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Old 08-04-2006, 11:07   #1
John Hodson
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Apocalypse Now; The Complete Dossier coming; NO Hearts of Darkness?

There have been heavy hints, nice to have it confirmed. From www.videostoremag.com, via the HTF:

The role of the DVD producer has become increasingly integral in creating a bridge between the director and the fan. It stands to become even more important with the bulging capacity for extras high-def discs will offer.

For DVD producer Kim Aubry, that director is Francis Ford Coppola.

Aubry was the DVD producer for Coppola DVDs The Godfather DVD Collection, Apocalypse Now Redux, Rumble Fish, One From the Heart, The Conversation, Tucker: The Man and His Dream and The Outsiders: The Complete Novel, to name a few.

Aubry first met the director when he signed on to do sound work for Gardens of Stone in the late 1980s. He had been working in sound mixing and radio in San Francisco, the home of Coppola’s American Zoetrope production company.

The two started talking. Coppola was interested in Aubry’s radio background, and Aubry’s been working for him ever since.

“Even then, [Coppola] had a lot of questions about high-definition and where it was going,” Aubry said. “We seemed to just hit it off talking about technology and the use of it in filmmaking.”

Last year, Aubry took the DVD-production arm of Coppola’s American Zoetrope and turned it into the pure-play DVD production company ZAP Zoetrope Aubry Productions. There he works on film and soundtrack restoration, artistic design and bonus content productions.

For the past 15 months, Aubry and his team have been working on the upcoming special edition DVD release — Apocalypse Now: The Complete Dossier, a sort of “kitchen sink” version of an Apocalypse Now DVD.

It will include both the original and Redux versions of the film, as well as a wealth of new documentaries that dive deep into the editing, the sound, the music and other aspects of the film’s production.

Aubry is filming some of the bonus features in high-def, for this and for another project, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which will also include a special “art student” viewing option.

“Whenever moments in the film appear that have interesting references to art, a button will appear,” he said. “They can select it, and the film will stop, and they’ll see the storyboard or the painting the setting is based on.”


The impending world of high-def signals an exciting future, Aubry said, even just from a quality standpoint.

“To get a movie to show on a standard-definition TV, even on a good system and a great monitor, still means we are throwing away more than half the data, half the detail information,” he said.

It’s early and expensive to be working in high-def, Aubry said. It can cost anywhere from 35% to 60% more, and the budgets for extras have not increased that much.

“But we’re doing it because we want to learn how to do it,” he said. “We’re kind of seeding the market — using HD transfers of the film to make the bonuses, shooting in HD. The bump up in quality is noticeable.”

There’s a chance that high-definition discs will one day mirror or even be better than the theatrical viewing experience, especially for people in smaller communities where there are often less sophisticated movie theaters, Aubry said.

Of course, as a DVD producer, his mind goes to the possibilities for extra features.

“The possibilities of a 25GB or 30GB easy-to-manufacture disc is very interesting because we can have the film presented beautifully, and we can annotate interestingly,” he said.

A lot will depend, as it does now, on the enthusiasm of the distributor to budget special features, and exactly what is available.

Luckily for Aubry, Coppola is a pack-rat of the highest order, which generates plenty of content and ideas for DVD extras. A few years ago, Zoetrope hired a full-time archivist to manage the director’s vast storage of memorabilia, notes and film.

Of course, that wasn’t the case when Aubry was putting together The Godfather Collection for DVD; there was a lot of digging done to come up with vintage extras for that set.

His favorite item on the Godfather set was a dusty, old, torn-up audio-tape he found while rifling through Coppola’s stash. He carefully restored the delicate tape and discovered a session Coppola had recorded in Italy, where he had flown to discuss The Godfather’s now iconic score with composer Nino Rota.

Studios and directors have improved in preserving and chronicling films, even as consumers are increasingly more used to having these well-produced, bonus-laden discs on their shelves.

