A/V Engineers required?

Chat about collectables, videos
simoncoverdale
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A/V Engineers required?

Postby simoncoverdale » Thu Aug 08, 2002 12:34 pm

Hello all,I see that another set of LaserDiscs have appeared on Yahoo Japan. (Thanks for the link Shane!)I've often thought that the 'cleanest' version we are ever likely to see would be from the Laserdiscs, coupled with a audio capture from the VHS tapes.Given that the sound is far easier to clean up than the video, and that the video should be almost perfect, I've always fancied a crack at mixing the two.DVDr's are down to about 60p each nowadays, so a really good clean copy would potentially be achievable.I do realised we'd be missing the English dub for a few bits, but the end results would be fantastic.Comments anyone?SIMON COVERDALEwww.StarFleetDirect.com

AndyThomas
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Postby AndyThomas » Thu Aug 08, 2002 1:08 pm

I've thought about this, but the problem is that the laserdisc would be episodic and the best audio source is probably from the NTSC tapes which as we all know aren't the greatest when it comes to being unedited. I'm not even sure if the episodes as they were shown in Japan are edited exactly the same way as those shown on the UK? Obviously episode 25 would be gone... As I've mentioned elsewhere, there is the possibility of an official release in the not too distant future, so....
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Happosai
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A/V Engineers required?

Postby Happosai » Fri Aug 09, 2002 12:02 am

As some of you may already know, I'm a big fan of anime (Japanese animation)...I download a lot of fansubbed anime off the 'net (nice broadband .  Fansubs, for those of you who don't know, are anime episodes that have been translated and subtitled by fans for fans on a not-for-profit basis.  In the old days, they used to be on VHS, but these days, digital (DivX) is the preferred format.  Ethical fansubbers only fansub anime that is not commercially available in an English (or other non-Japanese) language version, and has not been licenced for a release either -- they stop releasing fansubbed episodes once a title has been licenced (not all fansub groups stick to the ethics though...)Anyway, there is a point to this!  Ever since I heard about the X Bomber laser discs, which could be used to produce good quality DivXs, I've thought about the possibility of producing a fansubbed version of it.  I know some of you consider the Western version (i.e. Star Fleet) to be the definitive version, but I would be interested to know what the dialogue and story was like in the original Japanese version (maybe clear up some of those nagging questions that aren't answered in Star Fleet...:).I don't speak Japanese, so I wouldn't be able to do a fansub myself, but it might be possible to get one of the many fansub groups out there interested.  The only problem I see is regarding the current status of the Western licence  (Andy...am I right in thinking that you might have heard a bit of info about this recently...what was that "cross your fingers" thread about?)[Happosai](Edited by Happosai at 1:04 am on Aug. 9, 2002)

AndyThomas
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A/V Engineers required?

Postby AndyThomas » Fri Aug 09, 2002 9:55 am

You're right, Happosai, in that there is a possibility that at a minimum the UK licence will resurrect itself. A fansub would certainly be interesting as it could include the 25th episode. It's quite a lot of work though, I imagine, and the problem that I've tended to encounter is that Star Fleet isn't considered to be anime, as such.Its own uniqueness works against it in many ways, because some UK TV sites won't mention it despite it using English voice talent, and anime sites won't mention it because it's not traditional cell animation. And Gerry Anderson sites won't have anything to do with it either!So, yes, the Japanese source material is available to do it from, and it would certainly be a novel way to keep the series alive... Although those of us not on Broadband might take a little while to get all the episodes...!
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Happosai
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Postby Happosai » Fri Aug 09, 2002 12:06 pm

There are some fansub groups that do live-action stuff. There are probably also fansubbers of HK movies, kaiju (Japanese "monster" shows, e.g. Gamera), sentai (Japanese "Team" shows, e.g. the original shows that were bastardised to make Power Rangers), etc., although it's not something I've looked into.Although X Bomber isn't considered anime, its uniqueness might actually work in its favour...people might be interested in seeing a puppet-based "anime", even if it's for novelty value. Since Star Fleet had a very limited exposure in the US, then there may be a big audience for it that otherwise don't know it exists. A lot of anime fans don't much like dubbed/Westernised versions of anime, so they might be more comfortable with a version of the original show, rather than the Star Fleet we all know and love.It would be possible to distro the finished product in a similar way as the tapes and CDs of Star Fleet are done by people here (although it might be difficult to get people to put the effort in to helping distro on a non-profit basis).If nothing else, we could try and get a translation of the 25th episode (if Star Fleet gets a DVD release, I wonder if they'll do the same as with Monkey! and release a subtitled version of the missing episode).An alternative to fully-fledged fansubs (i.e. hard-subtitled episodes in VHS/digital format) would be to just produce scripts, something that is often done for anime that has been released in the West, but has a translation that doesn't come up to scratch for hardcore fans (or is only dubbed)...this would get past any licencing problems, but the problem would be that not many people would have access to the original Japanese show, and I don't know how much it was changed to create Star Fleet.[Happosai]

