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I can’t believe the curtains don’t feature any Beatle Fun Facts!
Let’s hope it’s the definitive version of the original cinema print at last. They’ve cocked up every official release of it in one way or another.
Looking forward to it too – incl an ‘actual’ stereo soundtrack remixed (ie. the music) for the first time and original mono mix if preferred (love options!) . Q for A Car And A Room And A Room – I understand they are giving us the ratio as close to original theatrical intention. What do you see as the main ‘problems’ with previous releases?
Maybe one day , an official dvd of Let it be instead of another HDN release. Shan’t hold my breath mind.
Hi Don Percy, the main problem I have is they’re continually looking to “improve” the film for modern audiences. Cal me old-fashioned but the original mono cinema print to me was perfect. The 1984 Shenson slowed the soundtrack down and put it in Dolby. Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t there one with a stereo soundtrack that eliminated some of the sound effects e.g. the clunk in If I Fell where Shake positions the amplifier and George deliberately knocks it over. That double DVD version a few years back had the wrong frame ratio and over-egged the pudding with copious interviews – some that were quite tenuous at best. If Apple are on board they could release the half-hour of UA “making of” filming rushes that exist e.g. Abbey Road recording sessions, on the train, Scala, Madame Tussauds make-up etc, and finally officially release that widely-seen five minute feature newsreel shot at Marylebone and Scala.
The one thing I do hope they restore is the original mono soundtrack – or as you say at least keep it as an audio option. That’s what they don’t realize with these cleaned up versions – is that the original prints often had unique mixes that get eliminated with all the 5.1 replacements. Why not offer the choice of both??
So THAT’s why I saved that old Beta tape of AHDN(1984?)…
I’m just praying for widescreen(no cropping)
MONO(original mixes supplied to Dick Lester)
B/W from an original negative(in high rez)
Anything to do with colorization, TV screen aspect ratio, 5.1 surround sound should all be considered heresy. This film is sacred ground. The world WAS never the same after this movie. This is why it should be restored to it’s vintage context in a way that remains faithful to the group’s history…but, more importantly, to the history of the world. This film is a timestamp of an era that was about to end. Most eras don’t end so positively or hopeful.
The film might be a fictional account of a day in the life of the group but its backdrop could have been anywhere. We are ALL in this movie…
THAT’s why it’s so important to do it right!
A thread over on the fab Steve Hoffman forum seems to be covering a lot of this . . http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/giles-martin-tweets-a-hard-days-night-update-coming-on-blu-ray.337021/
And of course Rogers site is on top of it (I mean that nicely) as well . . http://wogew.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/a-hard-days-night-confirmation.html?m=1
Ah yes! The old ‘slowed down Shenson’. The reason for this of course was that the majority of the film was shot at 24fps – but the studio footage was shot at 25fps. This is because the PAL system was being monitored, and shot by the film cameras – and shooting at 25fps meant ‘roll-bars’ would not be seen on the monitors. The Shenson version was mastered at NTSC speed of 24fps (original theatrical speed) – making the studio songs sound slow.
(i.e 25fps>24fps) There is no way to fix this without making it ‘unoriginal’. To transfer the whole film at 25fps will ‘speed up’ the music in the non-studio sections. The ‘trick fix up’ is either to change the ‘pitch’ on these tracks. Or remove 1 frame in every 25. What would you do? PS. Totally agree on inclusion of an original mono mix (I’m sure I read that it will be an option), and inclusion of the entire doco, “Follow the Beatles” and a new transfer of the outtake for ‘You Can’t Do That.” (Plus nerwsreel as you suggested.) PS. Also hope they don’t stuff up the vision as with HELP on blu ray and the excessive use of DNR and terrible stabilisation techniques…etc
No, it wasn’t “cropped”, it was released at the original theatrical aspect ratio. The film was shot full-frame with the intention of masking for theatrical release.
