What was Warner's source material for Wizard of Oz?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian W., Feb 16, 2002.

  1. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    Someone mentioned this in a thread a long time ago, but I can't find it now -- that Warner's Wizard of Oz DVD used an older Technicolor print, rather than the 3-strip restoration, for its source material. I think someone said that about Gone With the Wind, too.

    Anyone know? Oz looks quite different from the MGM disc -- colors more realistic, but often not as bright as the MGM disc (particularly Munchkinland). Perhaps Mr. Harris has an idea?
     
  2. Tony Stark

    Tony Stark Stunt Coordinator

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    This is from memory, but here goes: While watching the DVD (and reading a few articles) I believe that Oz was restored using the best available prints for each scene. Again, I could be wrong, but I remember reading that both source material (the Technicolor and seperate strip films) were in bad bad shape. Picking the best of the best, both were used during the digitization /restoration / and color correction process.

    Again, much of the is from memory, but I could pop my disc in validate some facts for you.
     
  3. Mitchell Kaufman

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    All I know is the following: the Warner is a different transfer from the MGM disc (I haven't seen the MGM), and I believe the MGM disc used the same transfer as the Ultimate Oz LD (which I have).



    I just bought the Warner DVD this week, and A-B'd it with the Ultimate LD. To my surprise, the two were very, very similar. I did note the following differences:
    1. The colors on the DVD were less saturated, which could be compensated via adjustment. In fact, the LD looked oversaturated in comparison.
    2. Otherwise, the two looked very similar color-wise. The LD was a little bluer overall, but I believe this could be explained by hardware differences.
    3. The sepia material is definitely from a different source. It's much sharper on the W-B DVD, but also much grainier. The LD looks soft, but has better contrast and depth, and less grain.[/list=1] All in all, I thought the DVD looked fine, although it did suffer from an almost constant overlay of heavy grain. In the color sections, this was also present on the LD, but the relative lack of resolution seems to make it less obvious.



      The DVD has a minimum of edge enhancement, which is good.



      I should mention that the extras cannot be accessed via the menu selections with the Sony 7000. There's a title search workaround, which kinda works.



      For the film itself, the DVD is a reasonable replacement for the LD; except for the sepia sections (which are different but probably a toss-up as to which is better), the two look surprisingly alike.



      MK
     
  4. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    Several years ago WB did a theatrical re-release of Oz. They produced release prints in both Eastmancolor and Technicolor (3 strip). Tecnhnicolor labs at that time had developed (pun intended) a new set up to make true Technicolor release prints. Critics saw the Technicolor version and raved about it. However, most of us were only able to see the Eastmancolor version and it was somewhat disappointing. It seemed to me to be rather muddy. The film was taken from the original nitrate separation negatives I believe (primarily) with some sequences from other sources. The DVD comes from that new Technicolor version, and as stated, is less saturated then the original MGM DVD version that preceeded it. That's about all I remember. Click your heals two times.... [​IMG]
     
  5. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    I agree, I too remember that the re-mastered version shown in theaters was the one used for the Warner issue but suffers from color saturation looking a bit washed out. This surprised me being that I also own the MGM version and it looks better to me initially. It is a good thing I held onto both [​IMG]
     
  6. George Fogel

    George Fogel Agent

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    I saw the 3-strip Technicolor print of Oz when it was in the theaters (the Uptown, in Washington, DC). The colors were eye-popping. There was the occasional 'halo' effect due to the fact that the individual separations had dried out in different ways, and the images no longer lined up perfectly. It was worth that occasional problem to see the rest of the print, which was incredible.

    That said, I think the DVD release comes very close to capturing that experience.
     
  7. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    The DVD is an EXTREMELY accurate representation of what 1938 audiences saw.

    The sepia sections are from 2nd generation material since those sections sadly succumbed to nitrate decomposition.

    Cinetech restored these parts digitally.

    I think WB digitally recombined the Technicolor bulk of the film because it looks almost TOO good.

    One thing that really should be noted about the DVD is that the "door transition" from Dorothy's house to Munchkinland is wonderful. The original release had the sepia "stenciled" onto the film on Dorothy's side, with Technicolor being ONLY outside the door. Until this DVD, every print had the color obvious too early.

    I saw a clip of Oz being digitalyl restored in a commercial on TCM and it was a color scene...but in black and white. I'm suspecting that WB had each separation digitally restored before being recombined.

    This DVD is still impressive even among newer DVD's.
     
  8. Greg_Y

    Greg_Y Screenwriter

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    Unfortunately, WB didn't think the original mono soundtrack was important enough to be on the DVD. It is on the original MGM pressing. The WB packaging says the mono soundtrack is present, but it isn't.
     
  9. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    I recall reading somewhere that if you play only the center channel on the WB disc, you're hearing the original mono. The additional sound FX were spread to the other speakers.
     
  10. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    You can get the MGM version of the movie if you want the mono soundtrack.

    It's bare-bones, though.

    The 5.1 track is excellent actually. I like how the sound is mainly mono up until the cyclone appears. After that, the soundstage becomes wider. The fidelity is surprisingly good, too.
     
  11. Greg_Y

    Greg_Y Screenwriter

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  12. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

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    There is no way a one-channel monaural soundtrack (approx. 192 kbps) would prevent the 2-ish hours of video supplements from being on the disc.

    It's disappointing in theory, but in practice it could be worse - a lot worse.
     
  13. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    re: the Gone with The Wind DVD

    Setting compression artifact and edge enhancement concerns aside for a moment -- the Gone with the Wind DVD looks substantially better than the "anamorphic 1.33:1" technicolor prints that were trotted out to theaters prior to its release if the print I saw was any indication. The print had serious and obvious registration problems on several scenes. I actually thought the projector was periodically losing focus until I realised what it was. There were moments that look stunning and could never be even approximated by video, but there were just as many moments that were frustratingly bad. Hopefully, Warner will go the whole nine yards for a proper restoration and theatrical release some day, but it has not happened yet.

    Regards,
     
  14. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Post deleted

    Look at first post
     
  15. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

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    One line was altered in the 5.1 version, and some of the effects. The original mono track is slightly different, and the one I prefer.
     
  16. Greg_Y

    Greg_Y Screenwriter

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  17. Lee Bombard

    Lee Bombard Stunt Coordinator

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  18. Mitchell Kaufman

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    Regarding Gone With The Wind, I recall reading somewhere that one of Lowry Digital's first DVD projects was that film, but my understanding was that this was not the version released to the U.S. market.

    Many of the scenes in the existing U.S. disc look beautiful but for that steenkin' EE.

    Am I nuts, or is there another version of GWTW out there? (Or both...)

    BTW, I'm practically wetting myself waiting for The Adventures of Robin Hood!

    MK
     
  19. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Post deleted...

    Look, If I have to argue to prove a point, it's not worth it.
     
  20. Michael St. Clair

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    I think it's kind of sad that after all this time we still have people carping on other members' desire to have all releases include an original soundtrack.
     

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