M Sanderson wrote:I’ve bought several Indicator release and have been impressed by the quality. They’re mostly using outstanding or at least very good masters (Bunny Lake, Christine, Body Double, Hardcore, Joe Egg, Deadly Affair) although like all labels, not all they’re given are great, suffering fading, such as Castle Keep, The Reckoning, etc. What they’re supplied with they give the highest level of treatment, and I’m impressed by their choice of titles, surprising given so far they’re licensing from only one company, Sony. I think they can only get better, and look forward to the day when they can produce their own restoration jobs, as well a slicence from different studios.
Deals have been signed with two more rightsholders, and the first fruits of that will be unveiled in January. Although the overwhelming majority of Indicator's 2018 releases will continue to be drawn from the Sony (Columbia) catalogue, as they still have plenty to get through.
As for producing their own restoration jobs, this is already happening to a certain extent - although a full-on 4K original-neg scan is way beyond Powerhouse's budgets, quite a few recent titles have been cleaned up. In fact, you can see this illustrated on the Fanatic
disc because for logistical reasons the extras had to use the original master, complete with white spots-a-go-go that have been pretty much entirely eliminated from the feature presentation.
In fact, I was unexpectedly impressed with how well the Hammer titles spruced up: unavoidably, Powerhouse had to use the same masters as were furnished to Mill Creek, but the combination of a general clean-up and a vastly higher bitrate has paid very noticeable dividends - Mill Creek crammed two titles onto a single-layer disc, while Indicator's individual titles take up more than half the capacity of a dual-layer one (and they're all under 100 minutes and three are under 90, so don't need any more than they get). Restoring the original British credit sequence of Fanatic
took a fair bit of effort (not least matching the overall appearance to Sony's master of the US version), but was also well worth doing, and I very much hope that future Hammer titles will similarly offer options to play either the British or American release versions. (Sony invariably supplies the US version, which is why all previous video releases of Fanatic
have been called Die! Die! My Darling!
I rewatched Christine recently, and am enormously impressed by the presentation. I found it better than the German release I used to have. But, I heard there were audio issues with the first pressing. And, for the first time I noticed dialogue missing from the Alexandra Paul character, just before Christine is captured and crushed. When she’s guiding the John Stockwell character in his Caterpillar vehicle. Is there a replacement program, and has anyone else noticed this problem?
The replacement programme was launched within weeks of the original release a year ago - if you think you have a faulty copy (if I remember rightly, the one of the rear channels in the 5.1 mix was silent), contact firstname.lastname@example.org
to see if they can still replace it.
As a result of that, I now routinely circulate graphical maps of all multichannel soundtracks to the production team prior to sign-off - obviously, those don't do more than confirm that something is happening on every channel, but it does at least offer instant visual assurance to team members without surround setups that there's something
there. (They can also be quite revealing in other ways - The First Men in the Moon
has 3.1 and 5.1 options, but the subwoofer channel is noticeably louder in the 5.1 version.)