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Old 05-27-2015, 03:48 PM   #2541
Mahadeva Mahadeva is online now
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Originally Posted by grahams76 View Post
"When there is no more BD/DVD I really hope the kids posting about DNR and shit have something good to fill that massive void in their lives."

https://twitter.com/CalumWaddell/sta...22692289708032
Wonderful response to criticism, instead of "Sorry guys, we or 88 Films will try and improve".
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Old 05-27-2015, 04:05 PM   #2542
onemanband onemanband is offline
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We’ve worked on some of the titles discussed here for German label X-rated so maybe I can add my few cents. There are a lot of assumptions in this thread which, after a while, seem to become fact plus misinformation about the whole issue in general.

Solamente Nero and Spasmo are LVR scans with color correction done there. Dust busting, scratch removal etc. wasn’t, we’ve done that. (Btw, we’ve also worked on most of the new Spencer Hill BD releases by 3L in Germany, also done stuff for Koch, Ascot, Turbine, many others.
La Casa Con La Scala Nel Buio wasn’t done at LVR at all.
We’ve supplied SPASMO back to the producer in two versions, one with slight noise concealment, one without (I don't know which label uses what, we've never dealt with them directly) - so their clients can pick and choose. Why? Because these transfers are not for BD alone, in fact if it was for BD alone very few films would get transfers at all because it just isn’t worth it from an economic point of view for rights holders. Most tv stations would reject transfers with such heavy noise/grain because of lower transmission bitrates so it has to be dealt with. Like it or not. You will also find a lot of consumer TVs from certain manufacturers and some panel generations seriously struggling with a noise/grain component like that which results in smearing and clouding.

Are these transfers problematic - partially, yes. There is just no easy answer to it. I am sorry to say but people here tend to have a very naive idea of the situation. Film is essentially dead in Italy, very few companies have any interest to invest in new technology in that field because there is not a big market for it anymore. Cinecitta closed it’s lab quite a while ago. When Technicolor in Rome closed doors in 2013 it created huge problems, lots of producers and library holders where faced with hundreds of negatives, internegatives and interpositives that needed to go somewhere. And you cannot simply put them in any warehouse or your attic - it needs to go somewhere appropriate for film. Air conditioned, precautions for fire, insurrance issues, a place where people work who deal with film and which preferably can also scan the stuff because that’s the point of having those negatives stored in the first place.
But it also needs a place that has staff that knows how to deal with OLD film, knows how to clean it, repair it, prep it for scanning. And it has to be a place that can handle 2-perf because a lot of those films are.
Guess what, it’s a tough call to find such a place these days. There are only a handful in all of Italy today. In France you have L’Eclair that are well equipped to handle such tasks, in the US it is fairly easy - in Italy not so much.
So once you have a contract with a lab to store your negatives and positives, it’s not a question of simply taking it out and giving it somewhere else for scanning (IF you have another place of which you KNOW can handle the material AND give good results). You can’t simply go “trial and error”, it all costs a lot of money. Again, there are insurance issues which are massive for the transport alone (unless you don’t care what happens to your property but believe it or not most companies and producers actually do). As a foreign licensee to ask for a negative to be sent abroad to a lab of your choice, unknown to the rights holder, is not only costly but very likely to not be meet with much enthusiasm - and as much as I would prefer different, more modern scanner technology used at times, I do understand the producer’s position.
Unless you’ve worked with a company for many years and they know and trust you and want to make you happy, you are very likely to have to live with whatever lab the negative is located at.

Spasmo is a 2-perf negative, so half 35mm resolution which boosts the grain and noise when doing a transfer on certain equipment, also the neg wasn’t in pretty bad condition.
If this had been done with a DFT Scanity, yes, it would have looked better. A maxed out Scanity is half a million Euro. I am not even aware of a single Italian lab that has such equipment.

