Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

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wich2

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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostFri Oct 30, 2015 8:45 am

>When they speak about Hampton print, are they refering not to one print, but several 16mm prints made by Hampton, isn't it ?
Maybe UCLA have a huge task for some reason...<

We've covered this before: evidently, UCLA has SEVERAL ORIGINAL Show-At-Homes, which had been the raw material that John Hampton used to create the composite now referred to as "the Hampton version."
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostFri Oct 30, 2015 9:50 am

All Darc wrote:"But even this is not quite the end. In the 1970s, a collector in upstate New York discovered a reel of early color film. It turned out to be the splashy "bal masque" scene from "The Phantom of the Opera," in its glorious, original two-tone Technicolor (as you'll remember, color footage was sent out on separate reels back in 1925). This has been spliced into subsequent reissues. And just a few years ago, Universal announced that it had discovered yet more color "Phantom" footage – yet to be seen by the general public"

Where is the Universal oficial announcement ?



Beats me. Googling it comes up with Jack Theakston saying it in a couple different places, but he never says what his source is. I can't find anything official from Universal, but obviously Jack has connections so he may know someone who knows something that isn't entirely public.
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostFri Oct 30, 2015 9:56 am

Was the Show-At-Homes 16mm shot from original camera negative, or from a internegative ?

Photoplay restoration refers as a 16mm, used in few scenes, like Cristine after awake and check the dress, as The Hampton print, but do not said if was a original SHow-at-Homes or the Hampton's copies of it.
Was the 16mm print used in the HD transfer of 1925 version in the BD, the Hampton print (copies from show-at-homes) or just a copied made from one of the Hampton copie materials?

Sorry for too many questions... :oops:


Scott, are you reading this ???... listen that:

Lowry Digital tools, the advanced CPU hungry processing to increase image details, made use of one characteristic of celuloid film, the grain on it itself.
In a chemical film grain it's randow, so even two identical frames will have some slight difference due grain position be different from one frame to anather, variable in a sequence of frames. That's why in old films the image, even when a character is quiet, as frozen chicken, looks better in motion than looking a single frame alone (pause/freeze).
Lowry process analyzed the grain pattern, track objects or details in a scene, checks the position of each grain, for a given small piece/detail, in scenes with low motion, and try to analyze the grain position differences to extract more information, creating a sharper and more detailed image. It's teorically better and more natural looking than just apply a typical sharpening filter. This advanced analyze also allows to reduce grain with more quality.
The problem is that on films many scenes do not have low motion, and the process do not work well in such cases.

Now think about... If there are several 16mm Show-at-Home prints of 1925 version of The Phantom of the Opera, we have many grain pattern differences for each frame. And siIlent films have usually a stead camera, not much motion. And fot he scenes with considerable motion, or with characters moving fast, they could use the many copies (Sow-at-Homes), so each frame would have few twin frames, brother frames, to compare. For example, a frame number 5430 in one Show-at-Homes print, will have a correspondent brother frame number 5430 in another How-at-Homes print , and the exact grain pattern for these frame 5430 would be different for a given detail from one "brother to another".

Since the 16mm was made from 35mm, I believe this is more relevant, since each grain in the 16mm are basically grain patterns of the 16mm itself and not from the 35mm, since the resolution was reduced during the 35mm to 16mm copying making the original grain from the 35mm practically lost . This makes the grain difference from each "Brothers frame" in the 16mm prints much more relevant.

So, my guess for the best possible restoration in whole world for The Phantom of The Opera, would scan each Show-At-Home-Prints, at least in 2K or 3K, stabilize, match contrast/brightness, remove flicker, aligh each one to each other to a perfect frame geometry (like Ultra resolution of Warner does) and allow Lowry digital to use the "brother frames" to increase image detail.

That would be in unic case, the first case, of a digital restoration like that. I bet it could be the better image detail improvement Lowry Digital ever did. In the end it could look quite similar to some 35mm prints.

