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 Posted:   Jan 3, 2012 - 9:32 PM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

I must be on Richard W's ignore list. Too bad - I'm sure he'd be thrilled that I actually agreed with him on this. Childishness is ever so amusing.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 3, 2012 - 9:33 PM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

Ray Faiola:
I have a 16mm dye-transfer print. The color values are pretty close to the 35mm Tech prints.

Best thing about dye-transfer prints are night scenes. When Technicolor is black, it is virtually opaque. The entire theater darkens. An effect never replicated in later Eastman printings.


Ray, as a matter of curiosity, what's the vintage of your 16mm print?
It must be from the 1950s?
What's the aspect ratio?

I envy you owning a dye-transfer print of this majesterial masterpiece.

As you know, the interior of the Edwards cabin is a studio set, matched to the exterior walls at the location. During the build-up to the attack on the cabin, does the location light in those cutaways to the landscape match the ominous red that spills in through the windows? Perhaps just a hint of red in the cutaways? Does it look as if Shamroy gelled some huge lights, or cranked up the red in post? Or both?

These high-def digital scans see through gels and filters like a lens sees through fog and smoke.
Gelled and filtered light is hardly visible at all unless it records as some kind of anomaly, an artifact. Artifacting in The Searchers Blu-ray is usually noticeable the way a gelled light bounces off a surface, like a face or a windowsill. If the transfer had been properly timed for color temperature and density it might be correctable, I don't know.

The blacks in the Blu-ray don't drop off into opaqueness so much as into gray shadow.


Richard


Apparently you won't be seeing this response, but others will so that's good. All 16mm prints of The Searchers are full frame.

 
 Posted:   Jan 3, 2012 - 9:48 PM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

Richard-W, if by any chance you have haineshisway on Ignore, take him off to see pertinent information.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 3, 2012 - 10:19 PM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)



Why do people always assume the worst? No, haineshisway is not on my ignore list. I don't have an ignore list. His response deserves a detailed reply but everytime I get started the phone rings, and now it's late and I am just too tired to continue. Tomorrow I'll pick up where I left off.

Meanwhile, some of the original promotional art.

Richard




 
 Posted:   Jan 4, 2012 - 4:21 AM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

All 16mm prints of The Searchers are full frame.

The IB prints are FULL frame. The later Eastman prints were slightly overscanned so that you don't see the stage lights at the top of Chief Scar's interior camp set. This is also true with Tech vs Eastman prints of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS and other VistaVision features.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 4, 2012 - 6:11 AM   
 By:   Angelillo   (Member)

Yes, originally filmed in horizontal 35mm.

I know the outsanding image quality of a VistaVision print came from the fact that the negative frame was larger than the positive one.
But I've never understood how an horizontal scroll (hold ?) could turn into a sort of improvement on quality.

 
 Posted:   Jan 4, 2012 - 8:36 AM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

Because it uses a larger frame space. Basically, 35mm becomes the height measurement rather than the width (which is commensurately larger). This technique was eventually discarded in favor of an actual 70mm wide film stock.

BTW - in addition to the lights showing at the top of the SEARCHERS set, Spencer Tracy's safety mattress can be seen at the bottom of the frame in THE MOUNTAIN. Another reason for slightly overscanning later prints!

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 4, 2012 - 9:43 AM   
 By:   Angelillo   (Member)

Because it uses a larger frame space. Basically, 35mm becomes the height measurement rather than the width (which is commensurately larger). This technique was eventually discarded in favor of an actual 70mm wide film stock.

Thank you.

That makes sense.

Since everybody focused on the horizontal scroll improving image quality without any further explanation I've always thought it was something regarding persistence of vision...

So it was simply a way to get a wider image without any anamorphosis process and using already existing 35mm rolls of film.

Now about this thread : I feel depressed... All those stupid decisions made by ignorant people. First they make visible cables and wires from SF and fantasy movies (THE DAY THE EARTH STODD STILL, THIEF OF BAGDAD and now this...

I wish I had a time machine to go back and watch those movies when they got released...

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 6, 2012 - 7:39 PM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

Angelillo:
I wish I had a time machine to go back and watch those movies when they got released...


Yeah. Parallax Theater Systems, before they became Landmark, used to circulate a dye-transfer print of The Searchers to its repertory theaters. Reel houses that made manual changes and burned nice warm carbon arcs kept close enough to illuminate the screen at just the right brightness level. I saw it at the Nuart in West L.A. and at the Ken Cinema in San Diego, usually on a double-bill with Rio Bravo (another film ruined by boss Ned Price). That double-feature came around once a year, every year, and we would drive down to San Diego to see it after seeing it at the Nuart. Then a discussion followed on the drive home, which was almost as good as the double-feature. They also screened dye-transfer prints of One-Eyed Jacks and North By Northwest, among others. The prints were dirty and damaged, but the color was true and the image was strong. Audiences weren't that picky in the 1970s and 1980s and 1990s. The theater was always packed, and the crowd was always appreciative. It was more important to experience the film projected on a big screen than to wait for a TV showing or watch a VHS.