AndyThomas
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Postby AndyThomas » Fri Aug 09, 2002 12:20 pm

I think you hit the nail on the head there when you mentioned the show's lack of exposure in the States.  As you may know, Brad is from the States and saw it on video but I think it's fair to say he's the exception rather than the rule.  I'm not quite sure how you'd go about generating interest from the ground up to that extent, and as you say, distribution isn't all that straightforward.I like the idea of a really accurate from-the-Japanese script though - as we've discussed recently there do seem to be some oddities with the English translation.  Perhaps Shane could let us know whether the UK version simply used 24 of the 25 episodes?  I believe that's the case as the Japanese storyline is the same, with episode 25 being more flashback than anything else.I suppose for a competent outfit it wouldn't take more than a week or so to do - it's only just over 8 hours of footage, split between a few people it'd be doable.  Just a question of how good the laserdiscs are, really, and whether anime fans would go for them.  Generally people are interested in the series because they saw it in the UK first time round, not because they're hard core anime fans (present company excepted ;) )
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Happosai
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A/V Engineers required?

Postby Happosai » Fri Aug 09, 2002 3:43 pm

Distribution would be easy in the respect that a lot of people obtain digital fansubs off the 'net via P2P networks, IRC, Usenet groups, etc. People also trade CDs with their broadband-connected friends. Distro on tape/CD was only suggested as a last resort. You wouldn't even need to distro tapes/CD directly...there are distro groups out there that would do it for you.I think it's fair to say that currently, the only people that are interested in Star Fleet are those that have seen it before at some point in their lives...I doubt there are many people that stumble across it without having any idea of what it is and then get into it (I wonder just how many people that find this site via a search for the Star Trek Star Fleet have their interest piqued enough to find out more).I don't think it would be too difficult to use the fansubs to build up a new audience for the show...there are some fansubs of old anime shows that have rekindled interest in them.I haven't had any dealings with fansubbers, so I don't really know how long these things normally take...[Happosai]

AndyThomas
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Postby AndyThomas » Fri Aug 09, 2002 4:14 pm

On the technical front, I was interested to find out where laserdiscs sit in terms of quality. Without going into resolution details, they're basically lower than DVDs but higher than VHS and broadcast quality - interestingly, broadcast quality is above VHS quality. A VCD is roughly VHS quality, depending on how well it's encoded. So laserdiscs would be a good primary source for the series, assuming they encoded well in the first place...
Andy Thomas - SFXB Webmaster and Forum Moderator

Shane
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Postby Shane » Fri Aug 09, 2002 5:01 pm

Star Fleet is pretty much exactly the same as the X Bomber source material. There's no Gatchman to BOTP cuts edits or rewrites. I think the 25th episode was probably dropped by the UK production team purely because 3 flashback shows in a season is taking the piss. The 3 files I've put up in the X Bomber section on my site are the only new scenes in that episode.I think I've said this before but the quality of the Laser Discs are gob smacking, this is probably due to the fact that I've only ever watched Star Fleet on knackered tapes, but the quality is on par with a well encoded DVD, although the sound is obviously still analogue. Interestingly the UK feature: Space quest for F01 looks like it has been sourced directly from one of the MY TV videos. it looks really bad and the sound keeps breaking up, you can just see by this what an unremastered DVD release might look like.If anyone wanted to start somewhere with a fan dub maybe the 3 missing scenes of episode 25 would be a good starting point. I'm not sure how fan dubs work though, do you play it really straight and just translate the Japanese dialogue into English or would you have to try and mimic the actors voices. Another really long long longshot would be that if Mike is in contact with some of the original voice actors could they not perhaps read some of the translated lines for their characters. Ok I'm a realist it probably aint gonna happen, but if you don't ask you don't get. You could generate some real publicity though by doing this couldn't you? I know jobbing actors don't work for free but they might do it for a charidy donation mate, hey I don't know I'm just brainstorming here. Shane.
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