It's quite complicated to explain. I'm afraid my english it's not the best for this task too. Scott, if you got what I mean, I will be happy. :)
In the old Lowry Digital Images website, there was a example of a sucession of frames, of a blown-up/zoon of a chemical film. It showed a can of coke in a table with few junk food, recorded with a stead câmera, no motion at all. When the process analyzed the sucession of frames and increased the details, the very small letter in the coke can, that was just fuzzy/blur, turned readable.

wich2 wrote:We've covered this before: evidently, UCLA has SEVERAL ORIGINAL Show-At-Homes, which had been the raw material that John Hampton used to create the composite now referred to as "the Hampton version."
Keep thinking...

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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostFri Oct 30, 2015 3:29 pm

>Googling it comes up with Jack Theakston saying it in a couple different places<

As well as in other publications, not from Jack's mouth, cited in threads here.

-Craig
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostSat Oct 31, 2015 9:37 am

One would expect that for a find of this magnitude, given the well-known popularity of PotO, that Universal would have issued a press release given a general overview of what was found, a comment by a well-established film archivist, maybe even a scan of a film frame. The only sources of the information I have seen are either vague, Nth level hearsay or both.
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostSat Oct 31, 2015 12:13 pm

If David Shepard said nothing until now, it's a signal this matter is or a possible fake or quite a secret (that leaked a bit).

Great Hierophant wrote:One would expect that for a find of this magnitude, given the well-known popularity of PotO, that Universal would have issued a press release given a general overview of what was found, a comment by a well-established film archivist, maybe even a scan of a film frame. The only sources of the information I have seen are either vague, Nth level hearsay or both.
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostSat Oct 31, 2015 12:15 pm

>The only sources of the information I have seen are either vague, Nth level hearsay or both.<

I have never, here, elsewhere online, or in private communications, found Jack Theakston to be a liar.

(Nor, for that matter, ill-informed.)

-Craig
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostSat Oct 31, 2015 1:12 pm

Nobody said he is. It's nice to have people here that like to share informations. I believe more people of the area would participate this forum if there was a "less acid clime" here.

But someone could lie or made a mistake when told hin about the tecnicolor negatives.

I'm not saying the news is fake, but there are reasons to found it somehow strange at least.
I hope it is true, but I also keep some skeptcism to avoid the huge disapointement in the case of a possible hoax.

wich2 wrote:>The only sources of the information I have seen are either vague, Nth level hearsay or both.<

I have never, here, elsewhere online, or in private communications, found Jack Theakston to be a liar.

(Nor, for that matter, ill-informed.)

-Craig
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostSat Oct 31, 2015 7:16 pm

>It's nice to have people here that like to share informations. I believe more people of the area would participate this forum if there was a "less acid clime" here.<

An improvement would be to trust the word of someone like Jack Theakston, whose bona fides are strong, and whose history is proven. But response to this question has included this:

"Technicolor sequence of the Masked Ball has survived, the word has been around since the 1970s I believe ... Anything else, except where noted above, is just ignorant speculation and rumor<

"I don't believe for a minute that Universal still has any negative material for Phantom, color or otherwise"

"The only sources of the information I have seen are either vague, Nth level hearsay or both"

"If David Shepard said nothing until now, it's a signal this matter is or a possible fake"

Now, the above is "acid."

-Craig
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostSat Oct 31, 2015 7:40 pm

Hey... :) You edited my post.
I said:

"If David Shepard said nothing until now, it's a signal this matter is or a possible fake or quite a secret (that leaked a bit)."

In other words, I also said that Shepard would not comment here if the issue was confidential, to avoid more leaking.
You edition makes me sounds rude.
:lol:

And when I said:

"But someone could lie or made a mistake when told hin about the tecnicolor negatives."
I refered what the person, who told Jack about he negatives, could made a mistake or a lie.

wich2 wrote:An improvement would be to trust the word of someone like Jack Theakston, whose bona fides are strong, and whose history is proven. But response to this question has included this:

...

