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Cinerama's South Seas Adventure to blu ray?


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#41 of 156 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted April 16 2013 - 08:14 AM

I like the Cinerama films for their snap shot at a different era and time. With the titles being presented in SmileBox the wider and bigger the monitor or front projection it is shown in the better. The final 20 minutes of THIS IS CINERAMA is still breathtaking and always will be.
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#42 of 156 OFFLINE   Professor Echo

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Posted April 16 2013 - 08:49 AM

Darn,  I must have missed the Cinerama movie that had girls in bikinis in it.

 

And one of my nicest memories of movie going was seeing a free children's matinee of CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG in 70mm. It was free because the print had faded, but I doubt anyone in the audience cared, including yours truly (scrumptious) who had a great time. So not everyone expects perfection all the time, it can be every bit as much about history and pure entertainment as it is pristine quality of presentation and preservation.



#43 of 156 OFFLINE   Strohmaier

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Posted April 17 2013 - 04:05 PM

Boy that guy Adrian is a out to lunch.

You other guys want to handle this one for me.

Dave
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#44 of 156 OFFLINE   bigshot

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Posted April 17 2013 - 05:19 PM

What do you say about a guy who complains about girls in bikinis?

#45 of 156 OFFLINE   AdrianTurner

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Posted April 17 2013 - 10:56 PM

Boy that guy Adrian is a out to lunch

Well, I think that sentence shows the sort of aesthetic value system and level of sophistication we have here.  A disappointing response from you, Dave.



#46 of 156 OFFLINE   OliverK

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Posted April 18 2013 - 01:45 AM

Dave, I very much hope that the next movies that are released next will have less tempering with grain and look more like film and that Scent of Mystery will also be available in a flat version - I saw it projected two years ago in Karlsruhe and it looked excellent. The detail was exceptional in shot after shot and should result in a very good Blu-ray and it hopefully will be one of your easier jobs.

I will admit that I have found both releases that so far have made it to Blu-ray deplorable with regard to picture quality (Windjammer and This is Cinerama) and especially This is Cinerama lacks any filmlike texture which by looking at your beore and after examples was there at some point. I understand of course that they came from single elements that had little to no potential to lead to a really great Blu-ray and that most buyers arehappy to have something that is a considerable improvement over what was available before. I now look forward to how well the films that come from three panels are handled and of course Scent of Mystery, I know that the latter has the potential to look really good.

#47 of 156 OFFLINE   Strohmaier

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Posted April 18 2013 - 09:35 AM

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Guys

We are working with deplorable elements here and this is the only way some of these titles will survive at all. There was no studio storage of the negs or prints, certainly no studio budget for anything other than 2k and several of us working for expenses only on our own systems.

On Windjammer and This is Cinerama did you care to look at the remastering demos we did to carefully explain about the quality the grain etc.? These two titles are the very elements that Lynwood Dunn (Film Effects of Hollywood) created in the late 1960s and that’s it - other than what we could make a bit more palatable with some new software and some expert help at Modern Film and Video and Crest Digital. With 1/10th of the money they spent on HTWWW (pristine negs by the way!) we might have been able to scan TIC very carefully from the original, and that would have to come from the 2002 print source as the negs hardly have sprockets left on them after making that print (which as been shown about 70 times so far).

Every shot is a compromise between panels, we have to default to the worst looking panel and then try to bring up all three to something acceptable across the full frame. Most areas aged very badly some did not. And we had many jump cuts and dupes that were cut in often on only one panel, what a mess!

Grain wise - Cinerama had more grain to it as its three panels were 2 perfs taller than regular film as well as no area with a sound track taking up real estate. When you telecine negs (not scan as TIC and WindJ were telecines) you pick up some noise/grain and so we compared what the Cinerama grain looked like on the actual print and tried to match that as closely as we could, but again each shot was handled differently. That’s why many film telecines in past years were done on low con positive sources to avoid this noise increase factor.

Fortunately for the 4 travelogs we had some of the many original negs available to work with and a scanning budget with great a company (Image Trends) that was interested in helping us out with our very meager budget. Example: In Seven Wonders Of The World there is 28 minutes of negative (screen time that is) missing so the source has to comes from the Library Of Congress deposit faded to pink print and we try to rebuild the color back as best we can, so people get ready to criticize that when it comes out. However, as before, we will explain all this in one of the extras so please watch them.

