Two directors respond to HTF reviews. Read what Bob Gale has to say about BTTF....

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Dec 3, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
    Owner

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    In September, upon writing a review for Saturday
    Night Fever, I received a wonderful letter of
    thanks from director John Badham. It was one of
    the finest moments of my HTF career.
    Imagine my surprise when shortly after posting a
    review for Back To The Future, I should
    receive a letter from none other than that film's
    writer/producer Bob Gale.
    You can imagine I am on cloud nine.
    I asked Bob Gale if I could reprint his email,
    as I felt it would be of interest to all the members
    here. He gave me permission to do.
    ======================
    Hi, Ron.
    I've enjoyed your site over the years, and I was
    delighted to read your enthusiastic review of the
    BTTF set.
    I wanted to explain the decision to leave out the
    DTS track in the Region 1 release, since this is
    obviously of interest to you and the readers of
    the site.
    Like you and many of your readers, I like DTS as
    much as anyone. However, putting DTS on the disks
    would have meant eliminating 25 minutes of extra
    features per disk. I had to decide if this was
    worth it (and yes, it was my decision, so anyone
    who wants to complain should curse MY name to
    God as opposed to anyone at Universal). I arranged
    a blind test of the Dolby Digital and DTS mixes,
    played on the same equipment in the same room, a
    professional mixing room at Universal. I listened
    to about 10 minutes of the same material twice,
    without knowing which track I was listening to.
    Three people from Universal were also there. The
    only noticeable difference was that one track was
    hotter (louder) than the other. Other than that,
    neither I nor anyone else could hear any difference
    in the two tracks; then it was revealed that the
    hotter track was the DTS. Two of the people were
    there to advocate DTS, but they couldn't after
    that test.
    Now, I want to remind everyone that the original
    films were all mixed with analog sound. Part 1 went
    out theatrically in Dolby A, and the sequels were
    in Dolby SR. There was a 6-track mag version for
    a few 70mm prints of Part 1; the sequels went out
    in more 70mm venues, and this was 6 track optical
    sound (at least that's how I remember it).
    I will tell you that on a quality home theater
    system, what you will hear on these disks is BETTER
    than what you heard in the theater. I sat on the
    mixing stage for all 3 movies, and the Dolby Digital
    tracks sound better.
    So I had no problem deciding that the fans of these
    films would be better served with more extra features
    than by having a 2nd soundtrack that was basically
    indistinguishable from the 1st.
    Universal had decided to keep the set to 3 disks to
    keep the price down, so I wanted to jam as many
    goodies into 'em as possible (and there wasn't any
    room left for anything when we got finished!).
    Thus, I want to assure you that no one is getting
    shafted by not having DTS. If the movies had been
    recorded in that format, it'd be a different story,
    but this is 80's sound, and I think you'll agree
    it's pretty damned good considering!
    --Bob Gale, Producer/Writer, Back To The Future Trilogy
     
  2. CaptDS9E

    CaptDS9E Cinematographer

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    Excellent. Its good to see people in the industry like your reviews just like we do :). Also glad to see they read this forum.

    capt
     
  3. Julian Lalor

    Julian Lalor Supporting Actor

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    I think you could apply the comments by Gale to many, many DVDs, not just BTTF. A half bit rate DTS track on many (particularly older) films just doesn't make sense. You'd be much better giving over the extra space for improved video.
     
  4. Rich Romero

    Rich Romero Supporting Actor

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    It's a good thing he took the time to explain it, and I agree with his decision. [​IMG]
     
  5. LukeB

    LukeB Cinematographer

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    I fully support his decision as well. I know I'd much rather have more extras than a redundant audio track that takes up a lot of space. Kudos to the decision and to the explanation, Bob!
     
  6. Dan Brecher

    Dan Brecher Producer

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    And to this I say....
    a) it's terrific of Mr Gale to further voice his opinions on the matter to a public audience. [​IMG]
    b) I can not believe the trilogy finally exists on DVD. [​IMG]
    c) I can not wait to bloody buy it. [​IMG]
    Dan
     
  7. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    I wasn't put down by the lack of DTS anyways, but I'm glad Mr. Gale made the effort to express exactly his feelings toward the exclusion.
     
  8. Bill GrandPre

    Bill GrandPre Cinematographer

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    Now if he would only comment on the framing issue.
     
  9. Jordan_E

    Jordan_E Cinematographer

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    Way to go Mr. Bob Gale! [​IMG]
    You too, Ron! [​IMG] [​IMG]
    A couple of class acts.
     
  10. Tom Ryan

    Tom Ryan Screenwriter

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    Bob Gale! Wow! Well, it's certainly cool of him to respond. And what he wrote echoes my feelings on the DTS tracks for this set; everything I've heard says they are virtually indistinguishable from their DD counterparts, so I'm glad they chucked'em and gave us more extras [​IMG].
     
  11. Angel Pagan

    Angel Pagan Second Unit

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  12. DavidS

    DavidS Stunt Coordinator

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    Kinda off-topic...
    Bob Gale read the review. That means he saw the BTTF logos i re-created in Illustrator and gave to Ron!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Sorry, being all geeky and fan-boy over here... [​IMG]
     
  13. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    Many thanks to Mr. Gale for taking the time to address the concerns of the consumer, and to Ron for passing this information on to us. This is such a great forum due to input from so many important persons in the industry and Ron, Parker, and the moderators hard work. This trilogy set is bought!
     
  14. Ron Kaye

    Ron Kaye Agent

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    Gosh darnit. You mean there's no DTS track?

    I want to hear 'She's my density' with the best sound quality possible!

    Oh well ... There's always 'I Spit on your Grave' in DTS.
     
  15. cafink

    cafink Producer

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  16. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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  17. Thomas H G

    Thomas H G Screenwriter

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    Nice--Glad to see some VIP's read here.
     
  18. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Lead Actor

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    Great email Ron. And a great explanation from Mr. Gale!
     
  19. Michael St. Clair

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    Half-bitrate DTS on DVD has been a sham for a long time ('tweaked', hell 'rigged' releases like Saving Private Ryan and Jurassic Park not withstanding). Few of us who have blind tested extensively have been willing to speak up and say so.

    I'd like to see it dropped from all releases to free up bit budget for supplements, and/or bitrate budget for picture quality.

    Even on the Superbits.
     
  20. James L White

    James L White Supporting Actor

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    I've gotta stop reading news about the BTTF Dvds it's making the wait that much longer. It's really cool that Bob Gale commented about the DTS decision, which I agree with.
     

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