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Blade Runner's different versions.

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Douglas Monce, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    Charles,

    I've spent the last week or so obsessively going back and forth watching the different version of Blade Runner on the new set. I'm curious about the source material for the different versions.

    For instance on the theatrical/international/director's cuts I notice quite a bit of gate weave in the Ladd Company logo. There is little to no gate weave in the final cut version.

    In the scene where Decard first walks up to the noodle bar, the theatrical/international/director's cuts have a slightly green cast to the florescent lights, the final cut is timed to make the light more white or even slightly blue.

    Was this a case of different actual film elements being used for the different versions. or was it simply that the final cut had things like gate weave digitally removed and color timed a little more carefully?

    And obviously the effects shots are noticeably more grainy in the original versions of the film than the final cut.

    Were the original versions of the film taken from a good quality print or were they the same elements that made up the final cut?

    Thanks and thanks for what I consider the high water mark of home video presentations. I think it will be quite some time before anyone tops this Blade Runner set.

    Doug
     
  2. Charles de Lauzirika

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    Doug,

    The big difference between the Final Cut and the other archival versions is that the Final Cut went through a state-of-the-art 4K digital intermediate process directly scanned from the negative (for the most part) whereas the other cuts on Disc 3 received new hi-def transfers from a traditional telecine process using the best IPs in the Warner archive. There was some crossover of elements for this restoration process, however. Certain shots and optical transitions in the Final Cut had to be taken from other sources, such as the Workprint, because it was all that was left for the required shots, including the big crane shot booming up behind Deckard as he walks through Animoid Row. There are even very subtle dissolves and/or wipes within shots between different sources. See if you can spot the transition during the shot of Deckard approaching Abdul Ben Hassan's snake shop. (Good luck!) But of course, because Disc 3 would use seamless branching in order to house three different versions of the film, only the branched segments needed to be transferred and graded for the differences in the two extra versions.

    The opening titles and end credits were all completely recreated and delivered digitally by Pacific Title in 2007, so there should be no gate weave at all. As for the Ladd Company logo and the rest of the film, Technicolor in Culver City went through and stabilized as many shots and bumpy splices as they could for the Final Cut, so overall, the film should look more solid than ever.

    As for the differences in the visual effects shots, they are even more apparent in the Final Cut, because they were scanned at 6K and 8K resolution from pristine 65mm elements. There were lots of "ooohs" and "ahhhs" in the room when we first projected those scans in true 4K at MPI on the Warner lot during the restoration process. The detail was pretty staggering.

    As for the color differences, it all really boils down to the fact that Ridley Scott personally supervised and approved the color timing in the Final Cut to his liking -- something he was never able to properly do in the past -- while the other cuts are presented as close to their previously-established look as possible. Ridley worked directly with colorists Jill Bogdanowicz and Stephen Nakamura at Technicolor for the Final Cut, while Skip Kimball (a vet of many Ridley Scott transfers) handled the archival versions at Modern VideoFilm. The Workprint was in such bad shape that it went through two passes, first at FotoKem and then again with Skip at Modern.

    I hope that answers your question. I can't believe it's only been a year since we finished, but several projects later, details are already starting to fade, lost in time like tears in....well, you get the idea.
     
  3. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    Charles,

    Wow, thanks for the in depth information. The difference between the Final Cut and the Archival editions make perfect sense now knowing that the Archival's come from an IP and and the Final Cut from the ON. None the less the Archivals look pretty amazing. I will see if I can spot the transitions. Are they left overs from the previous version of the film?

    Frankly the so called Workprint looks pretty amazing considering. Just curious again but what caused the horizontal lines at the top and bottom of the frame on the workprint? Is that on the original film?

    Another question, what was done to the shot of Decard talking to Bryant on the street next to the spinner? I see the before and after in the All Our Variant Futures documentary, but I don't see what was changed.

    I would love to have had a much more involved documentary on the restoration, but I imagine that most people would find that pretty boring.

    Doug
     
  4. Ray H

    Ray H Producer

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    This scene was originally scripted to go after the fight with Leon. If you look at Harrison's face, he looks a bit beat up. They switched it in editing, so in the original version, Harrison has bruises on his face before the fight. The bruises were removed for the Final Cut.
     
  5. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    Oh how funny! I wasn't even looking at Ford's face. I was looking in the background for some flaw. A wire holding something up or someone with a modern baseball cap on or something like that!

    Doug
     
  6. Manfred123

    Manfred123 Auditioning

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    Good one dude..keep doing nice work
     

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