beamish14 wrote: ↑
Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:11 pm
It truly infuriates me that films from the 1990's (and even as recently as the 2000's in the case of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
and possibly All the Pretty Horses
) have unrecoverable original edits and that there is so little investment from studios to restore them. WB can piss away $100+ million USD on Justice League
but can't toss in a red cent for films they tried their hardest to destroy like Being Human
and Mike's Murder
Two that really stick out for me is Demme's cut for Swing Shift
(where even if the original elements of the lost/cut footage has survived, Hawn could legally block any attempt to restore his cut) and Lonergan's Margaret
(where Cleveland Cavs owner Gary Gilbert is basically the douchebag that's in the way of a decent restoration). At least the cuts survive in some form, but it's especially frustrating with the latter because the film elements are definitely there.
The problem with "newer" films is that they no longer have to strike anything as good as a 35mm print. I think that's how some of these older cuts survive - you have a physical, high quality element that's produced, and if it manages to "escape" or if the studio holds on to it and protects it, it can become a more-than-decent source for a restoration even if the camera negative is lost. With the digital era, the tools should
make it easier to preserve a high quality version of anyone's preferred cut - an editor somewhere could output as many high quality movie files as they want from their computer and have those survive on a drive somewhere - but the same tools also make it very easy for those things not
to exist. Someone gives the command, and the editor just deletes that shit with a few clicks of a mouse. Probably the only thing that might exist is the project file, which to be fair is a lot better than nothing, but then you'd have to reconnect all the source material (probably with the same exact file structure as before) to whichever computer is opening that file, and who knows if you'd have that. With something a little bit older like Margaret
, I think the director's cuts are probably sourced from screener files - that is, when it came time to view the cut, they compressed the shit out of it and exported some DVD files. Even before that, it may have been a crappy VHS tape. Now that streaming is common, I'm sure whatever they create for viewing has much higher quality, but there's probably a security protocol so that whatever digital file they'd need to create isn't easily copied or leaked.