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Lawrence Of Arabia in HD


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#1 of 169 OFFLINE   dannyboy104

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Posted April 08 2007 - 11:56 PM

I thought I would post some thoughts regarding Lawrence of Arabia in HD. I live in the uk and I had the pleasure of watching the whole movie in High Definition via 1080i sat broadcast last night. The reason for my notes are really to do with the future release of the movie on blu ray disc,and how they will compare.
I must mention that I have seen the it in 70mm ,both the Criterion LD CAV and Sony LD ,as well as the first ntsc dvd and the superbit release.
I have no doubt that this is the finest presentation of the movie that I have seen outside the cinema enviroment. It was a truly incredible visual treat, and quite simply breathtaking. I should think this is a good guide to what the blu ray will look like.I know it can be over used at times, but parts of the movie had a very three dimensional look.The clarity and definition were superb in the main, colour's were vibrent and some of the details were so revealing, such as Lawrence's fabric's in bar scene.
There are still some problem's with the visual quality of the movie,which Hi def highlights ,but as I am led to believe, this is to do with damage to the original camera negative rather than the restored print master.There wasn't an intermission card shown, and it simply faded to black and up again. It will be interesting to see how Sony handle the intermission for blu ray.
The audio was only in 2 channel stereo , and whilst at times it was a dissapointment , I would take HD/stereo over standard def/5.1 anyday.I have carried out some comparsion's with the standard def dvd's and this is a real step up. I upscaled them via a blu ray Sony bdp-s1 into a Pioneer 427xd but there isn't really any comparsion. If anyone has Casino Royale on blu ray, the clip shown in the promo at the top is identical to this new hd version.
What I want to know is, if this HD version of the movie is from a newly remastered version which will be used for blu ray or a not? The difference's between this version and the the blue ray will I assume be 1080p/24 and dd/dts with intermision intact. Who can tell
at this stage.What I havn't noted on at the moment is colour timing/temperature.Let's hope for a blu ray version soon.
Hope this has been of interest

thanks Danny

#2 of 169 OFFLINE   Dan Hitchman

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Posted April 09 2007 - 12:36 PM

The current HD transfer Sony has is not very good. I'm hoping that any Blu-ray version forthcoming will be from a brand new digital archive telecine (4k or better) under the full supervision of Robert A. Harris from the best surviving elements.

There was a restored 70mm print showing in L.A. a while back and it was pretty much considered a very, very good reproduction of the new pseudo-director's cut originally done by Mr. Harris before Mr. Lean's passing (pseudo because some road show footage could not be added back in for one reason or another). It even had a revamped 5.1 audio track with directionalized dialog as originally intended. At the very least the Blu-ray disc will have either PCM or Dolby TrueHD audio in 5.1 surround.

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#3 of 169 OFFLINE   Michel_Hafner

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Posted April 10 2007 - 02:41 AM

Unless this is a new transfer or what I saw so far in HD is not representative of the old transfer the current HD is outdated and basically a big let down.

#4 of 169 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted April 10 2007 - 06:02 AM

After the flack Sony got over their Fifth Element release I'm sure they're considering each legacy 1080 transfer carefully before moving forward with a high-profile release of a "gem" they intend to use to wow the BD market.

While the legacy transfer for LOA looks much better than what we saw for the Fifth Element, it still has room for improvement (without any edge-ringing this time, thank-you). Perhaps starting a thread over at AVS for Paidgeek to take back to his cohorts at Sony might not be a bad idea. Worked with us for getting Sony to agree not to use dialogue normalization as a policy for their new Dolby TrueHD lossless tracks!

