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Trailers featuring footage that does not appear in the film they're promoting


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#61 Carl Looper

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 05:06 PM

The restoration of special effects is a really difficult area. It is typically special effects where one will have the hardest time determining an appropriate direction. The history of special effects is one where it is clear to see an ongoing modernist approach to such, be it by incremental evolutionary changes, or revolutionary ones. An ongoing attempt to "improve" the special effect, typically couched in terms of believeablity or suspendability (of disbelief).

 

Insofar as the effect is aimed at something that is not otherwise visible, except through the effect, there is an inherent ambiguity regarding what exactly the artists/technicians etc. were otherwise aiming at with an effect. In many ways it is only the effect itself which becomes the unambiguous expression of what was otherwise intended - even if it is "faulty" with respect to what was really intended.

 

Now one could try and reconstruct what was "really" intended, rather than what was achieved. But how?  One approach is to look at the historical record following a given film, and note the inherent modernism that takes place. One can argue that the newer techniques represent that which the older techniques were trying to achieve - but at the time, could not. That's certainly one way of determining what was intended.

 

But one can counter-argue that had the filmmakers themselves, acquired newer techniques, they would have simply made a new film using such techniques.

 

And contemporary modernists should do the same - make a new film rather than "repair" old films. The world of restoration is a very different world. The "historical interest" in older films is not just that which belongs to some modernist going through the archive looking for how to replace what they find there (or a postmodernist looking for how to recycle what is there) - it also belongs to those who actually enjoy history, ie. that which actually did take place (to the extent we can reconstruct such), as distinct from what might have otherwise taken place had newer methods been employed.

 

History is that which there to be found in the historical record. Restoration is about removing the layers of arbitrary grime that have accumulated in the interim period, so that one might better appreciate that history. It's not modernism which is capable of doing this because modernism has no real interest in history. It treats history as a rubbish bin. And post-modernism is no better. It treats history as a recycling bin.

 

C


Edited by Carl Looper, 09 February 2016 - 05:11 PM.

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#62 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 05:26 PM

One problem for restorers is that the film stocks used to finish the effects to (I'm looking at you, CRI's) have aged faster than the surrounding camera originals, so if a restorer wants to work from the original and not b&w separations, then the effects shots now match the surrounding footage less-well than the did originally.

 

Luckily this was not a problem for a lot of "Space: 1999" since many space shots were not duped but involved in-camera double-exposures, but some of the laser bolt shots look worse now because they were copied to CRI stock.

 

The original "Star Wars" used CRI for their fades, dissolves, and wipes, plus many laser bolts and light saber shots, which faded much worse than the camera negative shots or the vfx shots finished to a dupe negative.  This is one reason why the 1997 restoration started out by redoing most of those transitions (they didn't do them digitally, they redid them in an optical printer when they could find the camera negative originals for the dupes.)  That aspect of the restoration was less controversial than the replacement of finished vfx shots with CGI.


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#63 Carl Looper

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 06:09 PM

Looking at medieval art one could argue that what they are trying to achieve in certain paintings, such as the one below, is what the Renaissance would eventually achieve - a more unified sense of perspective. We could, on the basis of this position, "repair" this painting by reworking it's geometry to better fit a contemporary notion of perspective (or even a Renaissance sense of perspective).

 

But we don't do that. We don't take this painting down off the wall and replace it with a "better" version of such. What we do, if we do anything, is give the work a good clean. Much of such cleaning actually involves removing all the stupid "fixes" that might have been done to it in the interim period.

 

Why?

 

Because we (as an audience or artist alike) might actually be interested in history. We might actually enjoy this painting for what it might reveal of the way people thought at the time the painting was made. We might actually enjoy it's "clumsy" use of perspective. I know I certainly do. It has a particularly potent quality to it.

 

 

 

Reconstruction_of_the_temple_of_Jerusale


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#64 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 08:55 PM

 

Thanks David. Yes, in the promo photo (I must have seen it in a magazine at the time as well) the lizards were quite prominent, rearing up like a horse might. There were two of them from memory, side by side, each carrying a storm trooper. Yes, I guess the corresponding shot(s) in the film must have ended up on the cutting room floor.

 

C

Somewhere I do have a photo (likely in a magazine stashed some place) of a stormtrooper sitting on a giant green lizard (complete with saddle) from the original 1977 SW film. In this photo, the lizard wasn't rearing up or anything - it was just standing there. It was a full body shot (tightly framed) and you could see a lot of detail in the lizard. And to be honest, it looked pretty damn impressive. Certainly realistic. However, as has been noted here, I'm betting that it's movements may not have been all that good. Oh well it looked great in stills.

 

By the way, Ive thought of another example of a misleading trailer. However, on this occasion, it's not a case of footage not appearing in the finished film. It's about manipulating a shot so that it appears differently to what you see in the film. The movie is one of those alien Predator films (one of the relatively recent ones.) As people who have seen these films will know, the Predators use some kind of laser sights to aim precisely at the targets they're hunting. In the trailer, there is a shot where a small group of humans are greeted with a huge number of laser sights sweeping all over them, suggesting a large number of Predators are aiming their weapons at them. I admit that I haven't seen the movie but people who have seen it say that this same shot has less than a few laser sights trained on the people (perhaps only one or two beams of light.) And consequently, the level of threat is decreased. Very deceptive trailer indeed.


