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The Abyss

Van Ling

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#21 of 139 Van Ling

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Posted August 13 2008 - 02:28 PM

Greg, it's harder than you think to tie him down to watch something, especially if it's a master transfer... it's not like popping in a DVD at his office and checking it out... it's about viewing it in a pro environment like a transfer bay directly off of the D5. Obviously, he wants to take his time, since he knows it's going to go out on disc that way... apparently, he's also been busy working on another movie or something... ;-)

We can only wait... remember, he wants to see it done right too, and he's not going to be pressured to put his stamp of approval on a transfer without actually looking it over carefully and also having the time to make any tweaks.

BTW, I noticed you're over at Cameron Crowe's site... did you know I worked on Vanilla Sky? My BFTR partner and better half Casey Cannon worked closely with Cameron and Nancy in post on the Life Extension stuff, and I helped with that and some VFX shots. Casey also worked on Jerry Maguire with him as well. Please give everyone at cameroncrowe.com our regards.

Thanks,

V

#22 of 139 Greg Mariotti

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Posted August 13 2008 - 04:56 PM

Thanks Van, I appreciate the additional info and I will say hi to the folks at Vinyl Films for you!

All the Best.
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#23 of 139 chuckg

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Posted August 14 2008 - 05:40 AM

Just sticking my oar in here...

I never cared for the big wave...I prefer to think that the aliens are pacifists, and that their example (plus the OMG, there ARE aliens! effect) would shock humans into getting along better. The big threat with a big wave, IMHO, would launch humans into a big fight over how to wipe out these intruders.

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#24 of 139 Empirefan70

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Posted August 14 2008 - 10:25 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Van Ling
The VFX for The Abyss were completed on film, since the Special Edition version of the movie had a limited theatrical release in 1993.

The VFX for Aliens was mostly completed on film, but some composites were completed only in standard-def during online... although this may have been corrected in the last decade or so. This is why you've never been able to see the Special Edition of Aliens in a theatre (unless it was video projection).

V

For Van Ling

One thing about Aliens special edition is the poor sound mix with the new additional storytelling items added. it stuck out like sore thumb, which is why I prefer “original” theatrical (1986) it has less of the tail, tail signs of dialogue mildly being heard in the left and right fronts. this type of mixing technique has cropped up in several films and when music often builds up the mixes are ether bringing down one or two faders while its still being sent to centre channel.

The idea I thought about Dolby stereo six-track discrete was 100% total isolating of common centre channel dialogue thou often the odd few dialogue pans are heard in Aliens at the refinery.

The Abyss used a fair amount of dialogue panning, but none of this foggy dialogue being heard on the left and right, which I can minimize with my home cinema set-up while still marinating a stereo wide feel.

if you get the time that is when relaxing from work, give Aliens original and special edition and Abyss original and special edition and reduced the level of the centre channel so that you’ll hear the slight minor errors between each.

Cheers for taking the time to read though and stay healthy.
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#25 of 139 RickardL

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Posted August 14 2008 - 11:15 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Van Ling
If it's just that the NTI Ark looks incongruous in daytime on the surface with the ethereal light ship we see at the bottom (my main problem), that can be addressed.
If I have to gripe about something in the movie, it would be the surfaced NTI Ark
Too much "miniature-look" of the whole scene including the surfacing.
It sticks out as a sore thumb in an otherwise visually striking and almost perfect movie.
If that was redone/touched up, I wouldn't complain...

#26 of 139 Empirefan70

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Posted August 15 2008 - 12:02 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickardL
If I have to gripe about something in the movie, it would be the surfaced NTI Ark
Too much "miniature-look" of the whole scene including the surfacing.
It sticks out as a sore thumb in an otherwise visually striking and almost perfect movie.
If that was redone/touched up, I wouldn't complain...

You’re referring to water and I think they film at slightly higher speed sometimes to reduce this. but it’s the more the water that sticks out over the model scale! Now if very, very, very, very large model had been commissioned for the shooting that would have sent the budget up.

Look at the large oil tanker in “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977) that was a large model not large enough but large and yet the water is the biggest element to overcome.

It’s not what’s often in front of you, but rather around you. That’s what you should be looking at.

Looking at The Poseidon Adventure (1972) again the water is biggest challenge not for the actors but for the shooting model.

