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

From: Bev Weisenberg <blandmark@aol.com>
Date: Mon Dec 21 2009 - 09:02:07 PST

 

 We, here at Landmark Media basically offer the the same, and also have noticed that we are receiving more and more requests from the professors via the media people.

Beverly Weisenberg
Vice president, Sales
Landmark Media, Inc.
100 N. Milwaukee Ave. #603
Wheeling, Illinois 60090
ph. 800-999-6645
fx. 847-279-8055
www.landmarkmedia.com.
  
 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Dennis Doros <milefilms@gmail.com>
To: videolib@lists.berkeley.edu
Sent: Mon, Dec 21, 2009 9:34 am
Subject: Re: [Videolib] Bret Wood on the new Blu-ray of Keaton's THE GENERAL

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, 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
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Marian K. Heilbrun Music and Media Library 
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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.
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Dennis Doros
Milestone Film & Video/Milliarium Zero
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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.
 

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 09:03:31 2009

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