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Has color 'altering' bad?

Forums - Discs & Movies - Has color 'altering' bad? 

9th February 2008 13:38  #1

Cervantes Member Join Date: November 2006 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 172
Is color 'altering' bad?
After the excitement of finally getting a 'Blade Runner' boxset release that does the movie justice, it pains me to say this, but I now find the 'Final Cut' version turns out to be unwatchable...  Why?  Because Ridley Scott has tampered FAR too much with the 'color-timing' throughout this version, making it too dark-looking and unnaturalistic in a lot of areas, and washed-out in others!  Now this is only my OWN subjective opinion on this aspect, but I am interested if anyone here thinks this too, and that COLOR 'altering' is a step too much, rather than CONTENT 'altering.  I will put my hands up and say that back in the day I saw the ORIGINAL version on the big screen, complete with the 'Private Eye' narration and the 'happy' ending sequence, and that is what is burned into my memory, and the version I am most pleased to finally have a great copy of!  However, I ALSO liked the ALTERNATIVE 'Director's Cut' version where these were removed, and was greatly looking forward to Ridley's FULLY sanctioned and tweaked version in his 'Final Cut'...  Having now had the time to watch the fantastic ORIGINAL ( 'U.S. Theatrical' ) THEN watch the 'Final Cut', and THEN watch the 'Director's Cut' after that, I found that the color 'meddling' of the 'Final Cut' seems awful compared to the other versions which seem vibrant and alive in comparison...  The 'Final Cut' now seems to have an overall too stylized 'pop promo/advertising commercial' hue to it now which DOES NOT have color that 'pops out' at you as it was originally filmed.  This really spoiled my appreciation for what will no doubt be seen as the 'de facto' version in years to come.  Ridley has done this color 'tampering' to his 'Director's Cut' of 'Alien' too, which also rendered that FAR less vibrant than the ORIGINAL ( and better! ) release in my opinion.  Thankfully this boxset contains excellent audio/visual versions of the '82 'Blade Runner' and the 'Director's Cut' for my future viewings, as I won't be watching the 'Final Cut', which as well as foreshortening certain scenes ( like he did with 'Alien:Director's Cut' ), Ridley has given us hardly any extra bits to get too excited over, where there was scope for a lot more...  That aside, I was not happy at the 'color-timing' changes made by George Lucas either, when we finally got 'Star Wars:A New Hope'.  He ALSO tampered with the color, which seemed too dark or extreme in places compared to the wonderful 'lightness' of the cinematography in the ORIGINALS...  I blame PETER JACKSON... Stop this practise NOW! Rant over. Thoughts?      

9th February 2008 23:02  #2

Nic Mall Member Join Date: November 2005 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 1,202 Send a message via MSN to Nic Mall
ORIGINALS PETER JACKSON NOW...OWN COLOR CONTENT ALSO FULLY DOES NOT FAR ALTERNATIVE ORIGINAL    ORIGINAL THEN THEN   ORIGINAL

Now Peter Jackson does not fully own original color content also far alternative orignals, then original then original...

********

I'm no WWII code breaker or anything but it seems to me theres a conspiracy theory against old peter jackson in your write up..well that... or you work for the Sun?

10th February 2008 3:54  #3

Worst Nightmare Senior Member Join Date: July 2002 Location: Australia Posts: 6,704 Send a message via AIM to Worst Nightmare Send a message via ICQ to Worst Nightmare Send a message via MSN to Worst Nightmare Send a message via Yahoo to Worst Nightmare Send a message via Google to Worst Nightmare
I gather he works for the Sun - I assume you are pointing to the fact there is no paragraphs in the post?

So I gather Peter Jacksons' movies are now boycotted then?

10th February 2008 12:01  #4

Intergalactic Ponce Member Join Date: April 2005 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 1,149
Did I miss a meeting over the past week? What's Peter Jackson don now?

And who's to say Alien and Blade Runner weren't intended to look as they do now. Film stock technology back in '78 and '81 might have been the prohibiting factor in the films not being as dark as the director intended back then.

Yes I agre that Star Wars is now a lot darker than back on its first release but directors don't stand still for 30 years. They get older and their stylistic choices move with the times so it's inevitable that the colour timings change accordingly.

It seems that as most good film makers progress, some cinema goers stay rooted in the 70's.

And I say this as someone of an age that saw these films in the 70's.

11th February 2008 15:44  #5

Cervantes Member Join Date: November 2006 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 172
When I mentioned Peter Jackson, I referred to his liking for 'Digital Grading' color-tweaking to his finished footage.  He did this with ALL his Lord of the Rings films, and with King Kong too.  It is not his fault that after the success of his original Fellowship of the Rings, it seems that certain other Director's have chosen to follow his 'stylised look', including Ridley Scott...  

Now as we hadn't seen any previous 'un-graded' versions of the Lord of the Rings or King Kong, they are fine, although having seen snippets of original, richer-looking 'un-graded' footage of these, I have to admit that I wish he HADN'T, as I think it looked far better without the tampering.  Only my own opinion, but a thing I wanted to bring up, as I think this development has changed the likes of Alien's Director' Cut and Blade Runner's Final Cut for the darker worst.

At the end of the day it's up to various Director's discretion whether they change the actual 'look' of their films, rather than just changing content, and I'm just curious if others really like this darker changed look from what seemed previously to be wonderfully vibrant color cinematography on Alien, Blade Runner, and Star Wars:A New Hope.      

11th February 2008 19:01  #6

Intergalactic Ponce Member Join Date: April 2005 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 1,149
I don't believe Jackson was the first to use digital grading. It's just that he's quite high profile and the process was well documented in interviews/print/internet and on the DVD's.

Digital grading has come into being over the last 10 years or so and its just another tool used by directors. It means that they can (at the shooting stage) shoot a fairly clean and neutral look, secure in the knowledge that they've not been backed into an artistic corner had they over stylised the photography from the beginning. Peter Jackson probably had a look and tone in his mind when shooting but once he had the footage edited, perhaps he felt a darker tone was called for. He could have gone the other way of course but shooting in a brighter, cleaner 'richer' way, he had the flexibility to go either way with it rather than shoot dark to begin with and have no margin to go darker if he needed to.

I personally would expect all ugraded footage to look brighter and more colourful. Colour correction has gone on since cinema began it's just that the level of control over the entire image has advanced. I wouldn't loose sleep over what your missing out on by not seeing an ungraded LOTR.

12th February 2008 14:13  #7

Cervantes Member Join Date: November 2006 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 172
IP - Just to clarify, it is not just the overall 'darkness' of the print now, but the strangely 'skewed' coloration of some scenes now resulting in LESS detail being actually seen, that puts me off Ridley's color-timing changes to Blade Runner:Final Cut.  

At the end of the day, I have the other versions now which I find a lot better on the eye to watch, and which I personally think look far more 'realistic' where their 'lighting'/'cinematography' is concerned.  

Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings and King Kong, with their 'digitally graded' look, still look great at the end of the day, and apart from un-graded snippets on the likes of the trailers, that is the way they were ORIGINALLY put out on release.  Alien and Blade Runner (and Star Wars:A New Hope George...) however, were initially put out in 'bright' un-graded footage, which unfortunately gave me something to compare the 'graded' versions against.  And I just happen to dislike the 'digitally graded' versions of those...  I'm sure Ridley (nor George) won't lose any sleep over my opinion on this, but I hope this doesn't become a standard pracise with a lot of Directors.  

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