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Discussion in 'Classic' started by cultfilmfan, Aug 9, 2004.
:lol: :lol: :lol:
Oh Ryan, you're the cheezist! :banana: :banana: :banana:
There is a great technical analysis of both the Criterion and Off-color films version of Carnival of Souls at:
Definitely worth reading.
Thanks! That was an interesting and useful comparison.
One way of making money on a public domain film is to alter it by 20% and then obtain a new copyright on that version. That's why PD
titles like "Carnival of Souls" and "Night of the Living Dead" were colorized. The new versions in color have protection.
Of course by adding tints you change the contrast ratio in B&W
so just turning off the color does not generate the original look on your monitor. You could also argue that video is unable to generate the full tonal range of a 35mm release print but that starts another arguement of viewing a release copy as opposed to watching it on
television and which is the definitive experience.
It would appear that most "Carnival of Souls" masters were derived from the 35mm fine grain master which Harvey supplied Criterion way
back when. The original negative is deposited at the George Eastman House archive (I arranged the transaction for the director).
There is other pre-print on the film floating around from it's syndication days and Herz Lion.
Dude, colorization sucks, period. Ever heard of film noir? Would you colorize Touch of Evil? Wait, don't answer that... please.
Just wait for the audio track to show up online somewhere and grab it. Then play the Criterion video with the Nelson audio.
And no, I do not condone online theft, but colorization drives a man to extremes. :nervous:
Definitely a great link. Shows us what we had already expected...the colorized version is HORRIBLE!
There seems to be confusion over what was released on "Carnival of Souls". Since I inspected all of the surviving materials years ago,
here's the score...
The original negative ran 83 minutes. A 35mm fine grain master was made of that version for protection. Release prints were made for
theatrical release at the 83 minute version directly off the camera negative. Then Herz-Lion decided
to re-cut the film to shorten it for both theatrical and syndication.
They cut the camera negative to 78 minute but left the fine grain
master intact. They made additional theatrical release prints of that version off the shortened camera negative. Herz-Lion then made
an uncut 16mm dupe negative derived from the 35mm fine grain master. 16mm
syndication prints were made of the complete version but were cut on a station by station basis to put in commercials or put it into a specific time slot.
Circa 1991, I duped off the missing scenes from the fine grain master and cut them back into the camera negative. 10 new prints were made of the restored version and released by Panorama for theatrical re-issue. I had the restored negative deposited at the George Eastman House archive under Herk Harvey's name so it's
preserved for the long run although access to it is rather complicated.
I'm not sure what his estate is doing regarding it since Herk died in the late nineties.
In short, there were two versions released theatrically, the uncut version and the short version. Both versions were struck right off the camera negative which was in remarkabley good shape considering.
One of the problems
with the film was the foleys (sound effects like footsteps) which were poorly done. I asked Herk if he wanted to remix the film and correct them but he said leave it as is since the cult following is based on it
as it exists now. I wish he would've let me fix the sound mix which is the weak element in the film. Otherwise, it's a great classic and is one of the few American films to have a German expresionist atmosphere.
One other issue should be addressed regarding colorization matching what was on set. If a motion picture is filmed in B&W, the actual color of objects on the set are not coordinated to look if photographed on color stock. They are coordinated to give a good gray scale in B&W. For example, the cinematographer may include
purple, green and red objects to give a nice tonal range in B&W. If you shot them in color or colorized them as they were on set, they would look awful. If one is going to colorizing a motion picture, then the colors should be coordinated as they were in pre-1960 Technicolor films by color designers like Richard Mueller ("Vertigo") or Natalie Kalmus etc.
That's very interesting about the selection of objects in regard to gray scale, Richard, I never thought about that. It sounds like you've had a lot to do with the film, both in the presentation and promotion of it - thanks for your input!
And welcome to the forum!
The Nelson love is strong, so I'd really like to hear that sucker. I won't be buying it though. :lol:
I can't agree with you Luna, Carnival of Souls, the idea that a mockery would be made of it just seems absolutely appalling...
That pales in comparison to the idea of colorizing the damn thing. One of the best examples of what can be don with a black & white movie out there... You colorize it, you might as well use the celluloid as toilet paper. "Horrify film purists", you shouldn't even be in the business.
Colorizing NOTLD, it has been done before, and there's a fuzzy logic compared to this travesty.
Ten foot pole wouldn't be long enough.
I'm sticking with my Criterion version.
I bought this a few days ago and just recieved it in the mail. Like others have said, it is the Mike Nelson commentary that made me want to see it and it was the special Mike Nelson autograph edition that Off Color Films was selling that made me buy it. I am too big a MST3K fan to pass up an autographed copy of this. I'm sure the color sucks, but I couldn't care less. For $13 it was well worth the price to me since I was going to rent it anyway.
Guys you do realize that the black and white version is on the disc too. I bought the Reefer Madness disc and found it to be quite enjoyable. The color was supposed to look cartoony and even though I am against colorization it works here.Don't fret each version has the back and white film on the disc.
Is it an easter egg or aomething? Is it easily accessible?
I've never seen this movie and really want to. I definitely don't care to see it in color (especially not my first viewing) and that is why I wasn't going to purchase this. I'd like to obtain the Criterion, but money is running thin for me and those damn things are so expensive (especially when OOP).
Try Ebay i have bought over ten Criterion's off of there all for between $17 -$23 US.
Also try your library. If they don't have it, put in a request that they get it. Do that for any movie you want to see but don't want to buy. Take them a list... you never know.
Also, you could check around at yuor video rental stores (they still have those, don't they? ). Oh yeah, and Netflix, etc. etc. etc.
I'd have to see a comparison between the two Souls transfers before I even cared. Still, I would rather buy the Criterion. Who do you think I'd rather support? A company that promotes film alteration, or one that promotes film restoration?
The company claims they also restore the black and white print as well. I don't know or care what the black and white print is like on this disk since I own other copies of Carnival of Souls. I bought the movie for one reason alone and that is the Mike Nelson commentary. While some people say it is terrible to mock a movie like Carnival of Souls, I found the commentary to be Mike Nelson's best out of the three he has done. I hope for more Mike Nelson and other MST3K members commentaries in the future.