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#1 of 26 OFFLINE   Justin Pledger

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Posted June 11 2002 - 04:54 AM

Hi There seems to be an awful lot of zealotry here about the OAR of a movie and yet in many of these threads I see the same people who crusade against any film not being released in the OAR that they think it should be in getting excited about the possibility of Dts transfers, DD tranfers as well as extended cuts with seamless branching and so on. What bothers me is that many of these films that people want in Dts and DD were not released with these soundtracks and many of the additional material was not in the original release either. So why the disparity? Do people think it's ok to re-mix the sound and thus change it from the original release as well as add additional scenes and so on? Will the people who pursue studios fanatically about OAR be upset when the new Director's Cut of Blade Runner arrives which will not be as originally released? Will people call Fox to complain about the forthcoming version of Alien in Dts? What about if Back to the Future is in Dolby Digital - will this be a heathen crime and if not - why? Does an almighty cry go up when a film is remastered in Dolby Digital or Dts? Doesn't seem to be. What are the standards that people set here? What are the rules thay you have when it comes to DVD - what is and is not acceptable to you? It's an interesting question as there seems such a wide disparity. I am all for OAR but many are taking the argument to extreme it seems to me and I would be genuinely intrigued to know what are the guidelines that people have in their own minds - some see very strict here and it would be most enlightening to discover the answers to these and other matters. Should studios simply transfer a movie as it was with no restoration either in picture or sound and with no additional material added? What are your views?

#2 of 26 OFFLINE   HenrikTull

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Posted June 11 2002 - 05:01 AM

Ok... well good luck with all of that! Posted Image
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#3 of 26 OFFLINE   Damin J Toell

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Posted June 11 2002 - 05:08 AM

Quote:
Do you really think anyone is going to say "yes" to that? DJ

#4 of 26 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

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Posted June 11 2002 - 05:09 AM

It's called a double standard. We want our cake and want to be able to eat it, too. Why is there no outcry that the original theatrical cut of "Aliens" is not available? Why is there little outcry that the original mono soundtrack is not on the "Jaws" disc? I see what you mean but I don't take it that seriously.
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#5 of 26 OFFLINE   JohnAD

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Posted June 11 2002 - 05:13 AM

I think you're really talking about two separate things. The reason why everyone is big about OAR, is because that is how the movie is *supposed* to be seen. In P&S, you lose a good chunk of the movie, just to fit it onto a TV screen. For soundtracks, on the other hand, remixing to get a DD or DTS track is improving the sound, not cutting any out. Just my $.02 John.
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Posted June 11 2002 - 05:18 AM

Well I personally feel that it is in the best interest to provide the OAF (Original Audio format), then if they want to add some sort of souped up DD 5.1 remix, DTS ES well the feel free on one condtion. I feel it is wrong to ADD anything that was not in the original soundtrack Meaning they can move stuff around and add spaciousness and spatial placement but if you add anything that wasn't there originally then they have overstepped what I consider their bounds. I think that presenting the film however it was intended to be viewed when it was made is important. Then if you want director's cuts or souped out soundtracks fine as long as you have some way to view the fim in the closest possible way to its original showings. BTW There was some people that complained about the lack of the original Mono On Jaws, I know I was one of them and I feel that the DD and DTS version of the soundtrack on this movie are amonst the worst conversions from mono I have ever heard. Just as Bad a Suspira by Dario Argento. Oh well off the soap box. Oh BTW I know someone who refused to buy even though he wanted to The ST:TOS discs because they only had remixed 5.1 rather then the original Mono and no amount of telling him how good a job they did convinced him otherwise. Max

#7 of 26 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted June 11 2002 - 05:26 AM

[quote] What about if Back to the Future is in Dolby Digital - will this be a heathen crime and if not - why? [quote]
Well, you can be pretty sure that BTTF will be released "in Dolby Digital", since DD is the de facto sound format for DVD. What you're really asking is whether it's OK to remaster the sound for a 5.1 mix, which wasn't the theatrical release format. The answer is "it depends".

Many 5.1 remixes are largely attempts to present the original sound elements as cleanly as possible. This is particularly true where the film was originally released in Dolby Surround, and the elements exist to present the left, center, rear and surround channels discretely instead of running them through a ProLogic encoder. Generally, this kind of remix doesn't raise any alarms.

However, when a remix involves the creation of an entirely new soundtrack and the original isn't offered as an alternative, then the protests here have been loud and long. Examples include Superman and Rocky Horror Picture Show; you must have missed those threads.

(DTS vs. DD is a non-issue. As Damin points out, they're just encoding methods. The question is what's being encoded.)

