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 Post subject: Re: The Matrix LD vs DVD
PostPosted: 29 Jul 2018, 12:05 
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It's nice to see that people are interested in this subject but the thing is that the companies that make these restorations usually have much more information on how the film was originally supposed to look like. Ar my archive we prefer to use inter-positives and duplicate negatives when possible, yet we do also have most of our films on viewing prints. And quite many were actually shot on reversal film and in these cases we tend to have the camera positive. Since the IP already has a basic color timing, which the camera negative doesn't have, we're already in the proper ballpark once we have that scanned (though I prefer to scan it in a slower speed for more exposure, as the contrast is rather low on IPs).

Camera negatives are rare in our collection. It usually takes more time to restore a film using that element. Partly because the splices may have gone bad and thus I have to go through the film beforehand. And also, like I said, it has only been exposued and thus you can see very major differences in terms of white balance from shot to shot. Camera negatives do tend to provide very good sharpness and are completely free of flicker (flicker removal also takes A LOT of time). When I'm working with a camera negative, certain caution is taken. Earlier this summer we scanned the film elements for a Swedish documentary shot in 1982 which we have nearly all material for, and in one case we had some unused archival footage from Stockholm available, which was a very nicely stored negative with nearly no scratches or damages to speak of. In this case, as the material has never been used or even shown, you can go on forever. I decided to look how the IP of the documentary looked and also, rather quickly, checked out other work from the same team during the 80s and could then settle for a grade which we thought worked fine in combination with the main feature. We're not sure if it was supposed to look like that, but tbh, it was never intented to be included anyway and we did the best we could.

Starting in the late 80s and going on all the way to the 00s, many films were color timed used partly digital tools. Not digital in the sense of color grading software like DaVinci Resolve or Nucoda, but you could actually use a PC to control the light output through the film while the PC was storing both the time codes and light values on a floppy disk. This floppy was then sent to the lab for reference during development. And, in many cases, these floppies are still archived and in those cases you can actually very easily maintain the original look of the film. This of course requires that you're scanning the same element that was used when timing the film and that it hasn't aged too much. This is actually quite a good source for modern restorations and can still be used from time to time.

I'd also like to point out that the term "restoration" is a bit confusing when it comes to digitizing film. While digital restorations are most certainly made, the term itself usually means (internationally, at least) that the team behind the work must've put down several months of work into this. Examples of that are Lawrence of Arabia, Metropolis, Taxi Driver, Jaws etc. Very few films are treated this much care and for perfectly understandable reasons. At our archive, we have roughly 10 000 films stored and if we were to put three months into every one of these... I mean, you can pretty much count backward how time consuming that would be. What we do is that we primarily transfer the films to a digital domain (scanning the film) and then make them "good enough" to be screened at a movie theater, which includes color grading and removal of dirt, scratches, flicker etc. We also do some work on the audio side but I'm all into the visuals so I cannot talk for them. At most archives, it takes about three person weeks from that a feature film is chosen to that there is a digital master that can be used to make a DCP. In Sweden that's 120 man-hours. The color timing of a film is considered a major part of its integrity and thus we want to keep it accurate. Damages and dirt can be removed to a very high degree today, and much easier than for instance ten years ago. For instance, all masters in the upcoming Bergman box set from Criterion are from new digital masters by the Swedish Film Institute and they've restored nearly 40 of his films over the past two years. You cannot really put down three months of work for each and every film, yet they've used theatrical prints as references for all films and they all look fantastic.

It's always interesting to see that hobbyists like to dig into this subject and find differences in home video releases, I've done plenty of that myself. But when we are working on a brand new, digital master, for a film that have had many bad video releases prior to this, we cannot really trust random anonymous people when we grade them. I'm not questioning how you remember 2001: A Space Odyssey. I've seen it twice on the big screen (last time was on 70mm, about 10 months ago) yet I don't remember how it looked very exactly. I remember whites being a bit yellow, though not golden. If I were to restore that film I'd look at the available prints once more and write down what I see. I've gone to the movie theater with pen and paper just to write down the grading of the films at some points, though that has been work-related.

