Should Images Be Updated During Restoration? - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
View Poll Results: Should Images Be Updated During Restoration?
Yes 16 10.88%
No 68 46.26%
It depends on the material 63 42.86%
Voters: 147. You may not vote on this poll

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post #31 of 65 Old 03-31-2015, 11:42 AM
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Different treatment to different movies.

Sometimes movies are better left alone and in other cases enhancements can make a good movie great. It's not the tools fault, its how you use them.
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post #32 of 65 Old 03-31-2015, 11:47 AM
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Leonardo is turning over in his grave about now...

Fix that strange smile on Mona Lisa's kisser, why don't you.

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post #33 of 65 Old 03-31-2015, 01:11 PM
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For me... as long as priorities are straight, I don't mind improvements.

The priority should be in first restoring the film to its original look. The primary release and focus should always be on restoring the original look even if there were flaws in that original release OR you think you can improve upon it.

Once you do that, have a pristine version of the original film... IF you also want to go tinker with improving things, I'm fine with that as long as this new/tinkered version is presented as an addition to the original... not instead of the original. Give me the original OR give me both... that would be my Patrick Henry-ized response
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post #34 of 65 Old 03-31-2015, 02:01 PM
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A work of art certainly can be altered by its creator until he feels it is finished.
If a work of art takes tens of years to complete, when should it be considered complet or final?...only the creator knows.
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post #35 of 65 Old 03-31-2015, 02:01 PM
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That's a tough one, but I'm going to have to say no. I think the key is to simply restore the original. Nothing more nothing less.
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post #36 of 65 Old 03-31-2015, 02:50 PM
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A "restoration" is restoring it to what it was originally - not creating new things. But I don't have a problem with them adding new effects/altering (that wouldn't be a restoration but a new edition) - though they should always have the original version too - in as high a quality as possible - probably on the same disc(s) - though that may affect maximum bitrates/quality. They shouldn't generally digitally change things in a way that wasn't possible at the time or wasn't as it was originally created without giving access to the original version on the same release. Basically it's not the same film if you digitally change things (including wire removal that wasn't done in the original) but it's fine changing things in addition to the original on the same disc set - if it generally improves something or just gives a different take on something.

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post #37 of 65 Old 03-31-2015, 02:52 PM
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After having watched "Earth vs. The Flying Saucers" on DVD, and listening to Ray Harryhausen discuss the efforts going into the colorization process, I was in full agreement with him. Harryhausen was a principle decision maker on the movie, wanted to shoot in color, but didn't have the budget. So when the opportunity to colorize it came about, he jumped at the chance, but made sure that colors were as originally intended, especially the flying saucers that were originally intended to be silver would end up silver on the colorized version instead of the yellow that the colorization artist would have colored them without Harryhausen's input. There were no major changes done to the content of the film. But Ray knew that many people wouldn't want to watch the film because it was B&W so he was glad to have the opportunity to make the film acceptable to those who were of the color-only crowd. And the B&W version was still made available on the disc for the purists who insisted on the original release (but the commentary was on only the colorized version).

The particular film restoration house that colorized the film had the policy of insisting that the Director, Producer, or some other major player in the film be involved in the process to try to preserve as much as possible the original Director's intent. They want to avoid the Ted Turner controversy of colorizing against the original artistic intent and producing colors that the Director would have never chosen if the Director had the opportunity to shoot in color. (One major example of this was Casablanca, which, if I recall what I read correctly, the piano used in the sound stage was yellow because that was what caused the particular film stock to capture the piano to the best effect, but would have never chosen yellow if the filming could have been done in color, yet Ted Turner colored it yellow because he was going after the original colors on the sound stage.)

Wire removal, artifact removal, even film grain removal are what I would think are fair game. Maybe redoing special effects, since what would have been acceptable on a 21-in screen reveals its flaws when shown on a 50-in screen, which I find distracting when watching old shows or old made-for-TV movies. Colorization? Get the original Director or someone who still has a stake in the original movie to participate in the colorization process, but don't colorize if those with a stake in the original film want it to remain B&W.

Modernize? Remove anachronisms? Maybe with the original Director or Producer, but I wouldn't want it done with Back to the Future where the anachronisms are part of the humor with the time-traveling teenager. But there was one scene in Back to the Future where Marty's shirt pocket flap is sometimes outside the pocket and sometimes inside when he is talking to his father; I wouldn't raise a complaint if that were digitally fixed, nor would I object to the one spot where Dorothy is dancing on the Yellow Brick Road and for a second her ruby red shoes (which were actually more of an orange to get them to look red on the film stock) were black would be changed to ruby red.

