Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

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Great Hierophant

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

PostFri Mar 24, 2017 8:53 am

Scoundrel wrote:" the unmasking scene - which I think can be got away with as it was originally intended to be in Technicolor .."

What is your source for this information ...?


It is well-known that the unmasking scene was shot in Technicolor and in Black and White. I believe one of the DVD or Blu-ray commentaries as well as Phillip Riley's book (admittedly not the most reliable of sources) has that information. The Technicolor scene was not supposed to be used because the hot studio lights would cause the seam where Chaney's bald cap met his forehead to show. We have two versions of the unmasking scene, one of which may have been originally shot in Technicolor or at the same time as the Technicolor from a 2nd camera angle.
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Scoundrel

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

PostFri Mar 24, 2017 9:17 am

Nonsense.

There is no evidence that the unmasking scene was shot in Technicolor.

Scott MacQueen explained this on alt.movies.silent in Sept.of 2000;

" Unfortunately I found no corroboration of this when I was researching at
Universal in the '80s, and since then U's PHANTOM holdings have, uh, been
"liberated", shall we say, by a "historian" armed with carte blanche from
Mr. Wasserman. So if the answers were once at the studio, they're gone now.

PHANTOM still lacks color inserts. In Reel 1, the shots of the audience
arriving, with the uniformed soldiers "fashion show" as it were, was
originally in Prizma ( U tested both Prizma & Technicolor ). Contemporary
reviews indicate that "all views" in the auditorium were in color, yet this
is not born out by continuities - I believe that SOME long shots of the
house curtain were color. The "Apollo's Lyre" sequence was blue tinted (or
toned) with red Handschlegl, which I helped Kevin Brownlow replicate for
this recent version ( the intertitles here were originally all in GREEN, but
Kevin elected to keep them uniform with the scene ). The second half of
the Masked Ball, from the lovers' return from the room through Florine's
fainting number, was also Tech, and again it was my privilige to replicate
this for Photoplay's version which will be on TCM. The tints were very
interesting, and in no version are done correctly -- for example, the
flashing of the chandelier prior to falling was amber/blue/amber/blue to
action, and similar color cutting was done in the torture chamber with the
waves of heat and light. ***** The Phantom's rooms "below stairs" (including
the unmasking) were entirely in B&W. **** The "Honeymoon in Viroflay" tag
that closed Reel 10 ( still in the Show-at-Home in B&W ) was also once in
Technicolor. .."

Ask Michael Blake about Phil Riley's credibility.
" You can't take life too seriously...you'll never get out of it alive."


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Donald Binks

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

PostFri Mar 24, 2017 1:57 pm

Scoundrel wrote:Nonsense.

There is no evidence that the unmasking scene was shot in Technicolor.
.


By the same token, is there any empirical evidence that it was not? By your own post, you quote another as saying that the required proof seems to have gone "walkabout". I think that what we are left with is opinions by a series of experts on both sides of the issue.
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Great Hierophant

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

PostSat Mar 25, 2017 10:31 pm

If you compare this frame capture :

https://goo.gl/photos/4r1THBqXfheF4Nmk6

to this one :

https://goo.gl/photos/JLZtKCdMvSGLa2WP8

you can see how this story may have acquired the hint of truth. The first frame is from the Eastman print of the 1929-30 Silent Reissue version, the second frame is from the Hampton print of the 1925 General Release version. These are different takes, not just camera angles. In the second frame, the join between Chaney's bald cap and his forehead is pretty obvious. It is much less so in the first frame. Chaney would have preferred the second frame, but considering how many editors and versions this film went through, the original intent to use the first frame may have been forgotten. Look at the scene with Raoul smiling outside Christine's door as the Phantom speaks to her for another editing mistake.
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostSun Mar 26, 2017 1:47 pm

But there were multiple takes of a scene, as well a multiple cameras filming the same take of a scene, in that era for reasons other than the use of color.
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostMon Mar 27, 2017 9:35 am

