New Phantom of the Opera Website - Phantom1925.com

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Scott J

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Re: New Phantom of the Opera Website - Phantom1925.com

PostWed Jan 31, 2018 1:27 pm

I've looked heavily into this, and I'm afraid I have disappointing info. Other than the first reel in 35mm, nothing in high-quality 35mm has turned up for the original 1925 release of Phantom - and Universal included it in their worldwide search when setting up their Silent Film Initiative. There exists 16mm elements, but Universal isn't going to pour money into restoring a public domain film using 16mm prints when the result will still be inferior to the 35mm George Eastman House print and all the blu-rays and DCPs that are already out there for that shorter version.

Other things that don't help -

1. Tom Cruise's The Mummy underperformed at the box office and the "Dark Universe" creative team has since disbanded. Bill Condon might still do The Bride of Frankenstein because it's his passion project and he's a major player, but if that doesn't do well, then Universal has even less incentive to focus on their old monster properties.

2. I've been told there's new management at Universal, and they aren't so keen on spending more money on silent film restorations. The previously announced restorations might be all we get for a while. I hope it's not true, but that's from a trusted source :(

On the upside, my project is still chugging along and I won't stop unless Universal announces something ;)
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Re: New Phantom of the Opera Website - Phantom1925.com

PostWed Jan 31, 2018 6:16 pm

Yes, that's what I heard too, about the first reel in 35mm that was found, mislabeled apparently as sound film.

Too bad there's not more initiative. I heard a very intriguing theory about recovering more image quality in those Show at Home prints, by scanning two copies and combining the differential image information in each to create a higher quality composite.
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wich2

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Re: New Phantom of the Opera Website - Phantom1925.com

PostWed Jan 31, 2018 6:26 pm

Scott J wrote:On the upside, my project is still chugging along and I won't stop unless Universal announces something ;)


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Scott J

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Re: New Phantom of the Opera Website - Phantom1925.com

PostThu Feb 01, 2018 8:02 am

Brianruns10 wrote: I heard a very intriguing theory about recovering more image quality in those Show at Home prints, by scanning two copies and combining the differential image information in each to create a higher quality composite.


Yes that is true. There's several ways to do that and each shot will require custom settings. Not a perfect process by any means, but it will yield a slightly better image - though nowhere near the quality of the George Eastman 35mm. That combined with extensive cleanup will produce a version of the longer cut that is visually superior to current 16mm transfers of Phantom. Unfortunately, we do not yet have access to a Show-At-Home (still knocking on doors for that - thankfully no restraining orders as of yet! :mrgreen: ). On the plus side, we have a couple of above average 16mm prints and a dedicated team who love this film.
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All Darc

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Re: New Phantom of the Opera Website - Phantom1925.com

PostThu Feb 01, 2018 11:24 am

It was my idea

It would require a edge detection & automatic alignment very similar to what Warner's Ultra Resolution software do, like they did to perfect align the technicolor stripos for Singin in The Rain and Gone With The Wind.

Also another expansive, very expansive, technology it's from Lowry DIgital, former Lowry Digital Images, since they can analyse the grain pattern in similar frames and extract extra details in a sucession of frames for areas very similar, since the grain is randow and the grain in a couple of frames can have some m ore information than in a single frame, as the grain ocupates a bit different regions and not always the precise same point. With two or three copies this process in theory could be even better, specially in scenes with camera motion or fast character's motion.

But if money it's still a problem even for a usual digital clean up of a single print, what we could say about a 5 star project for something never tried before ?

Brianruns10 wrote:Yes, that's what I heard too, about the first reel in 35mm that was found, mislabeled apparently as sound film.

Too bad there's not more initiative. I heard a very intriguing theory about recovering more image quality in those Show at Home prints, by scanning two copies and combining the differential image information in each to create a higher quality composite.
Keep thinking...

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ChrisStockslager

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Re: New Phantom of the Opera Website - Phantom1925.com

PostWed Feb 07, 2018 6:29 pm

Unless there is actual proof visually somewhere online, I’m going to assume that they found nothing. Cynical, but I feel like there would have been more fuss made about it.
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Darren Nemeth

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Re: New Phantom of the Opera Website - Phantom1925.com

PostWed Feb 07, 2018 7:26 pm

Years ago there was a rumor that an odd reel or two was found in Italy but I never heard anything else about it. Urban legends.

:? :? :? :?
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Donald Binks

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Re: New Phantom of the Opera Website - Phantom1925.com

PostWed Feb 07, 2018 7:42 pm

The last I heard was that some more of the Technicolor scenes had been found?