And we're not always sure. There's always a risk that we're doing something wrong and it's like that with everything. In one case we had the original, edited, camera positive for a film in our archive yet a couple of prints. What we noticed when we looked at the prints is that there were some scenes missing from the camera positive yet they had no splices and still matched up perfectly fine with the separate magnetic track. This could indicate that the print was a different cut of the film, made many years later. We searched but couldn't find any information on this. We settled for using the camera positive as our visual source and edited it digitally to match up with the print. While the film maybe wasn't presented this way from the very beginning, we do know that it was presented like this at some point at least. And then we just synced the soundtrack. No problem there. Until we find any more information on this film and know for sure how it was originally supposed to shown, we're going to settle with what we have right now.
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 Post subject: Re: The Matrix LD vs DVD
PostPosted: 29 Jul 2018, 14:52 
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As I understood it the changes made to The Matrix were all marketing related. The movie was HUGE so they made some sequels and a massive massive marketing campaign that turned that entire damned series green. The first movie wasn’t green and was brought closer to the second ones. There was actually a lot of green crap around that time, The Incredible Hulk, X Box, Monster Energy, etc. I don’t think it had anything to do with ineptitude or technical problems or any of that. It was just bad taste. But who cares? It’s the Matrix. People who worship the film and talk about how influential (to hacks) it is apparently don’t care that they invented almost nothing for this movie.
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 Post subject: Re: The Matrix LD vs DVD
PostPosted: 29 Jul 2018, 16:06 
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It's nice to hear an expert who works in the industry explaining all the pros and cons of the film restoration. And yes it would be nice to see a lot of films get the deluxe treatment but as you say it's just not possible for every film. At the end of the day I'm grateful To Criterion, Arrow, MOC, Indicator, Shout etc for getting us a lot a films on home video looking as best they can. As bad as film must be I dread to think what TV shows must be like for restoration especially those that only exist on video tape. Do you want to bet right now that when 2001 comes out in October on 4k there will be a lot of b**ching and comparing to the Criterion CAV laserdisc...........
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 Post subject: Re: The Matrix LD vs DVD
PostPosted: 29 Jul 2018, 16:10 
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One question that you maybe can answer is Dracula 1958 Is it supposed to be that cold looking or was the red warm pressing so loved of TV and home video wrong all along? I know it's slightly off topic but it's a film that had a lot of talk because of it's colour grading on blu-ray. And certainly a good example like The Matrix and Scanners of a lot of talk in the film community.
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 Post subject: Re: The Matrix LD vs DVD
PostPosted: 29 Jul 2018, 22:47 
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I'm not familiar with the 1958 version of Dracula, but I did check out some of the screenshots available on Caps-A-Holic. This one specifically caught my attention: http://www.caps-a-holic.com/c.php?go=1& ... 21&i=9&l=0

The former DVD has a very heavy red push, most noticeable in the blacks and shadow details. And the red light remain the red tone on the new Blu-Ray. This makes me think that the DVD has gotten the typical home video treatment, but since I don't know anything about this film nor its digitizing process I really cannot say anything about how accurate the Blu-Ray is in comparison to its intended look.

It's also difficult to compare the two on the same monitor without changin profiles as the DVD is most likely mastered for SMPTE-C (with the Rec.601 gamut) which uses a different RGB balance for D65 than Rec.709/sRGB. D65 for SMPTE-C has red 21.24%, green 70.11% and blue 8.66%. For Rec.709 however, D65 equals to red 21.27%, green 71.52% and blue 7.22%. Plus the differences in terms of color gamut.
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 Post subject: Re: The Matrix LD vs DVD
PostPosted: 30 Jul 2018, 15:47 
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If you go back to my original entry on this tread, I've included my 1999 screen grab of the LD v DVD image.
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 Post subject: Re: The Matrix LD vs DVD
PostPosted: 30 Jul 2018, 23:07 
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blam1 wrote:
If you go back to my original entry on this tread, I've included my 1999 screen grab of the LD v DVD image.