I would rather have these historical films (many of them top box office draws of their year) in some form than not at all. Go back and read the Robert Harris post on This Is Cinerama and Windjammer that might help you to understand better. (see Below)

Also ake a look at the trailers I posted the other day that will give you an idea of what Cinerama Holiday, Seven Wonders, and South Seas will look like.

Again were doing the best we can with a very small budget and a very dedicated team.



Dear Adrian
Give me a call sometime I would like to talk to you, as I am also disappointed with your “mutant” type comments as well. Walk a mile in my shoes!

Dave


RAH on This IS Cinerama:
---- Posted October 31 2012 - 03:26 AM
I was a bit young when I was taken to see This is Cinerama in it's original release. And I still recall those giant curtains opening, and opening, and opening, to reveal the entire image. If you're lucky enough, you can share that experience the next time David Strohmaier and his merry band of fanatics runs How the West Was Won at the Dome in Hollywood.
I believe this is a complete list of the released three-panel Cinerama productions, but I could be missing something.
This is Cinerama - 1953
Cinerama Holiday - 1955
Seven Wonders of the World - 1956
Search for Paradise - 1957
South Seas Adventure - 1958
Windjammer: The Voyage of the Christian Radich - 1958 (in Cinemiracle)
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm - 1962
How the West Was Won - 1962
Cinerama's Russian Adventure - 1966
If one were to try to come up with true Event status motion picture exhibitions, TiC would have to be one of them.
When the move was made from huge travelogue to huge scripted motion picture in 1962 with Brothers Grimm, and HtWWW, things got a bit more interesting. To this day, for me, HtWWW remains the pinnacle of the process - entertaining in addition to being an exhilarating theatrical Event experience.
But let's get back to Dave Strohmaier, and his passion to save the Cinerama library.
As far as I'm aware, only two productions were kept well, and protected to decently, and those would be the M-G-M productions. Many of the others have fallen into distress, with problematic original negatives. While separation masters may survive for them, the cost to re-combine them would far outweigh any commercial value.
Which left Mr. Strohmaier trying to do the impossible. Make more than acceptable versions of the films available to the public, especially via Blu-ray and his Smilebox digital view, to give a modern audience an idea of what the films would have looked like, had they been sitting in the audience half a century before.
With the original negatives too problematic to print, Mr. Strohmaier and his digital restoration guru Greg Kimble, went to a 65mm dupe prepared in the early '70s, which in turn had been made from a set of defective dye transfer prints.
Enough words.
You can go here to learn about the process they used to create the HD master:
http://www.davidstro... v-2-iPhone.m4v
Bottom line?
A beautiful HD restoration, which, in my humble opinion, successfully brings the thrill of that original Event to home theater.
Just a bit smaller, and with a bit less impact.
My ratings here are based upon what they began with, their process, and the final result. Going to the original masters would have yielded a better image, but who was going to pay for it?

Highly Recommended.
RAH



RAH On Windjammer:
--------
Dave Strohmaier, project producer Randy Gitsch and digital guru Greg Kimble took on yet another impossible project...
Bringing Windjammer to HD, based upon a faded 35mm print. With that in mind, the final result is superb.
I saw this one in Cinemiracle in NYC in 1958, and was amazed.
You can go here for some background into the HD restoration:
http://www.davidstro...inal-iPhone.m4v
But I'm going to save you the time of reading further.
Support the restoration of further Cinerama productions by purchasing this great Blu-ray. Also see my notes regarding This is Cinerama for more details.

Highly Recommended.
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#48 of 156 OFFLINE   rsmithjr

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Posted April 18 2013 - 09:56 AM

I saw many of the Cinerama films during original theatrical releases.  I certainly agree that a good part of the process is the 3-strip exhibition on a huge screen, which is difficult to replicate today of course.  The films themselves are all very interesting, however, and have sequences that are comparable to anything seen since in terms of grandeur and effect.  They also have a semi-educational quality that modern motion pictures escew. 

 

When I read about the digital restorations, I was very happy that the films would be viewable.   I was sure that the soundtrack on Blu-ray or DCP would be very good, but I had a lot of reservations about what I would be seeing.

