Jump to content



Sign up for a free account!

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests to win things like this Logitech Harmony Ultimate Remote and you won't get the popup ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo
- - - - -

Warner to release Ben-Hur on Blu-ray in 2009 (?), or.....


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
313 replies to this topic

#1 of 314 Paul Hillenbrand

Paul Hillenbrand

    Screenwriter

  • 1,214 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 16 1998
  • Real Name:Paul Hillenbrand

Posted February 07 2008 - 09:13 AM

Per the Digital Bits:
Quote:
major classic catalog title that you can look forward to on Blu-ray in 2009, just in time to celebrate the film's 50th anniversary... Ben-Hur
In 1080P, and it was mentioned in the last paragraph:
Quote:
concern many of you Blu-ray enthusiasts had for Warner. Specifically, a lot of you said you wanted to studio to start including uncompressed audio on ALL Blu-ray Disc releases, both new and catalog. Rest assured, the right people have heard your concern (naturally, George was already aware of it) and you can safely assume that the studio intends to start addressing it in the near future.
Now that would be truly great!

To those knowledgable few who know:

The only concern is that I wonder about the capability and difficulty of transferring a crisp, clean and especially SHARP image from a native 70mm film source, that is, if they use the best possible film source print that is available.
Problems with transferring native 70mm film sources in the past to disc became evident to me with the DVD "Oklahoma!", released in November of 2005, when a comparison could be made between the CinemaScope version (2.55:1) and the "native" Todd-AO Version (2.20:1) and the resulting softness of the image from the limitations of the transferring technology used at the time.Posted Image

Is the technology here now where a 70mm print like "Ben-Hur" can be transferred to (Blu-ray) with the films native sharpness, or will Warner have to use a 35mm copy for the best of todays transfer?Posted Image

Paul
Avatar: "The Annunciation to the Shepherds" Painting by Nicolas Berchem (1680-1683)
BD 3D, BD, HD DVD, DVD collection


#2 of 314 Brandon Conway

Brandon Conway

    Lead Actor

  • 7,064 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 30 2002
  • Real Name:Brandon Conway
  • LocationNorth Hollywood, CA

Posted February 07 2008 - 09:49 AM

Why wouldn't they be able to use the transfer they just did a couple years ago?

I'd expect this release to be exactly like the current 4-Disc DVD, with the only difference being the film in HD.

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#3 of 314 Paul Hillenbrand

Paul Hillenbrand

    Screenwriter

  • 1,214 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 16 1998
  • Real Name:Paul Hillenbrand

Posted February 07 2008 - 09:57 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Conway
Why wouldn't they be able to use the transfer they just did a couple years ago?

I'd expect this release to be exactly like the current 4-Disc DVD, with the only difference being the film in HD.
Per the Bits:
Quote:
One of the biggest issues they've had to deal with is something that all the Hollywood studios are discovering with their catalog titles: The previous 1080i films transfers they've done were fine for DVD release, but it turns out that they just aren't quite good enough to release on Blu-ray. So they're having to go back and do all-new 1080p transfers for Blu-ray release. That amounts to four or five years of work that needs to be redone in some cases, and that obviously takes time, because Warner - probably more than any other studio - is determined to do it right.

Paul
Avatar: "The Annunciation to the Shepherds" Painting by Nicolas Berchem (1680-1683)
BD 3D, BD, HD DVD, DVD collection


#4 of 314 Brandon Conway

Brandon Conway

    Lead Actor

  • 7,064 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 30 2002
  • Real Name:Brandon Conway
  • LocationNorth Hollywood, CA

Posted February 07 2008 - 09:58 AM

I don't think the latest Ben-Hur transfer falls under that situation. It was done recently enough, with the best possible equipment, IIRC.

EDIT: Release date of the 4-Disc Ben-Hur was 9/13/05. Robert Harris had high praise. I guess we don't know if the current transfer was sufficient for HD or not.

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#5 of 314 Vincent_P

Vincent_P

    Screenwriter

  • 1,695 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 13 2003

Posted February 07 2008 - 10:05 AM

That newer BEN-HUR transfer has some problems, or at least the 4-disc DVD release of it does. It's noticeably quite a bit softer than the older DVD, and beyond that there's some weird red color fringing going on in several shots.

Vincent

#6 of 314 Brandon Conway

Brandon Conway

    Lead Actor

  • 7,064 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 30 2002
  • Real Name:Brandon Conway
  • LocationNorth Hollywood, CA

Posted February 07 2008 - 10:12 AM

Which, as far as I can tell re-reading the older thread I linked to, are problems that may not be avoidable.

