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 Post subject: Re: The Matrix LD vs DVD
Posted: 28 Jul 2018, 20:03 

It's so funny how all people are complaining about "history revision" yet have no experience whatsoever in this business. I'm a film restorer and colorist. Here's a little thing for you all to consider before you start yelling how inaccurate modern releases are:

During the 80s and 90s, most TV manufacturers (especially Sony with their Trinitron sets) had such terrible accuracy out of the box with major blue push. We do see this kind of torch mode today of course, but back then there was really not as much interest for consumers to calibrate their displays and as the movie studios have always been interested in making money, most films that appeared on home video and Laserdisc were to a certain point color timed to compensate for these inaccurate sets (hence red push was very common on masters in this era of time). This meant that pretty much every DVD you'll find by MGM released prior to 2005 or such will have an overly reddish tone and all share the exact same characteristic. Only problem however is that most of these films had much more sophisticated color timings than what we saw on VHS and DVD yet people still take this for granted.

And this becomes extremely clear when you start to have a look at the physical films in an archive. Theatrical prints, even though they never tend to have much sharpness, are usually what we go after. And they rarely have much in common with an outdated VHS, Laserdisc or DVD. Of course we can still have a look at a home video release just for the sake of it, but we know that it has been going through way too many compromises to be used as a reference.

For instance, I had the chance to check out Thief on a Swedish 35mm print from the early 80s. I kept the new grade that's used on the Criterion and Arrow releases (Director's Cut only), as people have complained for years for it being inaccurate. Look at this comparison: http://www.caps-a-holic.com/c.php?go=1&a=0&d1=3606&d2=5422&s1=33376&s2=50607&i=6&l=0
And guess what? This scene was so cold and blue, even when only going through a photochemical process, that's it's not even debateable. The MGM was so off you wouldn't believe it, while the restoration by Criterion keeps it all intact.

Many people complained about the Scanners Blu-Ray by Criterion yet relatively few (in contrast) seem to even have seen it. I've got the BD myself and have honestly no doubt that it's an accurate presentation of the films intended look. The entire process was also supervised by David Cronenberg himself and from my experience, both directors and cinematagraphers tend to remember the color timings and gradings that were used for their films.

As a colorist at one the oldest film archives in the world, I have no intention in changing how the films I grade are supposed to look. I can do plenty of research before I settle down with my work, but sometimes you will have to take a chance if it's unclear just how the film was really supposed to look. Then I will have to look at other factors that play in and try to make a decision from there, but I don't go to Blu-Ray.com or this forum to ask for suggestions. I have a very difficult time believing that someone who hangs around there or at this place, who I don't know through my job, would be of any help when I'm facing a problem like that.
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