But when a major feel of the film or a significant story point is changed, it detracts. Some films are purposely shot in B&W for the atmosphere, and atmosphere is what some of the old horror and mystery films can just ooze out of the celluloid. (Tell me if you can watch the 1951 version of "The Day the Earth Stood Still" without feeling the paranoia of the cold war era!) The guns in E.T. were a part of the menacing of the government coming in and scaring Elliott and his family, and that menacing was decimated when the guns were replaced by walky-talkies. Whether Han Solo shot first or second changes just how great Han's redemption from evil to good was, and I would even go so far to state that the added CGI for Episodes V & VI gives a feel that some scenes were "enhanced" just to show off the better effects but detracted from the story.

If one is going to mess around with the story, market it as a different cut, or make both versions available on disc. The problem with messing with the story is that those of us who have fallen in love with the original are jarred out of the movie when we hit the spots where what we are watching differs from what we had grown to love. I can put up with wires, film grain, mat paintings, the cue dot, scratches and flaked-off gelatin far easier than a story change!

At least usually these changes aren't as jarring as the hatchet job some stations have done with some movies just to show more commercials. Yes, one such local station butchered out the famous dentist scene in the Marathon Man and lost the 70th most quoted line in film history: "Is it safe?" That's far more atrocious than pan-and-scan!
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post #38 of 65 Old 03-31-2015, 02:52 PM
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Another poll. Should Scott at least acknowledge the best post here, IMNSHO, post 25.
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post #39 of 65 Old 03-31-2015, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stef2 View Post
A work of art certainly can be altered by its creator until he feels it is finished.
If a work of art takes tens of years to complete, when should it be considered complet or final?...only the creator knows.
To that I would counter that the creator should not release the work of art until it is finished to the creator's liking. George Lucas provided us a perfect example of what not to do.
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post #40 of 65 Old 03-31-2015, 04:12 PM
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I hated when they colorized some movies, sure the directors would have used color if it were available, but because they they only have B&W they knew how to make it work for them and many mastered it and when colorized can loose some of the message and story conveyed via the lighting and contrast of B&W. I am not a fan of altering old movies because often the appeal of some movies is the time period, and other nuances reflected in the details of the period. The only exception would be removing wires and such from the special effects, but NOT redoing them in CGI.

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post #41 of 65 Old 03-31-2015, 04:23 PM
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restoration is fair game - cleaning up a film neg, scratches etc are ok in my book - the ET re-release was not a good idea imo witht he guns taken away and a cgi et added in a bathtub scean. the feel of the film was changed from what i connected with. but in that case Spielberg had his intent to modify the sceasn and make use of new tech but felt that viewers should have the original as well as that is what so many connect with - even my kids like the original better.

star wars pissed me off in that the models, claymations and effects of the time are one of the things that made those movies so great - it gave a welcoming feel that the 1-3 did not have with all the green screens and cgi- i think that he should have released the orginal cuts as wells as the modified ones like ET did and it would have made everyone happier. when i watch the older movies with the updated i feel a disconnect with moves that i loved as a child and as an adult. something was taken from that and it bothers me -
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post #42 of 65 Old 03-31-2015, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamjason View Post
star wars .. me off in that the models, claymations and effects of the time are one of the things that made those movies so great - it gave a welcoming feel that the 1-3 did not have with all the green screens and cgi- i think that he should have released the orginal cuts as wells as the modified ones like ET did and it would have made everyone happier. when i watch the older movies with the updated i feel a disconnect with moves that i loved as a child and as an adult. something was taken from that and it bothers me -
There weren't any claymations in the Star Wars films as far as I know. eg. The chess scene in the original film was rubber figures with an armature (probably metal). Animation (including stop motion and go-motion) but no claymation.

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post #43 of 65 Old 03-31-2015, 04:45 PM
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Let's ask Lucas for his opinion on the subject. George, what say you?

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post #44 of 65 Old 03-31-2015, 04:55 PM
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How many people of the general population will even remember what the original looked like?
Correct, improve and update, and make the end results the best possible for the new technology!
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post #45 of 65 Old 03-31-2015, 05:24 PM
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I'm in favor of updating visuals (and sound). Personally, I just cannot watch un-Special Star Wars. Who wants to see monkey-mask Emperor in Episode 5??
That said, it should be a light touch, only that which is necessary to make it watchable and consistent and you shouldn't change the content unless you are restoring deleted scenes with the original directors input for a belated directors cut. Lucas went way too far with the CG in the Special Editions, in many cases the original models/real effects looked better. And CG still wasn't advanced enough to do what he was trying to do anyway. He honestly jumped the gun on it, CG wasn't ready yet.

There are many older films on Bluray that I really wish were "fixed".
Like some of The Terminator, especially the final act. It looks terrible on Bluray because the effects are so bad, I LOVE that film and I wish I could watch it now without laughing at the green screening and such.
There is the extremely obvious green block around the spaceship leaving Earth in The Fifth Element.
Stargate is one of my top ten movies of all time, but the cg is getting very dated. I'd love an update just to make it all look seemless.
And sound, SO many older films could do with a fully remastered, no re-engineered, soundtrack.