Richard

 
 Posted:   Jan 7, 2012 - 8:32 AM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

Several years ago my wife and I went to a screening of A SUMMER PLACE at the Rockefeller Center Guild Theater. It was sponsored by American Movie Classics and the head of the network thanked a rep from Warners for providing a new, restored print. Well, the picture starts and there's a splice in the logo. Then another splice. I leaned over to my wife and whispered "This is NOT a restored print. But you'd better enjoy it because it's an original dye-transfer print and you'll never see anything like this again." The print had a few rough spots and no End Title, but believe me it was spectacular. And I'm sure very few in that audience had any idea what they were looking at.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 17, 2012 - 2:28 AM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

haineshisway:
I'm afraid Richard is absolutely correct about this, and I waged a mighty campaign on every website when this travesty came out. It's obvious from the first frame of the main titles - suddenly the bricks, which should be grayish, are completely yellow and it never gets better. I can only tell you that at the height of my brouhaha Mr. Price (prior to the interview with Mr. Harris who, BTW, agreed with me completely) admitted that no one had even bothered to look at the IB dye-transfer reference print they have. Had they, perhaps we would not have this mess. And, for a very brief time, there was talk about fixing it, but then Mr. Price did this interview which is pure BS.


If there was talk about fixing it, then somebody at Warner Brothers is aware of the problem.

That interview on Digital Bits doesn't reflect favorably on Ned Price. What's really strange is that people don't get it. Ned Price thinks he can get away with this lie, and evidently he's right, because people who don't know any better accept his BS. He's got people believing yellow failure causes a film to be oversaturated with yellow. Online review sites actually believe the film looks the way Ford and Hoch intended. The reviewers either don't realize the film is oversaturated with yellow and backward gamma, or if they realize it they don't care because it's "restored." What really bothers me about the interview is that Robert A Harris knows Ned Price is BS'ing and doesn't call him on it.

Under the circumstances, in view of the condition the elements were in, it is nothing short of unprofessional not to check the IB reference print. I mean, it's there to be used for this purpose. Was it laziness? or arrogance?

At this point, I'm not sure I trust Ned Price's evaluation of the elements. I'm not even sure he knows how to evaluate the elements. I'm not sure I believe anything he says.


haineshisway:
The Searchers is one of the greatest color films ever made - Winton Hoch's camerawork is amazing, the lighting is amazing. I have owned both 16mm and 35mm IB prints - they look nothing like the Blu-ray.


I envy you owning an IB print of this majesterial masterpiece.

As you know, the interior of the Edwards cabin is a studio set, matched to the exterior walls at the location. During the build-up to the attack on the cabin, does the location light in those cutaways to the landscape match the ominous red that spills in through the windows? Perhaps just a hint of red in the cutaways? Does it look as if Winton C. Hoch gelled some huge lights, or cranked up the red in post? Or both? My memory tells me the cutaways match the studio light, but it doesn't look that way from this Blu-ray. "Let's just enjoy the dusk," Martha says to Lucy when she tries to light a lantern indoors. Outside, Ned Price has done away with the dusk.


haineshisway:
You want to see a VistaVision film from that era done perfectly look no further than The Ten Commandments or White Christmas - the colors on those transfers is absolutely accurate to IB Tech, which, BTW, IS saturated, but not with YELLOW. Tone down the yellow, add a bit of blue and you'd have a perfect transfer.


Unfortunately, this color correction cannot be done on a home monitor. The wrong color and gamma are imbedded, and we're stuck with it. Sometimes the ground is too hot and the sky is too flat in Ned Price's transfer. Even if you feed the Blu-ray through a time-base controller, it still can't be corrected. The transfer is what it is, as in, a wretched mess, and it can only be corrected at the studio.

I'm a little burned out on The Ten Commandments right now, but I just bought White Christmas on your recommendation.


haineshisway:
The laserdisc is much closer to the correct color. Why? Because the fellows who did that transfer DID use the IB reference print to time their transfer. I did an article about that in the DGA magazine when the laserdisc came out and interviewed those folks.


Which issue? I'll look it up.

