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Another Classic Destroyed in HD (Not BY Yet)


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16 replies to this topic

#1 of 17 Vern Dias

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Posted July 06 2008 - 11:44 AM

I know this is not on BD yet, but it will be some day....

Just watched a bit of "Giant" on HDNet and for those of us who thought Patton and The Longest Day abused the look of the original film, "Giant" is far far worst. Not only is "Giant" another visit to the wax museum, in addition any and all exterior shots have all persons and objects surrounded by a force field!!

This digital overprocessing has got to be stopped!! It's time to find out who is responsible for it and send them a clear message that it is unacceptable!

This is a WB film! Will no one and no film be safe????

Vern

#2 of 17 Kris Z.

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Posted July 06 2008 - 12:57 PM

Didn't Giant look pretty bad on DVD as well? Maybe it's just the same old master. The good things is of course that they have plenty of time to fix it before a BD release (I would expect it to be quite a while before this gets released.)

#3 of 17 Bryan^H

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Posted July 06 2008 - 01:51 PM

That's sad.

On a brighter note, I watched Clash of the Titans in HD(also WB) via XBox live, and no DNR. Looked decentPosted Image

housekeeping 2.jpg

"She always does that, she just wanders away"

 

 

 


#4 of 17 Carlo Medina

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Posted July 06 2008 - 02:42 PM

Not trying to excuse what you saw, but even my HD channels look bad in comparison to my BDs. Maybe part of it was due to the low bandwidth of HD channels (in comparison to BD)?

Will be very disappointed if the eventual BD has the same shortcomings you're describing...

#5 of 17 Conrad_SSS

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Posted July 06 2008 - 06:06 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vern Dias
I know this is not on BD yet, but it will be some day....

Just watched a bit of "Giant" on HDNet and for those of us who thought Patton and The Longest Day abused the look of the original film, "Giant" is far far worst. Not only is "Giant" another visit to the wax museum, in addition any and all exterior shots have all persons and objects surrounded by a force field!!

This digital overprocessing has got to be stopped!! It's time to find out who is responsible for it and send them a clear message that it is unacceptable!

This is a WB film! Will no one and no film be safe????

Vern


A viewing of a film on television, but especially on HDNET Movies, is not a reason to go into heart failure about what a film will look like on Blu Ray.

Specifically, the GIANT master they aired has been on before. It has the same issues that the DVD has, and is the same old 1080i master. HDNet is a relatively small company, and I hear they pay very little for their license fees since their subscriber base is small. If the studios have an "HD Master", it gets sent...regardless of quality.

I've seen some ghastly masters on that channel...and some gorgeous ones. The studios generally send the best they have, but when there is nothing great around, if a TV sales guy can make a sale,and there's an HD master, whatever they got on the shelf will go out for a broadcast.

Studios started mastering in HD as far back as 10 years ago (I believe...). I saw an older Western on HDNet Movies a few months ago that looked wretched....followed by another film of the same vintage that looked great.

Even in SD, a Tv airing doesn't always reflect what a regular DVD looks like.
I've seen titles on cable station that look horrible, when I know the respective studios that own them have stellar DVDs in release.

Until the discs (whether standard or Blu Ray) are physically in release, Tv is not usually the place to judge the final product.

#6 of 17 OliverK

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Posted July 06 2008 - 08:39 PM

This has indeed been aired before and the actors do really have kind of a glow around them in this one, it looks VERY weird and is most probably the same master as the equally disappointing DVD uses.

This is an HD transfer that looks worse than most of my DVD's and I am a bit surprised that HDnet would air it again despite its horrible quality.

But I would not worry about Warner getting this out on Blu-Ray. It is like with the HD version of Ben Hur that aired a few times, zero film grain and all: Warner knows that these movies deserve better and they take their time for new masters.

#7 of 17 ChristopherDAC

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Posted July 07 2008 - 03:21 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Conrad_SSS
Studios started mastering in HD as far back as 10 years ago (I believe...).

Much longer than that. The first movies released commercially in high-definition came out in 1992. (That was on HD-LaserDisc, using the Japanese "MUSE" analog video compression system.) The early HD transfers often had severe quality problems.

#8 of 17 Felix Martinez

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Posted July 07 2008 - 04:49 AM

It's WB, so I have hope...

Then again, I hope George Stevens, Jr. is up to speed on the presentation of 1.66:1 films on Blu-ray (for ex. A Passage To India). My understanding is that the non-anamorphic, letterboxed master used on the last DVD release is the result of Mr. Stevens, Jr.'s intervention. From Glenn "DVD Savant" Erickson's review:

Quote:
"A couple of years ago, Giant came out in a special edition that was briefly released in Canada and then withdrawn. This was due to George Stevens, Jr., who very closely controls his famous father's legacy. The entire film was encoded on one side of a disc, and 16:9 enhanced. This altered it slightly from its original 1:66 ratio, and is the presumed reason Stevens Jr. killed it. The encoding of such a long film was definitely inadequate, with details compromised and sometimes fuzzy."


#9 of 17 Robert Harris

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Posted July 07 2008 - 05:46 AM

Giant is an extremely problematic production, beginning with Warner Color, and moving on from there, inclusive of far too many dupe sections.

