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A Few Words About A few words about... The Wizard of Oz

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Robert Harris, Oct 6, 2005.

  1. Darrell S.

    Darrell S. Stunt Coordinator

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    I saw a screening of this new restoration this summer at Warner Bros. and it was shocking. It was like we were looking at a live presentation. It was so sharp and bright you would have thought it was filmed this morning. The best words I can think of to describe the colors were black velvet and red satin. The saturation level was very deep. The sound was recreated using the original stems only and was not gimicky, but full-bodied. They showed a comparison between this new one and the previous one which was stunning on its own merits, but this new Ultra-Resolution blew it away. The sepia-toned black and white portion was also sharp as a razor and saturated more than we have ever seen it. No one will be disappointed.[​IMG]
     
  2. Dale MA

    Dale MA Screenwriter

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    Wow, thanks Darrell.

    This thread is making me very excited indeed [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

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    The only big problems I had with the last release were:

    1. The cropping at the top during the opening credits

    2. Some of the scenes looked a little hazy

    3. Dorothy's line "Oh, Toto" when Miss Gulch comes for him, was slightly cut.

    4. And, of course, the registration issues.

    Now I won't be able to sleep, until I show this!!!!!!!
     
  4. Darrell S.

    Darrell S. Stunt Coordinator

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    The man who oversaw the restoration told a funny story about the digital cleanup used. The digital cleaning used to eliminate dirt and scratches was so thorough that in its initial run it erased Judy Garland's red ruby slippers and she was dancing down the yellow brick road without any feet... just on two stumps! He said they decided to adjust the levels and put the ruby-slippered feet back in because movie purists might object.

    Another interesting fact about the sound... In 1939, MGM had a method of placing microphones all over different sections of the orchestra when they recorded the music to get different levels and record them on different tracks. These different stems were used to create a surround soundtrack. They also have a separate effects and dialogue track. However, the head of the restoration said they did not want to create a soundtrack that was too modern sounding or jarring to the audience such as a door slamming on the right and then a footstep on the left. He said he wanted it to just be a nuanced, subtle, but true surround.[​IMG]
     
  5. BrettB

    BrettB Producer

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    [​IMG] They should have that on the bonus disc.
     
  6. AlexF

    AlexF Supporting Actor

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    or on the 'blooper' reel [​IMG]
     
  7. Darrell S.

    Darrell S. Stunt Coordinator

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    At the screening this summer, we were also given a demonstration of the process used to align the original three-strip Technicolor negatives. Each one of the three negatives (yellow, cyan, and magenta) was divided into many tiny squares. The computer aligned each square with the other two negatives for each frame. Each square was also digitally cleaned. This process makes this the sharpest this film has ever been. (I believe this process will be featured in the supplemental section on disc 1: "Prettier Than Ever: The Restoration of Oz.) In closeups you can actually see eyelashes, freckles, wrinkles, pores, powder on makeup, and wig-lines. It will blow your mind. Also, the colors are extremely vivid. They actually began the demonstration by showing us the 1998 restoration and a chorus of "wows" went up. Then they told us this was the previous restoration done in 1998. The man jokingly said, some of you may see a little difference between this and the new restoration, some may not notice. Then they played the new Ultra-Resolution version and the difference was so blatantly obvious that people gasped loudly and then broke into thunderous applause. This new version is lightyears ahead of anything we saw on the Ultra-Resolutions for GONE WITH THE WIND, SINGING IN THE RAIN, or THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD. To me, those restorations looked a little faded-out and not saturated at all. But the color saturation on this new WIZARD OF OZ resembles black velvet and like a completely new film. If you've ever been fortunate enough to see a modern film digitally projected, that is what it compares to.
     
  8. Arnie G

    Arnie G Supporting Actor

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    Now I'm getting excited! It sounds like the colors look like the colors in Suspiria [​IMG]
     
  9. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Our reviewer, Herb Kane, just received his screener.

    He is promising a review very shortly.
     
  10. Darrell S.

    Darrell S. Stunt Coordinator

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    I think we are all on the edge of our seats. Hopefully, he will give us some nice screen shots, too.[​IMG]
     
  11. Daniel P

    Daniel P Stunt Coordinator

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    Can't wait to see a review for this one...
     
  12. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Screenwriter

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    Oh, Herb...do tell us what you see...

    Mike
     
  13. Daniel P

    Daniel P Stunt Coordinator

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  14. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

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    I certainly will and I promise lots of screen shots.
     
  15. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Well...about time I chime into this thread too...

    [​IMG]

    Ahhh.

    I remember seeing W.O.O. projected in 35mm a few years back when it was "restored" before the previous DVD release. I remember being so excited to see this film projected on the big screen...and then being totally dismayed at the blurry, dull image that lacked snap and "life". The registration problems on the big-screen were distracting, and I remember feeling so let down that this grand 35mm print looked so unsatisfactory to my untrained eyes given that it was supposed to be the "best" the film could look.

    Then just last year I saw Singing in the Rain projected via 35mm at the Silver Screen in Silver Spring MD. I was wary...but this time WB's ultra-resolution process had been part of the mastering utilized for this film. The image was sharp, clear, loaded with detail and resolution. Colors were magnificent and the image just glowed with layers of depth. Stunning.

    Then I wondered "What would the Wizard of Oz look like if they applied the same digital restoration...aligning the 3-stripe negatives digitally to obtain the same immaculate results?"

    Looks like my question has been answered.

    I was GOING to wait for HD but now I think I'm going to just give in and make a trip to Best Buy...

    [​IMG]

    Does anyone else see the (beautiful) irony how with today's technology, some of our oldest and most historic films are able to breathe again with new life...in many ways looking "better" than were able to in their first life? I'm not trying to dismiss any valid concerns about presenting/preserving films in a manner that conserves their historic appearnace...but technicolor films like this were meant to be *beautiful*, and *beautiful* is what Warner Brothers studios is letting them be. Now to see this projected on the silver screen!

    Ok Herb...waiting for your review!!! [​IMG]

    I can't wait to screen this at home on my 720P DLP projector. Anyone want to join me for a movie night near DC? (pm/email me)
     
  16. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

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    I've got about 15 close friends joining me for that b-day party, and I can't wait to show this!!
     
  17. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    As an aside, and to place this disc within a more accurate perspective...

    There is a difference between the old and new via my system.

    Having viewed via a Runco, that is now several years old, there are those who will see a greater difference and higher quality based upon systems of higher quality or simply newer than mine.

    Nevertheless, the new DVD is a treat!

    A warehouse of information in a tiny box.

    RAH
     
  18. Darrell S.

    Darrell S. Stunt Coordinator

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    Mr. Harris,

    Are you saying that the differences between the new Ultra-Resolution DVD and the previous DVD are subtle as far as color and detail?
     
  19. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    My guess (not having seen it) is the detail will stand to be the more noticable improvement of those two...if the changes in this presentation are anything like other titles that have had "before and after" ultra-resolution DVD releases.

    Digitally registering the 3-strip negatives really goes a long way to revealing the must subtle of detail...details which sometimes weren't even visible in first-run prints.
     
  20. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

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    Just 9 more days, and this baby will be mine!
     

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