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#5 of 169 OFFLINE   ScottFin

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Posted April 23 2007 - 08:49 AM

This film is definitely in my top three of all time! I see the brief scenes in the Columbia/Sony promos and wonder when there will be a release date.......
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#6 of 169 OFFLINE   BrettB

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Posted June 18 2007 - 09:12 AM

Quote:
Finally this morning, I wanted to recount a pretty cool experience that some of us here at The Bits had on Friday. Our very own Robert A. Harris held a special private screening of the 70mm Academy print of Lawrence of Arabia on Friday evening, at the Academy's Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study in Hollywood. Robert, as many of you know, was instrumental in the restoration of the film with director David Lean back in the 1980s. Among those in attendance were Sarah and I, along with Adam and my old friend Weatherman Dave, who's visiting us from California's central coast. I have to tell you, the moment the entrance music ended, the curtain opened and the Columbia logo was revealed to us in Super Panavision 70, jaws dropped throughout the theatre. As most of you should know by now, Lawrence is a visually magnificent film. We expected it to look great and it did, but the detail and clarity present in the 70mm image was just extraordinary. It's not every day you get to see a film that good in THAT kind of quality in a movie theatre, let me tell you. And we'd all forgotten just how much humor there is in the film (I particularly love Anthony Quinn's performance as Auda). Sony tells me that they're currently hard at work on the Blu-ray Disc version of Lawrence, and if they manage to capture even a fraction of what we experienced on Friday night, you're in for a real treat.

The Ebertfest print I saw a while back looked quite good but I'm guessing this probably blew that away. Posted Image

#7 of 169 OFFLINE   Jarod M

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Posted June 18 2007 - 01:20 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrettB
The Ebertfest print I saw a while back looked quite good but I'm guessing this probably blew that away. Posted Image

Why would you think that? Was there something deficient in the presentation at the Virginia that I am not aware of? (oops, after posting this I noticed that you're winking...)

Bill Hunt sounds like someone who has never seen good 70mm before, which is shocking considering where he has lived for several years.

#8 of 169 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted June 18 2007 - 03:11 PM

I've seen several 70mm projections (of a different films), but most of them were "blow ups" from lower-resolution source material. If Bill's viewing history is anything like mine (and many others'), many "70mm" projections were really 35mm negatives passed off as "70mm" after having been magnified.

That can leave a viewer underwhelmed with the whole "70mm" concept.... until one sees a *real* 70mm print.

To see a *pristine* 70mm print struck from large-format elements is quite a treat, and one that I've only had the opportunity to experience a handful of times (and I'm 35yo). Not sure where Bill Hunt has lived growing up, but location probably makes a big difference here.

Now that the AFI has routine screenings of large-format prints, I try to keep an eye on their schedule. I'm still recovering from Hello Dolly in 70mm. You'd need at least 4K digital to even come close.
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#9 of 169 OFFLINE   Jarod M

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Posted June 18 2007 - 04:30 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaViD Boulet
I've seen several 70mm projections (of a different films), but most of them were "blow ups" from lower-resolution source material. If Bill's viewing history is anything like mine (and many others'), many "70mm" projections were really 35mm negatives passed off as "70mm" after having been magnified.

That can leave a viewer underwhelmed with the whole "70mm" concept.... until one sees a *real* 70mm print.

To see a *pristine* 70mm print struck from large-format elements is quite a treat, and one that I've only had the opportunity to experience a handful of times (and I'm 35yo). Not sure where Bill Hunt has lived growing up, but location probably makes a big difference here.

Now that the AFI has routine screenings of large-format prints, I try to keep an eye on their schedule. I'm still recovering from Hello Dolly in 70mm. You'd need at least 4K digital to even come close.
I've read about several 70mm screenings going on in the Los Angeles area (where I believe Hunt is stationed) several times over the last ten years. In fact, I wonder if it is not the best place in this country if you want a chance to see many different 70mm films (no surprise). I believe Seattle has a whole 70mm film festival each year, but otherwise the pickings are slim around the country. People should really take advantage of these showings when they are available in their area. I'm still kicking myself that I didn't go see the Todd-AO Oklahoma when I had the chance.

#10 of 169 OFFLINE   BrettB

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Posted June 19 2007 - 03:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarod M
Why would you think that? Was there something deficient in the presentation at the Virginia that I am not aware of? (oops, after posting this I noticed that you're winking...)

Double oops. Posted Image I guess I should have left that winky off as it has caused confusion. My recollection of the LOA showing at EbertFest is that it did look very good but there were issues. Mostly specks, dirt, scratches, etc. I imagine what ends up on the BD will indeed be superior.

