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Maaixuew

Ironically, as production largely moved away from film and on to videotape (which Friends did not), it means that many programmes from the 60's and 70's can be remastered into HD with much better results than later programmes from the 80's and 90's can as they were often recorded on SD videotape and as such are inherently SD in a way that 35mm filmed programmes are not. You can reprocess and upscale as much as you like, but you can't create what isn't there.


Yes - though relatively few US scripted shows were shot on SD video (low-end 80s sitcoms like Family Ties and Kate and Allie spring to mind as taped shows). Most US stuff - drama and multi-camera sitcom - stayed with film. Only relatively recently did some (but not all) leave film and start shooting on HD electronic cameras.

Some US shows shot on film switched to videotape for post-production (Dallas notably) - and in these cases HD remastering can be a bit trickier (also the case with STTNG where effects were done in the video domain) as you have to re-transfer rushes and re-edit to match the SD video edits (assuming the film rushes still exist) However most US shows stayed with film as their acquisition format until HD shooting became possible at a similar quality, so at least it was possible.

The UK industry didn't have the multi-take single-camera Hollywood movie influences (we initially shot far more theatrically as-live in mulit-camera video studios) nor did we have the US budgets, so when we switched from B&W to Colour most of our domestic shows used 16mm for location film shooting not 35mm, and many of the interiors were shot to tape. Whilst some 16mm can stand-up well when transferred in HD (the Blu-ray of the Doctor Who story "Spearhead from Space" for instance - shot entirely on film as a result of a studio strike) - some of the stuff shot on fast stock doesn't. And the video is SD. If you can get the 2" masters and run them through a PAL Transform decoder you can maximise the quality of the SD video - reducing the composite analogue artefacts significantly - you can't make it HD...

Apart from shows shot for US colour markets (The ITC series for instance) - most UK production is less well suited to HD remastering sadly. We switched to shooting far more using video cameras on location (lots of 80s UK drama - from costume to contemporary - was shot on SD tape) On the other hand this stuff often has a far more 'realistic' feel as much was shot on location rather than in studio, and lit in a more natural manner in some (but not all cases).

Compare "Murder She Wrote" with "Life and Loves of a She Devil"... Sure, Murder She Wrote looks great in HD technically, but it's lit to within an inch of its life and so obviously studio shot.

Though there is something quite odd seeing 80s costume drama like By The Sword Divided, The Barchester Chronicles etc. shot on video not film. Personally I quite like the 50Hz motion and more realistic 'look' - it stopped it feeling like something archaic. But the production values are undoubtedly lower in some areas (though lots of UK TV film production on location was often very 'tripod-bound' and static, whereas location video stuff was often a lot more dynamic with tracking cameras and handheld stuff)


In regard of a point Pete made earlier relating to Red Dwarf Remastered , I believe that Red Dwarf is one of the rare occasions were the original 2"/1" masters exist as it was a Paul Jackson Production made for the BBC. This meant that most, if not all of the original material still exists in some form.

However, when the BBC commissioned for the remastering of the first three series, these original masters were rarely accessed simply because it would be too expensive to re-edit the 18 episodes from scratch. I believe that they were only used to re-composite certain blue/green screen shots. As a result, the footage used was from the final edits which suffered from generation loss, etc which would not have been as evident had the episodes been completely put together again from scratch. I believe attempts were made to digitally boost the colour in post-production.

That being said, the remastered series did have a completely new soundtrack, as well as many of the original music cues being reprocessed in stereo. I also believe that the model shots used were all recorded on 35mm, but were subsequently replaced for 1997-era CGI.
Last edited by Maaixuew on 25 June 2014 3:00pm - 2 times in total
cwathen3,383 posts since 27 Dec 2001
Westcountry Spotlight
Pete posted:
I'm really hopeful about DS9 getting the green light for blu ray. By far my favourite series and I'm fascinated to see the detail in both the model and the prominade set. The very very last shot of the series, with Jake looking out the window, was the only time the station was done in CGI and it looks poor. It's a shame. It'd be nice to see a better version of that as it always slightly throws my liking for that scene.

Also I'd love to see both Far Beyond The Stars and Trials and Tribbleations in HD. Just because.

I've been watching DS9 lately off the VHS tapes I bought in the 90's - back when when £13.99 (probably over £20 in today's money) for a tape containing 2 episodes somehow didn't seem like a complete rip off. Even worse quality than it was broadcast at, but then at least the CGI that was used doesn't age so badly! It makes me feel very old to think that DS9 CGI is now over 15 years old, will be interesting to see what they can come up with on a remastering.


That said, part of me thinks it should be left well alone and I wouldn't want to see some wholesale 'upgrading' of DS9 to include new CGI in place of the original effects be they CGI or models - slightly ropey looking final shot and all. I've never been a huge fan of the remastered TOS - for me those dodgy 60's effects were part of the programme, the new CGI that's been slotted in looks a bit like watching a video game and just doesn't fit naturally for me, I'd still rather watch the original DVDs from before the remastering than the blu-rays for that reason.


By all means clean up and remaster and do HD reversioning if you can, but I don't think the fabric of the programme should be meddled with in that way.
remlap881 posts since 24 Dec 2005
HTV Wales Wales Today
They produced one of the season finales in HD, but decided against it. They only moved to HD when the final series moved to ABC.

Yes Season 5 finale, but stayed for financial reasons, guess it stayed that way to get a recommission.


I can actually remember watching live and getting excited to see an episode in widescreen.

Scrubs Wiki has some screenshots

http://img4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130608183018/scrubs/images/f/fd/5x24_1920x1080.jpg
http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130608182818/scrubs/images/6/6e/5x24_Widescreen.png
Pete9,110 posts since 18 Jun 2001
STV North Reporting Scotland
I've been watching DS9 lately off the VHS tapes I bought in the 90's - back when when £13.99 (probably over £20 in today's money) for a tape containing 2 episodes somehow didn't seem like a complete rip off.


I remember eyeing those up in Sainsburys and thinking they were insanely expensive. Given that you got half a season of Buffy for £35 at MVC (I only threw out all those VHS box sets last month) the two episode a tape thing never appealed to me. I used to tape them from BBC2 and had grand plans for getting a computer, putting them onto the computer and replacing the audio on any episode where the CA talked over the credits with a clean copy from one of the weeks when they didn't.

Because that would be dead easy if I had a computer.

It was 1998. I was 11. Don't judge me.

Quote:
I've never been a huge fan of the remastered TOS - for me those dodgy 60's effects were part of the programme, the new CGI that's been slotted in looks a bit like watching a video game and just doesn't fit naturally for me, I'd still rather watch the original DVDs from before the remastering than the blu-rays for that reason.


I suppose they're stuck between a rock and a hard place with the 60s effects. If they were to faithfully recreate the 60s shoddyness with the lovely clear pictures how far do they go? and does that then increase the complexity as you're purposely trying to make it look bad with halos on the effects? Course you also can't make it look flawless, you can't use the refit movie enterprise and the TNG era transporter effects.

I think they probably got the balance about right. It's retained 60s style albeit a bit clearer. I think with the planets they perhaps made them a bit too good, which somewhat spoils the effect. I'd have kept them a bit more muted and not added the atmosphere effects, also the Tholians are too extravagant, if you're keeping the original Klingons, keep the original Thloians.

As I say though, rock & hard place. The TNG ones are definitely superior.
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