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Weird stripe down the middle of the screen on "Goodfellas" SE

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#1 of 38 OFFLINE   Bill A

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Posted August 21 2004 - 11:49 AM

In the scene (1:16:36) where Jimmie and Paulie are trying to convince Henry to go back to Karen, there's a scratch down the middle of the screen that lasts for 5 seconds. I popped in the original DVD release of the movie and saw that it was there too (I guess I was less observant back then, or more accepting of such things). Obviously, this is a problem with source material; but why wasn't something done to remove it? Is it that certian defects just can't be removed without making it look worse? I only ask because I saw a promo for the "Yellow Submarine" DVD when it came out. They had a side to side comparison of what the movie looked like before and after the restoration, and the difference was astounding. I was almost under the impression that no flaw was unfixable in this day and age.

#2 of 38 OFFLINE   CraigF



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Posted August 21 2004 - 12:05 PM

This was mentioned in the SE thread. It's apparently also on the laserdisc. I'm surprised they don't fix these obvious flaws too, but I'm guessing that the "fix" for certain types of flaws would be just as jarring as the flaw in a different way, and a cut is out of the question. Not to be compared with a restoration, which still often have small flaws, but vastly improved overall looks. Probably Robert Harris could give you a very good answer if you could attract his eye...

#3 of 38 OFFLINE   Vincent_P



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Posted August 21 2004 - 12:53 PM

To remove dirt from frames in a video transfer, special DVNR programs are used that compare "before" and "after" frames to the frame with the defect, and the program can then figure out what picture information is supposed to be in the spot where the one frame has dirt and can then create "new" picture information to fill in the flaw. In the case of a scratch traveling down the frame for an extended period of time (most likely a scratch in the original negative, and thus would be printed onto every version of GOODFELLAS in existance), there are no "before and after" frames to compare it to to fill in the gap. Essentially, it's pretty easy to fix something like a piece of dirt (even big ones) that are only on one frame, since the computer has readily available "clean" before and after frames to compare it to in order to figure out what picture information should fill in the defect, but if the problem occurs in several frames in succession (and like a scratch travels down the ENTIRE frame), there's really nothing you can do about it. Vincent

#4 of 38 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted August 21 2004 - 01:08 PM

Vertical scratches are usually extremely hard to remove. Even the digital restorations of Metropolis and Citizen Kane retain some of these, despite pretty much every other type of scar being eradicated.

#5 of 38 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted August 21 2004 - 01:25 PM

As Patrick M said, vertical scratches are very hard to remove automatically. They must be fixed via pixel cloning, as was done for Secretary, in which an entire reel had to be digitally fixed for a scratch. RAH

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#6 of 38 OFFLINE   Juan M. Rico

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Posted August 21 2004 - 01:43 PM

If they can remove the wires from every wire-fu movie, why couldn't five seconds of a movie be cleaned is beyond me. Even an entry level Photoshop user would be able to do such a fix.

#7 of 38 OFFLINE   Robert Anthony

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Posted August 21 2004 - 02:14 PM

That's a little different. That's something they do DURING post production of a movie before it gets to duping, I believe. In this case, this is a scratch on the film LONG after the fact. It's not a case of them erasing something before they composite it or anything like that.

#8 of 38 OFFLINE   Kwang Suh

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Posted August 21 2004 - 02:55 PM

Well, there's really no reason why they couldn't have had someone put in the missing information once the picture was digitally transferred. Having said that, it probably wouldn't have looked too good - that was one heck of a thick scratch.

#9 of 38 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted August 21 2004 - 02:59 PM

It is hard to fix those vertical scratches ON FILM. But there are digital restoration artists that could have fixed this on a relatively low budget. It wouldn't have fixed the film elements but it could have fixed the digital master for the DVD.

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#10 of 38 OFFLINE   Mark Bendiksen

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Posted August 21 2004 - 03:03 PM

I have no idea how difficult it would have been to remove the scratch, but it is pretty jarring. Before I watched the disc I read about the complaints in the other thread and thought to myself "sometimes people just whine too much about minor scratches in DVD transfer". Then I saw the scene for myself, and I have to say that it's pretty bad and extremely distracting.

