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#1 Tim Partridge

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 06:36 PM

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#2 Steven C. Boone

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 08:22 PM

Well, I appreciate that they fixed the blotchy garbage mattes, so long as the original elements are there. What hurts with Lucas is all the OTHER stuff, the doodling over his originals with digital characters and virtual camera moves. Couldn't even leave THX-1138 alone--and that's a film I would show to any would-be low-budget genre auteur to illustrate how to build a world with the simplest of design elements, shrewd use of depth of field, focal lengths, exposure, etc. Even that film, he had to go back in and scribble on it. The man is insane.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 09:10 PM

You have to remember that the garbage mattes were never visible in the original theatrical release -- they only became visible in the low-contrast video transfers where not enough attention was paid to the black levels (although the other problem comes from people watching movies on TV sets with improper black levels.)
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#4 David Sweetman

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 09:29 PM

Well, Lucas just got really, really lucky with "A New Hope." Those ILM guys were flat-out geniuses. I'm glad they're coming out with an unaltered DVD version, because that VFX work is very important to the history of cinema.
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#5 ryan_bennett

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 09:31 PM

I really don't see how taking out the garbage mattes as ruining cinematography. Your other arguements are valid though and definitely complain about taking out of Sebastian Shaw in Return of the Jedi. Some of the images to me, seemed to have much more contrast than the old. I don't know, I just think this is too late to complain about seeing how the fiddled DVD's have been out for two years and now the fiddled and originals are being released so everyone has their way.
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#6 Steven C. Boone

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 09:33 PM

You have to remember that the garbage mattes were never visible in the original theatrical release -- they only became visible in the low-contrast video transfers where not enough attention was paid to the black levels (although the other problem comes from people watching movies on TV sets with improper black levels.)


yep, absolutely. I see nothing wrong with the tweaks and adjustments necessary for home video release--a whole 'nother medium. That's inevitable and mostly desirable. Lucas's crimes are in the '97 theatrical re-releases and the prequels, where it wasn't a matter of clean-up but of defacing his own work. Subjective notions, yeah, but from where I sit the pimped-out editions are gaudy trash, big screen or small.
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#7 Tim Partridge

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 08:05 AM

I really don't see how taking out the garbage mattes as ruining cinematography. Your other arguements are valid though and definitely complain about taking out of Sebastian Shaw in Return of the Jedi. Some of the images to me, seemed to have much more contrast than the old. I don't know, I just think this is too late to complain about seeing how the fiddled DVD's have been out for two years and now the fiddled and originals are being released so everyone has their way.


Well, not really- these are going to be the non-anamorphic laserdisc transfers from 1993.

Regarding the contrast, like I said the original photography had mounds of tone and graduation in highlights, and now they've run everything through a new DI set on some "cold blue monotone" preset. Extreme, immediate white and flat blacks- no subtle graduation from warm to cold in sight- it's like he's trying to make everything look like primitive digitally originated photography, perhaps to make the old instinguishable from his sterile new movies?...

The worst part is I've seen on other forums that they'e done the same thing to the new Bond movie transfers, making everything once warm and detailed to cold, washed out and blue.
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 11:09 AM

The worst part is I've seen on other forums that they'e done the same thing to the new Bond movie transfers, making everything once warm and detailed to cold, washed out and blue.


It's partially a taste thing for the people supervising the transfer. For years the transfers for "Sound of Music" were on the cold side because Robert Wise hated warm images (look at "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" or "The Hindenburg") but got convinced by complaints to time the last HD transfer of "The Sound of Music" on the warm side.

As for contrast, it's funny that you say that they are more washed-out now because when I posted those frames from the "Empire Strikes Back" DVD, Phil Rhodes made some comment that they fixed the washed-out look that he always remembered the movie as having (not that I remembered the movie that way.)

And the reviews for the new "Star Wars" DVD generally mentioned that the contrast was much higher than of old and complained that they were attempting to make it look modern by giving it a saturated, high contrast look -- in other words, a pastel, low contrast look would have been closer to how they remembered the movie in the theater. Again, personally, I think they had gotten used to the low-contrast VHS versions over the years...
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#9 Tim Partridge

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 07:04 PM

When I think of contrast, I think extreme white to extreme black, but tones of graduation in between. Not this preset/default cold filter thing that makes the whites clipped and dull, the blacks digital. Why shoot film only to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in order for it to look like video?

