Sat Jan 27 20:02:08 EST 2001
In a message dated 1/27/01 4:47:34 PM, amnornes at umich.edu writes:
> I remember seeing credits of Imagica and Sony PCL in films from
> Taiwan and HK for instance, that has led me to think that film processing
> and developing in Japan is trustworthy.
Junko raises a good question, to which I'll add an anecdote. The first time
I saw Brighter Summer Day was at the Japanese lab where post production was
being done. I asked Edward Yang, the director, why he was doing this in
Tokyo. I had assumed it was because so much of the budget was coming from
there; he told me that it was because they had the best labs in Asia.
There's not much I can say outside of personal experience. There's no
quantitative analysis to provide. I have found the prints I have gotten from
Japan to be of lesser quality, especially in the color balance, than the work
I get done here. My timers and film-to-tape engineers have agreed about films
from Japan. The one example where I could make my own negative and compare
the two examples of labwork with Hana-Bi, the results were vastly different.
As I have stated, that might partly be due to Milestone's use of archival
labs and pay outside experts (archivists in some cases) to help time our
prints. For example, by using Cinema Arts in Pennsylvania, you get a much,
much better print than at DuArt in New York.
I haven't worked with Chinese films and our only Korean film, Why Has
Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East was printed in Europe. It could very well be
that Japanese labs are the best in Asia. And what I'm looking for is
certainly different and far more critical than what most people look for
while viewing a film. The first time, I'm there to watch it. The second to
next twenty times, is to proof the prints and video masters. That's my job.
And some directors and cinematographers (and editors) know exactly what they
want from the lab and are brilliant at the timing. Others allow the lab to
choose the timings for them or make their own mistakes. It runs the gamut.
The timing of the Eureka prints were excellent on the most part, but I didn't
really take notes (I don't want to when I first see a film) on the lab dirt
and chemical stains that might exist on a print. And of course, the color
balance really didn't enter into it.
Milestone Film & Video
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