Lawrence of Arabia DVD looks bad on progressive scan?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Alfred Seet, Aug 22, 2002.

  1. Alfred Seet

    Alfred Seet Auditioning

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    Every DVD I play in the Philips Q50 looks fantastic, but Lawrence of Arabia strangely has a lot of flaws. Occasionally I see a large but faint white vertical bar moving around the center of the screen. In desert scenes, the sands have a flickering effect, and I can see faint black "smudges" flickering on and off. Its weird.
    Is this a problem with my particular disc or are these problems due to the age of the source material? I doubt the problem lies with my system because none of my other dvds exhibit these artifacts.
     
  2. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    The film is from 1962, you know. It isn't going to look like one from 2000. Even on dvd with progressive scan, it is going to have print flaws. I think that you may be expecting a little too much from an old film
     
  3. Ken Seeber

    Ken Seeber Supporting Actor

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    The white vertical bar has always been there, even in the original theatrical release. It was caused by heat damage to the film. After seeing dailies from the first two weeks of filming, the production took steps to prevent the problem. But the first two weeks worth of film already had the streaks.
     
  4. Alfred Seet

    Alfred Seet Auditioning

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    Well, I just wanted to know if the fault was purely on my disc or if it was the source material. At least now I can rest easier.
     
  5. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    Because a film was made in 1962 has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the image. 70mm films made in the 60s and 70s are far superior to a lot of current films in picture sharpness and color. It just has to do with whether the film elements were properly maintained (and/or restored) and mastered to DVD.
     
  6. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    My thanks to Peter Kline for stepping in and saying precisely what I was about to...

    The quality of a film to tape transfer, while certainly partially based upon the quality of the input element -- certainly a major factor -- even the best film element can be processed into garbage (see Sound of Music), while a marginal element can be made to look quite beautiful.

    I'd be willing to place most any of the roadshow productions from the 50s and 60s up against any "modern" film as far as picture quality is concerned.

    The most important element to the transfer is what is between the colorist's ears and behind their eyes; more important than element itself.

    RAH
     

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