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HAMMER FILM BLU-RAYS IN THE U.K. ... getting closer to the Holy Grail (DRACULA, 1958)...


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#21 of 350 Billy Batson

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Posted October 17 2012 - 11:24 AM

Hammer responds to criticism of the quality of the image of 'Curse': A note on the restoration, mastering and authoring of THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN.

Thanks, that's interesting. I thought Warner would have done the scan themselves, & they did. But what are Warner doing still mucking around with that old interpos? If they have b/w separation masters (hopefully made from the original negs), then why not scan the seps into a computer & use their Ultra-Resolution process to line them up & then work on them, but I suppose it's all about money, & for most people this is just a old creaky horror movie.

#22 of 350 bgart13

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Posted October 17 2012 - 02:17 PM

Unless WB is holding out to do a fresh scan from the separations for their eventual release...?

#23 of 350 JoHud

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Posted October 17 2012 - 05:43 PM

It's certainly a sign that Warner Brothers is involved in updating their Hammer transfers. Considering the significance of the some of their Hammer properties, I expect a release is just a matter of time though not until the restoration of The Horror of Dracula is complete, since I'm sure there will be a planned wave including The Horror of Dracula, The Curse of Frankenstein, and The Mummy.

#24 of 350 Dick

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Posted October 20 2012 - 11:51 AM

The rstoration of DRACULA (1958) is complete, and has been screened in the U.K. We now await a Blu-ray release.

#25 of 350 bgart13

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Posted October 20 2012 - 04:05 PM

Not exactly true any longer, Dick. More formerly lost material was found in Japan and will be reinstated for the bd - and actually there was more found upon further inspection than originally thought.

#26 of 350 Albion

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Posted October 21 2012 - 12:04 AM

Well,just to add some balance here,I am more than delighted that Hammer have produced COF in academy and that DRO has had some dodgy effects soft touched to avoid a glaring assault on the senses that interupts the few sequences in question. And I am an avid Hammer fan who saw DRO at the cinema a couple of years after its initial release in the UK. For me this is the good restrained intelligent use of CGI. As for COF and the academy argument,either by accident or design I believe it has been released correctly the reasons for which are debated eleswhere.

#27 of 350 Dave H

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Posted October 21 2012 - 03:17 PM

I have not been impressed at with the picture quality of some of these Hammer BDs based on the screenshots I have seen. Every one seems to have gone some really heavy and weird filtering. There is virtually no difference in detail between the BD and DVD such as The Curse of Frankenstein. Something is not right.

#28 of 350 bgart13

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Posted October 21 2012 - 04:05 PM

"Every one" actually hasn't undergone filtering, etc. -- if you're specifically referring to the UK bds. The one that has been affected with digital tools negatively is DRACULA, PRINCE OF DARKNESS. The others so far are actually really good quality overall. Even CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN hasn't been affected by DNR.

#29 of 350 dpippel

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Posted October 22 2012 - 04:22 AM

And Quatermass and the Pit actually looks quite wonderful.
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#30 of 350 bgart13

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Posted October 22 2012 - 04:54 AM

And Quatermass and the Pit actually looks quite wonderful.

One of the best bd transfers I've seen!

#31 of 350 John Hermes

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Posted October 22 2012 - 05:28 AM

One of the best bd transfers I've seen!

Agreed. Excellent.

#32 of 350 John Hodson

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Posted October 24 2012 - 07:46 AM

Stand by your beds; some folks are reporting audio problems with 'Rasputin' - Frank Collins has amended his review, linked above...
So many films, so little time...
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#33 of 350 John Hermes

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Posted October 24 2012 - 11:06 AM

Stand by your beds; some folks are reporting audio problems with 'Rasputin' - Frank Collins has amended his review, linked above...

It always seems like something turns out to be wrong on these classic releases. You'd think some guy with good eyes and ears could watch these movies before release and check for this kind of stuff. :confused: Better yet, for audio run the sound output through a VU meter. I can't believe how much DVDs and Blu-ray vary. Get a standard and stick to it. It's not so difficult.

#34 of 350 EddieLarkin

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Posted October 25 2012 - 08:26 AM

From Blu-ray.com user, audio comparison between Rasputin DVD and new release: http://soundcloud.co...p-cant/rasputin :td:

#35 of 350 Danny_N

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Posted October 25 2012 - 09:59 AM

Just watched Rasputin. The picture quality is stunning but the audio does indeed sound very thin, like it's played through an old transistor radio. Something must have gone wrong there.

