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[Idea] "La Classe américaine" HD reconstruction
#1
Hey, guys.

For those who don't know this non-movie, most likely most people here except for some French members, La Classe américaine is a comedy montage of scenes taken from the Warner Bros. catalog and dubbed by real French dubbing actors to fit a new story... which basically rips off the premise of Citizen Kane.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0321715/

"The project started when Warner agreed to leave the French TV channel Canal+ to use its 4000-movies catalog free of charge and rights for a month (except some of them, like Clint Eastwood's ones). The directors Michel Hazanavicius (director of Academy Award winner The Artist) and Dominique Mézerette, who already did two short movies using the same way, enjoyed very much that decision and they picked their choice amongst the whole bunch of flicks. The whole job was done in six months."

This now cult-classic French comedy has only been broadcasted twice on Canal+ back in 1993 and once in the 2000s on another channel in France. Most people have discovered it on the Internet with poor quality VHSrip copies and original Betacam copies, until Sam Hocevar reconstructed it using DVDs of the original movies. (See the list here on Sam's website: http://cyclim.se/flims.html)

Now, it's been years since this DVD-sourced version has been made, and now, more and more of the original movies exist in HD. So, since Sam Hocevar's site has not been updated for years, I guess he's too busy to undertake an HD reconstruction, so I was considering giving it a shot. I'm currently harvesting all the HD movies I can find, and the DVDs of those I can't find in HD. The idea would be to use DaVinci Resolve for editing and color grading. This would be my first attempt at editing. Now there is a catch: some shots use special effects, such as split screens (see here at 13:27 and 14:00, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l44WKAtZLjI&t=193s) fade-ins for flashbacks, loops so that a shot replays itself backwards, and even a mask to hide a character. So there's some challenges here.

Sam went with a constant 1.78:1 aspect ratio, since all movies have various aspect ratios. I would rather go with a 2.00:1 aspect ratio to less butcher the framing of scope movies. Also, Sam didn't seem to have done color correction, so I would like to do some to better sell the illusion with consistency in shots taken from different movies. I guess I would do it in 720p because of DVD upscales to better blend in and the cropping of the scope ARs to 2.00:1.

You can watch the original on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l44WKAtZLjI&t=193s
And the DVD-sourced reconstruction here, with English subtitles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJdW0oqGX1c&t=54s
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Thanks given by: TomArrow
#2
Interesting. Sounds very doable, though probably a lot of work finding and arranging the scenes etc.

I would do it in 1080p and downscale/render to 720p at the end. That way you keep the benefit you intend to have, but you have the option to upgrade the project later if more shots come out in HD or you find better upscale methods (I'd try Gigapixel if you don't have too many scenes in SD).
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#3
I made a very quick and very dirty attempt a while ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdRTcHBgFd0
Awesome project! Really ambicious. I'd personally go with a 1.85:1 AR just because I hate 2.00:1 Wink
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#4
(2019-08-15, 11:43 PM)TomArrow Wrote: Interesting. Sounds very doable, though probably a lot of work finding and arranging the scenes etc.

Well, Sam has already made most of the leg-work, so to speak. His site will be a big help.

(2019-08-16, 12:39 AM)ilovewaterslides Wrote: I made a very quick and very dirty attempt a while ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdRTcHBgFd0
Awesome project! Really ambicious. I'd personally go with a 1.85:1 AR just because I hate 2.00:1 Wink

Oh, nice! You've managed to do the split screen stuff. Well, 1.85:1 would not be wide enough for at least a couple of shots I can think of where you have characters on each extreme sides of the frame.
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#5
That's true. Unfortunately, as much as I don't like this AR, it's indeed a good compromise, you're right.
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#6
OK, so I finally harvested all movies involved. Here's what I have:

