Let's Talk Technicolor: 2-Strip, 3-Strip, Everyone Strip

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by EVOLVIST, May 3, 2022.

  1. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    No, they can fix that digitally now. It takes time, but it can be done: they pin-register each separate color matrix during the scan, then once they're stable, superimpose each one over the other (often in Nuke), and painstakingly align it in case the images are slightly different sizes. No overlap, no misalignment, no seams showing.

    As I've said before, the black layer (the 4th strip) added the soundtrack and a tiny black edge to high-contrast parts of the image to "lock" the 3 images together. One obscure book that goes into this trick in depth is this one:

    Color Cinematography
    (1951 edition)
    by Adrian Cornwell-Clyne
    https://www.amazon.com/Colour-Cinematography-Adrian-Cornwell-Clyne/dp/B0000CI1FZ

    I posted my review of the 4K Technicolor Singin' in the Rain elsewhere, and I thought it generally looked and sounded terrific.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2022
    Bob Casner and Derek Gee like this.
  2. EVOLVIST

    EVOLVIST Kid A Thread Starter

    I'm sure they can fix it digitally, but that cost bucks. Take an outfit like Kino Lorber. They've stated many times that they don't have the budget to fully restore films like these. But they can snag the best print and scan it well, do some rudimentary cleanup, otherwise these releases are the best they'll ever look in HD. Not many films get a rescan/restoration after they've been released once, unless it's an extremely popular movie, like Singin' In the Rain.

    But that's cool. It's the nature of business. Supply and demand.
     
    Bob Casner likes this.
  3. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    Just watched "Cobra Woman" on BD yesterday and was dumbstruck on the sharpness, color and detail even on my 720p Samsung. The scenes look so real but still having a dream like quality I don't see in modern movies. Kind of a parallel universe quality.

    The trailer of this movie in the BD Bonus section has pronounced flat contrast and muted colors. Just wondered if this was what Kino Lorber might have worked from as the best available print.

    Just a side note but these old restored 3 strip Technicolor movies have a quality that's not conveyed on the cover of the BD, so I have to wonder from a marketing sense that maybe Kino Lorber should put the best looking still of the movie as the front cover. The long list of cover art displayed on Amazon of movies from the same era have the with same crappy covers makes them all come across as cheap, cheesy, low budget films.

    Both BD covers of Garden Of Allah and Cobra Woman wouldn't have made me buy them if I hadn't heard about them in this forum which I'm assuming is a pretty small audience.
     
    Bob Casner likes this.
  4. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    Here's Cobra Woman BD on my eyeball calibrated Samsung 720p HDtv. Just gorgeous color for 1943. This does not look like a cheep, cheesy low budget film.

    [​IMG]
     
    Bob Casner, tvnut and EVOLVIST like this.
  5. EVOLVIST

    EVOLVIST Kid A Thread Starter

    I don't think so, but I could be wrong. I've seen a lot of trailers on KL discs and none of them look restored, or even from the same source. But maybe. It's a good question that I might ask on Blu-ray.com in the KL thread. They have an employee in that thread who is really good about answering questions.

    Interestingly enough, the covers you see are from original theatrical posters, or other period marketing material. Some are reversible, so you can see alternate vintage posters and such.

    You're right, though; some of them look low budget, but I think I'd rather have the vintage art, rather than something contemporary.

    That said, as an example, sometimes I don't know what to think, because I should be getting my 4K UHD disc of Kubrick's Paths of Glory (1957), this week from KL. The cover art is a pretty garish original theatrical poster of Kirk Douglas. I don't like it, especially for such a monumental film, but in the end it's the content that matters. It's a good time to be a Kubrick fan, with 3 early titles coming out in 4K from KL. It's highly doubtful that there will ever be other 4K releases of these titles.
     
    Tim Lookingbill likes this.
  6. Manapua

    Manapua Forum Resident

    Location:
    Honolulu
    I bought 5 BRs during Moviezyng's recent Warner Archives sale:
    The Pirate
    She Wore A Yellow Ribbon
    Beau Brummell
    Ivanhoe
    Zigfield Follies

    So far, I've only watched The Pirate and while the story itself was kind of blah to me, the restoration is beautiful.
     