“If home video was still exclusively a rental business, obviously these enhancements would be less valuable, but now that things are priced to sell, it’s a competitive market,” he said. “You have to look for reasons why people really want to keep it on the shelf.”
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Old 08-04-2006, 14:51   #2
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'Bout. Freakin'. Time. No mention of Heart of Darkness though. Y'know, sometime Coppola is going to have to just admit he was a complete [insert own insult here] on the film and get over how bad he may look on the docu.
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Old 08-04-2006, 15:40   #3
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No doubt Coppola will once again prevent us from seeing the film(s) in 2.35:1 O.A.R.
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Old 08-04-2006, 17:42   #4
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That's Storaro's fault, and an anachronistic one.
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Old 08-04-2006, 19:06   #5
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With everything that [basically] everybody knows about this film, it's only going to be worth it with a huge retrospective documentary or, of course, Hearts of Darkness. I wish Criterion were doing it, they'd probably bundle 'Notes' in with it too.
I saw comparisons between the OAR and the new ratio and, hate to be a hypocrite [and a bad speller to boot] but it didn't seem like that much of a big deal to these short-sighted eyes!
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Old 08-04-2006, 19:34   #6
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wish it was the 5hr workprint version they brought out...now that would I would kill to see!!..
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Old 08-04-2006, 19:40   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earl_roberts2002
I saw comparisons between the OAR and the new ratio and, hate to be a hypocrite [and a bad speller to boot] but it didn't seem like that much of a big deal to these short-sighted eyes!
The altered framing is not the end of the world, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to see this movie in the aspect ratio that it was theatrically represented with. If it's not restored (or not even considered) for this "Complete Dossier" edition I'll be mightily annoyed. Still, I'm glad to know it's coming and even if the aspect ratio is not changed (more than likely ) I'll still buy it.
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Old 08-04-2006, 19:47   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ace frehley
wish it was the 5hr workprint version they brought out...now that would I would kill to see!!..
All filler, no killer. Redux hamstrings the pacing enough, imo.
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Old 08-04-2006, 20:50   #9
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just want to see the workprint cos the footage is out there, sure they could fit it on a blu-ray disc at 30gig or whatever it is as well as the full movie..at the end of the day it's a film from 79 and the general public who like it have a dvd version already...it's the forum fans like us who are nailed on to buy again want to see it in proper aspect ratio with great extras...for me = some workprint stuff
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Old 09-04-2006, 00:04   #10
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Nice find, it's taken it's time. This comes a nice second to a Blade Runner: SE.

If it contains both cuts it will have to be 3 discs unless they use seamless branching. It's a Universal title right? Have they ever used seamless branching?

I paid about £25 for my French Apocalypse Now Redux 2 Disc SE but as it's not a proper SE I'll upgrade for sure no question.

I'll definitely upgrade to a Dracula: SE too that film is underrated.

Pity there are no actual dates and no doubt it will still be cropped :evil: Why anyone thinks Apocalypse Now is better in 2.00:1 for the home market I'll never understand.

He's not cropped any of his other films, it looked so good in 2.35:1 in the cinema.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anephric
That's Storaro's fault, and an anachronistic one.
Who's he and why?

Last edited by bradavon; 09-04-2006 at 00:05.
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Old 09-04-2006, 00:31   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradavon


Who's he and why?
Apparently, he's the guy who held the camera (or at least said who should hold the camera and where he might want to point it).

Rumour has it he also did a little work for the Italian director of Last Tango in Paris.
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Old 09-04-2006, 00:35   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bosque
Apparently, he's the guy who held the camera (or at least said who should hold the camera and where he might want to point it).

Rumour has it he also did a little work for the Italian director of Last Tango in Paris.
Nice sass!
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Old 09-04-2006, 07:57   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradavon
It's a Universal title right?
Not in the US, will prolly be released by Paramount like the previous releases.

Quote:
Who's he and why?
Honestly Brad, do you ever do any research on your own? A simple IMDB search would've brought it up instantly. As the smartarse above was trying to say, he was the film's cinematographer.

