Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Busy Week

Sorry for the lack of updates - it's been a busy week and I haven't had much time to work on this project. I have progressed into the episode itself and I found that with the exception of the very beginning with the zoom ins of the speakers in the village, many of the scenes are the same - with the exception of an extended clip of Number Six under the covers in his bed. There are 3 scenes of the camera zooming in on a speaker. The first scene is in the "Chimes of Big Ben," the third scene I found in "Free for All," but I haven't been able to find the second scene, pictured below:

If anyone can tell me where I can find this shot elsewhere in the series, it would greatly be appreciated.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

More Updates

After posting the Opening Sequence on YouTube, I am trying to finish up the Opening Titles. There are many frames that are exclusive to the Alternate Version, so there are quite a few untouched frames. With a few notable exceptions, however. One is the Scene with Rover bouncing on the beach:

The restored scene actually comes from the additional stock footage from the Network DVD Set. The next restoration comes at the end when Number Two is laughing at Number Six:

This scene was taken from the restored alternate version of Arrival at the end of the episode. It looks good here. The only scenes that were not restored yet are the following:

Rover is "born" from the ocean.

George Markstein's credits are shown.

George Markstein's credits are NOT shown.

and a scene where Number Six is chased out of the water by Rover.

If you have any ideas where these clips are found in the rest of the episodes, please let me know so I can insert them in here.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Here's a preview....

Ok. Here's the preview of what I'm doing and a chance for you to see what the restored version will look like.

Of course, the part where Number Six is driving the car sticks out like a sore thumb, but hopefully after I get the entire episode restored, I can go back and clean up some of the original frames.

The opening credits, with the title of the episode, is progressing nicely. I will post some pictures tomorrow when I get the chance.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Big Decision

I have been trying to figure out what to do about the sequence with Number Six driving in the opening credits. I decided I had three options.

1) Use the restored frames and then tack on the unrestored frames.

2) Use the restored frames and then copy them and reverse the order of them so it looked like Number Six was leaning back in the car.

3) Use the unrestored footage for the entire scene.

I ruled out the first option because the frame location was off-centered and it didn't look like it flowed properly. I just wasn't happy with the result.

I also tried the second option. It took several hours to get the frames right and the end result looked really good. I was very pleased with the results, but then the actual episode was changed from the original intent. It was no longer the Alternate Version of the Chimes of Big Ben, it was the Altered Alternate Version - know what I mean? Number Six was originally shifting gears and not leaning back.

So, to be true to the nature of my project here, I decided to use the unrestored footage for right now until I can take the time to restore each frame. I'm guessing this entire process of going frame by frame and replacing the original frames with the restored frames is going to take almost six months to complete - without even modifying the original frames. In the process of doing this, however, I will discover all the little differences in the scenes and I will probably start another blog to list all the visual differences in the alternate episode.

With that said, I can state that I have completed the opening sequence and restored it to the best of my ability, with the exception of the two or three seconds of the car sequence. Maybe I will put it up on YouTube later. Eventually, at the very least, I will clean up the unrestored frames and try to edit out the dust and dirt on the sequence so that it at least looks like a clean print.

So I think that is the way I am going to approach this project - replace the original frames with the restored frames and wait until it is finished before I start trying to clean up the original frames - it's just going to take too long. My next step is to work on the opening credits. Already I can see that I am going to have plenty of unrestored frames, but I will see what I can find in stock footage and other episodes to replace them.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

More Progress

I'm making more progress on the opening credits. The scene where the mechanical arm is bring the ID to the filing cabinet is a total of 83 frames in the Alternate Chimes, where in the Restored Chimes, it is only 72 frames - which means I am 11 frames short. So I took the same scene from the restored version of "Arrival" (which is a longer sequence) and inserted it into the credits. However, the picture was lighter than the restored version of Chimes.

So I had to use the GIMP to darken the picture. I had to adjust the color settings for each of the 83 frames in order to match the remaining frames of the sequence. I changed the Red to -5, the Green to +5 and the Blue to +25. I also had to adjust the brightness to -10 and the contrast to +10. It took over an hour to do this few seconds of footage, but after watching the final product, it was well worth the time because you can barely see the difference between the scenes.

Monday, April 14, 2008

First bump in the road....

Well, I'm almost done restoring the opening title sequence. Let me explain what I'm doing. There are approximately 74,000 frames in the alternate version. I am using a program called Virtual Dub Mod and saving each individual frame as a PNG file. I am also saving each frame in the restored version of The Chimes of Big Ben and using them to replace the frames in the alternate version. However, all of the frames in the alternate version have not been restored. For instance, frames 1140 - 1206 (where it's a close-up of the prisoner driving his car) are not fully restored because it is an extended version of No. 6 driving and shifting gears. This is not part of any other version that I know of. For right now, I am leaving these frames as is and I will come back to them later. Here's what they look like:

I wasn't sure if I should use the entire restored portion of the sequence and then just attach the extended frames or just use the entire unrestored sequence. If I attached the extended frames, they were shifted up a little and it didn't look right. So I just used the unrestored sequence and left it as is for the time being. I will try to use a paint program called the GIMP to adjust the color and brightness levels and see if I can clean them up and make them look better.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Off to a great start!

Network has put out a set of DVD's for the Prisoner.

Everything has been brilliantly restored and they even restored the alternate version of the first episode, Arrival. However, the alternate version of the second episode, "The Chimes of Big Ben" has not been touched. I am in the process right now of restoring "The Chimes of Big Ben" and this blog will track my progress. I am currently working on the opening sequence. Below is a picture of the original frame and then the restored frame:

What an improvement!!
I will post more as I progress....