Whilst we are about it, what's happening with the Opera House set that used to be in Stage 28. Universal took it out and were going to put it on display somewhere?
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Re: New Phantom of the Opera Website - Phantom1925.com

PostThu Feb 08, 2018 8:07 am

ChrisStockslager wrote:Unless there is actual proof visually somewhere online, I’m going to assume that they found nothing. Cynical, but I feel like there would have been more fuss made about it.


Chris, if you're referring to the color Opening stuff, there was a fair amount of discussion of it here. And Jack Theakston confirmed it.

-Craig
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All Darc

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Re: New Phantom of the Opera Website - Phantom1925.com

PostThu Feb 08, 2018 9:59 am

Photoplay used film colorization for the first time as a restoration tool (or almost) given proper use, when they colorized the missing portion of the two color technicolor Masked Bal fotage, using the surviving Masked Bal sequence as reference. It's the color scenes, in Photoplay version, after Raul and Christine talk on the roof where the Phantom listen. A cene of Christine and Raul talking with the detective, some party scenes, and a scene of the phantom interacting with people on party.

Would be right to computer colorize all the missing technicolor footage for hte film, case it's possible to find references for the color of the sets and costumes and how it would look in a 2 color technicolor sequence?

There problems...
The colorized footage wasn't from a surviving B&W print shot from the technicolor print, since technicolor and B&W footage was shot with different cameras during the 20's, and a conversion from technicolor to B&W would reduze the image quality, creat soft look and poor contrast, due technicolor nature and film duplication limitation during silent era. And 2 color technicolor system had color balance as director of photography choices, and we can't know well what was the balance he choosed, even if we find the color of sets and costumes to get a reference for colorization.

I'm curious. Is the 1943 version of Phantom of The Opera film was really shot in the same studios and sets than the 1925 version ?
Or is just the set from the interior of the Opera Theater, the stage and auditorium ?
Keep thinking...

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All Darc

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Re: New Phantom of the Opera Website - Phantom1925.com

PostTue Feb 13, 2018 1:17 pm

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Keep thinking...

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Scott J

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Re: New Phantom of the Opera Website - Phantom1925.com

PostWed Mar 14, 2018 9:46 am

Well gang, some good news and bad news.

The good news is, that rare stills set is now mine.

The bad news is, so is the debt :mrgreen:

Also, some wonderful people have gotten involved and I think we'll actually be able to recreate, or closely recreate the Milestone Ultimate Edition photo galleries in High Definition and future proof for 4k, etc.

A few images may slip through the cracks, of course. Reminds me, does anyone have the following image?
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I scanned this from Philip Riley's book and tweaked it as well as I could, given that it's a half-tone print. This is the only deleted graveyard scene still that I'm missing a high-quality copy of (there's 3 I know of, but I believe there's more out there somewhere) - I have lovely 1200dpi scans of the other two.

As for scanning the 16mm prints themselves - I am told we'll have some news soon, and then hopefully the full fundraiser soon after. Fingers crossed.
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Re: New Phantom of the Opera Website - Phantom1925.com

PostWed Mar 14, 2018 4:22 pm

Onward!
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Darren Nemeth

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Re: New Phantom of the Opera Website - Phantom1925.com

PostWed Mar 14, 2018 6:30 pm

Great news!
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Re: New Phantom of the Opera Website - Phantom1925.com

PostWed Mar 21, 2018 8:26 pm

Great news indeed Scott. Keep banging those doors and finding those treasures.

About Phil. Riley, anyone knows what's happening to the stuff he collected over the years ? I haven't heard anything about it (except of his passing, or course).

As for Jack Treakston, where is he now ? It's been a while since we saw him at all here. Anyone knows ?
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wich2

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Re: New Phantom of the Opera Website - Phantom1925.com

PostThu Mar 22, 2018 11:27 am

monks19 wrote:About Phil. Riley, anyone knows what's happening to the stuff he collected over the years ?


Karma would have it being stolen by others...
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Re: New Phantom of the Opera Website - Phantom1925.com

PostFri Mar 23, 2018 10:36 am

This isn’t directly relavent to the conversation on stills, but I might as well share it with this thread.

This is a fan restoration of the ‘25 version i shared on a previous “phantom” thread on this website, but Id thought I’d share it here too.

https://youtu.be/S2AaG_sgtfg"



Its the best i could do combining the better looking ‘29 version and the meh quality show at home that was released as a bonus feature on the blu ray.
Last edited by silentfilm on Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Embedd YouTube link
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Scott J

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Re: New Phantom of the Opera Website - Phantom1925.com

PostSat Mar 24, 2018 11:08 am

Very nice work - I do wish Photoplay and Davis had done the longer version at the time. Your effort gives us a taste of what could have been. For comparison purposes to your version, here's an older effort from Ray Faiola to combine the 25 and 30 versions - I'm actually in awe of this thing because he transferred his own prints and then edited it together with 1983 Betamax.