Wasn't the first DVD released in 1998 sourced from the same transfer as the laser-disc? In the interview on Digital Bits, Ned Price claims he pumped up the red on that transfer, and cautions people not to use it as a guide to how the film should look. The original DVD is not a perfect transfer but it looks more like the old prints I saw theatrically, and I'll wager it's closer to the IB reference print than the Blu-ray.


haineshisway:
Yes, the blu-ray is obviously miles sharper than the laserdisc and it doesn't matter when the color is completely wrong. You know, if they'd screwed up the sound mix somehow, everyone would be bellyaching about it to the skies but because very few know what the color on these films should look like, they give a big pass to a screwed up disc just because it's 4K and sharp. They need to go back and fix it. Both Mr. Harris and myself would be happy to act as a color guide. I'd do it for free. It's not a major deal to fix, and it needs to be fixed because The Searchers is a work of art.


Yes.
Ned Price's arbitrary and whimsical color and gamma changes are not little things.
They are very destructive to how a film communicates, to how it is perceived.
Just because viewers don't realize the color is corrupted is no reason to let it stand.


haineshisway:
Do NOT believe the reviews you read on those sites. They're written by kids whose only experience with The Searchers has been on home video IF they even saw prior releases, which is doubtful in some cases.


The Searchers Blu-ray has met with overwhelming praise and acceptance. It is obviously wrong, but everyone has bought into Ned Price's explanation. Since there are no complaints, Warner Brothers has done nothing to correct the problem. You'd think they'd have the integrity to recall the disc and offer replacements, which they've done in the past for other films. I guess there haven't been enough complaints to make them think it's worth the trouble.

Richard

 
 Posted:   Jan 17, 2012 - 4:07 AM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

I just paid $100 for a 16mm LPP trailer to THE SEARCHERS on eBay. Here are frame enlargements (it's printed in adapted scope aka letterboxed format):

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 17, 2012 - 4:37 PM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

Nice.
Is that trailer also from the early 1960s when Technicolor was sharpest?


Richard

 
 Posted:   Jan 17, 2012 - 6:26 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

So, the standard def. looks fine but the blu-ray looks bad?

That is too bad, but if you watch a standard def dvd on a blu-ray player it looks pretty damn good to my eyes.
"It is time for you stop all of your sobbing"
_The Pretenders

 
 Posted:   Jan 18, 2012 - 4:38 AM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

Nice.
Is that trailer also from the early 1960s when Technicolor was sharpest?


Richard


No, it's actually Eastman LPP, struck in the late 80's.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 18, 2012 - 5:42 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

I remember haineshisway's crusade when the Blu-ray was released, it certantly put me off buying it. I'm sure I can remember reading that the original negatives were too faded to use, & that they used the b/w seperation safety masters for the BD. As Fort Apache has been announced for Blu release, I'm also expecting She Wore A yellow Ribbon this year, such a stunning looking film (same DOP as The Searchers), I'm hoping the usually reliable Warner don't muck this one up.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 18, 2012 - 8:06 AM   
 By:   pulliamrl   (Member)

Poor RICHARD
frown
everything upsets him
smile


Bold-faced type sure makes it seem that way.

 
 Posted:   Jan 18, 2012 - 2:39 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

does Ron have a child?

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 23, 2012 - 2:19 AM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

I remember haineshisway's crusade when the Blu-ray was released, it certainly put me off buying it. I'm sure I can remember reading that the original negatives were too faded to use, & that they used the b/w seperation safety masters for the BD. As Fort Apache has been announced for Blu release, I'm also expecting She Wore A yellow Ribbon this year, such a stunning looking film (same DOP as The Searchers), I'm hoping the usually reliable Warner don't muck this one up.

Like THE SEARCHERS, Ned Price oversaturated SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON with yellow as well. Another of his personal projects. The yellow in that DVD is flamboyant beyond all reason. It takes the mystery out of those red and misty compositions. I wonder if Ned price doesn't have a color bias or disability of some kind, if he sees that way all the time. Perhaps they'll start over again for the Blu-ray. I hope so.

FORT APACHE is monochrome, so I don't see how they can muck it up. A monochrome transfer from Warner Brothers is generally a lovely sight, with perhaps a few exceptions.

I understand that Ford's THE FUGITIVE (1947) is coming out in WB's Archive series. Which means it won't be restored, but I'm sure it will be a decent transfer. The light breathes and dances in that film. And the silences ... whew! It is Ford's most astonishing use of monochrome. Gabriel Figueroa shot it. You'll see the same astonishing use of light and darkness in all of Figueroa's Mexican films. He collaborated most frequently with director Emilio Fernandez, who was the John Ford of Mexico during Mexico's "golden age of cinema" -- before Fernandez became best known to Americans as M'Apache in THE WILD BUNCH (1969), a performance that is the least of his accomplishments.


Richard

 
 Posted:   Jan 23, 2012 - 9:56 AM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

THE FUGITIVE is one of those films i gave up on half -way through (and I am a big John Ford fan!)
Scene after scene of magnificent black and white cinematography in service of a pretentious, profoundly boring and over directed mess.

Nobody's perfect smile
bruce

 
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