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A Few Words About A few words about...™ An American Werewolf in London -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Oct 4, 2016.

  1. bgart13

    bgart13 Screenwriter

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    Is it possible this "anomaly" will be addressed for a future release from Uni in the U.K. or Germany?
     
  2. tenia

    tenia Agent

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    They don't. We don't. We just want a 6K scan of an OCN to look like a 6K scan of an OCN, not a filtered one.
    I may not have seen the movie in theaters, but this picture does not have any high frequencies left, it's all flat and diffuse. It actually doesn't even look like a 2K scan of an IP (compare with what WAC is doing with the 2K IP scans from MPI).

    I believe most of the people vocal about the new BD look know very well that there are many "problem shots" which will always look softer and a bit "dupey" because of the optical effects, for instance.
    But they're not the heart of the discussion.
    The heart is all the rest of the movie, which isn't made of problem shots.

    If at some point, Universal revisits properly this movie and do things adequately, I'm sure the end-result on BD won't look iike this one at all. It's the case of people saying "oh but this actually can't look better", and a new release appears and guess what : it IS better. Again, there has been many cases like this.

    If it's an encoding issue that appeared at the BD authoring step, it could be.
    But I don't think so, because I simply don't believe the issue is issuing from this step, but is straight baked-in on the restored digital master. Otherwise, it would mean the BD isn't faithful to the restoration.
     
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  3. Oblivion138

    Oblivion138 Second Unit

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    My personal opinion, having viewed the disc without anyone's prior input, is that there's definitely something wrong with the grain. The image isn't entirely without texture. It appears, oddly, selectively without texture. I'm seeing a minimized but still reasonable grain field in portions of a given shot, with other portions of the same exact shot devoid of any grain whatsoever. I've been a big supporter of Universal's recent remasters, and I was really hoping for the best with this release, since I love the film. But this is below their current standard.

    Much better than the previous BD, but not quite what it should be.
     
  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    You're absolutely correct!

    Universal purposefully degrained this one. If you've ever visited their facility in Nevada, where most of the work is performed, you'll understand what's going on the moment you enter, hit the reception area, and see the huge frame enlargement.

    These people pray at the shrine of the original Patton and Longest Day transfers.

    These are the people who gave us The Sting.

    But how do they degrain?

    You have to see it to believe it!

    Once scanned, cleaned and colored, the data, which we all know is bits, is mixed into a granular formula under a license from Purina. Once moistened, it is fed to cows, free range, on the acreage adjacent to the facility.

    After proper injestion, the cows are ready to give data, and are milked in the normal fashion. As the milk, now containing data bits flows through the transfer system, it is pushed through a high pressure valve, and imbibed to a long strip of 35mm film stock.

    Similar to, but not replicating, the last vestige of the Technicolor system, Universal's variant yields a new low-contrast positive, without any vestige of grain.

    I find the look marvelous!

    These rolls of image are then shipped to their underground lab in Burbank, where it is quickly scanned, and a desired amount of faux grain is added, on the fly. This to keep on-line grain fanatics at bay.

    Had I not actually seen this on the HTF gathering a couple of years ago, I'd not believe it.

    They do make occasional errors -- possibly it's the cow's mood, or a Purina problem -- and some original grain will appear. These unfortunate occurrences have led to mass firings, especially over embarrassments such as One-Eyed or Spartacus.

    Personally, I'm a fan of their process, but must go now, as I need to get to my morning prayers at the Patton shrine...
     
  5. Message #45 of 87 Oct 7, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2016
    Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Producer

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    This thread is more entertaining than the film is :)

    I understand that if you really want to see the best looking version of this film, the VHS is the one to get.
     
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  6. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor
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    Does Universal have an underground vault that stores all the grain they remove? I would hate it if they just threw all of it away. They might need to add it back in someday or use it in another scan of a film that is grainless. [emoji57][emoji57]
     
  7. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Waste not. Want not.

    Did Franklin say that?

    Universal prides itself upon being green.

    Grain seeds are farmed, and the resultant by-products are used by other studios and independents to add requisite grain to digital productions.

    Much of this is sold through vendors, who in the past would purchase and re-sell short rolls.

    Disney, also a green company, re-sells the grain formerly used in their animated classics in the same way.

    Available in various amounts, simply Google "re-sellers film grain licensed."
     
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  8. David Weicker

    David Weicker Producer

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    I have to disagree with you. The ViewMaster disc is the definitive way to watch this.
    :blink::D
     
  9. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Those are extremely rare. Was discussing this recently with Mr. Furmanek. The film was shot native 3-D, with the old Natural Vision gear.

    Right eye was lost in the fire.

    Current image harvest from OCN of left eye.

    If you're fortunate enough to ever personally examine one of those VM discs, you'll find the 3-D to be perfect.

    To get it right Mr. Landis wore an eye patch during shooting. Can't do better than following the lead set by Mr. de Toth.
     
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  10. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member

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    Are the cows hand-milked, as is done in loving fashion every day at, say, the Abbey of Regina Laudis? Or are they subjected to mechanical milking on an assembly line? This has to have a huge effect on results.

    BTW, if none of you have driven past the miles of gigantic grain silos dotting the Midwest and Great Plains, you have an awe inspiring sight in store. And talk about security... the studios have decades of experience, so just try getting within a quarter-mile of one of those things.
     
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  11. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Universal's cows are milked the old-fashioned way.

    By milkmaids, in classic garb.
     
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  12. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Producer

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    You guys keep complaining about grain removal but I'm more annoyed with the lack of bran on this transfer. How am I supposed to pass this gall stone if I'm not getting my daily intake from Griffin Dunne?
     
  13. questrider

    questrider Supporting Actor
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    This discussion is very moving.
     
  14. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    I, for one, am grateful Mr. Harris endangered his relationship with Universal to set forth the truth at long last. Oh, yes, I am grateful.
     
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  15. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    I had no idea a film like An American Werewolf in London would NEED a 6K scan, but what do I know. And just so I'm understanding this correct, because the goal posts keep on moving (damn them goalposts), now people don't want their transfers to look like the film as shown in the theaters, they want it to look like it never did. Got it. I'll wait for those goal posts to move again.
     
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  16. Geoff_D

    Geoff_D Supporting Actor

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    Ah, there's the trademark RAH sarcasm. For a moment there I was wondering if you were going to impart that AAWIL was shot on the same no-grain "Russian film stock" as GoldenEye was (chortle chortle tee hee, we are laughing!) but I tell you what, I'll never think of a grain silo in the same way again. Universal's stores must be overflowing, the sheer amount of fuckwittery they've unleashed on their catalogue over the years. I hear Paramount's harvest was plenty bountiful too. :D
     
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  17. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    And home theater afficiandoes with cars, are a major beneficiary.

    Grain is a turned into ethenol. Different cows.
     
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  18. Geoff_D

    Geoff_D Supporting Actor

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    There are other uses for grain. How some 100-percent proof genuine Universal moonshine? They could call it Colt 35mm and get Billy Dee Williams in for the advert.
     
  19. Cranston37

    Cranston37 Cinematographer

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    *Clearly* everybody is taking their eyes off the real point here, which is when you have a movie with Jenny Agutter dressed as a nurse, any quality of transfer is acceptable and a necessary purchase.
     
  20. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Will be 64 in December, and still magnificent.
     
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