The film is in dire need of a full restoration, which with the latest digital tools is now at least a possibility.

"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


#10 of 17 Vern Dias

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Posted July 07 2008 - 08:10 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlo Medina
Not trying to excuse what you saw, but even my HD channels look bad in comparison to my BDs. Maybe part of it was due to the low bandwidth of HD channels (in comparison to BD)?

Will be very disappointed if the eventual BD has the same shortcomings you're describing...
Well, I have Verizon FIOS which is fiber to the house. FIOS uses no additional compression, so I certainly wouldn't blame it on them.

Felix:

Just hauled out the most recent DVD of this title, and you're correct. This HD(?) transfer was apparently made for the DVD release. Being WB, I would hope that it never sees the light of day on BD. Fortunately, I also have the previous SE that doesn't suffer from the wax museum syndrome and it looks much more natural, although very grainy.

RAH:
Speaking of the original elements, I had the pleasure? of projecting Giant for the original release. I remember it well as it was a road show, 2 screenings per day. It came with a cue sheet for the audio, because the mix had sections in the film where we had to go up around 8 DB on the fader so that some of the dialog would be audible. Apparently, due to the death of James Dean, WB didn't have the luxury of looping in his dialogue in postproduction and had to go with the location audio stems. Nothing like sitting there with you eyes glued to the screen and one hand on the fader for close to 4 hours....

It also was a rare exception for it's day in that is couldn't be projected at 1.85 without severe loss of the tops of peoples heads and parts of the titles. We happened to have 1.66:1 plates and Xpansa lenses,
MercadoLivre: LOTE COM 5 LENTES OBJETIVAS ANTIGAS - R$ desde 50.00 (can't believe I found this link) so we ran it at 1.66:1. Even at 1.66:1 it was tight.

Vern

#11 of 17 Stephen_J_H

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Posted July 07 2008 - 10:02 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Harris
Giant is an extremely problematic production, beginning with Warner Color, and moving on from there, inclusive of far too many dupe sections.

The film is in dire need of a full restoration, which with the latest digital tools is now at least a possibility.
Ah, yes, WarnerColor. RAH, would I be making too broad a generalization if I stated that WarnerColor is only slightly less reviled than Color by deLuxe from the same period?
"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 17 Robert Harris

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Posted July 07 2008 - 10:15 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen_J_H
Ah, yes, WarnerColor. RAH, would I be making too broad a generalization if I stated that WarnerColor is only slightly less reviled than Color by deLuxe from the same period?

Same raw stock. For whatever reason, WC seems to have a heavier looking granularity to it.

I don't place deluxe in a "reviled" category. I had the capability of doing some fine work, and were smart enough to hand off certain projects to Technicolor for dye transfer printing.

I really have no problem with deluxe from the '50s.

In the '90s, they turned out breathtakingly beautiful prints for us on My Fair Lady and later "Vertigo."

"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


#13 of 17 Stephen_J_H

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Posted July 07 2008 - 12:37 PM

True, and deluxe Digital has done some excellent transfers in the HD realm.
"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

#14 of 17 Robert Harris

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Posted July 07 2008 - 02:01 PM

talk about non-sequiturs...

"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


#15 of 17 Ken_McAlinden

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Posted July 08 2008 - 06:37 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vern Dias
I know this is not on BD yet, but it will be some day....

Just watched a bit of "Giant" on HDNet and for those of us who thought Patton and The Longest Day abused the look of the original film, "Giant" is far far worst. Not only is "Giant" another visit to the wax museum, in addition any and all exterior shots have all persons and objects surrounded by a force field!!

This digital overprocessing has got to be stopped!! It's time to find out who is responsible for it and send them a clear message that it is unacceptable!

This is a WB film! Will no one and no film be safe????

Vern
The "force field" has absolutely nothing to do with "digital processing". It is inherent to the film element used for transfer and an artifact of bad lab work on the opticals. Most DVD reviews of the last Giant release complained about the "edge enhancement". They correctly identified the symptom, but misdiagnosed the cause. The halos are not apparent during non-opticals, but since George Stevens loved both cross fades and very long takes, and the lab folks extended opticals from the cut prior to a fade until the cut after a fade, the whole film seems like an optical.

At the EMA Home Media Expo in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago, Grover Crisp from Sony showed us a clip from the HD master of a circa 1959 Randolph Scott film that he is currently working on. It had the same glow with absolutely no edge enhancement applied. It was an era with some iffy dupe stocks and some bad lab work. To get rid of those halos, one would have to be able to recreate all of the opticals in the film, assuming appropriate elements exist.

Regards,
Ken McAlinden
Livonia, MI USA

#16 of 17 OliverK

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Posted July 08 2008 - 07:06 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken_McAlinden
Grover Crisp from Sony showed us a clip from the HD master of a circa 1959 Randolph Scott film that he is currently working on. It had the same glow with absolutely no edge enhancement applied.

I suspected the same for some of the much smaller glow in The Professionals.
I hope the Randy Scott westerns will make it to Blu-Ray, too.

#17 of 17 Robert Harris

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Posted July 08 2008 - 10:31 AM

Just to be clear, the problems with Giant are not in any way digital, nor are they photographic.

They are conformational, ie. the way that the OCN was cut and conformed in 1956.

"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



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