When going forwards with “Titanic” (1997) the scale fitted the picture spot on, thou I don’t think the shooting model was ever filmed wet. if that was CGI water then it’s the best illusion I’ve seen. Except the for the composite shots of people walking about that was slightly off, but not certainly not achievable 20 or 30 years ago.

I think what throw me off was (light and shadow) where the timing seamed out of place with reality. Star Wars Episode III where Yoda jumps on the back of a wookie, looked fake because of light and shadow the foot movement was what I was looking at, and it was the worse CGI I witnessed.
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#27 of 139 TommyT

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Posted August 19 2008 - 07:09 AM

How about a regular anamorphic non-BD release for those of us still stuck in the non-BD realm? Any talk of that happening? S'a bloody shame that Cameron seems to have been so lazy about releasing the film in 16X9 on DVD.
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#28 of 139 Mark Zimmer

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Posted August 19 2008 - 11:23 AM

Did anyone ever find the easter egg of your dog?

#29 of 139 Van Ling

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Posted August 19 2008 - 08:52 PM

Nope, no one found the easter egg of my dog, who sadly has since moved up to the kennel in the sky (it happened back in 2004 during my prodcing the SW Trilogy set). I've actually forgotten how to find him on the "Abyss" DVD now...but he does show up as an easter egg on the T2 Extreme DVD somewhere, more accessibly I think. ;-)

V

PS to Tommy: when JC finally approves a 16x9 transfer of "The Abyss", it will likely be released on both DVD and BD.

#30 of 139 Jesse Skeen

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Posted August 21 2008 - 11:25 PM

I've seen the dog picture on my computer thanks to "DVDShrink", which lets you see EVERYTHING that's on a disc. I wrote down the title number to try and access it on my regular DVD player, but the buttons are locked out. Didn't know he was also on T2, will have to check that one. (Added- oops, just re-read that it's on the "Extreme Edition"- don't have that one.)

Another hidden thing I've seen on a few DVDs including The Abyss is a picture of reddish flowers on a black background- those must be a trademark of one of the authoring programs. Anyone know the story on that? I've never had them come up on a regular DVD player.
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#31 of 139 Alex cosmo

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Posted October 03 2008 - 08:46 PM

I LOVED the theatrical cut from day one, (and took a lot of heat for it in the summer of 89!). The emphasis on Bud and Lindsey is far more important to me than aliens-teach-us-about-peace. Every third Twilight Zone and Star Trek did that. So, I love all the extras (and the shot of Coffey slowly going nuts next to the garfield doll in the extended cut is awesome) but for a future disc mainly I'd just like for that regular version to be included. (although my choice for a 3rd Lucas-y revisionist version would be the theatrical cut, plus that Coffey shot and a more convincing overhead view of the full daylight Ark)

#32 of 139 David (C)

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Posted January 09 2009 - 07:04 PM

Hi Van,

The Dolby Digital demo at the beginning of T2 UE, is the music used inspired by The Abyss?

#33 of 139 Van Ling

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Posted January 15 2009 - 04:35 AM

David, I don't think it was directly inspired by Alan Silvestri's score for The Abyss... I kind of hear some echoes of John Williams' Close Encounters music in there as well... it was something Dolby provided to us as a finished trailer.

Hope this answers your question...

V

#34 of 139 Van Ling

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Posted January 15 2009 - 04:43 AM

Alex, it's funny you should mention that about the aliens-and-nuclear-peace theme... I think I actually pointed out to Jim Cameron back in production that while this "classic" 20th-century story theme was key in such greats as "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (the original version, of course!), it was ALSO a key theme in "Plan Nine from Outer Space" ("Your human minds! Stupid! Stupid!"). Not a good day for me, as I recall... ;-)

V

#35 of 139 SVTStingRay

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Posted January 19 2009 - 02:57 AM

im so waiting for this re-release on bluray. hopefully youll get to work on it as well. if only cameron can tear himself away from avatar for 2 seconds. ill say this for him van, the man works his butt off and puts 110% into his movies.

#36 of 139 TonyD

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Posted February 08 2009 - 02:48 PM

I still have my laser box set and the fist dvd release but i havent watched either in years.
non anamorphic dvd doesn't look so good on a 73" dlp.

Van can you give us a rundown on what Jim Cameron would actually
do when he finally would have the time to approve the transfer of the Abyss?

How long it would take, from start to finish in the "approval' process. etc.

