Re: [Videolib] Bret Wood on the new Blu-ray of Keaton's THE GENERAL

From: Dennis Doros <milefilms@gmail.com>
Date: Mon Dec 21 2009 - 07:34:32 PST

I agree with Bret on this one -- I actually never used DVNR (Digital Video
Noise Reduction) until we did KILLER OF SHEEP and continued on with THE
EXILES and ARAYA. But that's when we started going with 2K transfers (high
def is 1080) and the scratch and dust removal was being done with a much
more sophisticated program. But there were many, many DVD releases earlier
on that look extremely soft due to all the cleaning up involved. It's also
important as an archivist not to remove anything that was there in the film
initially. For example, there was one medium lens being used for ARAYA that
had a smudge on it. Poetically, I expect it was a grain of salt. Nobody
actually sees it other than my restoration partner and I. Anyway, we could
have removed that smudge the six or seven times it appears, but that would
be changing the film itself and goes against archival ethics. I've found
over the years that any transfer we've done lasts about five years. After
that, newer, better equipment comes along that makes my earlier transfers
look old.

My favorite restoration lecture of all time was one that the Academy's Mark
Toscano did on a 1960s handmade film by an eccentric filmmaker who's films
were deliberately rough. Most of these lectures are exaggerated before and
afters how the lab has worked miracles (and found images of the Virgin Mary
burned into a frame). Mark went into before and afters with elaborate
details on each flaw found and how on every decision, he decided *not* to
restore the image. It was funny and brilliantly philosophical.

Best,
Dennis
Milestone Film & Video

On Mon, Dec 21, 2009 at 10:12 AM, Steffen, James M <jsteffe@emory.edu>wrote:

> Thought you all might find this interview of interest, since Bret Wood
> talks at some length about what goes into transferring a film for DVD or, in
> this case, Blu-ray:
>
>
>
>
> http://www.doblu.com/2009/12/19/interview-bret-wood-discusses-keatons-the-general-on-blu-ray/
>
>
>
> Here are a couple of interesting quotes from the interview:
>
>
>
> “[…]When we first transferred *The General*<http://www.amazon.com/General-Silent-Blu-ray-Buster-Keaton/dp/B002NTDX6O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1261103124&sr=8-1>,
> a minimal amount of digital grain reduction was applied and it is this
> version that was released on DVD. Upon close inspection of the Blu-ray test
> discs, we found that even that small amount of digital noise reduction had
> created visual artifacting, a slight blurring and ghosting of the image. We
> brought the film element back to the lab (Crawford Communications) and
> re-transferred it specifically for Blu-ray, without DRS or any artificial
> grain reduction. So the film was remastered specifically for the Blu-ray
> release.”
>
> “The DVNR technology of the DVD era is not subtle enough for the 1080
> requirements of the Blu-ray age. In fact, when I look back at some silent
> films that were released on DVD, heavily treated with digital noise
> reduction, I cringe. I now recognize the degree to which the film’s natural
> grain and sharpness have been glossed over for the sake of a smooth image. I
> worry that this has spoiled the consumer, who will now expect every film to
> look this way when the actual film never looked that way to begin with!”
>
> At the same time Wood notes that not all films have good enough surviving
> elements for mastering on Blu-ray and cites the difficulty he has had
> preparing a new edition of Andrei Tarkovsky’s THE SACRIFICE, which was from
> the mid-Eighties(!).
>
> Hope you all have a great holiday season!
>
>
>
> Best,
>
> James Steffen
>
>
>
> --
>
> James M. Steffen, PhD
>
> Film Studies and Media Librarian
>
> Theater and Dance Subject Liaison
>
> Marian K. Heilbrun Music and Media Library
>
> Emory University
>
> 540 Asbury Circle
>
> Atlanta, GA 30322-2870
>
>
>
> Phone: (404) 727-8107
>
> FAX: (404) 727-2257
>
> Email: jsteffe@emory.edu
>
> Web: www.jamesmsteffen.net
>
> ------------------------------
> This e-mail message (including any attachments) is for the sole use of
> the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged
> information. If the reader of this message is not the intended
> recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution
> or copying of this message (including any attachments) is strictly
> prohibited.
>
> If you have received this message in error, please contact
> the sender by reply e-mail message and destroy all copies of the
> original message (including attachments).
>
> VIDEOLIB is intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion of issues
> relating to the selection, evaluation, acquisition,bibliographic control,
> preservation, and use of current and evolving video formats in libraries and
> related institutions. It is hoped that the list will serve as an effective
> working tool for video librarians, as well as a channel of communication
> between libraries,educational institutions, and video producers and
> distributors.
>
>

-- 
Best,
Dennis Doros
Milestone Film & Video/Milliarium Zero
PO Box 128
Harrington Park, NJ 07640
Phone: 201-767-3117
Fax: 201-767-3035
email: milefilms@gmail.com
www.milestonefilms.com
www.arayafilm.com
www.exilesfilm.com
www.wordisoutmovie.com
www.killerofsheep.com
AMIA Philadelphia 2010: www.amianet.org
Join "Milestone Film" on Facebook!

VIDEOLIB is intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion of issues relating to the selection, evaluation, acquisition,bibliographic control, preservation, and use of current and evolving video formats in libraries and related institutions. It is hoped that the list will serve as an effective working tool for video librarians, as well as a channel of communication between libraries,educational institutions, and video producers and distributors.
Received on Mon Dec 21 07:34:51 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Wed Apr 07 2010 - 15:17:03 PDT