Absolutely true, but the take from the Hampton print could have been the second, B&W camera, of a take where the first camera was the color camera.
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostSat Apr 01, 2017 2:04 pm

Further refinement of my first colorization pass. Be sure to watch these in 1080p to catch some of the subtleties I tried to add to Raoul's fleshtones. And you can right-click the window and watch it on loop if you wish. This is still very much incomplete



I think this looks much more natural than my previous attempt. I've adjusted the color of his hair with a separate mask from that of his face to further give it a more natural look. There is a separate mask for one of his eyes so it is actually white instead of flesh-toned. I've also practiced on coloring parts of his uniform to more closely match this image:

Image

Still need to color the red on his other side. I also want to adjust many other elements in the image to have their own unique color. Those orbs on his outfit should be white. John Sainpolis's glove should be more white, and so on. I feel the more variety of colors in colorization help to sell the effect. This has already been a ton of work and this is just a brief shot. How maddening it will be to try to colorize the whole first reel :lol: :mrgreen:



Ah, how far it's come from its raw form.
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostSun Apr 02, 2017 4:02 am

Very nice. Try to subdue the blue color a little more because it looks a little too saturated. BTW, do we have informations on which parts was done with each different color process (early 2 color Technicolor, Hansdschigle(?) & Prizzma color if I remember correctly) ?
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostSun Apr 02, 2017 4:08 am

One more thing, aside from the trailer, does any informations/descriptions of the original opening and ending credits exist at all aside this newly found reel 1 (we don't know from which release it's from) ?
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostSun Apr 02, 2017 9:34 am

Jack Theakston wrote:Universal Pictures has confirmed that the "found footage" is Reel 1 of the 1925 version of the film (picking up on the first interior shot of the lobby, ending with the end of the ballet), from the original Technicolor negative. Preservation has been done.


Any word on whether any progress has been made on further PHANTOM restoration incorporating this newly-found footage?
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostSun Apr 02, 2017 9:36 am

monks19 wrote:One more thing, aside from the trailer, does any informations/descriptions of the original opening and ending credits exist at all aside this newly found reel 1 (we don't know from which release it's from) ?


We do know which release it's from; it's the 1925 release version according to Jack Theakston.
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostMon Apr 03, 2017 11:03 am

WaverBoy wrote:Any word on whether any progress has been made on further PHANTOM restoration incorporating this newly-found footage?


Alas, Scott McQueen's recent answer to that question from a CHFB poster dashes much hope that had lain in UCLA's direction:

http://monsterkidclassichorrorforum.yuk ... 6mm-prints" target="_blank
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostWed Apr 05, 2017 4:48 pm

On the YouTube clips, when viewed without enlarging to full screen, the side-by-side images are much like a stereopticon slide. When viewed with your eyes crossed, a 3D effect happens.
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostWed Apr 05, 2017 9:12 pm



More refinements. The buttons on Raoul's outfit have their own traveling mask now - needs a few more tweaks.

For Raoul's outfit, I tried to emulate the 2-Strip process described here http://www.aviatorvfx.com/?cmd=frontendOverview&id=color Thanks to dronester7.

I began by first coloring the outfit cyan, then pushing the mid and high tones toward yellow to emulate the yellow dye. I toggled back and forth the Bal Masque footage. Seems a closer match. Also tried adjusting skin tones toward magenta at first, then pushing the mid and high tones toward yellow once again to emulate the described process. And just for comparison, I changed the coloring of a wall. As always, love to hear what you guys think.
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostMon Apr 17, 2017 10:43 pm



A few more tweaks. Be sure to watch it in 1440p. What do you guys think?
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostThu Apr 20, 2017 3:02 pm

