Godzilla 1985 - Red Menace Reconstruction 1080p AVAILABLE NOW

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Godzilla 1985 - Red Menace Reconstruction 1080p AVAILABLE NOW

Postby omgitsgodzilla » Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:40 pm

Godzilla 1985 v1.0 is available now!

The full 1080p reconstruction of Godzilla 1985 is completed and available to download! Send a private message for details.

Notes on this version:

  • The Japanese footage was sourced from the Kraken Releasing Blu-ray as opposed to the TV broadcast recording used for previous versions, so the TV station icon is no longer there.
  • The Toho transfer has had its contrast adjusted to help alleviate the issues with the black levels and also been slightly color corrected.
  • The opening credits have been stabilized somewhat.
  • The English subtitles for the Russian dialogue have been carefully digitally recreated based on an Australian VHS rip that featured the original optical subtitles.
  • The stock footage from Godzilla, King of the Monsters! is sourced from the Criterion Blu-ray on this version.
  • Grain has been applied to the entire project to help the standard-definition US footage blend a bit better with the HD Japanese footage.

Hope you all enjoy it! Keep an eye out for the Grindhouse-style double feature presentation of KotM and this film with a few added bonuses! (The thread is linked in my signature)

Original post:

As we all know by now, The Return of Godzilla is coming to North American DVD and Blu-ray in September, but much to many people's frustration, Godzilla 1985, the US version featuring Raymond Burr, will not be included.

With the success of fan reconstructions and preservation efforts in the Star Wars community, I think it's only fitting that we should similarly take matters into our own hands. Therefore, I intend to undertake a reconstruction project along the lines of the famous Despecialized Editions of the Star Wars trilogy, attempting to create the best possible copy of the film from various sources.

What this will entail is taking the best known copy of the American version of the film, the anamorphic recording of the Monsters HD broadcast from 2006, and utilizing the soundtrack and American footage from that recording while substituting video from higher-quality Japanese sources wherever possible. I've already contacted an OriginalTrilogy.com member (not sure if they're on here, I'll credit them properly if they are) who's made some adjustments to this recording and improved its quality to a more acceptable level, and I'll be using this copy as the source for the US material. Kraken's Blu-ray will be my source for the Japanese footage. The trickiest part will most likely be recreating the English subtitles for the Russian dialogue. Since these are missing in the Monsters HD version, and I know of no reference material for how they appeared in theatrical prints, I'll be using the home video version of the film as a reference for the appearance, placement and timing of the subtitles until a better reference miraculously appears.

My plan is basically this: Once I obtain the Monsters HD source, I'll start by conducting a sort of standard definition test run using an old bootleg sourced from Toho's R2 as my source for the Japanese footage. This will be a rough pass to acquaint myself with the work that needs to be done, and will involve minimal, if any, color correction or other in-depth work. We'll call that version 0.5.

Once the Kraken Blu-ray is out, I'll begin work on version 1.0, which will likely be similar to 0.5, only in HD and with more work done on the sources, including basic color correction where applicable and possibly attempting to enhance the upscaled MHD footage to make it fit better alongside the HD Japanese footage.

After this, further revisions might be made to improve subtler aspects of the film. A few things I can think of include creating custom shapes to enhance/sharpen the edges of the areas through which flames are visible in the opening credits, recreating the text of the opening credits, adding appropriate amounts of telecine wobble to the subtitles to match the footage behind them, and recreating the end credits from scratch in HD. I'm not completely certain I'll do all of these things, but it's a possibility.

If anyone can lend advice or suggestions on some of the finer points of encoding, color correction, image enhancement or other related aspects of the project, I'm all ears - this is the first project of this kind I've attempted, so any guidance is greatly appreciated. I'll also probably need a few test viewers to help check for problems and make sure the quality's achieving high enough standards.

Announcement of v0.5:

The 720p preliminary test version of Godzilla 1985 is completed and available to download! Send a private message for details.

Notes on this version:

  • The recording of the MHD I have starts a few frames into the New World logo; this version starts there as well, but v1.0 will have the complete logo, sourced from a 1080p Blu-ray rip of another New World movie.
  • The Japanese footage is sourced from a 720p recording of a TV broadcast, which means that a small movie camera station logo is visible in the lower right.
  • There are a few minor problem frames in this version that will be rectified in v1.0, the full HD version.
  • While most of the film is accurate frame-for-frame, some minor differences in the timing of cuts and reel changes between the Toho and MHD transfers means that some shots will be about a frame out of sync - this isn't noticeable while watching, though.
  • The subtitles for the Russian dialogue in this version are not precise recreations of the theatrical subtitles, but v1.0 will feature more accurate recreations based on the Australian VHS rip provided by Tamura.