#11 of 38 OFFLINE   Steve Schaffer

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Posted August 21 2004 - 03:36 PM

having occasionally had insects land on the inside of my rptv screen I'm paranoid at every speck of dirt on a dvd transfer, often rewinding to assure myself that it's dirt on the transfer and not another %#%$# bug in the tv.

That stripe on Goodfellas didn't bother me a bit as it would have had to have been one hell of a wierd bug to be anything other than a film defect.Posted Image
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#12 of 38 OFFLINE   Ken Seeber

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Posted August 21 2004 - 08:04 PM

For those who don't have the DVD, this is what the problem looks like:

Posted Image

For some reason I can't get the coding to work on this link.

#13 of 38 OFFLINE   David Allen

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Posted August 21 2004 - 08:24 PM

Didn't Raiders of the Lost Ark have a similar scratch for an entire reel? I'm pretty sure they mentioned how laborious it was to fix that for the recent DVD release, but whoever did it (Lowry Digital?) was extremely proud of their work.

#14 of 38 OFFLINE   Juan M. Rico

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Posted August 22 2004 - 02:09 AM

24 frames for 5 seconds... A good Photoshop artist could have cleaned the digital master to be used for the DVD, with a VERY low budget. I am not sure how to upload pictures here, otherwise I would show you what 2 minutes of work with my limited knowledge of Photoshop can do to remove the line in the picture posted above.

#15 of 38 OFFLINE   Steve Tannehill

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Posted August 22 2004 - 03:48 AM

But they didn't. IMO, we should move on. The movie itself is still awesome. - Steve

#16 of 38 OFFLINE   Dave Mack

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Posted August 22 2004 - 04:34 AM

Dammit! NO SALE!

Just kidding. Posted Image Feeling cheeky this AM. (OOPS, it's PM now.)


#17 of 38 OFFLINE   GeorgePaul


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Posted August 22 2004 - 05:21 PM

Wow, Ken, that looks less like a scratch and more like a tear in the original film negative to me (realigned side-to-side like Mr. Harris and Mr. Katz had to do with My Fair Lady).

I remember Leon Vitali mentioning in an interview that a similar problem--with a vertical scratch, not a tear--arose in the last reel of The Shining (those of you who still own this original DVD can spot it during the snow maze chase quite easily). Apparently, if I remember correctly, once the newer version of that film was ordered for DVD, restorers were able to strike a fresh wetgate interpositive that removed the long scratch from the reel.

Unless new techniques have been innovated, the only other economically viable way to remove a perforation like the one in Ken's pic is to digitally replace the affected colors in the shot with the exact same composition from other, unaffected shots (those of you who have seen the restoration documentary from Ken Burns' "Civil War" DVDs understand this process somewhat). Considering the swirling colors on the wall behind DeNiro, I'd say this was too time-consuming or expensive a task to undertake.

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#18 of 38 OFFLINE   EnricoE


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Posted August 22 2004 - 07:33 PM

hmm, that's very odd and it could be easily removed. i took ken's screen shot, opened it in photoshop 7 and just used the repair tool and after one min the frame was fixed. it seams the folks at wb simply don't care Posted Image

#19 of 38 OFFLINE   MarkMel



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Posted August 23 2004 - 02:56 AM

Maybe I'm being dense but, wouldn't a scratch on film stock show up white not black? What would cause a black scratch?
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#20 of 38 OFFLINE   John Whittle

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Posted August 23 2004 - 03:41 AM

MarkMel, Marks on the cell (support side) of the film block light if they're on the negative and print to white on an intermediate. However a mark on the support of the intermediate would appear black if it was used for a transfer. The example shown is rather classic thin emulsion scratch thru the overcoat (or top layer before reaching colored layers) of the negative. While this "could" be repaired on a Flame or other video device, it's slow and costly. It's usually an administrative decision to do those repairs and it "might" be that the director objected to the painting out of the blemish. At this point we're all guessing, but in the world of film at this point, the creative talent behind the picture approve the transfer. (Just ask the DGA who's in charge!) John

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