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The Passenger (why so grainy?)


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#1 Marco Leavitt

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 05:06 PM

Just saw a trailer for the re-release of the Antonioni/Nicholson classic "The Passenger," and jeez, it was the grainiest looking thing I've ever seen in my life. I know they've made tremendous advances in film stocks, but did movies in the '70s really look that bad? I still plan to go, as I love that movie though.
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#2 Max Jacoby

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 05:23 PM

The quality of a trailer can be very deceiving as to how the movie actually looks. There are so many things that can go wrong and working from old dupes only magnifies that. I remember seeing the trailer for 'The Merchant of Venice', which was horribly grainy and the film itself looked very good for a Super 35/5128 combination.
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#3 Filip Plesha

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 07:08 PM

The quality of a trailer can be very deceiving as to how the movie actually looks. There are so many things that can go wrong and working from old dupes only magnifies that. I remember seeing the trailer for 'The Merchant of Venice', which was horribly grainy and the film itself looked very good for a Super 35/5128 combination.


Some trailers in 90's were so grainy and duped down that they look fuzzy and grainy at DVD resolution. Worse than good super16 transfers
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#4 Marco Leavitt

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 12:16 PM

I hope this turns out to be the case. I don't think that famous closing shot will even be visible if the final print looks that bad.
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#5 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 01:40 PM

Just saw a trailer for the re-release of the Antonioni/Nicholson classic "The Passenger," and jeez, it was the grainiest looking thing I've ever seen in my life. I know they've made tremendous advances in film stocks, but did movies in the '70s really look that bad? I still plan to go, as I love that movie though.


---I've had to go through I/Ps and I/Ns of many old trailers, trying to find the best ones.

Trailers go through many generations. Also newsreels' reputation for grainy footage is apparentky due to their extensive use of dupe negatives.


---LV
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#6 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 01:55 PM

---I've had to go through I/Ps and I/Ns of many old trailers, trying to find the best ones.

Trailers go through many generations. Also newsreels' reputation for grainy footage is apparentky due to their extensive use of dupe negatives.
---LV


"The Passenger" dates back to the days of EASTMAN Color Intermediate Film 5253 (old ECN process) for making master positives and duplicate negatives. Since then, there have been three generations of improvement in film technology: 5253 to 5243 to 5244 to 2242, with very SIGNIFICANT improvements in granularity. And of course, the camera negative was likely the old ECN generation of film.
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#7 Bill Totolo

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 02:58 PM

I saw this in LA a few months ago, the print was fine. None too grainy.
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#8 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 03:13 PM

I saw this in LA a few months ago, the print was fine. None too grainy.


As others have said, trailers often were made from dupes of dupes, especially in those days. And 5253 was not known for fine grain compared to what we've become accustomed to today.

I can remember when a fade or dissolve would be "telegraphed" to the audience by the sudden buildup of grain from the cut-in duplicate negative with the effect.
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