Hidden trailers

Today I gathered some information from the Blu-ray of Michael Jackson’s This Is It, which I’ll be reviewing in the next few days. I use BDInfo to drill down into the tech details, and go through every menu link on the disc in a player, relating what BDInfo tells me to each item I find and recording it in my database.

But sometimes, like a re-assembled clock, there are bits left over. BDInfo suggested that there were four substantial elements not accessible via any menu on the disc in normal playback, at least as far as I could find. It turned out that they are movie trailers, which is odd. The disc does have an entry for trailers under its ‘Special Features’ menu, but shows only one (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs).

I dragged the files to the player on my computer one by one to see what they were. They turned out to be the trailers for Did You Hear About the Morgans?, The Men Who Stare at Goats, Planet 51 and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

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2 Responses to Hidden trailers

  1. Craig says:

    This is a great film/doco. I really liked it. Fantastic sound, and where it was filmed in HD video, it looked good, too.

    But one technical thing really bothers me about the use of SD footage in this film, and it isn’t because the SD footage is ‘postage stamped’. ie black border all the way around the frame.

    It’s the fact that, even though the SD footage is digital (ie DV or the like), the people responsible for transferring the footage in production have incorrectly opted to get this footage via the Composite Analog output of the DV machine or playback device. This introduces all sorts of nasties into the picture like cross colour (rainbow patterning), dot crawl from cross luminance, and a general softening of the picture. Sure this source footage is SD, but it’s so much worse now that it was transferred incorrectly, not kept digital all the way up to the film transfer master.

    Even though the footage was SD (DV?), it would have looked so much better had they kept it fully digital and not made the fatal mistake of using the Analog Composite path.

    Whilst the source footage is still fresh and accessible, they should really go back whilst there is time, and re-transfer all the wrong SD footage again as fully digital and insert it back into a fresh HD master.

    Then this will truly be the high quality production it deserves. Perhaps call it a Re-Mastered / Restored version?

    It just goes to show how even professionals can stuff up. I look forward to the future when Analog Composite outputs on devices will die, forcing people to use the one high quality output that they should have been using all along.


  2. Stephen Dawson says:

    I am so glad that I finally started using proper software for this Blog. Previously the exceptionally knowledgable people — especially Craig — probably wouldn’t have bothered to go to the trouble of emailing me this kind of thing, but the comments facility makes it easy to share.

    Thanks for that Craig. And I’m shocked that they should have used analogue at all, and especially composite.

    I’ll be interested to see how the cadence conversion went. The film is in 1080p24 (where 24 = 24/1.001). Converting from 480i60 (presumably) must have been interesting.

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