Of course, the unaltered original in the best quality possible should always be provided for historical purposes and for those who want it. I think the Blade Runner Final Cut Bluray is the best example of this. Multiple versions including one that is fully updated and touched up.
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post #46 of 65 Old 03-31-2015, 07:52 PM
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As far as the Terminator movies go, the original is a little out dated special effects wise. T2 however holds up extremely well for being over 20 y/o. I think people make the Star Wars changes a bigger deal than they are.

FWIW, I heard J.J. Abrams is using more models and minatures vs. CGI in the new movie to make it feel more like the old ones.
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post #47 of 65 Old 03-31-2015, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post
There weren't any claymations in the Star Wars films as far as I know. eg. The chess scene in the original film was rubber figures with an armature (probably metal). Animation (including stop motion and go-motion) but no claymation.
it does not matter what was used the point is that what they did use looked great to me - adding cgi scenes to a movie like that looked silly and out of place. like when han and jabba was walking around the falcon before they all left - it looked out of place. or swapping the dead ghost image at the end of return of the the jedi with the actor that played anakin in ep 2 and 3 - why change them at all - what not change ben as well...because it would be silly. instead he just tied in a character from a less then stallar movie with a really good set of movies.
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post #48 of 65 Old 03-31-2015, 09:42 PM
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The Jabba scene insertion was terrible especially since the dialogue was all a repeat from the Greedo scene.
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post #49 of 65 Old 03-31-2015, 11:16 PM
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The Jabba scene insertion was terrible especially since the dialogue was all a repeat from the Greedo scene.
Yes it was redundant. Now as a Star wars fan I had seen that scene before minus the CGI and I was thrilled that they gonna put it in. But it just doesn't work in the movie since its not needed for the story.
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post #50 of 65 Old 03-31-2015, 11:18 PM
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How many people of the general population will even remember what the original looked like?
Correct, improve and update, and make the end results the best possible for the new technology!
As long as they keep the original yes, otherwise you're losing a big part of what made the film what it was. You could say the same about everything in museums or real places made a long time ago.

Part of what is good/interesting about a film/programme is the techniques and technology they used at the time - it's part of what makes that film/programme what it is - and maybe a film is famous for using a particular technology or won an award for it. If you totally change everything (without also having the original on the same disc - or other technology - set) you lose that. It won't be the same film. If you want to change everything with the latest technology (without keeping the original) it would probably be better (as well as probably more profitable) to create a remake of the film.

Another problem can be that the latest techniques can also date and look wose in a few years (even if it was the best they could add with the time and resources of the time they made the changes). eg. adding cgi effects to something in replace of something that didn't use them - those cgi effects are going to date and look worse as technology and techniques improve. You're also limited to things like resolution of what they were done at. Keeping the original means however good or bad it was - that was how it was - that was the film that was actually made.
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post #51 of 65 Old 03-31-2015, 11:55 PM
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I think it depends on the objective of the restoration. By all means correct any defects, but as others have said, don't change the content. A good example, in my opinion, would be the 1953 classic sci-fi movie "War of the Worlds" starring Gene Barry. I have had this on VHS tape for years and then bought the DVD version. While watching the VHS tape everything looked normal, but watching the DVD is a completely different experience. The first thing you notice with the additional resolution are the wires holding up the alien spaceships. It is really distracting and takes you out of the moment. Instead of thinking "wow, look at the alien spaceships", you're sitting there thinking about how they are actually small models and how someone is controlling them. The wires could, and should, be removed during any restoration as they totally distract from the movie.
But then you are showing the film with technology - a digital effects technique - not possible at the time (though they could have painted them out - or tried to with overlaid animation cells or some other tech at the time but didn't). If they couldn't see them in cinemas or they could hardly see them in cinemas, even though cinemas would have had a much bigger screen that an average TV, an alternative is to give an option to make it appear more like it could have been at a cinema at the time if that cinema could hardly display them (eg. defocusing/reducing resolution, adding grain - basically simulate a print of the film and display of it in which they would not be visible - if they were really invisible in cinemas - which they probably weren't). That would keep the original intent without obviously making it look like it was made with totally different technology than was possible it the time.
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post #52 of 65 Old 04-01-2015, 06:30 AM
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Those so inclined might wish to check out the novel Remake by Connie Willis. It was written back in the mid 90s and describes a world where all video is downloaded on demand (Hmmm). THe main character is a CGI type animator who has taken a commission to remove all references to smoking and drinking alchohol from classic movies. Imagine Casablanca without cigarettes and booze.
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post #53 of 65 Old 04-01-2015, 07:15 AM
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Restore original footage as best as possible. Please do not "create" new content.
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post #54 of 65 Old 04-01-2015, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Five28 View Post
I think it depends on the objective of the restoration. By all means correct any defects, but as others have said, don't change the content. A good example, in my opinion, would be the 1953 classic sci-fi movie "War of the Worlds" starring Gene Barry. I have had this on VHS tape for years and then bought the DVD version. While watching the VHS tape everything looked normal, but watching the DVD is a completely different experience. The first thing you notice with the additional resolution are the wires holding up the alien spaceships. It is really distracting and takes you out of the moment. Instead of thinking "wow, look at the alien spaceships", you're sitting there thinking about how they are actually small models and how someone is controlling them. The wires could, and should, be removed during any restoration as they totally distract from the movie.
It might not necessarily be the higher resolution of DVD vs. VHS that revealed the wires. The DVD transfer could have been done from elements closer to the original camera negative than the VHS transfer. Also keep in mind that film-to-video transfer technology is continually improving (even a later VHS transfer would likely have looked better than the previous one).

