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[Released] Various Silents - 60fps - Improved Pulldown
#1
Most companies that release silents on BD insist on encoding them at 1080p, which supports only 24fps. This introduces judder on all movies that run at slower frame rates, as they are stretched to fit into 24fps. Sometimes, such as with 18fps, it's almost tolerable, while with 22fps, it's whiplash-inducing (every 11th frame repeats). In every case, the motion is no longer smooth and really gets on my nerves! Silents never have jerky motion when presented from a proper film print.

Before BD, silents were transferred to home video interlaced (60 fields per second), and the motion was pretty good, with 60fps working for all frame rates, and every frame held for roughly the same amount of time.

However, since these BDs are pretty much the only way to see these movies, it's become a hobby of mine to fix the frame rates. I demux the video from the BD and delete all the duplicated frames. I then take the decimated file and re-sync it to the audio. While doing this, I take the opportunity to fix mastering errors and delete frames whose repairs are egregiously bad. When there are subtitles, I retime and occasionally retranslate them, with the goal to minimize the amount of subs that flash onscreen (one intertitle equals one subtitle). I also remove all modern logos and credits, making them separate files, since you usually won't see any if you go to a screening of an archival print.

All movies are available as a 1080i BD. Many are also available as a 60fps MKV. You must provide blanks, postage, and proof of purchase. PM me for details.

I will add to this list as I complete more.

TITLES:

Anna Boleyn
Battleship Potemkin (Kino)
Birth of a Nation, The (Kino)
Birth of a Nation, The (Twilight Time)
- Supplemental shorts only for now
Black Pirate, The
Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The (Eureka)
Chaplin's Essanay Comedies 1915
Doll, The
Downhill (Criterion)
Extraordinary World of Charlie Bowers, The
Fall of Babylon, The
Fantomas
- Improved PAL-NTSC conversion using the French release
Faust (Eureka)
Frankenstein (1910, Library of Congress)
- Public domain. Proof of purchase not necessary.
Golem, The (1920)
Grand Duke's Finances, The
Ich mochte kein Mann sein
Inhumaine, L'
Intolerance
J'accuse (1919, Flicker Alley)
Last Laugh, The
Late Mathias Pascal, The
- DVD replaces brief portions damaged in the master
- Defective BD audio replaced by DVD audio (Bonus: now seven minutes shorter!)
Lodger, The (Criterion)
Lost World, The (1925)
Loves of Pharaoh, The
- English intertitles
Mother and the Law, The
Mude Tod, Der (Eureka)
Napoleon
- Finale also available as 4K UHD MKV
Nibelungen, Die (Kino)
Nosferatu (Eureka)
Old Ironsides
Oyster Princess, The
Page of Madness, A
Phantom
Portrait of a Young Man
Schloss Vogelod
Sheik, The (Eureka)
Stage Struck
Sumurun
Tartuffe
Ten Commandments, The (1923)
- Color segments reinserted
- Available as a 24fps BD and a 60fps MKV
Trip to the Moon, A (2018 edition)
Vampires, Les (Kino)
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Thanks given by: Stamper , pipefan413 , IcePrick , spaceboy710
#2
This is a cool idea. I'd definitely be interested in some of these, I have a bunch of them on Blu-ray but had more or less resigned to 24 fps because unless I'm mistaken, my DLP projector won't sync actual progressive 18 fps or whatever so there's no avoiding some sort of pulldown.

So if I'm understanding correctly, you're going through the frames to work out their pulldown pattern, removing said pulldown with SelectEvery or whatever, but then applying some other pulldown pattern to get to 60 interlaced fields per second? I'm curious to know what some of the original patterns were and what you ended up changing them to!

There are loads of silents that I love but the big hitters for me are probably the really obvious ones like Nosferatu and Caligari. I've seen Nosferatu projected years ago but am pretty sure it must have just been a DCP probably running at 24 fps, it was a long time ago so I can't say I recall noticing judder or not. I was more focused on the musical accompaniment, which was played on a huge organ (quite something).
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#3
Wow! I'm definitely interested in quite a few of these. Thank you for doing all this hard work!

I'm going to be doing a deep-dive into silent films this year. I will definitely be hitting you up.
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#4
For something like Siegfried (20fps), every 5th frame repeats when 24fps. At 60fps, every frame is held for three frames. The Black Pirate, which is something like 22.5fps, every 19th or so repeats when 24fps. It's close to 3:2 when at 60fps.

In Premiere, I use a 60fps timeline and the rate stretch tool, letting Adobe handle the pulldown. It gives good results (it can even recreate a bad 24fps encode!).

Nosferatu is hard to notice the drawbacks of 24fps. It's 18fps and the movement has a glacial pace. I would describe its motion as "crisp," not "smooth." The Kino BD is missing 11% of all frames; I don't know if their DCP is the same. Some theatrical video projectors can display archival frame rates, but I'm not aware of any DCPs that take advantage of it. What gets my goat is that all projectors can show 60fps, yet DCPs are stuck on 24fps.
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Thanks given by: pipefan413
#5
This is an awesome project. How hard is it to determine what the original frame rate was of any given project? It's my understanding that in the early days, frame rates were a bit all over the place from film to film, until 24fps was eventually settled on, but not sure how accurate that idea is as my knowledge of silent era film is definitely limited. cheers
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#6
The very short answer: primary documents, like trade publications, projectionist notes, scores, cue sheets...
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#7
Added: The Golem (1920) 
- Improved pulldown
- Deleted frame interpolation
- Edited subtitles

Source: Eureka BD

Available as a 60fps MKV and 1080i BD. Blanks, postage, proof of purchase required.
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