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Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: February ::
Branagh Hamlet DVD Update
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0086  Friday, 2 February 2007

[1] 	From: 	Gabriel Egan <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 1 Feb 2007 22:46:18 -0000
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0073 Branagh Hamlet DVD Update

[2] 	From: 	Patty Winter <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 1 Feb 2007 12:04:12 -0800
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0073 Branagh Hamlet DVD Update


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Gabriel Egan <
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Date: 		Thursday, 1 Feb 2007 22:46:18 -0000
Subject: 18.0073 Branagh Hamlet DVD Update
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0073 Branagh Hamlet DVD Update

Tanya Gough wrote:

 >. . . at 4+ hours ("Ken Branagh's endless, uncut, four-hour Hamlet"
 >- Blackadder V) there was a considerable amount of data to
 >transfer and clean up. Oh, yes, and it's a 70mm film, so that's a heck
 >of a lot of pixels.

The 70mm stock doesn't make a difference except that there's more detail 
in the source, so for the same compression method the digital output 
file will be bigger for any given number of pixels. The number of pixels 
is set by the digital output format, not the analogue input.

However, by my rough calculation it's 6 times as many pixels when done 
for High Definition or Blu-Ray video as when done for NTSC/PAL. (About 
2.1M pixels per frame instead of 0.35M.)

All of which is only a preamble to asking if Tanya knows of plans to put 
Shakespeare material in the new, higher definition formats. Ever since I 
realized that to make a DVD from a feature film involves discarding 95% 
of the image data, I've been conscious of the loss.  I know I can't see 
the difference, but there's a principle.

Gabriel Egan

[Editor's Note: Gabriel's statement - "to make a DVD from a feature film 
involves discarding 95% of the image data" - fascinates me. Would he, 
Tanya, or someone else please explain? I was determined not to buy a 
High Definition DVD player or players for my DVD-only system with a 65" 
Mitsubishi DLP TV, Pioneer Elite DVD Player, and Sony Home Theater 
System with an all-region Toshiba DVD player thrown in. My DVD 
collection of Shakespeare titles is enormous, and I cannot imagine 
buying them again in HD. As I said, this system is only used to play 
DVDs; I simply don't watch television. -HMC]

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Patty Winter <
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 >
Date: 		Thursday, 1 Feb 2007 12:04:12 -0800
Subject: 18.0073 Branagh Hamlet DVD Update
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0073 Branagh Hamlet DVD Update

 >The good news (or bad, depending on how anxious you are) is that our
 >sources tell us that Warner is currently in discussions with Mr. Branagh
 >to schedule the commentary, which still needs to be recorded.  And for
 >those of you collecting such data, textual advisor Prof. Russell Jackson
 >(U. Birmingham) is also being scheduled to contribute to this feature.

For those who aren't already aware, Messrs. Branagh and Jackson put 
together a very fine book when the film was first released. It contains 
the screenplay with Branagh's annotations as to the characters' 
thoughts, actions, and feelings ("Ooo. A bit narked, are we?"), plus 
excerpts from an interesting and amusing diary that Jackson kept during 
the production of the movie ("Trailer heating fails...Why wasn't it 
'Hamlet, Prince of Tuscany'?"). It also has about 20 pages of color 
photos from the film.

Something to keep people going until the DVD comes out! And I see that 
Tanya carries it at Bard Central. (I actually bought my copy at The 
Globe when I visited London in 1998.)

Patty

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