The 1080p v1.0 will be created and released in the fall, using Japanese footage sourced from the upcoming Kraken Blu-ray of The Return of Godzilla.

Announcement of v0.6:

The revised 720p test version of Godzilla 1985 is completed and available to download! Send a private message for details.

Notes on this version:

  • The New World logo now starts from the beginning and is sourced from a 1080p Blu-ray rip of Creepshow 2, another New World movie.
  • The couple of remaining single-frame problems with v0.5 are corrected in this version.
  • The color matching on some of the masking jobs has been improved.
  • The added credits at the end listing my sources and special thanks now run a bit longer as a result of adding several people to the latter category - if you posted here or inquired about a download prior to when I rendered this version, keep an eye out for your username!
  • The subtitles still aren't precise recreations of the theatrical subtitles and the occasional one- or two-frame image sync discrepancies are still present. The subtitles will be redone for v1.0, the full HD version, but there's not really a way around the latter issue (thankfully it's not noticeable while simply watching the movie).

The 1080p v1.0 will be created and released in the fall, using Japanese footage sourced from the upcoming Kraken Blu-ray of The Return of Godzilla.
Last edited by omgitsgodzilla on Thu Nov 24, 2016 11:39 am, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: Godzilla 1985 - Reconstruction Project

Postby Pkmatrix » Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:49 pm

And...subscribed! :D

Your plan sounds good, and I'll be glad to help with whatever assistance I can provide. I've experience in Video Editing, Audio Editing, and Color Correction - moreso in video than the latter two, though. What software are you planning to use?

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Re: Godzilla 1985 - Reconstruction Project

Postby omgitsgodzilla » Fri Jul 15, 2016 5:52 pm

I've got Sony Vegas; I'm not sure if there's other software or plugins that would do the job better but it's worked pretty well for me so far. I've also got paint.net for image editing, which might be useful for subtitle/title/end credits crawl recreation if Vegas can't give me enough control.
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Re: Godzilla 1985 - Reconstruction Project

Postby LegendZilla » Fri Jul 15, 2016 6:58 pm

Other Godzilla and kaiju films in general could use similar treatments at the hands of fans.
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Re: Godzilla 1985 - Reconstruction Project

Postby omgitsgodzilla » Fri Jul 15, 2016 7:08 pm

Maybe if this one goes well I'll have a shot at some other ones. I remember once seeing a fan edit of Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster that used the original US dub but made a few unique changes, like using the logo from the movie poster as the title card. Sadly, I lost it long ago.

I definitely wouldn't rule out other projects like this in the future, but I couldn't necessarily say what they would be. Perhaps better versions of, say, Godzilla vs. the Thing or Monster Zero could be a good next step, using Toho's HD transfers and the Simitar DVDs.
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Re: Godzilla 1985 - Reconstruction Project

Postby GodzillaFanatic2001 » Fri Jul 15, 2016 7:28 pm

Perhaps even Godzilla vs The Sea Monster's or Son Of Godzilla's Titra dubs, since neither of those, to my knowledge, have been reconstructed by fans.
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Re: Godzilla 1985 - Reconstruction Project

Postby omgitsgodzilla » Fri Jul 15, 2016 7:57 pm

Perhaps! Those create an interesting dilemma in that those were sent straight to television in the US, so they were never shown in widescreen. Therefore, the unique visuals (mainly title cards) of each version only exist in a 4:3 aspect ratio. The question then becomes whether to attempt a widescreen version of those elements, or to replicate the pan-and-scan presentation.
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Re: Godzilla 1985 - Reconstruction Project

Postby G1985 » Sat Jul 16, 2016 3:40 am

omgitsgodzilla wrote:With the success of fan reconstructions and preservation efforts in the Star Wars community, I think it's only fitting that we should similarly take matters into our own hands. Therefore, I intend to undertake a reconstruction project along the lines of the famous Despecialized Editions of the Star Wars trilogy, attempting to create the best possible copy of the film from various sources.

What this will entail is taking the best known copy of the American version of the film, the anamorphic recording of the Monsters HD broadcast from 2006, and utilizing the soundtrack and American footage from that recording while substituting video from higher-quality Japanese sources wherever possible. I've already contacted an OriginalTrilogy.com member (not sure if they're on here, I'll credit them properly if they are) who's made some adjustments to this recording and improved its quality to a more acceptable level, and I'll be using this copy as the source for the US material. Kraken's Blu-ray will be my source for the Japanese footage. The trickiest part will most likely be recreating the English subtitles for the Russian dialogue. Since these are missing in the Monsters HD version, and I know of no reference material for how they appeared in theatrical prints, I'll be using the home video version of the film as a reference for the appearance, placement and timing of the subtitles until a better reference miraculously appears.

