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Author Topic: The increasing significance of the 8mm full length 'Star Wars' feature prints
Adrian Winchester
Film God

Posts: 2941
From: Croydon, London, UK
Registered: Aug 2004


 - posted January 22, 2011 03:06 PM      Profile for Adrian Winchester   Email Adrian Winchester   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've had some interesting correspondence with Michael Kaminski who is responsible for a website that seeks to preserve the availability of the original 'Star Wars', despite George Lucas wishing to obliterate it: www.savestarwars.com

Michael is considering adding a page about Super 8 and 16mm prints. The Derann Super 8 scope feature, and low fade scope 16mm prints represent a significant way in which the original version has survived and can still be viewed in a way that does justice to the film. I asked Ged Jones at Derann about the quantity of features printed and he estimated a minimum of 250 and possibly considerably more. As these should still have excellent colour, Michael would be intersted in seeing screenshots, so if any owners of the feature would be willing to take and post some at some point, please do so. Perhaps Michael will include them on his site. I expect a scan of the box artwork would also be of interest. And it might encourage a few new people to become film collectors!

[ January 22, 2011, 07:28 PM: Message edited by: Adrian Winchester ]

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Adrian Winchester

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Mark Todd
Film God

Posts: 3846
From: UK
Registered: Aug 2003


 - posted January 22, 2011 03:27 PM      Profile for Mark Todd   Email Mark Todd   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I can see a few Star Wars " Nuts " buying prints just to worship them on a shelf ( or Alter ) as well.

Be great if they got a projector too and found this daft little hobby as I`m pretty sure it would hit their buttons !!!!

Best Mark.

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Joe McAllister
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 179
From: London England
Registered: May 2007


 - posted January 22, 2011 04:10 PM      Profile for Joe McAllister   Email Joe McAllister   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I remember reading somewhere that one of the early S8 digests had footage that had been excised from the theatrical release. From memory it was some scenes on Tatooine with Luke and a chum who reappears later in the film as one of the Rebel Pilots. The marvel comic adaptation had similar material.
So maybe there could be a S8 reconstruction of the original "original" version.

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Always interested in privately produced amateur and home movies.

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Pasquale DAlessio
Film God

Posts: 3523
From: Bristol,RI, USA
Registered: May 2010


 - posted January 22, 2011 05:22 PM      Profile for Pasquale DAlessio   Email Pasquale DAlessio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
OK here's my boxes for Star Wars and Empire. Both are 400' digests. I will try to post screen shots if I get a chance.

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Adrian Winchester
Film God

Posts: 2941
From: Croydon, London, UK
Registered: Aug 2004


 - posted January 22, 2011 07:24 PM      Profile for Adrian Winchester   Email Adrian Winchester   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Pasquale - thanks for your response, but I'm afraid it was the scope feature that I was requesting screen shots from, and a box label scan from. Michael was familiar with the edited versions but not the Derann feature. In this context, it's the feature that's of particular interest, because it's the original theatrical version that Lucas wants to 'bury'. The fact that it's on low fade stock also makes it more significant.

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Adrian Winchester

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Douglas Meltzer
Moderator

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From: New York, NY, USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted January 22, 2011 07:49 PM      Profile for Douglas Meltzer   Email Douglas Meltzer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Adrian,

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Strangely enough Derann used the artwork from Return of the Jedi for the first release.

Doug

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I think there's room for just one more film.....

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John Clancy
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1954
From: Cornwall
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted January 23, 2011 03:59 AM      Profile for John Clancy   Author's Homepage   Email John Clancy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just a shame the print quality ain't that great.

I have two prints but neither is as good as the review print Mr. Wilton purchased. Fortunately we're talking of including a clip at the 60th BFCC for the celebration of film compilation.

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British Film Collectors Convention home page www.bfcc.biz. The site is for the whole of the film collecting hobby and not just the BFCC.

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Tom Photiou
Film God

Posts: 4837
From: Plymouth U.K
Registered: Dec 2003


 - posted January 23, 2011 04:50 AM      Profile for Tom Photiou   Email Tom Photiou   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We are also lucky to have this film and as John said, unfortunatly the print quality isnt that grand, having said that it is a landmark film to own complete and in scope / stereo sound on 8mm in its original format, i find all the internal scenes a whole lot better than the outdoor scenes, some of the better quality parts being the attack on the Death Star.