Perhaps I love the "pastel, low contrast" approach- I've just never seen it as matching that description.
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#10 Michael Collier

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 09:19 PM

This is all a useless argument. Star Wars was doomed the minute lucas wrote it. Not because hes a bad writter, but just a bad artist in general. He is relentless in 'touching up' and 'fixing' things. He cannot let them alone, and must refine everything until there is nothing left. Its in his personality. I saw an interview with him and he sort of argued writting the movie in post. He started as an editor, and I think he has gone too far extreme in that thinking. He was talking about 'editting in 3D' in the interview. Which to me sounded like 'shoot whatever the hell we can, then copy and paste what we like and CG the rest. He has no artistic 'vision', just a sparadic impulse to 'fix'. (everything new, everything clean )

Edited by Michael Collier, 04 September 2006 - 09:20 PM.

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#11 Max Jacoby

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 02:17 AM

Well just to put things into perspective, this is merely Star Wars we're talking about ehre, not a film by Andrei Tarkovsky or Stanley Kubrick.
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#12 Mark Dunn

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 03:41 AM

I reckon SW survived the '97 re-release, as long as you looked away from the additions. Maybe the compositing in the battle of Hoth was a bit cleaner, but I never saw any garbage mattes first time round. But as to episodes 1-3- they just answered a question better left unanswered, viz: why did George Lucas stop directing after SW?
Incidentally, could I be one of the last million or so people to see a new Technicolor print, on first run in Boston, England, in 1978?
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#13 Michael Most

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 08:36 AM

Well just to put things into perspective, this is merely Star Wars we're talking about ehre, not a film by Andrei Tarkovsky or Stanley Kubrick.


So let's put this into perspective. We're talking about "merely" the most popular movie franchise of all time, pictures that have been enjoyed - time after time - by more viewers than any other motion pictures in history. But since it's not "high art," it's obviously worthless trash. All of those people who have enjoyed these pictures for so many years and through so many viewings are clearly mindless lemmings who don't understand how artistically ignorant they actually are.

Glad I've got that figured out now. Thanks.
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#14 Max Jacoby

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 09:03 AM

Welcome as always Mike.
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#15 Thomas James

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 09:14 AM

The thing I don't like about Star Wars is that George Lucas never builds any real robots. I was visiting freepatentsonline.com and there is a ton of android inventions just waiting to be built.
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#16 Chad Stockfleth

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 09:35 AM

The man is stuck in the past. I loved the originals like everyone else, and had a love/hate relationship with the new ones, like many others.

I like to think of Picasso having made maybe 10 good paintings and then instead of moving ahead and making new works, obsessing over those first ten, going back and adding a bit here, painting over a bit there....

Make a new bloody movie!
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#17 Arni Heimir

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 09:55 AM

Who cares. Get a life. George Lucas is the artist. He can do what he wants with it. I see no problem with people revising their already published work.

Árni Heimir
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#18 David Sweetman

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 12:20 PM

Well the only reason they re-packaged it in '97 was to make more money, and for that they must have made a killing. Three solid releases without any production costs, just the cost of post. I won't hold that against them, that's a good idea.

The reason Lucas can't move on is he's still trying to figure out what went right.
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#19 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 12:45 PM

Hi,

I like the rehash, sorry. Mainly they're cleaning up effects elements and yes, the orginal work was seminal and needs to be preserved, but if you want to watch it as a piece of entertainment then the fixes are nice.

An yes, Lucas is the artist, he can do what the hell he likes.

Phil
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#20 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 07:02 PM

Lucas has all the problems of a small community which is in-breeding, the genetic material is just being extened or rewritten, nothing new and fresh is being mixed in - its stagnent and unnispired.

I can't help wishing he would just simply go of out into the world and film a documentry - there's the possibility he may be inspired again.


On Max's point, why can't a film like The Empire Stikes Back be as great as a Kubrick? Is there such a difference?
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