In creating their works, many directors no doubt rightly assumed that cinema audiences would be seeing multi-generational film prints (with all their inherent losses and degradations) and therefore many of the special effects wouldn't reveal themselves quite so readily or at all. With restorations now often being done from the best surviving elements (typically original camera negatives), we are seeing things that were never meant to be seen.


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post #55 of 65 Old 04-01-2015, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Scott Wilkinson View Post


The images in older content can often be updated with new technology. Should this be done, or is it better to leave well enough alone?

On the Home Theater Geeks podcast last week, I discussed the process of restoring the 1928 silent film The Passion of Joan of Arc with Kevin Manbeck, CTO of MTI Film, which developed the software used in the restoration. Digitally repairing damage such as visible splices and tears was the main goal—and it was highly successful—but we also talked about correcting anachronisms, such as removing the 20th-century glasses that an actor was wearing in one shot, as seen in the still image above. The restoration team decided not to remove those glasses, since the director, Carl Dreyer, had been so meticulous with all other details that he must have been okay with the glasses appearing in his film.

A more recent example is the reissue of the original Star Trek TV series on Blu-ray. In that case, the outer-space shots of planets and ships as well as other visual elements were replaced with computer-generated images that look far better than what was possible in the 1960s. You can select whether you want to view the shows with the original effects or the new CGI.

Do you believe that such updates should be undertaken when restoring older content? Or should restoration only repair damage and improve overall image quality to whatever extent is possible?

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Repair physical damage - Yes, definitely.
Change the visual content of the picture - NO, NO, NO! Unacceptable!
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post #56 of 65 Old 04-01-2015, 12:27 PM
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I remember when people were mad that changes were made to Star Wars... then I remember when people were mad all the guns in ET were changed to walkie talkies... but it seems like a lot of those people forgot about that when they want "improvements" that they like to be made to an older film.

There should be ZERO harm or reason not to restore and make available the original as close to its initial appearance as possible in higher quality. After that, do what you want and make that also available, with the key there being ALSO... not instead of!

Meanwhile, a relevant tangent.

I am curious... how many people love and want all these changes and improvements... IF they also complain about remakes. Think about it for a moment... a remake is the ultimate change to a classic film! They "update" all the effects AND the actors too! I suspect there will be a lot of people who love these updates who rail against "remaking a classic because there is nothing wrong with it"... and I wonder how they resolve that in their brains.
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post #57 of 65 Old 04-01-2015, 01:15 PM
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Problems with remakes isn't that they create remakes, the original is still there. The problem is that they creates to many bad remakes instead of new original movies.

As for changing the originals. A good example is Aliens. In the original release we could se Bishop standing in a hole. On the Bluray they have removed the hole.

On my first 15 viewings I didn't notice the hole. So the change in the BD better reflect my first viewings. Because once you notice an error, it won't go away.
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post #58 of 65 Old 04-01-2015, 07:48 PM
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Problems with remakes isn't that they create remakes, the original is still there. The problem is that they creates to many bad remakes instead of new original movies.
That's my point, though... a remake leaves the original alone... which means you still have the original and can happily ignore the remake OR if you love the remake too, you're gold!

But in the case of restoration, I'm surprised how many people seem to only want a new "improved" version and not keep the original restoration intact.
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post #59 of 65 Old 04-01-2015, 08:55 PM
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I'm so excited to learn that the top special effects and restoration company is going to finally fix the 1939 Wizard of Oz and turn the b/w (sepia) portion to colour. (yes, sarcastic here)

Btw, a great deal of early black and white movies SUCK when colourized. The reason being is the lighting was specific to both b/w and type of film (along with make up for the actors).
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post #60 of 65 Old 04-05-2015, 08:40 PM
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Absolutely not. Han shot first, that should be enough reason to never change the content of the original.
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