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'Blade Runner: The Final Cut' in 4K projection


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#1 Sidat de Silva

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 08:32 AM

My parents' generation got very excited when a 70mm print, complete with multi-channel (analogue) surround sound, came to town. Now we kids of the digital generation drop our QVGA video iPods and run to the cinema for something called 4K DCI.

Sydney - 11 & 12 Nov 2007
http://www.popcornta...hp?event_id=555

Melbourne - 15 Nov 2007
http://www.popcornta...hp?event_id=556

(Do they need a few days to take the 'print' down to Melbourne? I guess the projector can't be beamed down via broadband!)

I'll be at the Australian premiere on 11 Nov. Don't forget to wear your Cinematography.com shirt. (Er... presuming there is one.)


Hmmm... this restoration project is as complex as the film itself:

http://digitalconten...eo_real_deal_2/


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#2 Max Jacoby

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 12:58 PM

Sorry to spoilt the party, but the film will be projected from a 2K DCI master, so even if it's on a 4K projector, it won't be real 4K.
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#3 A. Whitehouse

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 05:25 PM

Its also doing a run at the Astor with the Sony projector for those Melbournites interested. Ill see some of you there no doubt.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 06:55 PM

Sorry to spoilt the party, but the film will be projected from a 2K DCI master, so even if it's on a 4K projector, it won't be real 4K.


Looks good anyway!
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#5 Sidat de Silva

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 10:38 PM

Sorry to spoilt the party, but the film will be projected from a 2K DCI master, so even if it's on a 4K projector, it won't be real 4K.


Popcorn Taxi (the organisers of the Sydney and Melbourne screenings) have confirmed that it's a 2K DCI file that's being projected by the Sony 4K projector. They tried to get a 4K from Warner Bros., to no avail.

So, I guess Mr Mullen won't be on the first flight to Sydney to catch this screening. :P
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#6 Michael Nash

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 04:20 AM

Looks good anyway!


Chiming in late on the whole BR thing...

Yes, it looks great. I caught the 4K showing at the Landmark (LA) a couple weeks ago on my birthday (nice present ;) ). As noted before the black levels could have been better (didn't stop me from thoroughly enjoying the movie anyway, and I'm VERY picky about black levels), and there were some inconsistent sharpening artifacts. But really, on a good screen with quality projection even the 4K>2K projection looks fantastic. I saw BR in its original run (yes, do the math), and it has never looked this good. Don't miss it.
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#7 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 11:37 AM

It'll be here in San Francisco at the end of November and then again in February, at 2 very different theatres. I just may have to catch both :)
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#8 Pete Von Tews

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 02:09 PM

Jonathan, when/where is the Blade Runner going to be showing in SF? I really want to check this one out as its one of my favorite films. -thanks!
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#9 John Brawley

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 06:38 AM

My parents' generation got very excited when a 70mm print, complete with multi-channel (analogue) surround sound, came to town. Now we kids of the digital generation drop our QVGA video iPods and run to the cinema for something called 4K DCI.



And so...

It's true. It was a Sony 4k projector, but playing back from a 2K file. A 320Gb file playing off a server. 422 and rec 709 as well.

I thought the film looked fantastic. I was staring hard at all that smoke and looking for trouble. But I just ended up getting lost in what is pretty perfect filmmaking. My goodness it stands the test of time well. The miniatures looked great. And it's all so much darker than I remember.

Very very nice. I was very impressed.

The only thing i picked was a little jaggieness on the credits, and a little colour fringing there as well. But on images it all disappeared...

jb
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#10 A. Whitehouse

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 07:36 AM

I have a ticket for Friday, looking forward to it. The Astor screen is pretty big, good test. Cant wait.
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#11 Joe Taylor

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 11:23 AM

If they're showing off the latest 4k machinery, why not splurge and show off a 4k "print?" I'd think there is quite a difference between 2k and 4k.

Has anybody in here seen anactual top notch 4k projection? If so, what was it like? I'm sure some film snobs might refuse to admithat they think they saw, but I would like to hear a no b.s. unbiased report.
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#12 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 11:36 AM

The DCI cinema master is 2K even though the restoration is 4K, that's the reason.