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#7 of 314 Paul Hillenbrand

Paul Hillenbrand

    Screenwriter

  • 1,214 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 16 1998
  • Real Name:Paul Hillenbrand

Posted February 07 2008 - 12:22 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Conway
Which, as far as I can tell re-reading the older thread I linked to, are problems that may not be avoidable.
Posted Image

Robert Harris - Post #30 - 09-15-2005 - "A few words about... Ben-Hur " - SD DVD thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Harris
I'm aware of no Rank or other scanners in use, and available today, which are capable of handling a large format image with high quality.

This means that one of two things must occur.

Either one scans a large format element on what is essentially a dinosaur of a machine, or one creates a reduction element for scanning on one of the latest generation set up for standard 35mm.

If one scans large format, one can end up with a nicely rendered, but imperfect image, normally with less detail than can be reproduced from 35mm. This image will generally appear softer than a like image based upon the same scene photographed on 35mm 4 perf.

To create a 35mm element one must run the large format element through an optical printer, with its own inherent loss. With anamorphic 65mm one's difficulties are futher exacerbated.

This concern was expressed here in my first post.

That is why I asked the question if 70mm scanning technology has been perfected that can avoid a soft image in Blu-ray HD media?

Paul
Avatar: "The Annunciation to the Shepherds" Painting by Nicolas Berchem (1680-1683)
BD 3D, BD, HD DVD, DVD collection


#8 of 314 Michel_Hafner

Michel_Hafner

    Supporting Actor

  • 716 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 28 2002

Posted February 07 2008 - 11:43 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Hillenbrand
Posted Image
That is why I asked the question if 70mm scanning technology has been perfected that can avoid a soft image in Blu-ray HD media?
Paul

Yes.

#9 of 314 GregK

GregK

    Supporting Actor

  • 951 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 22 2000

Posted February 08 2008 - 02:59 AM

Maybe this time, WB will also include the original multi-track mix that won the Oscar for Sound. I want to hear what Franklin Milton mixed for audiences in 1959, not what mystery engineer-x did in the late 1990's. Yes.. it would need to be ever so slightly reconfigured to the 5.1 format, but it would still be very faithful to the original. But for that matter, I'm sure MGM has original 4 track versions of this title, as well as the original 6 track mix.

WB .. if you want to keep the re-mix, at least offer the original as an option!

#10 of 314 Paul Hillenbrand

Paul Hillenbrand

    Screenwriter

  • 1,214 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 16 1998
  • Real Name:Paul Hillenbrand

Posted February 08 2008 - 04:06 AM

Referring to "the question if 70mm scanning technology has been perfected that can avoid a soft image in Blu-ray HD media?"
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michel_Hafner
Yes.
Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

Thank you Mr. Hafner!

Now hoping the 2009 Ben-Hur Blu-ray disc will be authored with this latest scanning technology, including lossless audio of the original multi-track Oscar-winning mix and I will be in - HEAVEN - pure nirvana!

Paul
Avatar: "The Annunciation to the Shepherds" Painting by Nicolas Berchem (1680-1683)
BD 3D, BD, HD DVD, DVD collection


#11 of 314 Stephen_J_H

Stephen_J_H

    Producer

  • 3,862 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 30 2003
  • Real Name:Stephen J. Hill
  • LocationNorth of the 49th

Posted February 08 2008 - 05:24 AM

The most obvious example of improvements in 65mm/70mm scanning technology would be the new Blade Runner set, where Warner went bat to the 65mm effects shots and scanned them at 6K to preserve as much definition as possible out of those elements.
"My opinion is that (a) anyone who actually works in a video store and does not understand letterboxing has given up on life, and (b) any customer who prefers to have the sides of a movie hacked off should not be licensed to operate a video player."-- Roger Ebert

#12 of 314 MatthewA

MatthewA

    Producer

  • 6,000 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 19 2000
  • Real Name:Matthew
  • LocationSalinas, CA

Posted February 08 2008 - 09:21 AM

If Warner can scan the Vistavision seps of "The Searchers" at 8K, what is the current state of the art for 65mm negative? Is it Fotokem's scanner? They did the restoration of "South Pacific" at 4k and the theatrical version has softness issues, while the roadshow version seems sharper (what I've seen of each).

Still, I'm hoping for the best.

Enough is enough, Disney. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray.

 

My DVD/BD List at DVD Aficionado


#13 of 314 Douglas Monce

Douglas Monce

    Producer

  • 5,514 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 16 2006

Posted February 08 2008 - 01:26 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen_J_H
The most obvious example of improvements in 65mm/70mm scanning technology would be the new Blade Runner set, where Warner went bat to the 65mm effects shots and scanned them at 6K to preserve as much definition as possible out of those elements.

Where did you hear that they scanned the 65mm effects elements? There is nothing in the extra features that says that. I had assumed they scanned the 35mm reduction prints for the effects shots.