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#65 George Ebersole

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Posted 10 February 2016 - 12:35 AM

Restoration verse upgrading or attempting to keep the film contemporary.  

 

You don't want to lose the original work, and I wouldn't advocate wiping out a version of a film in favor of a new rendering of the same film, but with new effects shots.  I advocate keeping the original, but perhaps upgrading the effects for a newer version that could be shown to keep interest in the property.  That's what was done with the 1960's Star Trek television show.  It's success, or lack of it, is a personal decision for the viewer.

 

Restoring say something like the silent era "Metropolis" or "Thief of Baghdad" might require reconstructing damaged frames with information from surrounding frames run through a work station.  But in doing so I would never advocate dropping in CGI shots of airships and airplanes for the model shots in Metropolis, nor a CGI black and white tinted dragon for Douglas's version of "Thief of Baghdad".  Those shots work, and adding technology that doesn't blend with the era and wouldn't add any value to the film.

 

With something like "Mysterious Island", it might be worth considering replacing things like the Dodo or the giant crab and bee with CGI facsimilies in order to adorn the film, not really take away from it.  You don't want to replace the shots with different shots, but try to improve on the work that's already there to see if the new technology can be blended to look as if it were part of the original production, but to smooth out the inherit jerkiness in stop motion.

 

But never would you then burry, burn, destroy or otherwise shelve and forget Harryhausen's work.  You want to adorn it.  You want newer generations to marvel at it, improve it, then perhaps show how it originally looked, then explain that this hard working artists originally did it all by hand.

 

It may be a failed effort to do so.  Kids and teens may be forgiving of stop motion from the 50s and 60s.  I wasn't, but I still enjoyed the films and the fantasy they presented, but that's just because I have pretty high standards for stuff.

 

I hope that clarifies my position.  Sorry for losing my cool earlier.


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#66 Carl Looper

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Posted 10 February 2016 - 05:46 PM

There is quite a lot of powerful and interesting work which will create a new work through transformations of older work.

 

But the goal in many cases (or the best cases) is not to "improve" the older work (as if to replace or upgrade such, as if to release version x.y) but to amplify aspects of the older work which may not be so obvious in the work as previously given. For example, a feminist transform on some Hitchcock work might reveal specific sexual undertones that one might have otherwise ignored or glossed over. There are works that deconstruct an older work, be it for specific critical/academic purposes, and/or otherwise difficult to describe creative reasons.

 

Picasso did a very large series of paintings which were transforms on Velasquez's Las Meninas.

 

Francis Bacon took a Velasquez painting of the pope, and transformed it in a number of different ways.

 

9a65ba2c153df9b14d2ddbc04a69b8f4.jpg

 

Innocent-x-velazquez.jpg


Edited by Carl Looper, 10 February 2016 - 05:57 PM.

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#67 George Ebersole

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 11:58 AM

There is quite a lot of powerful and interesting work which will create a new work through transformations of older work.

 

But the goal in many cases (or the best cases) is not to "improve" the older work (as if to replace or upgrade such, as if to release version x.y) but to amplify aspects of the older work which may not be so obvious in the work as previously given. *snip*

 

Can you give a filmic example?


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#68 Carl Looper

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 05:28 PM

 

Can you give a filmic example?

 

This is a good one. It looks a lot better on film. Was done on an optical printer.

 

You tube clips from the work in 3 parts:

 

 

 

Notes.

http://sensesofcinem...tes_andy_hardy/

http://www.jonathanr...inkles-in-time/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0157304/

https://orbismediolo...al-unconscious/


Edited by Carl Looper, 16 February 2016 - 05:30 PM.

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#69 George Ebersole

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 10:16 PM

Well, if you say so.  To me that's just Warhol being Warhol again.  Also it doesn't seem to add any additional meaning to the shot that wasn't already there in the first place.

 

I thought there might be something more significant.  But we're getting off topic from trailer footage no in final prints.


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#70 Carl Looper

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Posted 17 February 2016 - 03:52 AM

Well, if you say so.  To me that's just Warhol being Warhol again.  Also it doesn't seem to add any additional meaning to the shot that wasn't already there in the first place.

 

I thought there might be something more significant.  But we're getting off topic from trailer footage no in final prints.

 

Well, it's not Warhol. But even if it was - what difference would that make?

 

Warhols Marilyn Monroe screen prints would be another good example of transforming something into something else.

 

In the example posted part of the power of it is in the idea that it amplifies what is already there in the source film, ie. in the first place - that there is an incestuous relationship going on between the character played by Mickey Rooney, and the character's mother. And that this plays off against the idea that such can't possibly be what the source film was otherwise suggesting. It is the realm of unconscious or semi-conscious thoughts that are being explored.

 

But yes, we've certainly veered off from the topic.

 

C


Edited by Carl Looper, 17 February 2016 - 04:01 AM.

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