I just tried to combine the original 1925 version with the 1929 version, to somewhat recreate the 1925 version in a hybrid form like some talked about. I also used the 16mm restoration that was brought up at the beginning of this topic. I also tried to incorporate the Carl Davis score the entire way through, but It's a little butchered. The video is unlisted, so you can only watch it with the link, and you cant watch it if you look it up on YouTube.
Here's the link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2AaG_s ... e=youtu.be

Tell me what you guys think, and If I made any mistakes.
Last edited by EdibleCamphor on Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostSat Apr 22, 2017 11:25 am

I don't have time to go through the whole thing, but it looks like you have produced a nice fanedit. Caution though: the Carl Davis score and BFI colorized sections are definitely copyrighted. Also, it would have been appreciated if you had asked me first if you could incorporate my cleanup examples. I am currently working behind the scenes on my own restoration of the 1925 cut and trying to to establish friendly relationships with restorers and distributors. I will not be using any previous film transfers unless given permission.

I'm fine with your current purpose and I know you meant no harm. You put a lot of quality work into it and I'm impressed :) I'm putting my longer clips into private viewing for now. Feel free to message me privately regarding them.

EDIT: I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. I've reworded this a bit.
Last edited by Scott J on Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:52 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Great Hierophant

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

PostSat Apr 22, 2017 11:58 am

Scott J wrote:I don't have time to go through the whole thing, but it looks like you have produced a nice fanedit. Caution though: the Carl Davis score and BFI colorized sections are definitely copyrighted. Also, it would have been appreciated if you had asked me first if you could incorporate the hard work I had put into my cleanup examples - though I understand I have little control given the film's public domain status.


Your colorization efforts are protected just as much as the BFI's.

Scott J wrote:I am currently working behind the scenes on my own restoration of the 1925 cut and trying to do it the right way, and will not be using any previous film transfers unless given permission.

I'm fine with your current purpose and I know you meant no harm, but this has made me realize I need to be careful about sharing such lengthy clips. As of now, I have removed my longer clips until further notice.


I hope to be able to watch your fan edit someday, but unless you have your own prints, how can you do it without using previous film transfers? I assume you would start with the BFI's HD scan of the Hampton print and then pick from the other HD scans where appropriate for common footage like the Technicolor masked ball sequence. There isn't any automatic copyright protection gained when media is transferred from one format (film) to another (video).
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostSat Apr 22, 2017 12:05 pm

The BFI's HD scan of the Hampton print has been used for practice and to produce proofs of concept so I could make contacts (this has been achieved). I am currently lining up a different Hampton print without the horrible warping featured on the BFI print. Also, the BFI print has been cropped and shows less image at the top than the earlier Milestone DVD. A better scan is in the works, but that's all I can say for now :D
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostSat Apr 22, 2017 5:48 pm

Continued best, Scott!

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

PostSat Apr 22, 2017 6:51 pm

Yeah, and feel free to keep working on your fanedits. I only really did this for myself to show to friends. I also decided to share it with NitrateVille. And, the video is Unlisted so only people with the link can view it.
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostSat Apr 22, 2017 8:23 pm

I actually really like your work here. Perhaps fanedit isn't the best term. I just come from the world of fanedits. We all want a good reconstruction of the longer cut. Sorry l was being harsh. Was a bit startled that you had incorporated my work. Not sure who gave you a thumbs down, but I just gave you the first thumbs up.
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostSat Apr 22, 2017 10:44 pm

Scott J wrote:The BFI's HD scan of the Hampton print has been used for practice and to produce proofs of concept so I could make contacts (this has been achieved). I am currently lining up a different Hampton print without the horrible warping featured on the BFI print. Also, the BFI print has been cropped and shows less image at the top than the earlier Milestone DVD. A better scan is in the works, but that's all I can say for now :D


I can't wait, but please don't break into the UCLA's vault. I'd rather contribute to a kickstarter for your fanedit than a gofundme for your legal defense! :D
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostSun Apr 23, 2017 12:31 pm

EdibleCamphor wrote:I just tried to combine the original 1925 version with the 1929 version, to somewhat recreate the 1925 version in a hybrid form like some talked about. I also used the 16mm restoration that was brought up at the beginning of this topic. I also tried to incorporate the Carl Davis score the entire way through, but It's a little butchered. The video is unlisted, so you can only watch it with the link, and you cant watch it if you look it up on YouTube.
Here's the link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2AaG_s ... e=youtu.be" target="_blank

Tell me what you guys think, and If I made any mistakes.