#11 of 169 OFFLINE   Jarod M

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Posted June 19 2007 - 11:18 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrettB
Double oops. Posted Image I guess I should have left that winky off as it has caused confusion. My recollection of the LOA showing at EbertFest is that it did look very good but there were issues. Mostly specks, dirt, scratches, etc. I imagine what ends up on the BD will indeed be superior.

The print we viewed was definitely not a brand new print. That being said, there were still problems related to the condition of the source material (there was only so much the restoration could accomplish considering the poor condition of the source materials for LOA). Having watched several 70mm films expertly projected in the same theater, I would say that LOA was a significant step down from 2001, Patton, Playtime, and even My Fair Lady. I would expect to have similar thoughts about the high def versions.

#12 of 169 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted June 19 2007 - 11:32 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarod M
The print we viewed was definitely not a brand new print. That being said, there were still problems related to the condition of the source material (there was only so much the restoration could accomplish considering the poor condition of the source materials for LOA). Having watched several 70mm films expertly projected in the same theater, I would say that LOA was a significant step down from 2001, Patton, Playtime, and even My Fair Lady. I would expect to have similar thoughts about the high def versions.


There were some issues with Lawrence that could not be fixed at the time of the restoration. I'm sure those issues could be corrected in a computer today, but I believe to render out a 70mm resolution version would require it to be scanned in at at least 8k if not higher.

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#13 of 169 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted June 19 2007 - 03:10 PM

Are there even 8K scanners in use? I've only heard of 4K (and you're right... to fully preserve/render 70mm fidelity without loss, at least 8K would be required).
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#14 of 169 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted June 19 2007 - 03:31 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaViD Boulet
Are there even 8K scanners in use? I've only heard of 4K (and you're right... to fully preserve/render 70mm fidelity without loss, at least 8K would be required).

As far as I know there are no 8k scanners available commercially at this point. I would say probably fairly soon however.
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#15 of 169 OFFLINE   Michel_Hafner

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Posted June 19 2007 - 11:34 PM

LOA should be newly restored digitally from the original negative (scanning frame by frame non real time as required) and the restoration interpositive, selecting for each shot the more suitable source. Minimum resolution 4K but better 6K or 8K.

#16 of 169 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted June 19 2007 - 11:44 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michel_Hafner
LOA should be newly restored digitally from the original negative (scanning frame by frame non real time as required) and the restoration interpositive, selecting for each shot the more suitable source. Minimum resolution 4K but better 6K or 8K.


Again I don't know that 8k scanners exist at this point. And I understand that there are no 70mm scanners right now that are able to do a state of the art scan of a 70mm frame. Case in point is the recent DVD of Ben-Hur which while it looks nice, is a little on the soft side. Spartacus is another example.

Better results have been obtained by scanning in a 35mm O neg (I believe it was an O neg) of the film. An example of this would be the stunning transfer of Grand Prix.

If a high quality scan was to be made of the 70mm original negative, I believe a custom made scanner would have to be built. And of course anything less than 8k would probably not retain all the detail in a 70mm negative, even one of the age of Lawrence, and allow printing back out to 70mm film.

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#17 of 169 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted June 20 2007 - 12:27 AM

Agreed.
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#18 of 169 OFFLINE   Joseph Goodman

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Posted June 20 2007 - 02:40 AM

Fotokem has an Imagica "Bigfoot" scanner than can do 11k from an 65mm/15perf horizontal IMAX frame, which would be roughly 8k horizontally on the normal 65mm/5perf vertical frame.

#19 of 169 OFFLINE   Ken_McAlinden

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Posted June 20 2007 - 02:46 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Monce
Better results have been obtained by scanning in a 35mm O neg (I believe it was an O neg) of the film. An example of this would be the stunning transfer of Grand Prix.
An O[riginal] neg[ative] would be in the film's native format. Best results would probably be achieved by creating a low contrast 35mm reduction IP slightly "windowboxed" to the OAR.

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#20 of 169 OFFLINE   Joseph Goodman

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Posted June 20 2007 - 02:52 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken_McAlinden
An O[riginal] neg[ative] would be in the film's native format. Best results would probably be achieved by creating a low contrast 35mm reduction IP slightly "windowboxed" to the OAR.

Regards,


This process is, in fact, what Warner has been doing on most of their recent transfers of 65mm films, GRAND PRIX included.


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