 

Consider Windjammer as an example.  I had seen this in a Cinerama presentation in original release.  Loved the film, loved the story and romance of the thing.   I had seen parts of it in very faded 3-strip presentations.   So, when I heard that a faded 35mm (!!!) print was being used as the basis for the picture, I was very skeptical.   The on-line shots looked OK but what would it look like on the Dome's screen with only a 4K  projector and 2K DCP print?  What would it look like in my screening room (10 foot screen)?

 

Well, I need not have worried.  The presentation at the Dome was amazing, and the Blu-ray looks great.   As good as HTWWW in 3 strip or Blu-ray?  Of course not. 

 

Sadly, we are facing the situation that there will be no more 3-strip prints.  The ones that have been made will be the last.  The theatres they can play in will be the last, assuming they even survive.  We all have to know how tenuous things are.  

 

If I were a preservation philanthropist like David Packard or Paul Allen, I might consider ordering up a 4K restoration of some of the films resulting in new 3-strip prints, and building some more theatres.  I spoke to David Packard and commended the Cinerama restorations to him.  He was pleased to hear that so much had been accomplished for very little.

 

Happily, these films are now preserved "forever" in formats that will continue to be viewable.  I feel fairly certain that whatever new capture, exhibition or home formats are invented in the future, that DCP and Blu-ray will be readily adaptable. 


Edited by rsmithjr, April 18 2013 - 12:47 PM.


#49 of 156 OFFLINE   bigshot

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Posted April 18 2013 - 09:56 AM

There was no reason to preserve these films. The theaters that could screen them were disappearing and they flat out didn't fit the television screen. Cinerama fits the definition of "ephhemeral". Quibbling over print quality... which is the issue here, not bad transfer and restoration... is absurd. The fact that these films survive at all is amazing.

Dave's work on these films is exemplary. No one else would have gotten these particular films released at all, much less looking as good as they do. To blatantly troll someone who obviously cares about what he is working on is despicable in a forum dedicated to film lovers.

Sit down, Adrian.

#50 of 156 OFFLINE   Strohmaier

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Posted April 18 2013 - 10:03 AM

Thanks guys!

You are true film lovers.

dave

#51 of 156 OFFLINE   rsmithjr

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Posted April 18 2013 - 10:05 AM

There was no reason to preserve these films. The theaters that could screen them were disappearing and they flat out didn't fit the television screen. Cinerama fits the definition of "ephhemeral". Quibbling over print quality... which is the issue here, not bad transfer and restoration... is absurd. The fact that these films survive at all is amazing.

...

A matter of opinion.  

 

Apparently, Columbia Pictures thought that "there was no reason to preserve" Lawrence in its original roadshow version, hence they chopped apart the negatives in the early 70's.  Twenty years later that seemed short-sighted.

 

Apparently, no one cared to keep Gance's Napoleon in its original version (or much of any version).   Kenneth Brownlaw spent a good part of his life hunting it down and reassembling it.   We now know the importance of that film.  [I saw the presentation at the Paramount in Oakland twice last year.  It was my #1 film experience of the year, with the Cinerama festival a very close #2.]

 

I suspect that future generations of film scolars and buffs will be very happy to have the Cinerama movies so well preserved, for a variety of reasons we can only guess at today. 



#52 of 156 OFFLINE   Strohmaier

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Posted April 18 2013 - 10:11 AM

Oh yes

I should add that I and Image Trends have built into the so called "budget" the future proofing of the 4 remaining travelogues. That is that each single panel has a 3k master file on LTOs protecting them which is on deposit at the Library of Congress. Thats in the event some future restorers with very deep pockets might want to try and tackle this material and perhaps improve on what we are able to do currently.

Dave
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#53 of 156 OFFLINE   OliverK

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Posted April 18 2013 - 02:48 PM

Oh yes

I should add that I and Image Trends have built into the so called "budget" the future proofing of the 4 remaining travelogues. That is that each single panel has a 3k master file on LTOs protecting them which is on deposit at the Library of Congress. Thats in the event some future restorers with very deep pockets might want to try and tackle this material and perhaps improve on what we are able to do currently.

Dave

I am aware that you are working on a tight budget and I never wanted to give the impression that you did not perform a very good job overall especially given the fact that nobody is taking part in these cinerama restorations in order to get rich but for the love of these movies and the process and with minimum funding compared to what is afforded to bigger studio catalog titles.