Thanks :thumbup: .

Cheers
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 Post subject: Re: The Matrix LD vs DVD
PostPosted: 31 Jul 2018, 06:47 
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nissling wrote:
I'm not familiar with the 1958 version of Dracula, but I did check out some of the screenshots available on Caps-A-Holic. This one specifically caught my attention: http://www.caps-a-holic.com/c.php?go=1& ... 21&i=9&l=0


Yep that shows what I'm on about. Like the Matrix it's one of those films that stands out for me with different colours across video formats.
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 Post subject: Re: The Matrix LD vs DVD
PostPosted: 31 Jul 2018, 20:16 
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gypsy wrote:
I'm interested. Not that the LD is even buyable at this point, but I am curious.

I'm with you. The price of the matrix LD is insane. It would be a nice movie to have in my collection, but there is no way I'm paying $50-150 for a single movie (especially a movie that has a billion different releases on other formats). The prices some titles bring is just mind blowing.
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 Post subject: Re: The Matrix LD vs DVD
PostPosted: 01 Aug 2018, 04:21 
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signofzeta wrote:
As I understood it the changes made to The Matrix were all marketing related. The movie was HUGE so they made some sequels and a massive massive marketing campaign that turned that entire damned series green. The first movie wasn’t green and was brought closer to the second ones. There was actually a lot of green crap around that time, The Incredible Hulk, X Box, Monster Energy, etc. I don’t think it had anything to do with ineptitude or technical problems or any of that. It was just bad taste. But who cares? It’s the Matrix. People who worship the film and talk about how influential (to hacks) it is apparently don’t care that they invented almost nothing for this movie.


It's okay to steal from some random anime movie, no one will notice or care.

roger wrote:
It's nice to hear an expert who works in the industry explaining all the pros and cons of the film restoration. And yes it would be nice to see a lot of films get the deluxe treatment but as you say it's just not possible for every film. At the end of the day I'm grateful To Criterion, Arrow, MOC, Indicator, Shout etc for getting us a lot a films on home video looking as best they can. As bad as film must be I dread to think what TV shows must be like for restoration especially those that only exist on video tape. Do you want to bet right now that when 2001 comes out in October on 4k there will be a lot of b**ching and comparing to the Criterion CAV laserdisc...........


Random aside about Criterion: I love how they don't insult me, the buyer, like basically every other freaking company does. What do I mean by this? I get to put in the disc, and then I'm practically right at the menu. No anti-piracy PSAs, no previews for other movies etc... If there is a Criterion release of a movie, that's what I'm getting. It's worth the extra cost.
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 Post subject: Re: The Matrix LD vs DVD
PostPosted: 01 Aug 2018, 05:10 
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pizmo wrote:
gypsy wrote:
I'm interested. Not that the LD is even buyable at this point, but I am curious.

I'm with you. The price of the matrix LD is insane.


If we believe recent eBay auctions, USA release is ~$200 and HK release ~$400 (previous one was $880).

Few copies, high demand, highest bidder will get it.

=> What is wrong with people? Some people mental or what?

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 Post subject: Re: The Matrix LD vs DVD
PostPosted: 01 Aug 2018, 05:51 
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admin wrote:
pizmo wrote:
gypsy wrote:
I'm interested. Not that the LD is even buyable at this point, but I am curious.

I'm with you. The price of the matrix LD is insane.


If we believe recent eBay auctions, USA release is ~$200 and HK release ~$400 (previous one was $880).

