Monday, October 11, 2010

Alien 2 On Earth First Details


When we began this venture, there were certain fundamental principles that we realized were vital in ensuring every aspect of each release would be completed correctly. One example is that I needed to go to Rome and supervise the transfer and restoration of Alien 2. As mentioned in the mission statement, this is a policy we will employ throughout every title in order to maintain the self-imposed standards we believe necessary in order to exceed expectations.

The work was completed at Cinecitta, and simply put, the film looks gorgeous. It is finally, correctly framed at 1.85:1 (contrary to many who believed this was shot in scope), with more picture on all four sides when compared to the previous reference standard, the Japanese Pre-Record. As it turns out, there was actually more footage contained in the negative than anyone has ever seen, including the much fabled Dutch Pre-Record, which we can confirm now, is nothing more than a myth, as ALL versions came from the exact same digibeta which was reviewed and on hand when in Rome.


As far as the differences go, the biggest find here was that all iterations of the opening credits we have seen are incorrect. The film no longer begins with the standard credits over a black background, but with the stock footage which followed. Once the credits do finally appear, just before the three minute mark, they come over new stock footage and completely unseen sections of the film. The end credits differ as well, but are less drastic. With both of these instances in mind, we opted to keep both sets in their respective Italian text, as recreating them would have us altering the original font used.

Another interesting anomaly came from the day for night shots at the very end. The digibeta displayed the same post work we have all seen, but the negative did not, they were simply daytime shots without the overbearing color grading. We choose to remain true to the negative, the true reference point, so essentially what you are viewing is very different from anything previously released. All in all, there are over 23 other scene extensions, not mentioned, contained in the new HD master not seen before. This is truly the longest version of Alien 2 clocking in at exactly 84.25

Stay tuned in the next few days for a complete breakdown of the audio and video restoration performed, and the BD specs we've chosen in order to present the definitive release of Alien 2.

10 comments:

  1. A rare horror classic, finally with a worthy release. Let's hope The Atlantis Interceptors (Raiders of Atlantis) will also finally be released this way.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Can't wait to buy this, but a word of caution about the day-for-night tinting; the negative might not be the greatest reference for that sort of thing, the reason being that day for night tint effects are not always done in camera but are accomplished through color timing and printing in the lab. Just because the tint isn't in the negative doesn't necessarily mean it shouldn't be there. If the interpositive or internegative is available for examination that might be a good source to check.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Actually, all the "untreated" footage was on reel 5 of the negative. This included all blank slates for credits and other post effects added. Oddly though, the "day for night" sections at the end were not there at all. It would have been silly and almost impossible to recreate this accurately in post, and if you saw the digibeta, there were other "oddities" that didn't match up. There were so may "issues" with the digi (framing, colors, edits) that using it as a reference was not a good option.

    I'm convinced that what we will release will be definitive, not only in length, but also in true representation. I truly appreciate your attention to detail and suggestion. I look forward to your continued input for each release we prep.

    ReplyDelete
  4. One more thing, Minerva had no materials to work with other than the negatives and digibeta. They didn't even have proper trailer materials, let alone an IP or even a film print. There was no other point to look at when making this decision. Also, this was impossible to recreate through color grading. We tried just to see and it was unwatchable. Once you see the additional footage and credit changes, the previous standards will be discarded.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dolph is correct, Minerva had absolutely no other materials to work with other than what we were supplied. I psychically saw both the negative and the digibeta projected side by side and it was a shocking difference between the two.

    The color grading on the digibeta at the end of the film is not actually traditional "day for night" but actually an orange/yellow tint that skewed the picture out of clarity, with an abnormally dark cast over the image. We asked the DP to make sure of this footage and he suggested we follow the negative, and like Dolph said, use it as the true reference point from the material we had to work with. We had no other choice.

    This is the definitive and proper release of the film.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have posted a link to this web page on my Blu Review Obscura site.

    We concentrate on Obscure movie releases on the Blu-ray format, so this title fits in perfectly.

    Best of luck with this and all future releases.

    Sam

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you for the support and kind words Sam.
    It's very much appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Awesome news! Thanks for posting the production details and updates. Can't wait for this and any future Blu releases you have planned...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for all your contibutions Gary. Given the feedback, I will be posting all future restoration details of all titles, and as mentioned previously, just wait until we can formally announce the next batch of titles.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am really looking forward to this release! Could you list any of those 23 scene extensions please?

    ReplyDelete