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Gary Crawford
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 979
From: Manassas, VA. USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted January 24, 2011 08:18 AM      Profile for Gary Crawford   Email Gary Crawford   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The comments about the quality of the feature print really surprised me. My print is super sharp..with very true colors...no image movement...no jitter...and a re-recorded stereo track that is awesome. It's one of the best prints I've seen of any subject. Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade might beat it out, but not by much.

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Rob Young.
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1633
From: Cheshire, U.K.
Registered: Dec 2003


 - posted January 24, 2011 10:04 AM      Profile for Rob Young.     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Ran the first reel this afternoon...

THAT opening shot!

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Droids in peril!

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Boo! Hiss!

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"I don't know WHAT you're talking about!" Yeah, right [Wink]

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Look! Evenings on Tatooine used to look blue in 1977!

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Dreaming of the original version on Blu-ray!!!

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First run print bought back in 1989 at the BFCC...complete with belting stereo sound!

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Maurizio Di Cintio
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 977
From: Ortona, Italy
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted January 24, 2011 11:39 AM      Profile for Maurizio Di Cintio   Email Maurizio Di Cintio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What do you mean by saying Lucas is trying to obliterate it?

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Maurizio

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Adrian Winchester
Film God

Posts: 2941
From: Croydon, London, UK
Registered: Aug 2004


 - posted January 24, 2011 12:00 PM      Profile for Adrian Winchester   Email Adrian Winchester   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Rob - Great screenshots, many thanks!

Maurizio - Check out the website I provided a link for, plenty of evidence there.

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Adrian Winchester

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Larry Arpin
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 953
From: Sunland, CA, USA
Registered: Dec 2006


 - posted January 25, 2011 01:42 AM      Profile for Larry Arpin   Author's Homepage   Email Larry Arpin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Here's some screenshots:

http://petergaultney.smugmug.com/Movies/historic/Star-Wars-at-The-Senator/13089279_nXePV#948662138_wuqj9

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John Clancy
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1954
From: Cornwall
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted January 25, 2011 02:28 AM      Profile for John Clancy   Author's Homepage   Email John Clancy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Not great compared to other 'Scope releases Gary. You have to remember I've looked at them all and because Keith Wilton purchased the first review prints of the best items I've seen the best - and 'Star Wars' ain't one of them.

Having said that, I'm happy with my copies and have run them frequently. Neither are a patch on the first run review copy but they're acceptable but just a shame that being such an important film 'Star Wars' was not amongst the best prints.

I have a first run print of 'Last Crusade' and it is far better than Star Wars. It's a first run print and as we all know these tended to be better.

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British Film Collectors Convention home page www.bfcc.biz. The site is for the whole of the film collecting hobby and not just the BFCC.

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Lee Mannering
Film God

Posts: 3216
From: The Projection Box
Registered: Nov 2006


 - posted January 25, 2011 03:37 AM      Profile for Lee Mannering     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I’m with you Tom, and for me also the only way to watch Star Wars is the Derann Scope feature…

A long time ago and in a city far far away I also purchased a new print of SW. Somewhere Ill have a photo of us all lining up to collect our prints and I was 3rd in the cue. In later years I picked up a second print of the feature and this one was not quite as sharp as the first perhaps but highly collectable not least that Mr Lucas announced some years ago you will never be able to buy Star Wars as it was originally seen again. This was soon followed by the messed around version for cinema release, issued on DVD along with shocking quality original as a bonus. Some bonus!

Star Wars always goes down well here and once a year we project it along with Empire and Jedi back to back for local fans which makes for a crazy day I can tell you. With such a collectable feature as Star Wars on 8mm its another example why 8mm is so unique and compelling. To date we have projected our copy number 1/ 98 times.
Happy days!
Photo: Orig SW box and re-made type
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PS: Some of you will also remember being at the Super 8 launch in London with Dave Prowse present and what a day that was!

[ January 25, 2011, 04:41 AM: Message edited by: Lee Mannering ]

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Rob Young.
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1633
From: Cheshire, U.K.
Registered: Dec 2003


 - posted January 25, 2011 04:24 AM      Profile for Rob Young.     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Adrian, will try to post some action screenshots from the final reel soon.

