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North By Northwest DVD: Possibly from VistaVision elements?


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21 replies to this topic

#1 of 22 Patrick McCart

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Posted March 02 2002 - 12:57 PM

I noticed that the previous version of North By Northwest was 1.66:1, but seemed to cut off parts of the picture (notibly the MGM byline under "North By Northwest" gets cropped a bit).

The DVD is 1.78:1 and reveals MORE information on the sides than the 1.66:1 LD.

I read somewhere that MGM's flat (35mm non-anamorphic) productions were made at 1.75:1 when they started putting out widescreen films.

This leads me to belive that the DVD video transfer of North By Northwest possibly could be from VistaVision.

Anyone care to share their thoughts?

#2 of 22 GerardoHP

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Posted March 02 2002 - 01:43 PM

I don't know the answer to this, but the American Widescreen Museum used to have an article as to the incorrect cropping and scanning of this picture for home video. I can't remember if that applied to the DVD or the LD but I'm in the process of finding out.
Gerardo

#3 of 22 Patrick McCart

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Posted March 02 2002 - 02:19 PM

I forgot to add...the DVD adds more space on the bottom and the sides than the 1.66:1 LD.

#4 of 22 Mark Walker

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Posted March 02 2002 - 06:32 PM

Patrick-

As someone who makes a point to read every comment
he makes in this forum,
I can tell you that Robert Harris says the DVD
is the best presentation of the film he has seen
on an home video format...and he had nothing to do with the
restoration, which has yet to be done to actual
film elements. Meaning there is no "archival
restoration print" of NXNW as of yet.

Harris was so impressed that he started a thread
called
The Beauty and The Beast referring
to North By Northwest as the beauty DVD
and The Sound of Music as the beast DVD.

Since Harris even addressed concerns with how
Lawrence of Arabia doesn't have the
right coloring for the desert (entirely too welcoming),
I am sure that if Harris thought the framing was off
in the slighest of NXNW, he would've said so.

He also mentioned that film film is matted a bit
on the top an the bottom, as without it, in one scene,
for example, you see the plywood below Grant when he
hits the ground during the crop duster scene.

Also, there was mention of the sign in Washington DC,
"United States Intelligence Agency"
looking cropped on the left ("Un" is cropped,
as is "Int"...), and Harris said that there
is no reason to think that Hitch
did the shot with the whole sign in the
first place.



Mark

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#5 of 22 Damin J Toell

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Posted March 02 2002 - 07:46 PM

Quote:
This leads me to belive that the DVD video transfer of North By Northwest possibly could be from VistaVision.


what do you mean by "from VistaVision"? isn't VistaVision a filming process? if so, isn't any transfer of a film shot using VistaVision ncessarily "from" VistaVision? so what are the other options? what else could such a transfer be "from"? it seems to me that this would be like asking whether a given transfer of a film shot in Panavision is "from Panavision."

DJ

#6 of 22 Mark Walker

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Posted March 02 2002 - 08:35 PM

Damin-

It is a common practice to shot one way, and
have the film transferred to film stock in a format
other than how it was shot.

For example, Cameron frequently shoots using
a Super-35 film process, but must transfer the
film into another film process, since most theaters
(if not all) cannot show Super-35 film.

Since VistaVision is shot on 35mm stock, but runs
left to right, and not up and down,
it is highly doubtful that any commercial
theater actaully presents (or presented)
the film shot in VistaVision
that are not transferred and reduced
to normal 35mm film, in
the "normal" vertical manner.

I'm far from an expert on this, but I remember
something about how Katz and Harris transferred
'Vertigo' (which was also shot
using the VistaVision process) to 70mm, rather
than "reducing it to 35mm"
get the framing correct off
of that VistaVision film.

To see more about shooting one way, and
transferring to other film formats for theatrical release
, go here:
http://www.cs.tut.fi....hootingSuper35

Mark

Paramount, please release DRAGONSLAYER on Blu-ray

Dragonslayer_1981HTF_zps4e370848.jpg

 

 

Vermithrax Pejorative deserves to be seen in high-def.


#7 of 22 paul o'donnell

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Posted March 02 2002 - 08:42 PM

Mark, what exactly did RAH say was wrong with Sound of Music dvd. I've not got it yet, and can't find the thread.

Thanks
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#8 of 22 Mark Walker

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Posted March 02 2002 - 09:05 PM

Paul-

It is a pretty old thread, like maybe 14 months
ago, so I doubt a "search" will have it appear.
But most members of this forum who have
high-end equipment will tell you
The Sound of Music as presented
on DVD leaves much to be desired.

I think Obi should have his
review (which reflected the same sentiments
that RAH exspressed) can be found in his review
section here somewhere.
http://www.obisreviews.com/main4.html

From what I understand, it appears that
Fox pulled all the best film elements, but
then didn't do any restoration work, and
so the images are not that great, some
problems with softness, alignment, and color.

I remember one quote from RAH's comments
that his wife made when he started playing
the DVD: "What is wrong with that picture?"


Mark

Paramount, please release DRAGONSLAYER on Blu-ray

Dragonslayer_1981HTF_zps4e370848.jpg

 

 

Vermithrax Pejorative deserves to be seen in high-def.


#9 of 22 Robert Harris

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Posted March 03 2002 - 01:34 AM

Actually, VistaVision runs from right to left.