...

...

"If David Shepard said nothing until now, it's a signal this matter is or a possible fake"

Now, the above is "acid."

-Craig
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostSat Oct 31, 2015 7:57 pm

Forgive about the Off Topic insight here.
A sociologic analyze...

I wonder about estatistic for the fórum members, if the ones who get hostile are percentually more from USA. USA have a lot of angry psichologic temper nowadays.

Even out of USA, we see today a increasing of anger temper: Anger from women to men, from men to women, from husband to wife, from hetero to gays, from gays or to hetero, from rich to poor and poor to rich, anger against father/mother, anger for Family splits or due son/daugther don't be like someone want or due be distant, anger against fat epople, against very slin people, against hot or fit boddy or against nerd, anger due envy, ager for don't be what media tell us to be and against all absurd lies media tells us and the manipulation everyday.

Like Erik, the phantom, we have lot of angry, but we use masks hide it during the day, to relate and socialize with everyone, and remove our masks when we got into web forums and can openly speak.
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostSun Nov 01, 2015 12:33 pm

Dear Mr. "Darc" -

For my part, I have no anger here; life is too short, and the subjects we discuss here, too small. That is exactly why I do take umbrage at the kind of insults toward other posters that I quoted above. (When one repeatedly calls into question what someone else says, they are in fact labeling them some degree of either liar, or fool.)

If you'd like to discuss this further, feel free to PM me.

Best,
-Craig
(no mask)
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostSun Nov 01, 2015 1:38 pm

I have no anger too.
I appreciate when someone tries to calm down things here, or speak in deffence of others, be sympatetic to other members. I noticed you tried something like that

Well, the world is quite tense today. Maybe people have not so much anger like I suposed, but reflexes or cross fire, since there are a lot of pression in the modern society.
I heard there was a time(before I found this comunity) this forum was kinda of "hot pepper", while very tense discussions for any details about film presentation/reconstruction etc... This probably made this forum lost the chance of more professionals of the area, from archives and studios, to participate. In the end we all lost.

A nice day to you Graig. :)

wich2 wrote:Dear Mr. "Darc" -

For my part, I have no anger here; life is too short, and the subjects we discuss here, too small. That is exactly why I do take umbrage at the kind of insults toward other posters that I quoted above. (When one repeatedly calls into question what someone else says, they are in fact labeling them some degree of either liar, or fool.)

If you'd like to discuss this further, feel free to PM me.

Best,
-Craig
(no mask)
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostMon Nov 02, 2015 2:05 pm

And I after some consideration I did back off of my initial reaction that Universal doesn't have the negatives: "obviously Jack has connections so he may know someone who knows something that isn't entirely public." I have the deepest respect for Jack and am certainly not calling him a liar. I'd like to know what his source is for this, though.
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostMon Nov 02, 2015 2:39 pm

Mark Zimmer wrote:And I after some consideration I did back off of my initial reaction that Universal doesn't have the negatives: "obviously Jack has connections so he may know someone who knows something that isn't entirely public." I have the deepest respect for Jack and am certainly not calling him a liar. I'd like to know what his source is for this, though.


I think we are all waiting patiently to see what transpires! :D
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she won't polish them..."You know what she's like." So I said:..."
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostMon Nov 02, 2015 3:41 pm

A consummation devoutly to be wished:

"Universal Studios is proud to announce, as part of its ongoing Silents project, that it will be partnering with UCLA in the first true presentation of the original version of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA since its theatrical release in 1925."

-Craig
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostMon Nov 02, 2015 4:42 pm

Good News, but i supose unfortunatelly that they will just do a digital clean-up like they did for Universal monster classisc, that despite decent, did not used the best technology to enhance image details in dupe materials, like was made with James Bond films (dupe transitions fades etc), which digital restoration was made by Lownry Digital.
Since the best source fo the 1925 version it's 16mm, would be very important to use the best tecnology available to get more details as possible.

