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#1 of 3173 Robert Harris

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Posted May 19 2006 - 05:49 AM

Bill Hunt has taken it upon himself and The Bits to make some sense of the Star Wars situation from a strictly functional point of view. To that end, he has requested that I append my thoughts, which I have done.

If there is a desire to continue that area of the discussion, without going into various tangents, or unnecessarily going into negative rants regarding Lucasfilm, I believe this thread may remain open.

There appears to be a very fine line between the archival arena, prudent (financially based) business decisions and marketing, and I don't believe that any single decision that might have been made is totally correct. It is acknowledged that we are at least partially in a rather gray area.

That said, those who have not read Bill's "rant" over at the Bits will be welcomed at: http://www.digitalbits.com/#mytwocents

RAH

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#2 of 3173 Adam Lenhardt

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Posted May 19 2006 - 05:57 AM

I think most people are in agreement that a proper restoration of the original films is possible.
The question then becomes, is it really that riddiculous for Lucasfilm not to want to invest the time and money necessary to do that proper restoration? Considering that they're viewing the original films as essentially extras on the fall re-release such costs and investments would probably be unprecedented for such an "extra."
Especially for versions of the films that Lucasfilm has made clear they will not be supporting going forward into the future.

That being the case, I happen to think that non-anamorphic transfers, while not the best DVD is capable of, still will probably represent the best these versions of the films have ever looked on the home video format. That is still worthy of appreciation, in my book.

#3 of 3173 Robert Harris

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Posted May 19 2006 - 06:06 AM

To give credit, where credit is due, the transfers used for the Definitive Boxed Set were state of the art at the time. In addition, non-anamorphic transfers on DVD, while far from the current accepted technology could look quite acceptable before anamorphic became the flavor of the day.

The only question is how they'll port to a format which will be appreciably less forgiving than laserdisc.

RAH

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#4 of 3173 BrettGallman

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Posted May 19 2006 - 06:12 AM

Given that I've never seen the OOT in any form other than my '95 THX Pan and Scan VHS tapes (I was only 12 at the time and didn't know any better!), I'll still be buying these to see the films in their OAR. Sure they could be presented better, or rather, they SHOULD be, but some of us that didn't enjoy LD technology still have something to look forward to.

I'm still hoping that someone will be able to convince Lucasfilm to give these films the treatment they deserve though.
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#5 of 3173 TravisR

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Posted May 19 2006 - 06:16 AM

I hate that they're being released non-anamorphic but, as Adam said, they're still probably going to be the best that they've ever looked (and it'll beat some crappy bootleg). That being said, they could and should look even better.

Thanks for weighing in on the matter, RAH.

#6 of 3173 PaulP

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Posted May 19 2006 - 06:25 AM

I say a thorough restoration MUST be undertaken. It isn't even a question. The original versions MUST be preserved for their cinematic historical value alone.

#7 of 3173 Jaxon's Dad

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Posted May 19 2006 - 06:30 AM

RAH,

Great stuff from the Bits. Now if only the powers that be will take you up on your offer. You never know...

Regards,

D
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#8 of 3173 Brent M

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Posted May 19 2006 - 06:31 AM

Robert,

I really enjoyed reading your thoughts in that article over at "The Bits". I think everything you(and Bill as well) are saying is absolutely correct and it would be fantastic if you were given the opportunity to restore these films. Sadly, however, I don't think it could possibly happen in the timetable that has been given for their release. Posted Image
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#9 of 3173 ZacharyTait

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Posted May 19 2006 - 06:36 AM

How long would it take to do the work described in the Bits article to ensure the best looking picture possible?

On the sound side, any idea how long it would take to create a 5.1/6.1 surround sound mix?

#10 of 3173 Robert Harris

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Posted May 19 2006 - 06:37 AM

For September 12? Possible, but doubtful, unless ramped up extremely quickly.

RAH

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#11 of 3173 Robert Harris

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Posted May 19 2006 - 06:40 AM

The work described in the Bits discussion should be scheduled for a full six month period. Could it be squeezed into a shorter timespan? Yes, but as noted in the post above, unless started almost immediately, there would be no hope of meeting a deadline allowing production of software to be released on the current schedule.

RAH

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#12 of 3173 James Phillips

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Posted May 19 2006 - 06:41 AM

Fox paid for the Special Edition restorations, didn't they? Surely they'd be prepared to foot the bill for new transfers of the original versions, if Lucasfilm isn't?

#13 of 3173 Jaxon's Dad

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Posted May 19 2006 - 06:42 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Phillips
Fox paid for the Special Edition restorations, didn't they? Surely they'd be prepared to foot the bill for new transfers of the original versions, if Lucasfilm isn't?
I believe that it's not Fox's call to make, since Lucas owns these films.
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#14 of 3173 Lord Dalek

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Posted May 19 2006 - 07:11 AM

We know at least that a good quality element exists with "A New Hope" ommitted from the crawl. Surely theres got to be more than that.

