, if a 35mm reduction is used for the transfer of most 65mm shot features, there will be cropping, as well, since the 65mm element is matted from 2.2:1 to 2.4:1 for the 35mm reduction. In a few cases, the 2.2:1 aspect ratio has been preserved within the 2.4:1 anamorphic 35mm frame, but in most cases the image is matted from 2.2:1 to 2.4:1.

    Vincent
     
  18. Stephen PI

    Stephen PI Second Unit

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    There is no doubt in my mind that, if it is done correctly, a 65mm transfer is more pleasing to look at rather than a 35mm reduction. "Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang" is a fine example, "Lord Jim" unfortunately is not. The "Lawrence of Arabia" transfer is good but the viewing experience is ruined by the over use of DVNR dirt removal.
     
  19. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    The best DVD transfer in my collection is King of Kings, a Technirama production (if I'm not mistaken).
     
  20. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Just like dithering a 20 bit audio signal to 16 sounds better than a "straight" 16-bit recording, so making a A/D conversion with video at 1080P and then dithering down to 480P using sophisticated software looks better than a "straight" SD capture.
     

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