#36 of 350 kinzoels

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Posted November 09 2012 - 04:25 AM

i know trailers are not of the quality of road show prints, but when I look at the trailer for COF, that appears to be quite soft also...what I'm suggesting is maybe COF wasn't very sharp to begin with and we may be flogging a dead horse if we think more focus can be extracted without the use of enhancement techniques. Also if someone would be so kind as to clear up for me the belief by some that COF was remastered from color seps, implying a three strip process as in technicolor. I was under the impression it was shot in Eastman color as a single strip negative, which would explain the "faded" negative situation Eastman is notorous for... Thank you

#37 of 350 John Hodson

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Posted November 09 2012 - 05:41 AM

Regarding how sharp 'Curse' was, this is a quote from another forum:

I was reading Kinsey's book on Hammer at Bray and Len Harris, Jack Asher's camera operator was saying that the projectionist at the Warner reckoned it was the sharpest focussed movie he'd ever run.

This is a quote from a poster at the Hammer blog itself, prior to the release of the Blu-ray of 'Curse':

Many years back I discussed the OCN’s condition on CURSE with a lab rep who was doing work for Warners. It’s unfortunately very faded. It was quite awhile ago, but my recollection is that a new negative was created from the “separations”; these are three strips of B&W film, similar to the old Technicolor three-strip process but done in reverse – in other words made from the camera negative as a protection measure. When printed recombined they can produce a new negative. The big drawback is that they have a tendency to be slightly soft, and you have three layers of dirt “baked” into the new negative. There may be other elements kicking around like interpositives that were struck before the negative faded, and these would probably be the best bet for a transfer. Release prints are usually not a good choice, since they contain more contrast and overall harshness than an IP.


So many films, so little time...
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#38 of 350 Mark Oates

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Posted November 09 2012 - 06:16 AM

I suspect Hammer was at the mercy of Warner Motion Picture Imaging's price list - "We provide you with a 4K preservation master file on hard drive. All you have to do then is grade the movie and downrez for home video. We can offer two services. The Deluxe service or the Standard service." "What's the difference?" "The OCN is in no shape to do anything with, but luckily we have a set of separation masters we made our own I/P with a few years back. The Deluxe service, we scan in the separation masters at 4K each. We digitally recombine the images to overcome differential shrinkage. It's rather work-intensive and consequently pricey. That comes in at $250,000." (Gulp) "What's the Standard service?" "We pull our old reference I/P from the vault. It's a little faded and rough round the edges and I think we got the aspect ratio wrong, but shove in plenty of edge enhancement and grade it good and saturated and it should pass muster. Bob's your uncle, Fanny's your aunt. $25,000." "Done" "Your customers certainly will be." This is a joke, issued for humorous purposes, and should not be taken as gospel truth.
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#39 of 350 Robert Harris

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Posted November 09 2012 - 07:11 AM

Originally Posted by John Hodson 

Regarding how sharp 'Curse' was, this is a quote from another forum:
This is a quote from a poster at the Hammer blog itself, prior to the release of the Blu-ray of 'Curse':

This is a quote from a poster at the Hammer blog itself, prior to the release of the Blu-ray of 'Curse':


Quote: Many years back I discussed the OCN’s condition on CURSE with a lab rep who was doing work for Warners. It’s unfortunately very faded. It was quite awhile ago, but my recollection is that a new negative was created from the “separations”; these are three strips of B&W film, similar to the old Technicolor three-strip process but done in reverse – in other words made from the camera negative as a protection measure. When printed recombined they can produce a new negative. The big drawback is that they have a tendency to be slightly soft, and you have three layers of dirt “baked” into the new negative.

There may be other elements kicking around like interpositives that were struck before the negative faded, and these would probably be the best bet for a transfer. Release prints are usually not a good choice, since they contain more contrast and overall harshness than an IP.

Soft seps?


Shouldn't be.


Dirty?


Possibly, but shouldn't be a problem.


Don't know where this was going.


And no, IPs would not be the best bet for a transfer.


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#40 of 350 Robert Harris

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Posted November 09 2012 - 07:12 AM

Originally Posted by Mark Oates 

I suspect Hammer was at the mercy of Warner Motion Picture Imaging's price list - "We provide you with a 4K preservation master file on hard drive. All you have to do then is grade the movie and downrez for home video. We can offer two services. The Deluxe service or the Standard service."
"What's the difference?"
"The OCN is in no shape to do anything with, but luckily we have a set of separation masters we made our own I/P with a few years back. The Deluxe service, we scan in the separation masters at 4K each. We digitally recombine the images to overcome differential shrinkage. It's rather work-intensive and consequently pricey. That comes in at $250,000."
(Gulp) "What's the Standard service?"
"We pull our old reference I/P from the vault. It's a little faded and rough round the edges and I think we got the aspect ratio wrong, but shove in plenty of edge enhancement and grade it good and saturated and it should pass muster. Bob's your uncle, Fanny's your aunt. $25,000."
"Done"
"Your customers certainly will be."
This is a joke, issued for humorous purposes, and should not be taken as gospel truth.

And that is not the way that it works.


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





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