Man, I've been dying to post this for months... First to get the less exciting of these two bits of information out there first: There will be a free outdoor screening of the restored 1974 version of Pink Floyd at Pompeii at the Festival de Nouveau Cinema in Montreal on October 10th at 7pm. This version comes from Adrian Maben's personal 35mm copy of the film, which was transferred to HDCAM SR and restored using the ArchAngel Ph.C HD at Vectracom in Paris. I've seen the tape and it looks fantastic, and the film is presented in it's original 4:3 aspect ratio. There were two soundtracks on the tape, a two channel stereo, and a 4 channel LCRS, which I didn't know existed and is different from the quadraphonic mix of the film. I'm not sure which one they'll use at the screening, but the fidelity of both is very good. Adrian himself will be in attendance to present the film, as well. The more exciting news is that Adrian has prepared a new Pink Floyd documentary called Chit Chat With Oysters, which will screen for the first time at the same festival, on Oct 11th at 9pm and again on the 14th at 1pm. This documentary is culled from black and white footage shot in December 1971 at the Europa-Sonor studio in Paris, when the band was mixing and overdubbing the Pompeii multitrack. You will have seen about 8 minutes of this footage in the Director's Cut DVD of Pompeii, but this new documentary runs almost 60 minutes long. I worked for a company that does film scanning and grading, and in December of last year through a series of wonderful coincidences, I was put in touch with Adrian through an intermediary after mentioning to someone that I'd be happy to do some of that kind of work for free in order to learn how to use some of the equipment we had. When I got a message saying that this person had 'a contact with some rare Pink Floyd film', I was expecting that I might scan some bootleg 8mm or 16mm concert film from the 70's, but within a week I was speaking to Adrian on the phone, and he was telling me he had 5 rusty cans of professionally shot black and white 16mm reversal film of Pink Floyd in the studio in the early 70's that he had found while cleaning his Paris apartment. I explained to him that I was still learning to use the equipment and that while I had a good eye, it would take me some time to complete the job because I was not only new to using the equipment, but also that I'd have to do the work on evenings and weekends outside of my regular working hours. I probably don't have to say how exciting of an opportunity this is, and I think he could sense that in me - I remember him saying 'I have every confidence in you' several times in those early days. So in January 2013, Adrian came over on the Eurostar to London with his suitcase of old cans of film and left them with me. It's a bit scary holding something so precious in your hands, but I was determined to treat this footage with the care it deserved. I called in every favour I had at work and first had all the footage ultrasonically cleaned and all the splices fixed. Adrian had cut the rushes to ribbons in 1971 to make a short 15 minute bit of reportage that was shown on French television, and when he was done, he spliced everything together as an afterthought because he couldn't bear to throw the footage away, even though it seemed like it would have no use. In 2013, all the tape used for the splices was sticky and falling apart, and needed to be replaced. I scanned the film at full 2K resolution on a Spirit 2K scanner over the course of two days, and then spent almost every free evening and weekend I had for the next 2 months grading the film using a Baselight grading system. Part of the reason for the length of time it took was obviously my inexperience with the equipment (I'd only worked on my grandparents wedding film and a few other bits before this) but the main reason was that I spent an inordinate amount of time with every single shot, until I was convinced it was as perfect as possible. The Baselight system has a cornucopia of tools that allowed me to get the most out of the film and surgically fix any of the shortcomings in the source material, which were mild at best - the film is shot and lit very well, and the results, I think, are stunning. I showed much of my work to some of our senior staff just to make sure I was on the right track. Now about the film, you're probably saying 'I saw the black and white footage in the Pompeii Director's Cut and it didn't look that great', and you're totally right. It appears that when that transfer was done in 2000, it was just a 'one light' which means the entire film is transferred without any compensation for changes in exposure etc. It was also cropped from it's original 4:3 aspect ratio to 16:9 along with the rest of the film in the directors cut version. The end result is that the footage looks terrible - the blacks aren't dark black, and the whites aren't bright white, everything just looks grey. Most of the interviews were originally framed really tightly, and as you see on the Directors Cut DVD, this results in shots where all you can see is the eyes and nose of the person that's talking, with the mouth and top of the head cropped off by the 16:9 aspect ratio. When I transferred the film, I did it as zoomed out as possible, and then cropped the film gate out of the shots one at a time so that the maximum amount of picture information was retained. I prevailed upon Adrian to keep the film at 4:3 just as the source material was, and he agreed, so what you're seeing is exactly what was on the original negative. I haven't seen the finished film yet, but the rushes are amazing, and capture the band at a pivotal moment in their career. In addition to the band's lunch in the studio canteen which you've seen some of in the Director's Cut, Adrian conducted in-depth interviews with each member of the band and got some amazing insight in to the mindsets of the band by being in turns friendly and likeable and then also insightful, incisive and probing. You really get a sense of the different band members personalities at the time: Rick - the thinker, Nick - the joker, David - the everyman, and Roger - the enigma. Unlike the colour interviews with the band from Abbey Road in 1973 that find them either a bit high or determined to obfuscate, the interviews in this film, and the footage of the band working (and playing) in the studio are incredibly real and honest and show a band both incredibly focused but also still having fun. Gosh, I've written a lot, but if anyone has any questions about either this film or the Pompeii film, I'd be happy to answer them. I spent a lot of time with Adrian when we were working on this and asked him tons of technical questions about the film and the band, so I'd be happy to pass on any knowledge I can. I kind of feel like 'long time listener, first time caller' with this post. Perhaps a few interesting facts to start things off: 1. The Pompeii multitracks still exist. According to Adrian, they were in his possession for a long time, and then Roger Waters asked for the tapes at some point, and still has them. Adrian believes they are in a vault somewhere in Los Angeles. 2. The main reason for the rear projection shots in Pompeii is that they ran out of film in Pompeii and the financiers would not spring for any more film stock. Adrian knew that once they got back to Paris and showed the investors the half-filmed versions of the songs that they'd have to put more money in to the project to finish the shoot, which they did. 3. Chit Chat With Oysters contains the only Pompeii outtake known to exist - a 4 minute continuous tracking shot around the band and amplifiers during the instrumental part of Echoes, Part 1. The shot moves in the opposite direction of the shot in the Pompeii film, which leads me to believe this is an alternate performance as well. Unfortunately this is the only one that was in the rushes, I believe Adrian had this footage made (converted from 35mm colour to 16mm black and white) for the short Pompeii reportage segment that was aired on French TV in 1972.