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Old 09-04-2006, 09:14   #14
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http://www.zoetrope.com/zoe_films.cg...one&film_id=13

Question: Why is the aspect ratio of the Apocalypse Now Redux DVD not the 2.35:1 ratio of the cinematic release?

Answer:
(by Kim Aubry, Producer of Apocalypse Now Redux)

In fact, the transfer of Apocalypse Now Redux (from film elements to High Definition digital videotape) was made with an aspect ratio of 2.0:1. This is consistent with the 1998 transfer of the original film Apocalypse Now done for DVD.

The aspect ratio 2.0:1 was chosen by the cinematographer, Vittorio Storaro, who supervised every aspect of this film transfer. Storaro believes that for the purpose of TV transfer, it is better to crop (slightly) the extreme left/right edges of the originally photographed frame and allow for a taller picture on both conventional and 16:9 TV monitors, because the video presentation will have more vertical resolution and detail and will be more impactful.

An orthodox 2.35:1 or 2.4:1 transfer would in some ways be a more accurate reflection of the framing seen in most cinemas, but the picture would be using only approximately 50% of the available scanning lines of the NTSC and PAL systems and hence have very limited vertical resolution. Storaro believes that since he himself composed these shots when the film was made and since he carefully made fine adjustments to the framing as needed in the transfer, the 2.0:1 transfer is the best possible compromise in adapting the very wide film picture to the very "square" TV.

Mr Coppola and I agree with Storaro's views and accepted his decision.

You are right to wonder about the discrepancy between the theatrical trailer and the feature itself. But the feature is not 1.85:1, it is 2.0:1. The transfer of the trailer was not supervised by Storaro, and was done using the conventional theatrical aspect of 2.35:1. It doesn't bother us, as this is considered a DVD "extra."
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Old 09-04-2006, 14:13   #15
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Thanks Frank.

I don't fully understand all of the reasons why. All I know is it looks very cropped in 2.0:1 compared with how it could look in 2.35:1.

Aren't they talking about 4:3 TV when they say square? With the popularity of 16:9 WS TVs surely this point is no longer the case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvaUnit02
Not in the US, will prolly be released by Paramount like the previous releases.
I'm already worried Paramount aren't exactly known for their stella Special Editions.

Looking at my DVDs, in the UK at least it's Pathe for the Theatrical Cut and I'm sure Universal for the Redux. I think my French Redux SE is Pathe too.

Quote:
An orthodox 2.35:1 or 2.4:1 transfer would in some ways be a more accurate reflection of the framing seen in most cinemas, but the picture would be using only approximately 50% of the available scanning lines of the NTSC and PAL systems and hence have very limited vertical resolution.
Could someone better explain what this means? As I find it hard to believe a 2.35:1 AR would only use 50% of the available scanning lines???

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Old 09-04-2006, 16:00   #16
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Well, if you subtract the letterboxing, the image is only using about half the screen for picture information...
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Old 09-04-2006, 16:15   #17
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Yes of course thanks. It's clear he's talking about 4:3 sets but this isn't an issue with an anamorphic picture on a WS set so really there's no need to crop

It seems to me he's talking about the American market where large 4:3 sets are much more common and the rest of us have to suffer.
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Old 09-04-2006, 16:18   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradavon
I'm already worried Paramount aren't exactly known for their stella Special Editions.

Looking at my DVDs, in the UK at least it's Pathe for the Theatrical Cut and I'm sure Universal for the Redux. I think my French Redux SE is Pathe too.
I think the UK Redux was a Buena Vista release for Miramax.
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Old 09-04-2006, 16:19   #19
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Apparently Storaro's original decision to crop at 2.0:1 was due to his perception of the lack of resolution of VHS/LD (hence he thought that fine detail would be eliminated at 2.35:1) so, when I said "anachronistic", such a thing shouldn't matter now in the era of DVD...
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Old 09-04-2006, 16:20   #20
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Exactly, all the reasons behind the cropping are now so out of date. I suspect it will still be cropped though
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