Oops – didn’t mean to put that ‘non-sequitar’ sentence at the end! It’s a copy and paste from someone else talking about the older DVD release…
Thank you for the ‘frames-per-second’ overview. I am confused regarding the use of two different camera speeds. When you mentioned ‘studio footage’ being shot at 25 fps, are you referring to the scenes shot inside the theatre? So, 25 fps was supposed to remove the PAL effect from the Spinetti’s monitors that play in the shot? For Criterion’s release, can’t the difference in playback rate be remedied by speed-correcting the musical footage digitally after the transfer of those scenes is done at 25 fps? We certainly don’t want to lose ANY frames. Even though the result will be ‘unoriginal’, the original vision will finally be achieved. It might not set any precedents…but, it IS what the film deserves. A Hard Day’s Night as it was originally conceived can be finally be delivered…but, will it?
(…and, NO Dolby!!!)
Hi Kwai. Yes, all the footage of the Beatles performing in the studio (Scala Theatre?) was shot at 25fps (both the rehearsals and the ‘show’.) PAL runs at 50 fields per second, so a film camera running at 25 frames per second can sync on an image of a video monitor without the image ‘rolling’. As well as the Spinetti control room footage, there are many shots around The Beatles where playback monitors are evident. SO when all of this studio footage was shot at 25fps, then post produced (and projected) at 24fps (or transferred at 24fps for NTSC), it became slightly slower. This problem is not evident with ‘I Should have Known Better” as sung in the train – or either of the ‘music overlay’ clips (A Hard days Night and Can’t Buy Me Love). In Australia, we have the PAL system. So the DVD of A Hard Days Night here runs the studio footage at the right speed – and all the other footage 1/25th of a second too fast! (It took me years to get my head around this – I always wondered why songs were ‘sped up’ on all the films shown on TV!) Since High Def (Blu Ray) has all but removed the PAL vs NTSC problem – it is mostly likely that the restoration will be done at 24fps. If it is kept original – as per the theatrical release- then the studio footage will be forever too slow. To digitally speed the film up, even with todays techniques – could look clunky. I think a ‘pitch’ change would be the best option – as it is more the lower pitch that our ears detect, than the slower speed. But what I truly wonder, is whether this is a conversation that Apple / Criterion / or whoever!!! is having! …I hope I’m being clear Kwai…!
That explanation is high rez…Thank you.
You know the the primary concerns being addressed involve think-tanks of non-fans, non-scholars, non-humans(stats)…and NO Cars or horses! For this reason, we will probably be treated to a 5.1 swirl-around-the-room mix with lots of Easter eggs to entertain the old-timers(me). Lots of bonus features…lots of new interviews…lots of enhanced lobby cards and posters…a free t-shirt raffle ticket…an interactive tour of the movies locations following the same chronology via satellite/GPS geo-images a la google-earth…AHDN Trivia quiz…a discount coupon for Beatles Edition of RockBand game…and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of digital popcorn and candy…and an exclusive iTunes digital download…of the 148mb transfer of the original MONO mix…
(man, talk about straightjacketed)
I’m not prepared to start flogging myself with flaccid strands of fettuccini just yet. ‘If’ Criterion really is involved, then this has the best chance of looking and sounding the best it ever has. YouTube some clips that show criterions work on old films. Of course this IS Apple and they relish in always screwing something up, ie the restoration(?) of the MMT footage
Yes Kwai and Tammy. I’m hopeful with talk of a possible Criterion version, that this will be done properly. And done properly does not mean ‘candy-coated’ extras. But I’ll be surprised if they try to ‘fix’ the 24/25fps issue – because it would mean some kind of change to the original – and as we know, change does not equal restoration. But yes – MMT was a bit of a disappointment ( apparently the neg is missing, instead they used a first generation print, which was a bit soft and faded) – but I loved all the bonus outtakes. As for HELP! – a complete ‘balls-up’ in the picture dept with the BluRay. DNR, Stabilsation etc. The DVD restoration took less liberties with the picture. We’ll need Criterion to come to the rescue with HELP!…
Hi Don, undoubtedly you have very detailed technical knowledge of the frame rate issues about the interior (video) sequences vs the filmed items. A minor quibble, or question really, is your use of the term “PAL”. My understanding is that “PAL” strictly speaking describes the colour video TV transmission/encoding system invented/patented in Germany in 1963, and first used in UK in 1967, and later rolled out across much of Europe and Australia/NZ. But were not the interior scenes of AHDN shot in B&W video, not colour? Was the B&W video standard (which is not correct to be called PAL) in use in UK up until about 1966/67 also shot at 25fps ? If yes, then I understand your expanation completely.