The idea that “there is lots of money to be made” from such genre releases is silly. A lot of these releases from smaller labels are labours of love, some investing a lot of privat time without pay to make any kind of return on the investment. We, too, have put in a lot of non-pay work, especially in Spasmo, to clean damage a different scanner would have dealt with. It can be frustrating at times to read some of these comments here, especially since nobody here has seen the condition of the negative to begin with.
Most of the costly 2k and 4K transfer and restoration jobs in Italy can only be done via state subsidising. Todo Modo was done that way just recently. Came out on DVD only in Italy - nowhere else to be seen so far. Antonioni, Fellini, you can get financial help there. No subsidising for Spasmo I am afraid.
So, again, I, too, wish the quality of some of those scans was better to begin with as it makes restoration work a lot easier. But simply pointing fingers are labels and rights holders thinking they just don’t want to spent a few Euros more to make it all fantastic means not understanding the scope of the issue. It’s a lot more than just a few Euro and a lot more that comes into play beyond that.
As things stand, the situation is likely to get even worse in years to come as the market is declining and more labs are closing their fllm departments.
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Old 05-27-2015, 04:17 PM   #2543
FarewelltotheFlesh FarewelltotheFlesh is offline
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I've been more impressed than not by 88 films' output. I think they're doing great work for the most part and any time I've been disappointed, it's been minor criticisms. I feel that some people have unrealistic expectations but at the same time I agree that constructive criticism is a positive thing for these smaller companies. It's important that the customer is happy with the finished product. It's also important to note the work going into these releases and to expect perfection every time is ridiculous. I'm not saying to not point out issues, I'm just that it might be helpful to be constructive. Supporting companies like 88 films, Code Red, Scorpion Releasing, Grindhouse Releasing, Synapse, Arrow Films, Scream Factory and Troma (of course) is so important. No one else will release these films. The big companies only see dollar signs and while every last one of those companies listed wants to make cash, they have a passion for what they release as well. Look at all the titles that these companies have taken a risk on. Twilight Time (which I forgot to put in the list) released a cult classic called Mindwarp and it didn't do particularly well, in comparison to their more popular releases. They still took a chance on it and I, for one, commend them. Does that mean we shouldn't mention when we aren't happy with a product? Of course not but instead of, "that looks like s***" or something of the like, why not express what it is that you don't like about it. Notice how when someone showed the compression problems on Don't Go In The Woods...Alone to Vinegar Syndrome and were constructive about it, they jumped on the opportunity to improve their releases (Scream is another story altogether when it comes to compression). I just feel that giving credit and looking to help companies like 88 and the rest of the lot is paramount to their success and our satisfaction with their product. Not trying to tell anyone what to do, just offering my thoughts on the subject.
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Old 05-27-2015, 04:19 PM   #2544
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onemanband, would you please advise why A Blade in the Dark and Anthropophagus look like shit? What really happened, any ideas?
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Old 05-27-2015, 04:24 PM   #2545
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FarewelltotheFlesh View Post
I've been more impressed than not by 88 films' output. I think they're doing great work for the most part and any time I've been disappointed, it's been minor criticisms. I feel that some people have unrealistic expectations but at the same time I agree that constructive criticism is a positive thing for these smaller companies. It's important that the customer is happy with the finished product. It's also important to note the work going into these releases and to expect perfection every time is ridiculous. I'm not saying to not point out issues, I'm just that it might be helpful to be constructive. Supporting companies like 88 films, Code Red, Scorpion Releasing, Grindhouse Releasing, Synapse, Arrow Films, Scream Factory and Troma (of course) is so important. No one else will release these films. The big companies only see dollar signs and while every last one of those companies listed wants to make cash, they have a passion for what they release as well. Look at all the titles that these companies have taken a risk on. Twilight Time (which I forgot to put in the list) released a cult classic called Mindwarp and it didn't do particularly well, in comparison to their more popular releases. They still took a chance on it and I, for one, commend them. Does that mean we shouldn't mention when we aren't happy with a product? Of course not but instead of, "that looks like s***" or something of the like, why not express what it is that you don't like about it. Notice how when someone showed the compression problems on Don't Go In The Woods...Alone to Vinegar Syndrome and were constructive about it, they jumped on the opportunity to improve their releases (Scream is another story altogether when it comes to compression). I just feel that giving credit and looking to help companies like 88 and the rest of the lot is paramount to their success and our satisfaction with their product. Not trying to tell anyone what to do, just offering my thoughts on the subject.
I personally contacted them and told the problems I noticed on the screenshot of Anthropophagus. The reply was "it looks good in motion" which is total bullshit. Look at their facebook page, a lot of people are asking what the hell has happened to Anthro and A Blade in the Dark, not a single response from them.
Another major problem 88 Films have is their customer service. It took a week for them to reply to me. Now they don't respond to my emails asking to cancel my Anthropophagus order although they promised to do it. I'll let paypal to handle this I believe.
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Old 05-27-2015, 04:34 PM   #2546
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Haven't been involved with Antropophagus, I don't know what the current version looks like. We also haven't worked on Blade in the Dark in any way, shape or form either. I have the scan here and we may work on it for a forthcoming German release but I only had a quick look.
Why does it look the way it looks. It's 16mm to begin with, and from what I've been told the source elements are problematic (some producers tried to save money and prints where made from the neg, others went to interpositive first so neg is in better shape). Also, it's coming from a place that is more problematic than the place people like to bash here. And not a million dollars could change that and get it out of there. Well, a million maybe, but nothing short of that.
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Old 05-27-2015, 04:35 PM   #2547
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onemanband View Post
Haven't been involved with Antropophagus, I don't know what the current version looks like. We also haven't worked on Blade in the Dark in any way, shape or form either. I have the scan here and we may work on it for a forthcoming German release but I only had a quick look.
Why does it look the way it looks. It's 16mm to begin with, and from what I've been told the source elements are problematic (some producers tried to save money and prints where made from the neg, others went to interpositive first so neg is in better shape). Also, it's coming from a place that is more problematic than the place people like to bash here. And not a million dollars could change that and get it out of there. Well, a million maybe, but nothing short of that.
Thank you very much for your answer. I won't be buying that blu-ray unless the price is 5 pounds.
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Old 05-27-2015, 04:59 PM   #2548
onemanband onemanband is offline
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Of course, you’re entitled to vote with your wallet.
All I can tell you is that there is little to no chance you’ll be seeing these titles in better shape. The situation is really about getting stuff scanned at all these days so it preserved. There are so many titles are are simply gone, lost - stuck in a legal hassles, negatives lost, reels missing or rights situation unclear.
This stuff is fading away and it is fading away terribly quick. VOD and coming 4K is only going to make this situation much more brutal.
I am old enough to have lived through the entire VHS era, so while I can see the technical issues with some of those masters, I can certainly put on a different hat and enjoy these films/release as a consumer and be happy they’re here on BD at all.
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Old 05-27-2015, 05:08 PM   #2549
EddieLarkin EddieLarkin is offline
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Certainly Solamente Nero and Spasmo (done at LVR) look a lot better than Anthropophagus and A Blade in the Dark (done elsewhere), so I'm sure onemanband is correct when he says there is a facility in Italy which are even worse than LVR (oh joy). As long as they're compressed properly I'm sure I can live with these new LVR scans. Anthropophagus and A Blade in the Dark though are simply impossible to justify a purchase on looking like they do, outside of bargain bin prices. Worryingly 88 seem to feel they look good enough.