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


#10 of 22 Peter Kline

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Posted March 03 2002 - 01:36 AM

I believe the original VistaVision camera elements are in very bad shape.
More specific info can be gotten from here:

http://www.widescree...een/wingvv1.htm

#11 of 22 Joseph Bolus

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Posted March 03 2002 - 02:11 AM

Quote:
But most members of this forum who have
high-end equipment will tell you
The Sound of Music as presented
on DVD leaves much to be desired

One really doesn't need high-end equipment to view some of the worse examples of "edge-enhancement" in the history of the DVD format! Whenever I come across one of those "Phantom Menace" edge-Enhancement" threads, I just laugh! In SOM, the "edge-ehancement" was so bad that the "ghost image" was sometimes a half-inch or more from the "main image" on my 96" FPTV system. Even on my 55" analog RPTV system, the image presented was glaringly bad.

In addition to the very excessive edge-enhancement, there were areas of the print that "bloomed" back and forth and other areas showed considerable print damage. Contrast and consistent black levels were a problem as well.

The SOM transfer was so bad it even earned an "award" from The Digital Bits as "Worse-looking DVD of the Year"!

The extras included with the film are still worth owning for the price Fox is charging for this package ($19.95), but I would pay triple the asking price for a decent presentation of this film on DVD. As it is, I feel compelled to hide this disc when guests come over for fear that they will ask to view it!
Joseph
---------------

#12 of 22 Mark Walker

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Posted March 03 2002 - 08:21 AM

RAH-

Thanks for correcting my comments.

Posted Image

Mark

Paramount, please release DRAGONSLAYER on Blu-ray

Dragonslayer_1981HTF_zps4e370848.jpg

 

 

Vermithrax Pejorative deserves to be seen in high-def.


#13 of 22 David Von Pein

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Posted June 03 2002 - 11:18 AM

Who plans on upgrading to this set come June 11? Posted Image .......

http://www.amazon.co....732756-7673465
Posted Image

#14 of 22 Ric Easton

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Posted June 03 2002 - 12:16 PM

Drool...

It puts me in the mind of those Laserdisc boxsets we were talking about in that other thread!

Ric

#15 of 22 JeremySt

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Posted June 03 2002 - 01:49 PM

I own the 1984 P&S laserdisc edition, and the framing is radically different from the DVD edition. Much more headroom, like the DVD is a hard matte. The pic quality on the LD is horrid.

#16 of 22 Rob Tomlin

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Posted June 03 2002 - 02:07 PM

All I know is that the DVD transfer of NXNW is one of the best I have seen. It is definitely one of the top three DVD transfers for a movie that is more than 35 years old (Citizen Kane and Doctor Zhivago give it a run for its money)!

Regarding The Sound of Music: I agree that the current DVD is a horrible transfer. What is really interesting, however, is the fact that FOX has announced that this will be one of the titles that it will be releasing on the new D-VHS D-Theatre High Def tape format!

It will be very interesting to see what they do with this new high definition transfer!

For ordinary men, it's a burning, fiery furnace.

#17 of 22 TedD

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Posted June 03 2002 - 02:21 PM

The transfer of NxNW was a groundbreaking combination of using the 35mm horizontal VistaVision elements to obtain the best possible detail. Unfortunately the color of the original elements was so bad as to be unusable.

The answer, as I understand it was to take a 35 mm Vistavision general release print that was printed in the IB Technicolor process that does not fade, transfer it into a computer, and combine the color with the high resolution 35mm horizontal Vistavision luminance information saved from the 35mm horizontal VistaVision elements in the digital domain.

This restoration was not done on film, but purely digitally and that is why there in no 35mm restoration available.

Of course the digital hi-def master could be put through a digital to film printer like " Lucas used for Attack Of the Clones", I suppose.

Vern Dias

#18 of 22 PaulaJ

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Posted June 04 2002 - 01:46 AM

What's the difference (besides packaging) of the old DVD of North by Northwest and the Collector's edition coming out on June 11?

And.. the same question with the old Ben-Hur DVD and the new one coming out also on June 11.
PaulaJ

#19 of 22 Robert Harris

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Posted June 04 2002 - 02:21 AM

To the best of my knowledge the situation on N x NW is as follows:

Orig VVLA negative, shot on 5248 has total yellow layer failure. Warner created a new 8 perf IP with all the inherent problems, inclusive of flicker caused by uneven fade, and transferred that element to digital files.

The digital master was then provided to Lowry Digital Images, which does superb low-rez work. Lowry used the appropriate algorhythms to create a false yellow record, which does a fine job (not perfect by any means, but very workable for DVD) of bringing back the original look of the film. The resultant element was also slightly degrained which is not a good thing and partially removes the film look.

This was the same situation with Kane, Snow White and other titles processed via this methodology.

It creates superb looking DVDs, but does not replicate the film.

In the end what we have is less a representation of the original look of the film and more a new product which must stand on its own.

The film is still there to be viewed as film when projected.

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


#20 of 22 PaulaJ

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Posted June 04 2002 - 02:31 AM

Dear Robert,

Thanks for the answer. However... does that apply to BOTH DVD releases of North by Northwest? If not, which one? The new one coming out next week?

And if anyone can answer that Ben-Hur question...
PaulaJ





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