A Few Words About A few words about...™ Dragonfly Squadron 3D -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    First and foremost, Dragonfly Squadron on Blu-ray, and especially in 3D, is about the furthest that one might get from a corporate release, with a huge staff and real funds behind it.

    This is an absolute Passion Project.

    Basically self-funded, with a need to make the film accessible to the modern audience as a reference as one of the original 3D releases of the early 1950s.

    Bertani wasn't behind this one, as he was with the jewel heists on the Riviera.  This was Furmanek.

    Accessing the original camera negatives, and working from wet-gate fine grain masters, which cut down on what would have been a horrific digital clean-up job, we have a Blu-ray via Olive that while not perfect, gets across what was intended.

    Dragonfly Squadron is a great reference toward 3D technology of the era.  And a film tthat was in danger of not surviving.  It's not even noted in James Limbacher's Four Aspects of the Film, where nineteen others will be found for 1954.

    As one might presume, the 3D is good as it can get on Blu-ray without spending a fortune on a myriad of technical issues.

    The release has a nice grayscale, without really reaching a true black.  A bit compressed for my taste, and more in line with what was probably on the film element.

    Dirt and detritus, due mostly to the fact that a FGM was used are not problematic, although seeing occasional minus density fly by on one eye, and not the other does add another dimensionality to the release.  That said, this was never a release intended for perfection.

    The track, which was harvested from original variable density elements, has been cleaned of any major clicks, pops et al, and is fine.

    Thanks to the fine work by Mr. Furmanek and his loyal band of followers, one more original 3D production finds it way to the public.

    To support future preservation of 3D media, it is suggested that a copy be added to one's library.

    Image - 3.5

    Audio - 3.5

    Recommended

    RAH

     
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  2. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer

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    Thank you Mr. Harris. If ever there was a release worthy of support as a matter of good citizenship, this is it.
     
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  3. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Thank you very much!
     
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  4. davidmatychuk

    davidmatychuk Screenwriter

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    Wonderful release, great achievement, and I look forward (into the past) to see "The Bubble" and whatever else these guys get themselves up to. As for "Dragonfly Squadron" itself, it took 3D to finally make John Hodiak two-dimensional for me.
     
  5. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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  6. Ejanss

    Ejanss Banned

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    I sort of feel guilty that I'll be checking out Dragonfly and Bubble on 3DBlu-rayRental.com first :( --like I did with Man in the Dark--but I support all efforts to get the Golden Age out there on principle.
    At least I know I'll be buying Kiss Me Kate on day one.
     
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  7. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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  8. bujaki

    bujaki Cinematographer

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    Bob,
    You are indeed a gentleman to keep calling the other gentleman a gentleman. You are a class act all the way. Unlike, perhaps, the other gentleman,
     
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  9. Richard Gallagher

    Reviewer

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    Agreed. I couldn't help but note his comment that a "mere" $12K was spent on the restoration, even though I doubt that $12K is chump change to him since he's whining about paying $33 for a Blu-ray. And then he says that "it doesn't seem to be hard to clean up" the parts of the image that he doesn't like, as if he has any idea what would be involved.
     
  10. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    For an independent production, $12,000 is a tremendous amount of money. I'm assuming the costs were covered by the 3D Film Archive and not Olive? Or perhaps that is confidential information.
     
  11. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    The Archive paid for it with an advance from Olive.

    To be honest, I'm hoping that we break even!
     
  12. Richard Gallagher

    Reviewer

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    That is the point I made to that reviewer on Amazon, but it fell on deaf ears. Or eyes.
     
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  13. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Lead Actor
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    Hopefully it's just one voice out of many otherwise positive ones. I think it's a fine and wholly satisfying presentation. I've seen a few of the 50s era 3D movies projected in 35mm, and to me, this Blu-ray does a fantastic job of preserving and reproducing the experience of seeing one of those films.
     
  14. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    The man is unbelievably stubborn.

    When he posted that negative review on our Facebook page, it took me several replies before he would tell me what he didn't like about our work. Here are direct quotes:

    I just finished watching the 3d version. With today's technology, the quality should have been much better. I had expected a better job, especially from all the hype regarding the remastering of this film. A true disappointment to all 3D enthusiasts. I have given this movie a rating of 2 for 3D, 2 for quality of video, 3 for audio and a 1 for the story line. A big fat disappointment. Next stop, dump the bluray on ebay.

    I replied that 12K was the budget as opposed to 300K for House of Wax. I asked him to tell me what was wrong.

    I have the "House of Was" 3D blu-ray staring Vincent Price and have watched the movie. The 3D is superb. Comparing the two is non-applicable. It is like comparing pea shooters with a high powered rifle. There is no comparison when it comes to quality of the two movies. I hope future re-masters of 3Ds will not disappoint as this one. The "Bubble" will be released soon. I hope I will not be disappointed with this one.

    What do you feel should have been done differently with the limited funds?

    I am the customer. The customer purchases, the developer developes. Should the customer do the work as well? Lots and lots of support forums. I know what to expect. I'm no stranger to QA. The release should have been verified by others that were not familiar with the product. Thats why alpha assurance needs to be conducted before final GA. Thats a point of view from a professional thats been in the business for over 26 years.

    The release went through multiple QC passes. Please tell me what are you seeing that is wrong?

    Pixalation was a factor in degradation throughout the movie observed on an Sony XBR engine 55 inch. Lots of impurities in many frames had pixalation that was easily seen. I purchased a 3D movie that was remastered. I gambled and lost. My confidence in technology is high, however venders easily over look the little things that count.

    Pixelation? Not one person/reviewer has seen that. Perhaps there is something wrong with your display?

    I don't haveva problem with the tv. I have a problem posting truthful reports and then having issues with the vender. Not to worry. I'll remove myself from the group. People thst don't listen usually walks blindly.

    He then proceeded to post his negative review in several spots on another site and Amazon. Sigh...
     
  15. EddieLarkin

    EddieLarkin Supporting Actor

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    He's probably got the sharpness on his "55 inch engine" set to max, exacerbating the film grain and damage that is on the transfer. Either that or he's just not used to seeing old films period and only bought this one because it was in 3-D. He should check out a remastered silent film some time; the typical amount of film damage would drive him mad!
     
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  16. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    I normally would not pursue a dialogue with someone like that but I really wanted to find out what he disliked.

    I welcome constructive criticism but if you give us such a negative review, please be specific and don't talk in general terms. That's not very helpful.
     
  17. JoelA

    JoelA Cinematographer

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    Bob, fortunately, this is a minority opinion (not that you really received any constructive information even though you tried) and so glad you quoted the reviewer verbatim, leaving all the typos. intact. This speaks volumes to me and should to others as well. Keep up the great work that you do.
     
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  18. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Thank you, Joel. It's the only negative review so it stuck out like a sore thumb. At first, the word "pixelation" threw me and I didn't know what he meant. That's why I suggested it might be his TV.

    Greg and I have been absolutely thrilled with the great response to this release!
     
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  19. theonemacduff

    theonemacduff Second Unit

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    I liked it when he said a certain question was "mute." Yes, I thought, that would be some good advice to follow,
     
  20. Richard Gallagher

    Reviewer

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    He doesn't know how to spell "vendor" either.
     
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