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The situation is really about getting stuff scanned at all these days so it preserved.
I'm not sure I'd count the scans done for Anthro and Blade as any sort of true preservation.
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Old 05-27-2015, 05:09 PM   #2550
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Poor transfers, constant moving of release dates, ignoring questions, charging almost twice direct rather then in stores like HMV or online, poor cheap packaging for box sets.
88 might become one to avoid, seem an untrustworthy label so far, especially with their reviews.
"I have to return some videotapes"
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Old 05-27-2015, 05:12 PM   #2551
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Originally Posted by Blu MacReady View Post
Poor transfers, constant moving of release dates, ignoring questions, charging almost twice direct rather then in stores like HMV or online, poor cheap packaging for box sets.
88 might become one to avoid, seem an untrustworthy label so far.
Let's not go overboard. At the moment, I'm going to take each release on a one-by-one basis. I hope they succeed as there's a few of their upcoming Italian releases I'd like (my interest in Z-grade slashers is nil).
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Old 05-27-2015, 05:12 PM   #2552
Mahadeva Mahadeva is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onemanband View Post
Of course, you’re entitled to vote with your wallet.
All I can tell you is that there is little to no chance you’ll be seeing these titles in better shape. The situation is really about getting stuff scanned at all these days so it preserved. There are so many titles are are simply gone, lost - stuck in a legal hassles, negatives lost, reels missing or rights situation unclear.
This stuff is fading away and it is fading away terribly quick. VOD and coming 4K is only going to make this situation much more brutal.
I am old enough to have lived through the entire VHS era, so while I can see the technical issues with some of those masters, I can certainly put on a different hat and enjoy these films/release as a consumer and be happy they’re here on BD at all.
As I said I'll buy them but for bargain price. This is the screenshot of Anthropophagus:



And one more question doesn't Immagine Ritrovata and Cineteca di Bologna have all those expensive scanners? I guess they do, because for example Blood and Black Lace look wonderful and it was transferred at Immagine Ritrovata.
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Old 05-27-2015, 05:22 PM   #2553
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Of course, you’re entitled to vote with your wallet.
All I can tell you is that there is little to no chance you’ll be seeing these titles in better shape.
People were saying the same after Raro Video's disasters like Milano Calibro 9 and especially Nightmare City. Arrow Video came to the rescue fortunately.
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Old 05-27-2015, 05:25 PM   #2554
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Anthropophagus and A Blade in the Dark though are simply impossible to justify a purchase on looking like they do, outside of bargain bin prices. Worryingly 88 seem to feel they look good enough.
Just to think the beautiful edition of Blood and Black Lace is 14.99 at the moment on Amazon and the garbage that Anthropophagus is is 19.99!!
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Old 05-27-2015, 05:25 PM   #2555
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L'Immagine/Cineteca are connected. They have an Arriscan which is very good, the also have some older Cintel equipment which is more or less also what the "others" have. But L'Immagine is high profile working on cultural heritage, mostly subsidised restorations that cost tens of thousands of euros. They're not simply a gun for hire. Technicolor was just that, and they had great scan quality. Also, you can't get the negative of Blade or Antro out from where it is.
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Old 05-27-2015, 05:26 PM   #2556
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Originally Posted by Mahadeva View Post
People were saying the same after Raro Video's disasters like Milano Calibro 9 and especially Nightmare City. Arrow Video came to the rescue fortunately.
And Media Blasters' Zombie Holocaust. 88 Films are quite capable of coming to the rescue too.
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Old 05-27-2015, 05:31 PM   #2557
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My understanding was that LVR retired their infamous noisy scanner and their new work is fine. Has that not born out?
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Old 05-27-2015, 05:37 PM   #2558
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Not going by BLOODSTAINED SHADOW/SOLAMENTE NERO. That's a new LVR transfer but it certainly looks noisy (and still has the ridiculous windowboxing). Though going solely by the caps it looks better than the compartively dated NIGHT TRAIN MURDERS. So an improvement but not hugely. SPASMO on the other hand, also a new LVR transfer, looks quite a bit better than NIGHT TRAIN MURDERS, has no windowboxing and isn't half as noisy as BLOODSTAINED SHADOW/SOLAMENTE NERO! So who knows what is going on.
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Old 05-27-2015, 06:45 PM   #2559
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grahams76 View Post
"When there is no more BD/DVD I really hope the kids posting about DNR and shit have something good to fill that massive void in their lives."

https://twitter.com/CalumWaddell/sta...22692289708032
I agree with him. This place can suck the enjoyment out of everything sometimes. 88 films is getting trolled like mad on this thread for awhile now, the muppets we're even complaining about too many announcements last week.
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Old 05-27-2015, 07:19 PM   #2560
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Quote:
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I agree with him. This place can suck the enjoyment out of everything sometimes. 88 films is getting trolled like mad on this thread for awhile now, the muppets we're even complaining about too many announcements last week.
I don't necessarily disagree with him, I was just surprised at the unprofessional nature of that tweet. Paints him as a bit of an arse - there are other ways to get across what he was saying.
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