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#37 of 139 Van Ling

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Posted February 09 2009 - 06:49 AM

Tony, there's no way to estimate... if he wants to retransfer, it might take weeks... if he wants to just do color tweaks, then at least a few days. But the real unknown factor is when he can get to even looking at things. Getting his attention for any length of time at this point when he's working on a new film is a challenge... and that's a GOOD thing. It means he's focused on trying to make a great new film for us all to see. The clock is ticking on that release, whereas he has time to revisit his older films once Avatar is out.

V

#38 of 139 Anthony Thorne

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Posted February 17 2009 - 11:45 AM

I'm very keen to see THE ABYSS in proper Blu-Ray form eventually, hopefully with the directors cut, JC commentary if he gets a spare minute and all the extras from the old one. (Someone mentioned that they thought HD discs should be all HD with no SD content included to mess with the HD experience. I'd like to eventually Terminate my old SD discs and upgrade to Blu with the knowledge that nothing is missing, and still be able to have some shelf space - Van you think disc space is a problem, how about shelf space mate? Kidding..).

I'm very fond of every disc I own that Van has had a hand in. When Guillermo Del Toro was chatting away on the Hellboy (first film) forum, I asked him what technical advice he'd give to aspiring filmmakers - the usual dumb question - and he said, go watch the T2 Ultimate Edition for a complete film school. (He then wrote in brackets, 'Cameron is a genius!', but i guess none of this would be news to either these days considering they're both probably sharing pizzas at WETA as I type).

A friend of mine here in Melbourne mentioned that he 'hated watching THE ABYSS' a few weeks back, then clarified that he loved the movie but found the current SD transfer hard going with all the blacks and loss of detail from that old transfer. As each vintage Cameron film comes out in near-as-definitive Blu versions, they will have pride of place on my shelf, each remains entertaining to me and I agree seeing the nuances in these new HD versions is pretty cool.

I think the idea of going back and digitally messing with the stop motion of T1 is kind of dopey, the effort put into it back then shows in every frame and messing with that would lose some of the interest and charm.

Very happy to see you chatting here on these threads Van, all very interesting and cool stuff.

#39 of 139 MachinesofHate7

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Posted February 19 2009 - 11:49 AM

I'm not sure if it's something which can be achieved THIS year, but Mr Cameron should have somewhat of a lesser busy schedule once Avatar comes out this year (even though it won't be till December!) but I'd love for plans to be underway to see a re-stored Abyss (both cuts is a must even though the extended is THE version for me) out by Q1 or Q2 2010.

this year will mark the 20th (that's right, TWENTIETH) anniversary of The Abyss and I was really dying to see it be released in time for that this year. it doesn't look like a possibility at this point, but I'll be more than happy to wait if it will get us something truly special.

like other people have mentioned, I'd love to be able to finally put my Abyss DVD to rest, so it will be nice to have all the existing features out there which were profoundly amazing on the SE release make it to the Blu release and who knows? maybe a new interview with JC himself. sort of like a retrospective on the film and such...

I'm sure Ed Harris would be happy to contribute also considering this is one of the films in his career that he's most proud of. Sorry, I'm blabbering Posted Image

Mr Ling, I hope you do get to work on The Abyss Blu release, I'll know it'll be in safe hands should you be involved Posted Image

#40 of 139 Michael Rogers

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Posted February 19 2009 - 02:53 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Van Ling
Alex, it's funny you should mention that about the aliens-and-nuclear-peace theme... I think I actually pointed out to Jim Cameron back in production that while this "classic" 20th-century story theme was key in such greats as "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (the original version, of course!), it was ALSO a key theme in "Plan Nine from Outer Space" ("Your human minds! Stupid! Stupid!"). Not a good day for me, as I recall... ;-)

V

I don't mind the concept so much (as long as it's executed well), I think the thing that bothers me about the alternate version was a throwaway moment with one of the guys telling a Military guy "Looks like you guys are out of a job..." and the Military man is seething about it (as if he was thinking "Curses! Now I'll never get to blow the planet up!!").

It was a cheap and cartoonish moment at the expense of the Military. And while I was fine with having Coffey go off the tracks due to being not being able to handle the depth and the general attitude of the heroes toward Military people, I thought this was too much. Especially for James Cameron whose movies seems to bask in Military attitude.

The moment was beneath the movie and beneath Cameron and I can't help but wonder if that figured, in a small way, in his decision to pull back the WW3 subplot from the theatrical version.


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