Then there are the "special" situations. Sometimes the remix is done by the original sound designers -- e.g., Terminator 2: UE and Se7en: Platinum Series. You won't hear a lot of complaints about those, because the people who originally created the track usually respect what they've already accomplished (but I'm sure there are exceptions). And sometimes the film was released to theaters with alternate mixes, which makes it hard to say what constitutes the "original" mix. Alien is a good example; the original release had both a stereo surround and discrete 6-track mix, and there are significant differences. When the 6-track mix was first released on LD, the fans (most of whom had never heard that version) were up in arms. For the DVD, the producers went back to the stereo surround and reengineered it for 5.1 presentation. The result: A lot of younger viewers, who have no special attachment to the version originally released, prefer the sound of the LD.

One last point: Are you aware that most DVD soundtracks of recent films are remixed for "near-field" listening in the home environment? So even when people think they're getting the "original" soundtrack, they usually aren't.

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#8 of 26 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted June 11 2002 - 05:31 AM

[quote] Why is there no outcry that the original theatrical cut of "Alien" is not available? [quote]
I assume you mean Aliens. AFAIK, the DVD of Alien (the first film in the series) presents the theatrical cut.

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#9 of 26 OFFLINE   Damin J Toell

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Posted June 11 2002 - 06:05 AM

[quote] For soundtracks, on the other hand, remixing to get a DD or DTS track is improving the sound, not cutting any out. [quote]

Things may be cut out; for example, sound effects sometimes get completely replaced (as in Jaws and Superman). Plus, it's not always matter of adding or taking away, but of changing. Even if all of the original sound is there, the experience of going from, say, mono to 5.1 can make the experience entirely different. While all sounds were previously centered in front of you on a given film for the last 40 years, suddenly you've got certain sounds panning around your head. I'm not certain that this is necessarily an improvement whatsoever.

You say that the "reason why everyone is big about OAR, is because that is how the movie is *supposed* to be seen." Why isn't it also the case that a film's original soundtrack is how the movie is *supposed* to be heard? What distinction is there?

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#10 of 26 OFFLINE   Damin J Toell

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Posted June 11 2002 - 06:07 AM

[quote] However, when a remix involves the creation of an entirely new soundtrack and the original isn't offered as an alternative, then the protests here have been loud and long. Examples include Superman and Rocky Horror Picture Show; you must have missed those threads. [quote]

I presume you mean the prior LD and VHS releases of RHPS, which had that terrible stereo remix. The DVD, thankfully, has the original mono (and a 5.1 mix based on that mono track, which also sounds worlds better than the previous stereo mix).

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#11 of 26 OFFLINE   David Lambert

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Posted June 11 2002 - 06:17 AM

Everybody's hit on the points I would make, so I don't think there's anything to add here, except for my support for always getting the option of the Original Theatrical Presentation for each film.

If it's not available on DVD, as with - say - Close Encounters or Jaws, I will not run around spending every iota of spare time campaigning for that version to come out. However, when the NEXT edition of that film becomes rumored to be in-the-works, you can bet I'll be there to give my input and let them know what I want.

But time marches on, and elements deteriorate and people just plain forget, so I lose hope that the film history will be preserved in its original form. Posted Image

That is why I urge every studio to take this into consideration for every new DVD release that is coming up!
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#12 of 26 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

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Posted June 11 2002 - 06:41 AM

Michael, yes, that's right - I've changed the post.
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#13 of 26 OFFLINE   Brad Eisenhauer

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Posted June 11 2002 - 06:53 AM

IThe purpose of a sound mix is to make the viewer feel that they are inside the experience presented on the screen. A newly remixed soundtrack, from the original source elements, using updated technology is likely to provide a more immersive experience. Chopping the sides off of the picture or removing mattes that were hiding boom mikes does not provide a more immersive, theater-like experience. And I've never heard of a director fretting excessively over getting just the right sound mix. I don't think sound engineers are regarded as artists who need to have the integrity of their work preserved the way directors are.

As for extended cuts and such, as long as the story isn't substantially changed, I don't see the problem. The DVD release of The Phantom Menace has a few extra shots in a couple of spots, but it doesn't really alter anything story-wise and certainly does not interfere with the theatrical experience, so I'm fine with it. Now, when Greedo shoots first, we have a problem.

Personally, I'm looking forward to the extended cut of LOTR (with its DTS ES 6.1 soundtrack,) but I'm also going to pick up the theatrical version (for film history reasons, of course Posted Image, but also because I'm impatient, and August to November is a big extra wait.)

Summary: OAR, necessary to a theater-like experience; original soundtrack in the exact same mix as the original theatrical presentation, not necessary and possibly inferior to updated technology.
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#14 of 26 OFFLINE   Damin J Toell

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Posted June 11 2002 - 07:00 AM

[quote] The purpose of a sound mix is to make the viewer feel that they are inside the experience presented on the screen. [quote]

I think the purpose of a soundmix is decided by the filmmakers. Not every filmmaker necessarily wants to make the viewer feel the way you describe.