  7. EVOLVIST

    EVOLVIST Kid A Thread Starter

    Yeah. :laugh: I think The Pirate is worth it for Gene Kelly's numbers, alone. He kills it during the long-ass "Nina," section, as well as his first ballet for the screen. I'm not dissing Judy Garland; I'm just a big Kelly fan...and yes, the restoration is grade A+.

    I'd like to read your impressions of Ziegfeld Follies (1945), when you get around to it, both for the PQ and the numbers.
     
    Bob Casner and Manapua like this.
  8. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    It's kinda' funny how an improvement in resolution and color gamut to an old technology as TV should give rise to a resurgence in an interest in old ass movies I would never have paid a ticket to see at the theater now appears to make them potential collector items. I hope these companies that restore such old color films at least make a profit for their efforts.
     
    Bob Casner, EVOLVIST and mBen989 like this.
  9. EVOLVIST

    EVOLVIST Kid A Thread Starter

    I think about that, too. Kino Lorber, Criterion, Shout Factory, et al, seem to be making money, or they wouldn't be as popular as they are, churning out loads of discs. But we don't see their bottom line, so it's difficult to say.

    WAC, arguably the best of them all, did have a big layoff at one point, to my understanding, so that was a bad sign. They bounced back, though. It should be said that WAC's budget is probably the largest and/or they could be saving money on their restorations, because most of their work is done in-house.

    Yeah, I worry a little about things like that, but right now I'm just enjoying the ride for as long as my purchasing power lasts.
     
    Bob Casner and Manapua like this.
  10. Manapua

    Manapua Forum Resident

    Location:
    Honolulu
    Amen brother!
     
    EVOLVIST and Bob Casner like this.
  11. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    Hope you'll pardon me but I haven't kept up with all the names of film restoration companies you've listed but am I to assume WAC stands for Warner Archive Classics?
     
  12. Bob Casner

    Bob Casner Senior Member

    Location:
    Venice, California
    WAC = Warner Archive Collection. I say this is as much a guarantee of quality as the mastering of audio releases by Steve Hoffman.

    I’ve been supporting these efforts by buying directly from Kino Lorber ( for their 3-strip releases) and WAC ( when they used to have their online store): “voting with my wallet.” Now that Warner is primarily using Amazon I order on release date which should increase their take - I can’t usually pre-order these because they’re almost always priced under $25 and so don’t qualify for free shipping without Amazon Prime.
     
    Tim Lookingbill and EVOLVIST like this.
  13. Manapua

    Manapua Forum Resident

    Location:
    Honolulu
    Moviezyng has taken up the old 4/44 dollars sale that WAC used to have only it's 4/$49 + around $6 shipping which brings each disc to around $13 apiece. I know Amazon puts WACs on sale at sometimes insane prices but it's a piecemeal approach. So far, Moviezyng has had 2 of these sales this year.
     
    Bob Casner likes this.
  14. Bob Casner

    Bob Casner Senior Member

    Location:
    Venice, California
    Manapua,
    Yes, I’ve seen those - the thing is, I’ve almost always already bought those, with very few exceptions. Occasionally I’ll see something mentioned in a forum post, here or elsewhere, or see something on one of the free over-the-air channels here in the L.A. area and “play catch-up.” Case in point: over at blu-ray.com someone mentioned how spectacular the WAC restoration of “The Great Race” is - I’ll be adding it to my next Amazon order this coming week.

    Reasons to be cheerful:
    On a recent podcast (theextras.tv) WAC majordomo George Feltenstein said that more 3-strip titles from the 1930s and 1940s were coming, that there was a bit of a “logjam” at available movie film scanners, and there was only so much nitrate film they were allowed to have on site! I’m looking forward to their next announcement of upcoming releases (this coming week?)
     
    Tim Lookingbill, EVOLVIST and Manapua like this.
  15. Manapua

    Manapua Forum Resident

    Location:
    Honolulu
    I've been playing catch-up so these sales are greatly appreciated. The fact that they said what they did on that podcast is great news indeed instead of the usual "physical media is dead" warnings. As for The Great Race, the print they show on TCM looks great so I have no doubt the BR disc is the same.
     

Share This Page

molar-endocrine