I think Mike Most or someone told me that there really aren't many DCI servers in digital theaters that can handle 4K anyway -- most 4K demos bring in their own computers and whatnot to show the material.

I've seen 4K projected on the Sony before. It looks very good but there are some occasional color problems from the fact that the image is made up of four quandrants, so there is some color drift or mismatch across the quadrants, and the black levels are not as good as the 2K DLP projectors.
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#13 Chris Keth

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 08:47 PM

Sounds like a good time. Blade Runner blows me away every time. I pulled some stills the last time I watched it, just of stuff I really liked:

Posted Image
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#14 Saul Pincus

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 11:15 PM

Not to go off topic here, but I saw a 35mm anamorphic print of this title tonight in Toronto. (The projectionist ? an acquaintance ? told me they tried to get the digital version, but couldn't due to "server incompatibility.")

I should point out that in the past I've seen the 70mm Dolby A print (in 1982), the 35mm anamorphic Dolby A version (in the mid 1980s), the "Director's Cut" 35mm anamorphic Dolby SR version (1992), and now this 2007 version.

While I agree that the live action portions of this 2007 version are gorgeous ? and stunningly sharp ? the visual effects sequences are less crisp than I remember them. Memory can be a tricky thing, but there are many cityscape shots where pinprick lights in the distance (so much a staple of Doug Trumbull's/EEG's work of the period, to help sell scale) appear soft and mushy. This aside, I applaud the restoration team for delivering one of the most unobtrusive restorations/updates in recent history.
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#15 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 11:34 PM

That's odd because the visual effects used to be dupes of dupes, composited from 65mm neg --> 65mm IP elements --> 65mm IN finished composite -->65mm or 35mm IP of finished shot --> 35mm IN. Because Trumbull did not have a 65mm-to-35mm reduction printer, he composited everything to 65mm.

They went back and scanned the finished 65mm efx (I think at 6K) for the restoration and in the digitally projected version, they look better than ever. So I'm surprised that the 35mm print somehow has softer looking efx shots in them.

I saw the movie many times and in many ways of the years and the efx always were great.
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#16 Saul Pincus

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 12:49 AM

That's odd because the visual effects used to be dupes of dupes, composited from 65mm neg --> 65mm IP elements --> 65mm IN finished composite -->65mm or 35mm IP of finished shot --> 35mm IN. Because Trumbull did not have a 65mm-to-35mm reduction printer, he composited everything to 65mm.


Yes, and correct me if I'm wrong, but at the time, Trumbull boasted that in the 1982 70mm prints, his 65mm comps were cut directly into the 65mm material blown up from 35mm anamorphic ? thus making the 70mm prints the ideal environment to experience his effects work.

They went back and scanned the finished 65mm efx (I think at 6K) for the restoration and in the digitally projected version, they look better than ever. So I'm surprised that the 35mm print somehow has softer looking efx shots in them.

I saw the movie many times and in many ways of the years and the efx always were great.


They still look wonderful, but there's also this noticeable softness and slight washed-out appearance with super-fine detail in the backgrounds that was never there before. Believe me, I was pretty surprised too ? particularly since everything else was so sharp and properly contrasty in comparison.

Now this is pure speculation, but could this be because "The Final Cut" was never really intended to be filmed-out ? only projected digitally in a few select locations ? and the element used for the film record wasn't really intended for this purpose? Again, this is not to fan fires ? I'm just speculating. (Really wish I could see a 2K screening to compare!)
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#17 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 01:10 AM

The thing is, according to Paul Sammon's book, there never was a 70mm release of "Blade Runner". There was that single 70mm print made from a direct blow-up from a cut of the 35mm anamorphic negative, the infamous "Preview Cut" that was discovered by accident in a vault. Someone saw a 70mm can labelled "Blade Runner" and thought it was odd because the movie was never released in 70mm, so he grabbed it and played it for a 70mm festival at the newly-opened Fairfax Odeon -- I was there and it surprised everyone when it turned out to be an alternate cut made for a preview audience with a temp mix and some temp music (much of it by Jerry Goldsmith, some from "Alien" and "Planet of the Apes" I think.)