Skimming through it just now, it looks fantastic!! I'm happy you used the 1925 unmasking and chandelier sequences! Looks like you worked very hard on it - great job! How did you manage to stretch the Davis score to fit the longer '25 print? Very excited to watch this tonight!
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostSun Apr 23, 2017 9:47 pm

So I just finished the 'hybrid' just now! Even after ages and umpteen viewings, I always have something new to say about this film.

1. Firstly, you did an immaculate job cobbling together the best footage possible - I loved even the small details I hadn't noticed weren't in the 1929 cut, such as Carlotta shooing away the door man in her first scene, lingering shots of Chaney in the final lair sequence. Compiling the Davis score and the bits of music to fill in the gaps was very well done and not very distracting at all - hardly butchering, as it were. Truly a fantastic job all around! I daresay, this may be the best looking, sounding, and most complete version of this poor gimpy film we will have for quite some time.

2. I'm glad you used the '29 Apollo's Lyre footage - I've always thought the shots from the '25 were the B-takes, since practically all the shots of The Phantom are dull long and medium shots vs. all the closeups in the more familiar version.

3. BFI really overdid it with the tinting -- good God, it kills off so much of the contrast, particularly in the last 20 or so minutes of the film.

4. I still despise the ending to this film and always have from the first time I saw it. The entire point of the novel is how much of a difference can be made if someone is shown a little compassion and kindness. Stupid twenties' audiences.... I'm surprised Chaney didn't put up a fight in how he tries for about three seconds to save a collapsed Christine after the carriage has broken down, thinks "Never mind that I've been obsessed with this girl for years and the whole plot focuses on my love for her; time to save my own ass!!" Dammit, Edward Sedgwick.

5. Despite the uselessness of Rupert Julian, Universal's refusal to leave the finished film alone, Phlbin's ham, and Kerry's woodenness, we still have a wonderfully fun movie with Chaney in his most famous role and makeup. One can't help but wonder if there were a better director at the helm and a studio not so paranoid about editing, re-editing, re-re-editing, etc., we could have had a masterpiece a la Faust, Caligari, or Nosferatu, but oh well.

Still it could have been a much worse movie, completely hacked to bits a la Greed, or worse: lost completely.
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Scott J

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

PostTue Aug 29, 2017 9:53 am



Another demo. Ultimately, I will have to redo all these shots when I get the new scans done. It is then that I will go into even greater detail in cleanup and colorization.

What I really need right now are high-resolution photos of the production and posters/artwork. Please message me privately if you'd like to contribute to the project.
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Re: Tinkering with the 1925 cut of Phantom of the Opera

PostTue Aug 29, 2017 5:03 pm

Scott J wrote:
Another demo. Ultimately, I will have to redo all these shots when I get the new scans done. It is then that I will go into even greater detail in cleanup and colorization.

What I really need right now are high-resolution photos of the production and posters/artwork. Please message me privately if you'd like to contribute to the project.


You've done a wonderful job on this Mister. Not only have you cleaned up the quality of the print, but the colours you have added look very much like what I imagine the original two-colour Technicolor in that scene would have looked like. Universal have supposedly found the original colour sequences that have been missing for 80 years or so - but I don't know when we'll ever see 'em?
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"So, she said: "Elly, it's no use letting Lou have the sherry glasses..."She won't appreciate them,
she won't polish them..."You know what she's like." So I said:..."
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