The best possible restoration would be scan each original surviving Show-At-Home 16mm print, and apply Lowry's algorithm to analize the correspondesnt frames of each print, analyze grain, to extract more image details.

wich2 wrote:A consummation devoutly to be wished:

"Universal Studios is proud to announce, as part of its ongoing Silents project, that it will be partnering with UCLA in the first true presentation of the original version of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA since its theatrical release in 1925."

-Craig
Last edited by All Darc on Mon Nov 02, 2015 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostMon Nov 02, 2015 4:44 pm

wich2 wrote:A consummation devoutly to be wished:

"Universal Studios is proud to announce, as part of its ongoing Silents project, that it will be partnering with UCLA in the first true presentation of the original version of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA since its theatrical release in 1925."

-Craig


To be shortly followed by the announcement:

"The original restored version of "The Phantom of the Opera" will commence a season at Radio City Music Hall, New York, accompanied by the full 55 piece orchestra, the dual organists and a complete stage prologue taking the opera "Faust" as its theme. Following its initial release season it will be screened on prime-time television as a special "Sunday Night at the Movies" on CBS."
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she won't polish them..."You know what she's like." So I said:..."
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostMon Nov 02, 2015 6:37 pm

>i supose unfortunatelly that they will just do a digital clean-up like they did for Universal monster classisc, that despite decent, did not used the best technology<

Most folks do think they did do a decent job on ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT.

>Since the best source fo the 1925 version it's 16mm, would be very important to use the best tecnology available to get more details as possible.<

I believe that the story goes that UCLA has already done much work, but per their usual, in the photochemical realm.

>The best possible restoration would be scan each original surviving Show-At-Home 16mm print, and apply Lowry's algorithm to analize the correspondesnt frames of each print, analyze grain, to extract more image details.<

That would indeed be great.
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostTue Nov 03, 2015 8:09 am

Unless my gramar was wrong, I supose I said thet their restoration was decent, but not great.

All Quiet in Western Front was a very good realise, but also have many flaws, many scenes with lot of dirty, speacially scenes with fast motion, and even scenes with very low motion or câmera stead, that was suposed to be very easy to automatically remove dirt and stains.
Many scenes with explosions on ground, had a "rain of dirt", a signal they used mostly automatic tools and few hand work, once automatical tools are almost useless in such especific scenes.
But i's always a matter of budgety... time and money

wich2 wrote:>i supose unfortunatelly that they will just do a digital clean-up like they did for Universal monster classisc, that despite decent, did not used the best technology<

Most folks do think they did do a decent job on ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT.


Photochemical it's not great for a prime digital restoration, cause there are loss each time a film is copied, and in the case of 16mm film the loss it's more relevant. I know modern duplication film stocks are excellent, virtually grainless, ultra sharp, but the problem is the optical printers, copies made by lenses instead of contact step printers (that sadly can't be used in all cases). Wet gate also add softness, specially in optical printer instead of a contact printer.
There are also loss of dynamics, since contrast rises a bit when copied by lenses (optical printer) instead of contact printer.
If they want to do the best they need to scan direct from the 16mm Show-at-Homes and not just scan the photochemical preservation masters of UCLA.
UCLA work was not useless !!! They probalby fixed the splices and broken perforation, cleaned up the material, tried to find lost frames comparing the many prints. Hats off to UCLA works, remambering they saved countless films that otherwise would be lost forever today. :D

But if Universal wants to preserve and restore well this so important film, which masters have limited resolution today, they need to do the best, scan each print and use Lowry's tools to compare each correspondent frame of each print, to get more image details than traditional digital restorations would do.

Indeed the Lowry's tools work better for old silent films, even in cases there is only one print, cause silent films have, in almost all scenes, a stead cameras, or few motion, so the Lowry algorytms have a good stead cenes with very similar images in a sucession of frames to compare. But in scenes with more motion, or when characters behave fast, move fast, even with the câmera stead/motionless, the details of fast motion portion get difficult to enhace.