-- It's actually far and away better than the way I first saw the film, on a public domain "Hollywood Classics - Collector's Edition" horrendous EP/SLP tape with a terrible print and a cobbled together score that didn't match the action.
This is a much nicer looking version of that tape - I actually like the opening music -
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Scott J

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Re: New Phantom of the Opera Website - Phantom1925.com

PostSat Mar 24, 2018 11:24 am

Back on the subject of stills - do any collectors out there have some nice ones of Mary Philbin? I just picked up two stills of the personal variety of Mary at work in her garden and also her with a dog in her yard. I really do want to produce a featurette on her but have very little in the way of biographical information. I know the stories of her not marrying her love due to her parents' disapproval of his religion - how she took care of her parents until they died - her being a recluse - but I don't know much beyond that.
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Re: New Phantom of the Opera Website - Phantom1925.com

PostSat Mar 24, 2018 2:05 pm

My interest in silent films started with this one ( PotO at the Internet Archive ) so thank you for sharing :)
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Re: New Phantom of the Opera Website - Phantom1925.com

PostTue Mar 27, 2018 9:40 am

Scott J wrote:Very nice work - I do wish Photoplay and Davis had done the longer version at the time. Your effort gives us a taste of what could have been. For comparison purposes to your version, here's an older effort from Ray Faiola to combine the 25 and 30 versions - I'm actually in awe of this thing because he transferred his own prints and then edited it together with 1983 Betamax.

-- It's actually far and away better than the way I first saw the film, on a public domain "Hollywood Classics - Collector's Edition" horrendous EP/SLP tape with a terrible print and a cobbled together score that didn't match the action.
This is a much nicer looking version of that tape - I actually like the opening music -


I would totally lose my mind trying to match the music to its source for each of these. I can say with authority that for Faiola's compilation, the piece that plays when the Phantom kidnaps Christine from the stage is from North by Northwest and the piece that plays during the Carriage chase scene is almost certainly from King Kong or Son of Kong.

I also can say that the opening music to the Hollywood Classics' compilation is from the opening of Schubert's Eighth Symphony. Slightly more subtle than using Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor but they used it three times during the movie!
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Scott J

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Re: New Phantom of the Opera Website - Phantom1925.com

PostSun Apr 01, 2018 8:24 pm

Alright friends, thanks to generous contacts, I'm currently at 220+ stills (majority at 800DPI) for the project. And so I've made an assessment of what stills are missing and you can see them here:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=17ZkCHEq19sPES8EXyRU6_TzRPvprlQbF

These sample images come from the 2003 Milestone DVD, Phil Riley's book, the French Photoplay Editions, Universal Weekly Issues, and a few random websites who the owners either no longer have the stills or never had them in the first place.

Any tips or scan donations (300DPI minimum, 800DPI to 1200DPI recommended) would be a huge help to the project and you'll be credited.

**Also - I consider it "missing" from the project if I don't have a high quality 300 DPI (minimum) scan of the still. In some cases, I have higher, medium-ish resolution copies but they're still not high enough in resolution and/or quality to be considered "found" for the purposes of this project.
Last edited by Scott J on Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Darren Nemeth

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Re: New Phantom of the Opera Website - Phantom1925.com

PostSun Apr 01, 2018 8:57 pm

Scott J wrote:Alright friends, I've made an assessment of what stills are missing from the project and you can see them here:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=17ZkCHEq19sPES8EXyRU6_TzRPvprlQbF

These sample images come from the 2003 Milestone DVD, Phil Riley's book, the French Photoplay Editions, Universal Weekly Issues, and a few random websites who the owners either no longer have the stills or never had them in the first place.

Any tips or scan donations (300DPI minimum, 800DPI to 1200DPI recommended) would be a huge help to the project and you'll be credited.

**Also - I consider it "missing" from the project if I don't have a high quality 300 DPI (minimum) scan of the still. In some cases, I have higher resolution copies but they're still not high enough in resolution and/or quality to be considered "found".



Some of the people at the Monster Kid forum may have scans or originals. https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/monster ... rrorforum/
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Scott J

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Re: New Phantom of the Opera Website - Phantom1925.com

PostMon Apr 16, 2018 7:19 pm

I'm going out on a limb here in hopes of getting in touch with the owners of these images:

The top left image is of Count Ruboff (Ward Crane) and an unidentified actress in one of the deleted Sedgwick reshoots. This particular still is interesting because, to my knowledge, it had never been published before. I'd love to get a good scan of it - as well as scans of the others.
Image


And this still from a delete sequence where Raoul flirts with La Sorelli (Olive Ann Alcorn) and other dancers. I currently have two high-resolution scans of stills from this sequence, and other scans from period movie magazines.
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