Joe, the missing footage never made it's way (officially) onto super 8 as far as I'm aware. This is the sum of what was available, to my knowledge;

http://8mmforum.film-tech.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=4;t=000045

There were also releases from UFA which were duplicates of these releases. However, other pirated versions did appear including a feature version so you never know! I know in the past that other forum members have discussed a pirate scope version which was framed like cineavision prints, with black bars at each side, to give the correct original ratio.

The missing scenes were released as part of a Lucasfilm PC CD-ROM (about 10 years ago or so as I recall), entitled Behind the Magic.

Actually, these scenes, presented as B&W work-prints, just go to show what a turkey Star Wars could have been without the continuing drive of Lucas to complete it with first class editing, music and effects and a real insight into the many different directions a film could take in post-production.

Lee, I suppose at least the inclusion of the original versions as bonus features on the DVDs does indicate that Lucas isn't trying to completely deny their existence. Although, as you say the quality is poor and I guess this supports the notion behind this thread that he really doesn't want them to be seen as a quality, finished version any more.

Regarding the super 8 Derann print, even though my copy was a first print run, there was a lab fault on one reel; white speckles throughout, especially on red areas of the image (not at all like negative dust sparkle). Derann assured me it was a fault and a replacement reel was fine. Still, I guess a few of the first print run were like this and I wonder how many just accepted it.

Apparently, the negatives were well used by the time Derann had access to them. I think I'm right in that the lab was still printing wet gate at that time which results in a softer image, but can hide some negative damage; certainly there are a few negative splices still evident here and there but nothing too severe.

John's right, it isn't as sharp as some other titles and it can look a bit grainy at times, but certainly those first prints are very steady with nice colours and hugely enjoyable.

I believe it was finally withdrawn due to negative wear and from what has been said here, it looks like subsequent print runs didn't fare nearly as well as that first run.

Finally the first run (and probably a few subsequent runs) were on Kodak pre-stripe so re-recording should give great results, although that said, Derann's original stereo master is pretty darn good! [Smile]

LEE! Nice to see my home made feature cover has found more than one home!!! [Smile] Where did you find that; did I sent it to you in the past? Or was it here on the forum...if so do you want a full quality version emailed?

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Lee Mannering
Film God

Posts: 3216
From: The Projection Box
Registered: Nov 2006


 - posted January 25, 2011 05:56 AM      Profile for Lee Mannering     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes Rob you were kind enough to let me have it some time ago. Mind you my memory is starting to go as well..

Adrian. Very interesting Web site that and good to read about the rebel 35mm screening. With any luck DFS will also pop a reel on the film screening list for Blackpool FCC 2011 which would be fantastic.

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John Clancy
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1954
From: Cornwall
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted January 26, 2011 04:48 AM      Profile for John Clancy   Author's Homepage   Email John Clancy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Rob, I too have your cover on my second print. I haven't run Star Wars all the way through for a few years now but all this talk is whetting my appetite.

By the way Lee, it's 'queue' rather than 'cue' - gave me a laugh that.

Dave Prowse was also at a couple of subsequent BFCC's where I got a nice signed picture of him.

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British Film Collectors Convention home page www.bfcc.biz. The site is for the whole of the film collecting hobby and not just the BFCC.

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Rob Young.
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1633
From: Cheshire, U.K.
Registered: Dec 2003


 - posted February 01, 2011 10:38 AM      Profile for Rob Young.     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Images from the last reel;

Are you sure about this Vader?

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Let battle commence!

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Look, real hand-built spacecraft (well real hand-built model spacecraft anyway!) No CGI here [Smile]

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Are you guys sure you wanna go that way??

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Stay on target!!

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It's dangerous out here!

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Look out behind!

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Thomas Dafnides
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 247
From: St. Louis, Missouri USA
Registered: Dec 2009


 - posted February 01, 2011 03:11 PM      Profile for Thomas Dafnides   Email Thomas Dafnides   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Can anyone tell us how the "special edition" version differs from the orginal Star Wars vhs release?

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Rob Young.
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1633
From: Cheshire, U.K.
Registered: Dec 2003


 - posted February 02, 2011 02:06 AM      Profile for Rob Young.     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thomas, try this link...

http://www.dvdactive.com/editorial/articles/star-wars-the-changes-part-one.html

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