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Episode 1 & 2 were shot digitally, but Finding Nemo was ALL DIGITAL, how come finding nemo is, for lack of a better word, perfect (some fifth element in there :-)To me, episode 1 and 2 looks sub-par in my opinion compared to other DVDs i've seen that were shot in film.

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David Tattersal shot both Phantom Menace and Clone Wars. I gave some friends at Panavision a call and they say Phantom Menace was shot 35mm (don't remember if it was anamorphic original or Super 35), and 98% of original photography for Clone Wars was shot with Sony 900/Panavision 1080i/24P cameras.

The general concensus within the MP industry was that the CGI technology was not quite there yet for Phantom Menace, and the entire picture had to be "equalized" a bit to allow the two types of images to work together. Clone Wars shows improvement because CGI technology had advanced, and the original photography was already digital.

One shortcoming of the Sony 900 variants is that the image chip size is a bit small for going to the big screen. Sony and Panavision have developed a new camera, the Genesis, that will have a super 35mm-size imaging chip of 1.33 AR. This will permit a ton of improvements in photography going to the big screen. This new chip size will permit us of all the 35mm lenses, the Primo line the most likely to be used.

Unfortunately, it was not ready for Episode III. I doubt we will be disappointed with the images.

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damn Joe, way to pull out the specifics and lay the smack down. :-) I see what you're trying to say, but if they can remaster a cruddy 70s film to look better on a new digital medium, can't they do something to top notch productin films like episode I & II to make them look good on the DVD medium? There should be no excuse for 4,5 and 6 to look better than I and II.

It just struck me because i only recently got my new TV and DVD player, and finding Nemo was one of the first discs i stuck in. Big mistake, because now there's nothing even close to comparison. I figured the next best discs would be episode 1 and 2, but i've seen so many other DVDs i have that are far superior.

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Well, I'll give a shot at trying to explain why. Here's the sequel.1.gif

In Episode I and II there are mixed mediums which don't match in quality. They are destined to have two versions for release; 35mm anamorphic, and digital cinema...very different destinations. There were compromises made to make those two films reach their objectives and destinations. The technology may now exist to make a HD/DVD version of I and II that is superior to the original, but there is no financial motivation to do so.

Episodes 4, 5, and 6 (presumably...haven't seen 6 yet), have a significant capability to look as good or better that 1 or 2. All of those pictures were shot 35mm anamorphic.* Model work was also shot on film. By Empire, background plates and models were being shot on VistaVision** cameras that ILM bought and modified to give them the higher resolution that would be needed to make up for the PQ loss experienced in optical compositing (the "high technlogy" of the time). These films had a number of visible artifacts induced by the optical compositing, but the films originated on the same medium, and the quality of the original cinematography was pristine. The resolution of these films did not deteriorate. Color and contrast start to go bad in a big way with time, but the resolution remains. Modern digital technology can overcome color and contrast issues. Other repairs (removing scratches, dirt hits, etc) and new elements were added. Since the final destination is HD (with a DVD version for us), the work could be optimized for that. I suspect this is demonstrated in detail in the additional material in the DVD release? Haven't checked yet.

* SW and Empire were shot with Panavision equipment, while Jedi was shot with Arriflex BL cameras and (and in my opinion, inferior) anamorphic lenses that Lucasfilm bought. Some closeup shots in the cinema version of Jedi gave the actors just a hint of what used to be called the "'scope mumps," making actors' faces look a little plump. Panavision anamorphics came to prominence in the early sixties because they developed a proprietary way to eliminate the 'scope mumps, making the others (Fox's Cinemascope and others) obsolete.

**VistaVision was the widescreen format developed by Paramount in the fifties to compete with Cinemascope and TV. It uses 35mm film running horizontally through the camera aperture gate (like IMAX does. IMAX is like VistaVision only with 65mm negative), rather than the conventional vertical travel. This permited a wide screen format that was optically spherical rather than anamorphic. It didn't last long. ILM found them, bought them up and modified them for their needs. On the '96 feature, Twister, we used the first and only handheld ILM VistaVision camera. It was the first time hand held had ever been permitted with action that would be composited. Director Jan DeBont did all the shots with that camera himself.


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although i didn't understand a lot of that, i think i follow the main point.

Correct me if i'm wrong, the originals were shot with awesome high resolution cameras so they still look amazing when tweaked today. The new ones had to be deteriorated to match the limited ability of CG that was added to it?

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Very good. I wish I could summarize as concisely as you.9.gif

"...the originals were shot with awesome high resolution cameras" Yes, but they were just top notch film cameras and great lenses. Same technology as today's cameras, although lens technology has improved some. The same Panavision anamorphic lenses are still around and popular because they are smaller than the better new ones. This is advantagous with Steadicam and hand-held work. The Primo lenses are VERY big and heavy.

A hybrid marriage of film and digital exists now with movies being shot on film. The negative is digitized to files that permits manipulation, embellishment, and scene-to-scene consistency that is not possible with film optics and lab chemistry. Think of O,Brother, Where Art Thou, Seabiscuit, Open Range, etc. The files can then be scanned back to film frame by frame. Very expensive.


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