Few copies, high demand, highest bidder will get it

I am a new comer to the world of LD, but the cheapest I've seen it go for was $60 and the cover for it looked like a dog chewed it up.
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 Post subject: Re: The Matrix LD vs DVD
PostPosted: 01 Aug 2018, 06:04 
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Sorry, my girl was hungry that night :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: The Matrix LD vs DVD
PostPosted: 01 Aug 2018, 21:42 
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The joke being that I nearly passed on the Matrix when it first came out on laserdisc. It was $55 to get a few days after it came out. It wasn't cheap even then.
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 Post subject: Re: The Matrix LD vs DVD
PostPosted: 01 Aug 2018, 23:14 
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roger wrote:
The joke being that I nearly passed on the Matrix when it first came out on laserdisc. It was $55 to get a few days after it came out. It wasn't cheap even then.

Yes, for some reason WB 2 disc films were very expensive even in the USA.
CBS/Fox were also really high, I think Die Hard was originally around 49 bucks or more. Thank goodness for Columbia House back then.
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 Post subject: Re: The Matrix LD vs DVD
PostPosted: 02 Aug 2018, 01:01 
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gypsy wrote:
signofzeta wrote:
As I understood it the changes made to The Matrix were all marketing related. The movie was HUGE so they made some sequels and a massive massive marketing campaign that turned that entire damned series green. The first movie wasn’t green and was brought closer to the second ones. There was actually a lot of green crap around that time, The Incredible Hulk, X Box, Monster Energy, etc. I don’t think it had anything to do with ineptitude or technical problems or any of that. It was just bad taste. But who cares? It’s the Matrix. People who worship the film and talk about how influential (to hacks) it is apparently don’t care that they invented almost nothing for this movie.


It's okay to steal from some random anime movie, no one will notice or care.

roger wrote:
It's nice to hear an expert who works in the industry explaining all the pros and cons of the film restoration. And yes it would be nice to see a lot of films get the deluxe treatment but as you say it's just not possible for every film. At the end of the day I'm grateful To Criterion, Arrow, MOC, Indicator, Shout etc for getting us a lot a films on home video looking as best they can. As bad as film must be I dread to think what TV shows must be like for restoration especially those that only exist on video tape. Do you want to bet right now that when 2001 comes out in October on 4k there will be a lot of b**ching and comparing to the Criterion CAV laserdisc...........


Random aside about Criterion: I love how they don't insult me, the buyer, like basically every other freaking company does. What do I mean by this? I get to put in the disc, and then I'm practically right at the menu. No anti-piracy PSAs, no previews for other movies etc... If there is a Criterion release of a movie, that's what I'm getting. It's worth the extra cost.


You can also buy BRs from other regions like Japan where there is no FBI, you’d have to be flush at $70 a movie or whatever though.
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 Post subject: Re: The Matrix LD vs DVD
PostPosted: 02 Aug 2018, 01:38 
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signofzeta wrote:
You can also buy BRs from other regions like Japan where there is no FBI, you’d have to be flush at $70 a movie or whatever though.


Yeah that's a bit rough. I'm okay with around $30 a movie for Criterion (always nice to get them for less but when it's a movie I really want I have no issue with $30) but Japanese pricing makes them look super budget.
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 Post subject: Re: The Matrix LD vs DVD
PostPosted: 02 Aug 2018, 01:43 
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gypsy wrote:
signofzeta wrote:
You can also buy BRs from other regions like Japan where there is no FBI, you’d have to be flush at $70 a movie or whatever though.


Yeah that's a bit rough. I'm okay with around $30 a movie for Criterion (always nice to get them for less but when it's a movie I really want I have no issue with $30) but Japanese pricing makes them look super budget.

I don't mean to show my noobness here, but what are BRs?
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 Post subject: Re: The Matrix LD vs DVD
PostPosted: 02 Aug 2018, 01:52 
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He means blu-rays.
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 Post subject: Re: The Matrix LD vs DVD
PostPosted: 02 Aug 2018, 01:53 
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gypsy wrote:
He means blu-rays.

Oh.. haha.. I should have known that

Move along people.. there's nothing to see here
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