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#15 of 26 OFFLINE   Jesse Skeen

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Posted June 11 2002 - 07:06 AM

Re-mixing mono to stereo is like colorizing black and white movies!
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#16 of 26 OFFLINE   Ike

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Posted June 11 2002 - 07:18 AM

[quote] In P&S, you lose a good chunk of the movie, just to fit it onto a TV screen.
[quote]
Well, unless the films is Super35 or soft-matted. Then, less is cut out than what is newly revealed (e.g. more image on the top and bottom). Sort of like remixed soundtracks....I want the original if available. If the director approves of a 5.1 mix, fine, but I'm not going to complain when an old film comes with a mono only soundtrack.

As for extras, it again depends on the director. I don't want deleted scenes forced onto a DVD against a director's will, and I don't want a version the director did not approve of to be released against his wishes also.


#17 of 26 OFFLINE   JohnAD

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Posted June 11 2002 - 07:27 AM

Ike: Yes, but even films with soft matting are (generally) ment to be seen in their widescreen aspect ratio. I know there are exceptions, such as Kubric movies and the Abyss, but in general I would say that holds true. Yes, I would agree that remixing the soundtrack for, say, Seven Samurai would be a bad thing, I would disagree with more modern movies. Certainly keep the original soundtrack, but having the option for a remixed one isn't bad either. John.
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#18 of 26 OFFLINE   Vince Maskeeper

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Posted June 11 2002 - 07:32 AM

I think there is absolutely a core element of members here who champion original audio format- I am certainly one of those people. I think a debate about DTS presentation in theatrical is a moot point-- I'm mostly concerned with audio format in terms of channel config. If a film was presented in 6 channel audio theatrically, I think either Dolby 5.1 or DTS 5.1 are acceptable. As far as the issue of directors cuts, etc-- I have been wanting to voice my personal thoughts on that for a few days (inspired by some picking posts in the ET thread here in the software section). While I am for original presentation- there are a few exceptions I'm willing to make in specific contexts. Namely, when the desires of studios or exhibitors interfere with the filmmaker's vision. In many many cases films which debut on DVD with a directors cut, result from films which were shortened to meet contractual obligations or expectation in terms of film duration. In cases where forces outside of the artist has forced the film to exist in a particular form DIFFERENT from the vision the film maker had originally conceived... then I'm 100% behind the director getting his/her chance to express their vision in the home video market. Would I prefer both versions be available? Absolutely. The other issues which weigh heavily on me personally when thinking about or discussing film revision are these: 1) Circulation of original publication. 2) Creation of new elements, as oppose to using existing elements. The circulation of publication becomes an issue for smaller independent films and some unknown films. In an example, the Kevin Smith Film Clerks screened in several different working versions to small audiences. Does that mean all scenes included in those initial screenings warrant a publication? I don't personally think so. However- in a case like E.T., the film was published on a very large scale- and IMHO, no longer only belongs to the artist who created it- but in parts belong to anyone who enjoyed the film in the original form. When something is published on such a large scale- the artist send it out into the world, for better or worse. The second issue, the idea of creation of new elements, is extremely important. While I don't find it ideal to see re-edited or slightly reworked versions of films after theatrical release- the major element I can't tolerate is the creation of new elements (including sound and visuals) for films years (and often decades) after the fact. The moment a film maker must create new elements, either practically or using CGI, which didn't exist in the initial presentation (especially elements which couldn't have existing at the original publication)-- this is a complete violation of the original work and, IMHO, intolerable. So, it isn't a strictly black and white issue for me- it comes down to a question (as always) of director's original intent. If we can examine the motivation for changes, and the method of these changes- you quickly start finding a clear distinction between Jim Cameron adding 30 minutes back into the Abyss which execs believed slowed the film, and George Lucas trying to endless keep Star Wars cutting edge some 30 years after it was made. -V
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#19 of 26 OFFLINE   Damin J Toell

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Posted June 11 2002 - 07:39 AM

[quote] In cases where forces outside of the artist has forced the film to exist in a particular form DIFFERENT from the vision the film maker had originally conceived... then I'm 100% behind the director getting his/her chance to express their vision in the home video market. [quote]

While I find myself mostly in agreement with you, I have one concern: isn't a filmmaker's vision pretty much always hampered by outside forces? There tend to be limitations of budgeting, time, technology, getting the proper cast and crew. Many of these are forced upon by the studio, but many are simply unavoidable. So how far can a filmmaker go in revising to attain the original vision? This is especially pressing in light of your sentiments against new elements such as CGI. What if new elements are necessary to achieve the original vision?

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#20 of 26 OFFLINE   Vince Maskeeper

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Posted June 11 2002 - 07:51 AM

Damin, Certainly- and I think that's where the gray area starts... the question of direct pressures. One could certainly argue to include all kinds of external pressures (budget, time, etc)-- but I see more a finished film which is altered as a result of exec concern or test screening feedback is a different issue. Again- certainly a gray area- one that I think everyone has to draw the lines which they are personally the most comfortable... -Vince
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