Don't know why WB made a 70mm blow-up for a preview audience screening. Anyway, the whole incident led to a 35mm dupe being made of the 70mm print, which was shown at the Nuart, and that success led to Ridley Scott creating that "Director's Cut", also shown at the Nuart.

But there were no 70mm release prints made of the original release, at least not in North America, according to Sammon's book. Maybe in Europe. I'm pretty sure it was shown in 35mm anamorphic when it opened in Los Angeles in the summer of 1982. At least, that's what I saw the first time, but that was in August when I moved to LA and it was only playing at the shoebox screen of the Cineplex Odeon in the Beverly Center, an awful theater. THAT was my first experience with "Blade Runner", followed by midnight movie screenings at revival houses for the next few years.
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#18 Saul Pincus

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 01:48 AM

The thing is, according to Paul Sammon's book, there never was a 70mm release of "Blade Runner". There was that single 70mm print made from a direct blow-up from a cut of the 35mm anamorphic negative, the infamous "Preview Cut" that was discovered by accident in a vault. Someone saw a 70mm can labelled "Blade Runner" and thought it was odd because the movie was never released in 70mm, so he grabbed it and played it for a 70mm festival at the newly-opened Fairfax Odeon -- I was there and it surprised everyone when it turned out to be an alternate cut made for a preview audience with a temp mix and some temp music (much of it by Jerry Goldsmith, some from "Alien" and "Planet of the Apes" I think.)

Don't know why WB made a 70mm blow-up for a preview audience screening. Anyway, the whole incident led to a 35mm dupe being made of the 70mm print, which was shown at the Nuart, and that success led to Ridley Scott creating that "Director's Cut", also shown at the Nuart.

But there were no 70mm release prints made of the original release, at least not in North America, according to Sammon's book. Maybe in Europe. I'm pretty sure it was shown in 35mm anamorphic when it opened in Los Angeles in the summer of 1982. At least, that's what I saw the first time, but that was in August when I moved to LA and it was only playing at the shoebox screen of the Cineplex Odeon in the Beverly Center, an awful theater. THAT was my first experience with "Blade Runner", followed by midnight movie screenings at revival houses for the next few years.


David, I love Sammon's book. The print of Blade Runner I saw in Toronto 1982 was advertised as being "in 70mm" ? which is precisely why I sought it out. Now, it's quite possible it wasn't actually 70mm ? a projectionist at Montreal's Imperial Theatre once told me they ran Raiders of the Lost Ark for at least one week in 35mm before the 70mm print arrived ? but the whole time, it was being advertised as "in 70mm."

Nonetheless, my point about the visual effects in the 2007 35mm anamorphic version sticks.
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#19 John Holland

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 04:15 AM

I saw the original in 70mm in London when it was first released .
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#20 A. Whitehouse

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Posted 17 November 2007 - 11:22 PM

Went to the screening at the Astor on Friday night. Very packed theater must have been close to 400 people. Its not a vastly different edit from the directors cut but they have played with the sound a lot. In fact my biggest complaint was the sound which was very wrong at the Astor (usually pretty good, big auditorium sound). My friend wondered if it had been mixed for home theater? Lots of instances of the speakers giving out.

They screened the trailer for "Cars" before hand which was very impressive and overall I thought the projection looked really good. Jitter-less, clean and sharp and all the way to the edges of the screen but weak blacks and maybe the throw was a little long for it because it was very pitchy in the blacks as well. The image would just drop off to nothing (well milky nothing) very quickly and overall it had much more contrast than I remember.

But it did look very good and the touch ups they'd made were welcome. Something I noticed, and I could be wrong about this, but the blues through the film which I remember as being very thick and vivid seemed to have been re graded to more of a cyan and some of the other instances of white light seemed to have more green in them. Now this might just be a subjective thing and I haven't seen a print of this for 6 or 7 years so my most recent memories are from the dvd but the colours did look different to me. Have they given it a kind of simulated modern grade?

Did anyone else go? I was impressed and enjoyed the new edit and its touch ups (no skycar wires!) but Im interested as to what other people thought of the projection at the Astor.
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