- All The President's Men (1976), 1080p Blu-ray + 1080i HDTV (different master)
- Around the World in Eighty Days (1956), 720p HDTV + 1080p WEB-DL
- The Arrangement (1969), 720p WEB-DL
- Band of Angels (1957), 1080p WEB-DL
- Battle of the Bulge (1965), 1080p Blu-ray
- Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979), 1080p WEB-DL
- Blood Alley (1955), 1080p Blu-ray
- Bullitt (1968), 1080p Blu-ray
- Cahill U.S. Marshal (1973), 1080p Blu-ray
- The Candidate (1972), 1080p WEBrip
- Carson City (1952), 720p (upscale?) + DVD
- Charro! (1969), 720p WEB-DL
- The Cheyenne Social Club (1970), 720p HDTV upscale + DVD
- Chisum (1970), 1080p Blu-ray
- City Beneath the Sea (1971), DVD + 1080i HDTV upscale
- Cleopatra Jones (1973), 1080p Blu-ray
- The Cowboys (1972), 1080p Blu-ray
- The Crimson Pirate (1952), 720p HDTV upscale
- Deliverance (1972), 1080p Blu-ray
- Drum Beat (1954), 1080p
- Executive Action (1973), 1080i HDTV + DVD
- The FBI Story (1959), DVD
- Firecreek (1968), 720p WEB-DL + DVD + 1080p (incomplete)
- 4 for Texas (1963), DVD
- Freebie and the Bean (1974), 1080p Blu-ray
- The Good Guys and the Bad Guys (1969), 720p WEB-DL + DVD + 1080p (incomplete)
- Harper (1966), 1080p Blu-ray
- Hooper (1978), 1080p Blu-ray
- Jeremiah Johnson (1972), 1080p Blu-ray
- The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972), 1080p Blu-ray
- Mad Max (1979), 1080p Blu-ray + spoRv UHD
- Maigret et les plaisirs de la nuit (1992), DVD
- McQ (1974), 1080p Blu-ray
- The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima (1952), 1080p HDTV
- Ocean’s Eleven (1960), 1080p Blu-ray
- The Old Man and the Sea (1958), DVD (poor quality) + 1080p (poor quality)
- Rampage (1963), DVD
- Riding Shotgun (1954), 720p (upscale?) + DVD
- Rio Bravo (1959), 1080p Blu-ray
- The Sea Chase (1955), 1080p Blu-ray
- The Searchers (1956), 1080p Blu-ray
- Start the Revolution Without Me (1970), DVD
- Straight Time (1978), 1080p WEB-DL
- There Was a Crooked Man… (1970), 1080p WEB-DL
- The Towering Inferno (1970), 1080p Blu-ray
- The Train Robbers (1973), 1080p
- The Valley of Gwangi (1969), 1080p Blu-ray
- Westbound (1959), DVD
- When Time Ran Out… (1980), DVD

Can any of you guys help with providing better quality sources, especially for those in bold?
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#7
City Beneath the Sea - there's an untouched HDTV 1080i rip on Cinemageddon

Quote:was only upscaled on a HD channel unfortunately
but is full screen rather that the cropped version thats on the DVD

I didnt re- encode it because it's not that big a file for a 1080 capture,
and also havent a program that will crop the black bars on a TS file and also re encode it in one go,
so would have needed to mess with it at least twice.

The FBI Story - DVD is available on your favourite Russian tracker Wink
Start the Revolution Without Me - Same as above
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#8
Thanks, Colek. Sadly, I don't have access to Cinemageddon to see what that upscale of City Beneath the Sea looks like.
I managed to find The FBI Story on the Ru(ssian)tracker, however not really seeding at the moment.
But I couldn't find Start the Revolution Without Me there.

Meanwhile, Plissken1138 helped me to grab Executive Action in 1080i HDTV from TCM Cinema... with channel logo. To get rid of it, I must crop it to a 2.06:1 aspect ratio, so a bit wider than the 2.00:1 I was considering.

Also, in the same place Plissken1138 talked to me about, I found The Cheyenne Social Club in 720p HDTV. However, my many attempts at getting it failed each time during the process. I'll try again later.
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#9
I might help with City Beneath the Sea give me until next week
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Thanks given by: Beber
#10
Thanks, pal.
Meanwhile, I got The FBI Story DVD and The Cheyenne Social Club in 720p (upscale?) HDTV.
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