Doug
"I'm in great shape, for the shape I'm in."
Bob Hope in The Ghostbreakers

#14 of 314 Mark Anthony

Mark Anthony

    Second Unit

  • 446 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 25 2001

Posted February 08 2008 - 07:08 PM

I read an article with the dvd's producer, the blade runner sfx were scanned from 65mm, I think anyone expecting a new transfer of ben-hur for blu-ray will be disappointed...the last one is 1080p and given the limited market for classics on blu ray the cost would probably be unwarranted.

M

#15 of 314 Vern Dias

Vern Dias

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 142 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 27 1999

Posted February 09 2008 - 12:43 AM

The quality of the Ben-Hur SE transfer sucked big time. Bad color registration errors, no fine detail, etc etc. There is no way that this transfer would be acceptable for HD. Have you seen the HD DVD of Spartacus? That was a major dissappointment. Ben Hur from the existing transfer would probably look as bad or worse.

Vern

#16 of 314 MatthewA

MatthewA

    Producer

  • 6,000 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 19 2000
  • Real Name:Matthew
  • LocationSalinas, CA

Posted February 09 2008 - 01:09 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Anthony
I read an article with the dvd's producer, the blade runner sfx were scanned from 65mm, I think anyone expecting a new transfer of ben-hur for blu-ray will be disappointed...the last one is 1080p and given the limited market for classics on blu ray the cost would probably be unwarranted.

M

That market could increase between now and then. But if the market is small, going the cheap route for Blu-Ray transfers will make it smaller because the people who buy these films care about the quality of their presentations.

Enough is enough, Disney. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray.

 

My DVD/BD List at DVD Aficionado


#17 of 314 Mark Anthony

Mark Anthony

    Second Unit

  • 446 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 25 2001

Posted February 09 2008 - 04:12 AM

The Spartacus HD-DVD used the old universal HD transfer as a basis, not the criterion HD transfer - if that was used on HD or blu-ray the quality difference would be much more noticeable.

Similarly the actual 1080p transfer of ben hur, although possibly with certain issues of it's own relating to the source materials, is also a lot better than a standard dvd could ever show, the same transfer on blu-ray possibly with a little additional digital clean-up will certainly look much sharper than the SD which is the main issue of the DVD.

As for "the cheap route" this is the second high-def transfer of BH in 5 years, this time from 65mm (no doubt due to complaints of the first one not being from 65) which is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination! New technologies and restoration techniques come along all the time, but I think it's reasonable to assume the last transfer of ben hur will be the one on HD at least until well into the next decade.

M

#18 of 314 Paul Hillenbrand

Paul Hillenbrand

    Screenwriter

  • 1,214 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 16 1998
  • Real Name:Paul Hillenbrand

Posted February 09 2008 - 05:46 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Anthony
As for "the cheap route" this is the second high-def transfer of BH in 5 years, this time from 65mm (no doubt due to complaints of the first one not being from 65) which is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination! New technologies and restoration techniques come along all the time, but I think it's reasonable to assume the last transfer of ben hur will be the one on HD at least until well into the next decade.

M
Posted Image
Hope Warner is reading this thread. Posted Image

This is the 50th anniversary of Ben-Hur and that is for everyone who had anything to do with the production all the way up to the theatrical experience of the audience, and if that doesn't justify a re-scanning of 65mm elements - for a pristine improvement in sharpness and for other do-able corrections - I don't know what will, or if I'll ever have the experience in that light in my lifetime.Posted Image

Hope the anniversary excitement takes hold for all concerned - building a campaign for a phenomenal release and a profitable success.Posted Image

Paul
Avatar: "The Annunciation to the Shepherds" Painting by Nicolas Berchem (1680-1683)
BD 3D, BD, HD DVD, DVD collection


#19 of 314 Mark Anthony

Mark Anthony

    Second Unit

  • 446 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 25 2001

Posted February 09 2008 - 07:06 AM

Paul the elements were scanned in 65mm less than 3 years ago,by a home video arm renowned for high quality work. What revelatory transfer technology are you aware of that has become available, at reasonable cost, that would render it necessary to re-transfer the film again in such a short space of time?

In fact it has been said had they used a 35mm reduction print instead of 65mm it would look even sharper, but unless you've viewed the 1080p master how do you know it doesn't contain the increase in sharpness you seek?

An ntsc dvd is no real judge of the master it is downconverted from, as has been proven several times on blu ray's released thus far from same 1080p transfer that the dvd was converted from, that look head and shoulders better in areas of sharpness, colour and general clarity.

M

#20 of 314 john a hunter

john a hunter

    Supporting Actor

  • 589 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 11 2005

Posted February 09 2008 - 07:48 AM

And WHV can you do the Overture, intermission music,etc correctly this time on a BLANK screen instead of those stupid still frames taken from the titles. They ruin the effect that was intended. You got it right for 2001, but not for Mutiny, Bulge and Grand Prix.Wake up!


Back to Blu-ray



Forum Nav Content I Follow