I have no information about any digital restoration that used a worflow of many correspondent frames. They usually scan the best prints (or negative), or scan another print when need to replace lost frames or very damaged portions of the main print.
Of course that when there is a original negative, or very good fine grain, there is no logic in use a multi prints approuch for get more details.

What I propose would be a historical case for digital film restoration. It would require perfect geometric alignment(like Ultra resolution) and perfect contrast match-up. It would have advances not only in image details recovering, but also for clean up, since one print can have damages and one portion that another print don't have, despite most damages would be similar as come from the damages that was in original câmera negative when the prints were made.

wich2 wrote:>Since the best source fo the 1925 version it's 16mm, would be very important to use the best tecnology available to get more details as possible.<

I believe that the story goes that UCLA has already done much work, but per their usual, in the photochemical realm.

>The best possible restoration would be scan each original surviving Show-At-Home 16mm print, and apply Lowry's algorithm to analize the correspondesnt frames of each print, analyze grain, to extract more image details.<

That would indeed be great.
Keep thinking...

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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostFri Dec 04, 2015 3:03 pm

Donald Binks wrote:Image
Excuse me but wasn't your monocle in your other eye?
This is nøt å signåture.™
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostFri Dec 04, 2015 3:22 pm

Excuse me but wasn't your monocle in your other eye?


Usually I have one in each. :D
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostFri Dec 04, 2015 6:04 pm

(Bottles, or monocles, m'Lord?)
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostFri Dec 04, 2015 9:29 pm

wich2 wrote:(Bottles, or monocles, m'Lord?)


Monocles are in the eyes (usually) or between the teeth - bottles are cradled in the arms waiting for the pouring sequence. (There is a wonderful scene in "International House" where the Great Man is seen to be gathering as many bottles as he can off a table. I wish I had his dexterity!). :D
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostSun Jan 03, 2016 2:45 am

Happy New Year every one !!! Any news about this since last time ?
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostTue Feb 16, 2016 10:14 pm

I'm sorry for the lack of updates. What was originally to be a month-long visit from my parents turned into a permanent stay and has preoccupied the majority of my free time. It has been great to have them back and nearby, but it has been a roller-coaster situation that has resulted in the loss of their home. And now after learning of Bart Starr's ischemic brain stem stroke and his recovery thanks to stem cells, we are hoping to raise enough money to do the same for my Dad, who had the same kind of stroke over 3 years ago - https://www.gofundme.com/hopeforwayne

So, in one respect, at least I am becoming familiar and more comfortable with such an endeavor and that should help me when I try to raise funds for this particular Phantom project. I forget if I mentioned previously, but I may have access to a Movie Wonderland print which I could have scanned at 4k and work on the cleanup at that level. The BFI 16mm HD Scan could help assist me in the cleanup. There's still so much to get in place and it is still very early. But that's the update for now. In the meantime, I'm working on finding funding for my Dad.
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostWed Feb 17, 2016 10:35 am

>I may have access to a Movie Wonderland print which I could have scanned at 4k and work on the cleanup at that level. The BFI 16mm HD Scan could help assist me in the cleanup.<

Scott, I think we did touch on that? But isn't a Movieland one dupe farther from the original, in that the BFI scan was of an actual from-the-neg Show-At-Home?

>In the meantime, I'm working on finding funding for my Dad.<

Film is nice; but it could never beat Dad.

Prayers from here,
-Craig
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostWed Feb 17, 2016 11:13 am

I thought that the UCLA had the actual Show-at-Homes and everything else, including what BFI used, was a lesser generation.
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostWed Feb 17, 2016 11:45 am

Not positive about the BFI; that's why I used the "?" But I do believe that there are Show-At-Homes in other hands than just UCLA's.
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostThu Feb 18, 2016 2:21 am

I didn't realize Universal had found the rest of the PHANTOM color footage. WOW. Fingers crossed for a proper restoration of the '25 cut with all the color sequences in their proper place.
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