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Interview Lucasfilm on Star Wars the Complete Saga Blu-ray: Hands on Report

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Adam Gregorich, Aug 21, 2011.

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  1. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    I understand that the old transfers weren't just thrown onto the disc Kevin. My point was that for a set of companies that have built their reputations on being technology leaders and innovators, this first HD release of their flagship film saga won't be what it could have been. They should be setting the standard for Blu-ray releases, not producing something that's merely acceptable.
    Obviously I'm in no position to second-guess the decisions made by Lucasfilm. However, it seems to me it would have made a whole lot more sense to spend 4 years working on new masters rather than devoting a lot of time and effort to correct problems with masters that will ALWAYS be inferior to what can be done with current technology.
     
  2. Nick Martin

    Nick Martin Cinematographer

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    Fanedit.com, fanedit.org. See for yourself. If they were such a problem for Lucasfilm, Warner Bros, Paramount, Fox and any other studio whose films were edited, that site would not be so public. Also, Adywan distributed the film's dual-layer disc for free to a small group, who paid it forward. I did the same thing here on HTF and faced well, nothing but thank-yous which was all I asked for.
     
  3. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    John, I think it's clear that the 2004 DVDs were rushed, regardless of what explanation was given. That's not the case this time, but we agree we'll have to see what's really on the Blus when they land.
    The DGA discussion was part of the 75th Anniversary Game Changers Event series at the guild's building in Hollywood. There have been multiple such events this year, including interviews with Coppola, Spielberg, Eastwood and others. In February, Lucas agreed to appear and be interviewed by Christopher Nolan in the DGA Theater for about an hour before a screening of the 2004 version of Star Wars. The interview is available as a video stream on the DGA website. (www.dga.org). Just go to the search box and enter in George Lucas Game Changer, and you'll get a link to the page.
    It's ironic, by the way, that Lucas agreed to do this. Lucas quit the DGA in 1980 after the crediting mess on Empire Strikes Back, which was another nail in the coffin for Gary Kurtz at the time. Essentially, the DGA and the WGA both took action against Lucasfilm because the director and writers were credited at the end of the movie while there was a big Lucasfilm logo on the front of it. This wasn't a problem in Star Wars because Lucas was the writer/director. But in Empire, you had different people, none of whom had a problem with this as it was the house style of the movies. This could have been avoided, but wasn't and Lucas personally paid fines and then renounced his memberships in both guilds as part of his retreat up north from Hollywood. But when he made Star Wars he was still a DGA member. And if you notice, Richard Marquand was not yet a DGA member when he directed Jedi.
     
  4. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    I get what you are saying but distribution of anything even if it is free is a breach of copyright, i'm surprised he hasn't been sued yet.
     
  5. Hal Masonberg

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    Is it a minority? I'll take your world for it. I'm not a fan of Lucas' all-consuming fascination with digital. I think it's an amazing tool and a flourishing art form, but I think he takes it to the dangerous extreme where it actually overrides good storytelling. I found the prequels unwatchable. And I know I'm not in the minority there. For all the fans those films garnered, I've met and read more people who thought they were as dreadful and lifeless as I did. Maybe it's an age thing. But for me, Lucas brought some of that lifelessness to the originals when he revamped them. But he also eliminated an important part of film history. And, like I said, alienated a generation of fans. There is simply no reason beyond ego that those original cuts are not available in the best quality offered to consumers today. All it takes is a desire and/or willingness to do so. No matter what the technical challenges. And if any films deserve that treatment, it's the original STAR WARS films.
     
  6. johnSM

    johnSM Second Unit

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    Ahh that's fascinating information - thanks Kevin! So all that hassle due to the Lucasfilm brandname being displayed at the beginning of the films? Only in Hollywood... I'll have a look at that link now (cheers for that) as well as the Spielberg and Eastwood ones - all icons of mine!
     
  7. DarthYotsuya

    DarthYotsuya Stunt Coordinator

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    In 2004 Lucas was in the middle of production on Episode III. I would say he probably wasn't as involved as he should have been. I understand from this site that he has been very involved this time around. Hopefully that means it is done right. Most of my issues with the OT SE on DVD is the transfer was cleaned for dirt, color corrected, but some very simple things were not looked at and it just looks bad.
     
  8. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    I think you will be proven to be right. Let's face this one fact: there's no way Lucasfilm does not know what the problems are with all six films in older dvds. All they have to do is look on forums such as this and they'll find endless laundry lists of technical flaws, incorrect color timing, swapped speakers and dialogue. Everyone on the interest knows what the problems are. And they are many. And they are embarrassing not only to Lucasfilm, but to the fans who know these films inside and out. If Lucasfilm does not choose to correct at least the majority of these (easily) corrected goofs, then they're either snubbing the fans, passing up a golden opportunity to get things right for a change, or they're holding out hope for a 2017 40th anniversary blu re-release and intend to cash in on our good graces once again. Reading the comments from the blu-ray engineers has led me to believe that at least the majority of old problems have been addressed. So we now wait and see.
     
