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THX 1138: The Hybrid Cut (by TM2YC)

TM2YC

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THX 1138: THE HYBRID CUT

I've got the 2004 'THX-1138: The George Lucas Director's Cut' Blu-Ray, which looks all nice and hi-def but has all those obvious and out-of-place CGI shots that make the movie almost unwatchable for me. I've also got a fairly decent transfer of the 1977-Cut Laserdisc, but it doesn't look good next to the BR, so it's also not that appealing to watch. I know there are fan efforts to restore the movie in HD (Exactly as was) that hopefully will come to fruition one day, but I kinda wanna watch THX-1138 a bit sooner than that. So what is "The Hybrid Cut"?

It will roughly follow these guidelines...

- Conform the Blu-Ray version perfectly length-wise to the shots from the Laserdisc (To the frame)
- Use the original Laserdisc soundtrack
- Add in the totally missing material/shots from the Laserdisc (Upscaled as best I can)
- Remove the god-awful new CGI establishing shots
- (Here's the Hybrid bit) Retain the shots that have minor FX changes, or slightly alter the shots to look more like they originally did. What you'd define as "minor" is down to my personal taste
- Create "new" composite shots by blending sources when needed
- The Blu-Ray transfer will be entirely re-graded scene-by-scene (and shot-by-shot when needed) using the laserdisc as a guide
- This would be 720p (Not 1080p), allowing the Blu-Ray and Laserdisc to be blended quite well

So purists beware :p, this isn't an attempt to recreate the 1977 cut in exacting detail. This is about making a cut that gets as close to it as I can, while also using a minimal amount of standard-definition material.

Here is a poster (Based on the original Italian-language poster)...



(^ Click to see full res)
 

TM2YC

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An old update from my ideas thread...

TM2YC said:
Here is a short test showing part of THX-1138 restored back to the way it was...


(Password: fanedit.org)

The footage is taken from 3 different areas of the Director's cut placed back where it originally sat (The pieces were scattered throughout the DC) plus a few missing frames added in from the laserdisc. I had to regrade the laserdisc material in layers to get it matched as close as I could (Plus a tint FX tweak). It's hours of work and a lot of fun to do... for me anyway :D.

...and something new...

Some of the colour grading on the THX-1138 Blu-Ray looks just about spot on, but other scenes/shots are way off. This is one of the worst IMO...



(^ Click to see full res)
 

ThrowgnCpr

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I really like this idea. Glad you are workung on it
 

SilverWook

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Interesting. Before the 16mm turned up, I had been wondering if some shots could be despecialized using the full frame Japanese LD to blend in untouched elements.

Also, could DE shots like this be undone by zooming in to the original elements?
vtlc.jpg


I had a good chuckle imagining a 50th anniversary edition with even worse changes the other day. Replace Buster Crabbe with Gil Gerard. ;-)
 

TM2YC

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SilverWook said:
Interesting. Before the 16mm turned up

That's the Black & White scan right?

SilverWook said:
I had been wondering if some shots could be despecialized using the full frame Japanese LD to blend in untouched elements.

Also, could DE shots like this be undone by zooming in to the original elements?
vtlc.jpg

Yes this sort of thing will be done for some shots, although with that ^ particular one, you'd have to crop it so heavily that it's looks worse than the LD, plus the shot is shorter on the BR. So you have to blend in the LD in any case.

But this one for example...

mqdefault.jpg


...looks fine cropped down.
 

Dustin6595

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I'm definitely looking forward to this. I've still never seen THX 1138, I've been meaning to but I just can't watch any of George Lucas's special editions without feeling dirty.
 

TM2YC

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Dustin6595 said:
I'm definitely looking forward to this. I've still never seen THX 1138, I've been meaning to but I just can't watch any of George Lucas's special editions without feeling dirty.

I know how you feel but do support the creator by buying the official Blu-Ray before watching this project. The director's cut itself is awful but the disc is packed with awesome bonus features that are worth having alone.
 

TM2YC

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Whoops! Found a single frame 81mins into the Blu-Ray where the shot has been horizontally squashed to the left leaving a black bar (The rest of the shot is fine), I'll be fixing this...

22440136016_594d3e0534.jpg
 

SilverWook

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TM2YC said:
That's the Black & White scan right?
Poita's done some color restoration since then. (The print is fading, but as it dates to 1971, it's priceless.) There's a color silent preview with burned in timecode, but I don't know if the link is still up, and OT is down for while.
 

SilverWook

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TM2YC said:
I know how you feel but do support the creator by buying the official Blu-Ray before watching this project. The director's cut itself is awful but the disc is packed with awesome bonus features that are worth having alone.

So many players needed extra memory installed just to load the bloated Blu Ray menus, it just adds insult to injury. ;-)
 

SilverWook

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Is it okay to mention this project in the THX thread over at OT, now that the site is back up?
 

TM2YC

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SilverWook said:
Is it okay to mention this project in the THX thread over at OT

Of course. Although do stress the "Not a purist cut" bit ;-).

SilverWook said:
now that the site is back up?

I might have to leave OT.com for a while :cry:, as the new theme is pretty much unusable on my end and it sounds from Jay's posts that this isn't going to be fixed anytime soon. Although the mobile site is a little better.
 

TM2YC

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I've finished a first-pass of the project. Editing the Blu-Ray footage to match the Laserdisc and deleted/restoring shots as needed. I'm now starting again from the beginning and improving shots and continuing the re-grading work.

ne example of improvements on this second-pass...

On the first-pass I just dropped in the original colour grid shot, instead of the Blu-Ray's fuzzy blue version. But it occured to me that I could recreate the original shot in HD. I had to animate the movement of the grid frame-by-frame to match the laserdisc which took a couple of hours but the effect is well worth it I think. Here is a comparison video (1st: Laserdic. 2nd: Blu-Ray. 3rd: My shot)...


(Password: fanedit.org)

IMO The BR version changed the mood of the movie, when the full colour bloody beaten THX shot is not the first thing we see of the world.
 

SilverWook

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TM2YC said:
Of course. Although do stress the "Not a purist cut" bit ;-).



I might have to leave OT.com for a while :cry:, as the new theme is pretty much unusable on my end and it sounds from Jay's posts that this isn't going to be fixed anytime soon. Although the mobile site is a little better.

Sorry to hear that. I'm not 100% thrilled with it, but we all knew going in there were going to be bumps on the road. I won't miss the old unreliable host server at all though.
 

SilverWook

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I forgot the grid shot was from THX's incarceration later in the movie.

And you've recreated in a few hours what probably took someone a week or two to animate by hand back in 1970. :)
 

TM2YC

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SilverWook said:
you've recreated in a few hours what probably took someone a week or two to animate by hand back in 1970. :)

I was thinking about that while working on that shot and I imagined it would actually be quicker using oldskool practicle FX. You'd just need to draw some black lines on a piece of acetate and then move a black mask backwards and forwards over the image while photographing all 3... that's sorta what I did in Vegas anyway ;-).
 

reave

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ThrowgnCpr said:
I really like this idea. Glad you are workung on it
I'm glad you're workung on this too. It's a real shame that the original cut off this has become another Lucas fatality, but I would welcome a hybrid edition that uses some of the more tastefully done, minor tweaks.
 

THX1138

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This looks awesome! I cannot wait! Thanks for all the work going into this.
 

TM2YC

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I've rendered off the project and am about to start watching it and noting down any shots that need tweaked colour-wise. So hopefully this should be done and released by next weekend. I'll post some screengrabs soon.
 
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