Re: Heaven and Earth Magic

From: Lundgren (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Aug 27 2006 - 02:46:13 PDT

"As soon
as we can feasibly produce and distribute Blu-Ray
discs we will start converting our complete VHS
 line to disc."

any timeframe for this?

Björn Lundgren

----- Original Message -----
From: "Pip Chodorov" <email suppressed>
To: <email suppressed>
Sent: Saturday, August 26, 2006 12:45 PM
Subject: Re: Heaven and Earth Magic

> Thanks for your interest. Re:Voir is planning a Blu-Ray release as soon as
> we can make a new HD master. Alternate soundtracks are a great idea, but
> already, even on VHS, the viewer is free to put on any music! Since
> Blu-Ray players are java compatible, we could have the disc bring up
> random radio stations, or we could provide a certain number of random
> alternate tracks that could be periodically updated online, so the films
> would always be shown with different tracks from the Harry Smith archive,
> or other archives. It would be great to release more Smith films, but it
> will take some time, and money.
> As to DVD, we are limited by the technology. We cannot release Harry Smith
> on DVD because the mpeg compression will eradicate most of what's
> interesting and beautiful - essential in fact - to Harry Smith's project.
> DVDs have a limited throughput of 9.8 megabits per second, and that's not
> enough for full frame video when the image is radical, hand-painted
> animation. It's like too much water through a too narrow pipe.
> * (see below if you are interested in a more technical explanation)
> We have successfully avoided DVD for the past 8 years. Now we are having
> trouble avoiding, but we are only planning to release on DVD films
> composed of natural and predictable movements: the Zanzibar films, David
> Perlov's Diary, Steve Dwoskin's Dyn Amo, Adolfas Mekas's Hallelujah the
> Hills, Isidore Isou's Traité de Bave et d'éternité, portraits of
> filmmakers... As soon as we can feasibly produce and distribute Blu-Ray
> discs we will start converting our complete VHS line to disc.
> In the meantime we are releasing new PAL VHS tapes: Robert Breer's
> compilation "Un Miracle +" and Christopher Maclaine's "Beat Films" just
> came out; within the next week we will release Jim Davis's "Horizons of
> Light" packaged with a new book by Robert Haller including Davis'
> correspondance; and a portrait of Rose Lowder with some of her new
> Bouquets écologiques. VHS isn't the greatest format, details are of course
> missing, but at least you can see every frame of the film at full
> resolution. Rose Lowder on DVD is a catastrophe!
> -Pip Chodorov
> *technical explanation
> DVD compression was designed, when it was invented, to reproduce natural
> and predictable motion. MPEG is based on a GOP, or group of pictures. A
> GOP of 12 for example, means one i-frame from the source material,
> followed by 11 p- or b- frames, which are predictable or bi-directional.
> Pixels that move smoothly from frame to frame are not recorded on the disc
> but predicted. Backgrounds that remain still for many frames do not have
> to be repeated. Only new information is encoded on the disc. In the case
> of Harry Smith, the frames are not predictable at all. Everything moves!
> His films require encoding at a GOP of 1, which means virtually no
> compression. Too much water through a too narrow pipe. The end result is a
> picture with not enough information. The color palette is flattened,
> subtle colors gradations are missing; details and textures are missing;
> contrast is exaggerated, details in the lights and darks are missing.
> Grain is gone, replaced by macroblocks and compression artefacts. Blu-Ray
> on the other hand allows throughputs five times higher - up to 45 Megabits
> per second. HD also requires five times more information, so these
> problems will persist, but on a much smaller scale. It will not be perfect
> but will hopefully be acceptable, given the tests we have seen.
>>many thanks for the clarification, Pip.
>>Are you considering a DVD release for Smith's work? And would you include
>>alternate soundtracks as special features??
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.