#15 of 3173 Vic_T

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Posted May 19 2006 - 07:12 AM

Well, this news has kind of shattered my hopes. My enthusiasm for this new release is gone. I don't believe I will be buying these because they're simply not what I want. Anamorphic releases are not special treatment. Even straight to video releases of B grade and lower films are presented in anamorphic widescreen.
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#16 of 3173 Paul_Scott

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Posted May 19 2006 - 07:12 AM

sorry fellas. I can't sympathize with the "well it will still look better than the laserdisc" sentiments at all.
In the previous thread, I said my lowball reference point for the quality of this release will be The Black Hole disc that Disney released 1 or 2 years ago.
basically bare bones with an anamorphic transfer using unrestored elements.
I mean, c'mon, we are talking about 3 of the most financially succsessful films of all time, the films in the same versions that created the empire of George Lucas- and the eventual consumer is supposed to give a spiteful sub standard release (and we all know full well, this is exactly what it is) a pass- and not only that, lay down hard earned money for it?


Here is another point to consider.
75-90% of these films are already restored and available in HD masters.
Even if the 'majority' of the film elements were lost, and the 'original' sections only exist on quite inferior D2 masters, what is reason an approximation of the original versions isn't attempted by using the majority of the superior masters?
If in fact the masters for the LDs are being used, the original crawl will have to be 'approximated' anyway...why not just approximate the original film as best as possible from the best materials as possible?
Just how much time and expense would be required to digitally cut out SE material, insert the upscaled non SE material, and then resynch a 2 channel sountrack? Compared to a full blown restoration, i'm betting not much (although I very much agree these films, in their original state, do merit restorative work).

the reason this effort will not be expended for this release, and may not be done at all is...well, we all are well aware of the reason here.


I'll say it again, anyone that supports this kind of behavior from a filmmaker, and this kind of substandard product from a 'studio' deserves to be used, degraded and fleeced as early and as often as possible.

Robert, I enjoyed your inputs on the bits editorial. I'm just sadden that any effort espoused in even discussing this cause is in vain tough.

#17 of 3173 Ronald Epstein

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Posted May 19 2006 - 07:17 AM


ADVISORY


I wanted to post this earlier, but couldn't get in this
thread quickly enough.

I thought it was a great idea that one of the most highly
respected members of our forum reopen discussion that I
had closed earlier today because that discussion was reduced
to personal attacks.

I also think it's important that you know that folks from
LucasFilm are reading this thread.

I want to make absolutely certain that every post in this
thread is polite and constructive. If it is not, this thread
will be closed.

Thank You!

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#18 of 3173 Aaron Silverman

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Posted May 19 2006 - 07:19 AM

There is no excuse for a non-anamorphic widescreen release in 2006, no way, no how, regardless of the source used.

Period.
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#19 of 3173 Chuck Mayer

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Posted May 19 2006 - 07:22 AM

Thanks for the info, RAH. As usual, an expert opinion on the technical side sometimes crystallizes the business decision. I was extremely excited for this decision a few weeks back. It's a cash grab, and always has been. But that's OK. GL has mouths to feed in his big company. Some spoke of generosity and "giving the fans what they want", but most folks with a modicum of business sense recognized the decision as simply a smart business decision. The OOT would sell.

What a change a few short days makes. Like Paul and Vic stated, this is shoddy treatment, even for "bonus material" (which I consider the most egregious copout I've ever seen - NO ONE cared about the 2004 releases getting individually packaged). But in the end, it is what it is. A business decision. Was it made to save money or face? Who knows? But it turned me off in a big way. Off the release, off the company (as it also cost them my sale for whatever 2007 box release they were planning), and off the boss.

Again, I appreciate your efforts to educate and inform us, RAH. I'm sure your talents will find other projects that deserve your attention.
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#20 of 3173 Elijah Sullivan

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Posted May 19 2006 - 07:24 AM

Honestly guys, I'm seeing this whole thing as a case of looking a gift horse in the mouth.

There is no reason on earth for a director to release a version of a film he does not like. That's a fact.

That he refused to do so for years and has finally relented to please his fans is an act out outright generousity. Say what you will about his massive fortunes: it's not your money, and these aren't your movies.

He's being nice. All this controversy is teaching George Lucas is that his fans will never be satisfied, never be grateful, and never stop whining.

Wherever he is, this debate will only cause him to care less about our opinion - just minutes after he commits an act of generousity.

This is ludicrous.

Take it like men.




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