Preserving the 3k master files certainly makes it possible to go back to them for people with deeper pockets and it seems that especially This is Cinerama would have to be tackled on a much bigger budget than what you had. I know the composite 35 and 70mm prints looked really bad as I saw such a print of HTWWW and I was shocked how bad it looked.

I understand though what Adrian is getting at - there was a certain fascination of the original process that is almost impossible to capture and recreate digitally, those who seek that kind of thrill again will probably be disappointed.

If I may ask: What material did you have to work with for Scent of Mystery? Were you able to scan a 65 or 70mm element at a higher resolution?

#54 of 156 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted April 18 2013 - 03:25 PM

I always thought the travelogues were an exciting way for people to vicariously visit faraway parts of the world, especially back in the '50s when air travel was not as common as it is now.  I certainly felt that way while watching Seven Wonders of the World for the first time last year.

 

Certainly.

 

And while the travelogues are hard to get into without the Cinerama process being of interest in and of itself, there are hundreds of such films from the very earliest days of silent film that did the same thing and are invaluable for their historical record of recording not only the world at its time but the process in which the filmmaking was accomplished. Things don't need to be entertaining in the sense of artistic narrative film to have intrinsic value.

 

And while there's obviously some prioritizing that needs to be done in preserving film, the preserving of the Cinerama experience for future generations seems to me to be a pretty important one, if for wholly different reasons than, say, 20's German Expressionist cinema.


"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


#55 of 156 OFFLINE   Strohmaier

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Posted April 18 2013 - 10:44 PM

Holiday In Spain - the cut down version of Scent of Mystery is a big a mess as is the others. No scanning budget for this just simple 65mm and 70mm basic one pass telecine. Original negative was used where possible but had lots of problems,damage and shrinkage so the faded print was used for about 1/3 of this title where negs could not be. No plans for a future release, it still needs some work and clean up to fix it. Maybe someday we can finish it. The Todd Family has seen it and are happy with it but with time we can do better.

Note: No complete version of Scent of Mystery exist anymore only the Holiday in Spain version.

On the other hand "Golden Head" was in pretty good shape overall.

Dave





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#56 of 156 OFFLINE   Doug Bull

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Posted April 18 2013 - 11:33 PM

Thank you Dave for everything  that you are doing.

 

I saw all of the Cinerama films in their first run, many more than once. (HTWWW, 5 times)

 

For some strange reason I liked "Search For Paradise" best of the documentaries. (Maybe it was the Dimitri Tiomkin score)

The final flight through the clouds, with the heavenly choir, will always stay in my mind.

A truly wonderful CINERAMA experience.

 

I will most certainly purchase every title you release.

 

Again thank you for all your hard work in restoring and bringing these wonderful Cinematic treasures back to be seen and enjoyed by all.

 

Doug.



#57 of 156 OFFLINE   DP 70

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Posted April 19 2013 - 12:13 AM

Hi Dave,

 

Is the first min or so of the start of part 2 of Windjammer

taken from 3 panel elements as it looks so good, thanks

for all you have done for us Cinerama fans.



#58 of 156 OFFLINE   Strohmaier

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Posted April 19 2013 - 09:02 AM


The first shot in part 2 of WindJ is from 3 panel elements, also the shot of the boys band marching at Tivoli Gardens.

In act-1 there is another shot of the boys running along the harbor before arrival at the seaman's church. We were lucky these shots existed in the negs as many areas were not or had missing panels.

These three shots in the faded Swedish print were simply pink and white with nothing we could do with them color wise.

We were able to do this because Greg Kimble got these scans done for no charge as a favor.

We then processed the 3 shots so they would look a bit closer to the texture of the shots around it.

Dave

#59 of 156 OFFLINE   Strohmaier

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Posted April 19 2013 - 09:04 AM

We have just finished work on 7 Wonders and have now started Search For Paradise.

D
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#60 of 156 OFFLINE   rsmithjr

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Posted April 19 2013 - 05:42 PM

We have just finished work on 7 Wonders and have now started Search For Paradise.

D

Dave,

 

Is there another Cinerama Festival planned for this year?  There was talk last year that there would be. 

 

I am aware of the TCM Festival. 






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