What kind of madness starts production with the intention of using two different frame rates? How was that ever supposed to jive when a little calculating would give a value of 4% difference between 24fps and 25fps. Slow or fast…4% is just massive. I just don’t understand why one speed or the other wasn’t chosen for the sake of simplicity. To think that this was done for some control room monitor vanity boggles the mind. Isn’t movie production hard enough when everything goes smoothly?
Director’s cut??? (No…he just bumped his head)
Hi Stephanie. Yes you’re quite right. I’m using the term “PAL” in a rather informal way. This is from Wikipedia…
“576i is a standard-definition video mode originally used for broadcast television in most countries of the world where the utility frequency for electric power distribution is 50 Hz. Because of its close association with the colour encoding system, it is often referred to as PAL or PAL/SECAM when compared to its 60 Hz based NTSC counterpart, 480i.”
Back to me! The UK video standard (576i) runs at 50 fields per second. Mathematics dictates that a 35mm camera running at 25 frames (and synced to the video source) will see two field written perfectly as ‘one frame’.
This little piece of John and Paul on the TONIGHT shows what happens when a film camera is not synced to the same speed as the TV monitor – roll bars!
Hi Kwai – they may not have considered the speed anomaly until they were well into production. Ideally, they’d have used a studio with the NTSC system and gotten their 24fps. But lets remember, this was a cheap budget film – to be done quickly before the Beatle Bubble burst – and they got whatever they could get! Alternately they could have shot the whole film at 25fps – and asked every theatre in the world to alter their projection rate!! (NOT!) PS. Your correct calculation of 4% goes some way to explain why the pitch chanage is so obvious! (Hi Tammy – hope we’re not boring you yet!)
I’m fine Don, Chatter away, when it comes to figures my brain freezes, but I’ve learnt a lot . . a Bootleg series of Beatle promo clips, speed corrected and with remastered sound, they look and sound okay, so I probably won’t go mental if they don’t correct that, tho I’m not that much of a purist to think if possible they shouldn’t correct that.
From my blog post:
The music has been remixed in true 5.1-surround by Giles Martin. Another selectable audio option will be Ron Furmanek’s restored original mono soundtrack. Furmanek prepared this audio for the Miramax DVD, but his work was tampered with, turning it into faux-5.1-surround. This decision was heavily criticised by fans at the time of release. The problem was that the company who owned the rights to the film did not own a stereo version of the soundtrack, just the original mono sound. So this time, some sort of agreement must have been made between that company and the Beatles/Apple Corps Ltd/Universal Music Group. Or, the Beatles/Apple Corps Ltd may have bought back the rights to the film.
The film will reportedly be shown in aspect ratio 1.75:1
This is the actual original theatrical aspect ratio from the film’s release in 1964, so that’s a first!
So far my blog. Now as for the speed issues:
I believe that there was a bootleg DVD by MirrorSpock a fewyears ago which managed to correct the speed issues – without any anomalies on the monitor screens. Mirrorspock also inserted the “You Can’t Do That” performance back into the film, as well as combining the film from the MPI and the Miramax DVDs for a bigger frame – missing only a small square in each corner of the picture.
Thanks Wogew. All very interesting. Ah – that MirrorSpock – he’s done some devilishly inspired things over the years…!
Now confirmed for download/cinema screenings from July 4th, limited edition DVD/Blu-ray July 21st.
Thank you, Roger!
A hard day’s might.
Man, that’s some pretty effective marketing…
Firecrackers that explode three weeks after the fuse gets lit.
“We’re more popular than Easter, now…”
What Little Old BluRay?
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