  9. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    Thanks Kevin for the link. Just watched the 57 minute interview with Christopher Nolan and George Lucas. I thought it was really funny when he did mention the internet folks who complain about 1 scene at a time. Seriously, very engaging about how he struggled to get the movie made at all when nobody believed in the final project. I had to laugh about the comment George Lucas made about British film crews finishing at 17.30 and no overtime. I remember from Paul M Sammon's Blade Runner book that Ridley Scott seemed to have the same problems.
     
  10. SilverWook

    SilverWook Cinematographer

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    That Lucasfilm deems 90 minutes of parodies more crucial than including "From Star Wars to Jedi" speaks volumes though.
     
  11. AlexCosmo

    AlexCosmo Stunt Coordinator

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    People can argue about the details of what's involved in getting the originals a decent release. They can be wrong about the cost, the best method, what the steps in the pipeline are. It doesn't matter and there's no reason for Lucas' defenders to be such lawyers about it. It's not their job to know that stuff and the larger point being made is not at all unreasonable. If film history is important, then this situation should be unacceptable. (And Lucas' endless sob stories about the production limitations, especially of 2 movies he didn't direct, are really not good enough to justify any of this.)
     
  12. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    It not convenient, its realistic. All things being equal, yes a 4K scan of the ON should be the best way to go about it, but in the real world, all things are rarely equal. Doug
     
  13. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    My understanding is that the YCM separations were done incorrectly in the lab in 77, and are unusable. I don't know if some technology has come along to correct this or not, but from what I have read. the last time they looked at the separations, it was either not possible to use them, or possibly far less expensive to do restoration work on the ON. Doug
     
  14. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    I'm not sure why Lucas should have to justify anything to anyone. Doug
     
  15. DarthYotsuya

    DarthYotsuya Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm not sure how unusable they are. They used them to color time the restoration done at the start of the 97 SE (along with the technicolor print). From the fading pattern and from other restorations, the only important separation is the blue/yellow. That is the part of the negative that is damaged. For The Ten Commandments they merged the blue/yellow separation with the negative (to replace the badly faded blue/yellow portion of the negative. Basically from the description it is a digital color separation and then replace the blue/yellow portion. Usually the only reasons why the separations would be hard to use is actual damage or uneven shrinking. But in our digital age, the uneven shrinking can be dealt with. It is just easier to only have to deal with two pieces of film (the O-neg for the red/cyan and green/magenta and the blue/yellow separation) than it is three. With Gone With the Wind, they had no choice. It was shot in technicolor and the master is the 3 separation negatives. This is a frequent problem with older color negatives, but by 1977 it should not have been a problem. They were very surprised at the state of the Star Wars negative.
     
  16. Mark Anthony

    Mark Anthony Second Unit

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    I've no idea of the specifics, luckily at the moment they don't need the YCM;s, if they do then, as an example, "Pollyanna" had a knackered negative and the YCM masters turned out to be YCC! They managed to fix that little problem....more recently North X Northwest had a knackered negative and sep's out of spec, and this was made printable again. Digital tools for restoration have made the impossible, possible... M
     
  17. AlexCosmo

    AlexCosmo Stunt Coordinator

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    So sorry, I'll try to genuflect before him properly next time.
     
  18. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    I'll apologize for the profanity; although, why is beyond me since I have seen profanity used on this site numerous times. Blame it on twenty plus years of work environments where profanity is used on a regular basis as emphasis. However, it is surprising that you cannot see the irony of Lucas and his team spending four years "tweaking" 7 year old HD masters for Blu ray release when they could have made better use of that time preparing brand new ones. It is just more evidence, for me, that Lucas thinks the STAR WARS fan base is made up of suckers. He knows that no matter what he spews out it will sell like hotcakes. He knows he can cheap out, use tired old masters with a few "tweaks" and still be assured of a massive profit.
    I think that Lucasfilm deems 90 minutes of parodies are more important than brand new masters of these films says even more.
     
  19. Scott Calvert

    Scott Calvert Supporting Actor

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    It amazes me you can speak in such detail regarding YCM seps and yet have basics such as scanning and presentation resolutions and digital effects commited to film completely wrong.
     
  20. Nick Martin

    Nick Martin Cinematographer

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    Doesn't matter, since he does try to justify this nonsense all the time and has for years.
    How dare you not bow down to the Great George? Oh wait, I didn't either.
     

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