My plan is basically this: Once I obtain the Monsters HD source, I'll start by conducting a sort of standard definition test run using an old bootleg sourced from Toho's R2 as my source for the Japanese footage. This will be a rough pass to acquaint myself with the work that needs to be done, and will involve minimal, if any, color correction or other in-depth work. We'll call that version 0.5.

Once the Kraken Blu-ray is out, I'll begin work on version 1.0, which will likely be similar to 0.5, only in HD and with more work done on the sources, including basic color correction where applicable and possibly attempting to enhance the upscaled MHD footage to make it fit better alongside the HD Japanese footage.

After this, further revisions might be made to improve subtler aspects of the film. A few things I can think of include creating custom shapes to enhance/sharpen the edges of the areas through which flames are visible in the opening credits, recreating the text of the opening credits, adding appropriate amounts of telecine wobble to the subtitles to match the footage behind them, and recreating the end credits from scratch in HD. I'm not completely certain I'll do all of these things, but it's a possibility.

If anyone can lend advice or suggestions on some of the finer points of encoding, color correction, image enhancement or other related aspects of the project, I'm all ears - this is the first project of this kind I've attempted, so any guidance is greatly appreciated. I'll also probably need a few test viewers to help check for problems and make sure the quality's achieving high enough standards.


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Re: Godzilla 1985 - Reconstruction Project

Postby GodzillaFanatic2001 » Sat Jul 16, 2016 6:07 am

I'm thinking you could just stretch the title cards themselves to at least 1.85.1, or perhaps stretch to a certain degree, then crop it to approx the correct aspect ratio. Of course, you could always reconstruct them yourself. For me, the real dilemma is the textless opening to SOG. I can't think of a way to get rid of the opening credit text, unless you use the 4:3 footage and overlay it over the credit sequence.
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Re: Godzilla 1985 - Reconstruction Project

Postby omgitsgodzilla » Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:56 am

G1985, I see you've put the exact same post here and in the Return of Godzilla Blu-ray thread, so I'll just reiterate: I'm doing this as a service to other fans, not for profit, and it's to be traded on the same conditions as are laid out on OriginalTrilogy.com.

I'm pretty sure the credits from Son of Godzilla play over static shots, so it would be easy enough to take the appropriate portions of frames that didn't have any credits on them and use them to cover up the credits.
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Re: Godzilla 1985 - Reconstruction Project

Postby Breakdown » Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:34 am

100% onboard with this. Make our fandom proud.
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Re: Godzilla 1985 - Reconstruction Project

Postby JetrellFo » Sat Jul 16, 2016 8:01 pm

As a member of originaltrilogy.com my self, I think this is a cool idea. There have been some reconstructions done of some of the Godzilla films using a variety of sources and it would be great to see this film get the same treatment.

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Re: Godzilla 1985 - Reconstruction Project

Postby omgitsgodzilla » Sun Jul 17, 2016 5:22 am

I've seen a few of those here and there; however I don't know much about their availability. My goal here is to make the highest quality finished product I can and make it as easily available as possible.

I've currently got OT user Echo3's adjusted copy of the MHD downloading; after that I'll begin work on v0.5. You can also check out my OriginalTrilogy.com thread here.

Added in 9 hours 5 minutes 8 seconds:
Well, after a closer examination of my sources, it looks like v0.5 might be even rougher than I anticipated. Being accustomed to working with Blu-ray rips and not having bothered to research DVD video standards, I didn't realize that DVDs weren't encoded at 24 or 23.976 frames per second. My copy of the Japanese version, sourced from a DVD, is therefore at the wrong frame rate. On top of that, it's windowboxed, as is commonly seen on Toho's DVD transfers, and the image itself has the wrong aspect ratio.

Seeing as this is only a test run, I'm not going to really sweat these issues, but since the result of this exercise will be plagued with so many problems and inconsistencies, I may not actually release it. Given that most of the film would be a mess of frame rate artifacts and aspect ratio problems, and therefore a step down from the MHD recording for viewing purposes, this version is really only useful as practice for once the Kraken Blu-ray is released.

On an unrelated note, does anyone happen to know if there's any reference out there for the Godzilla roar heard over the New World logo in the theatrical version? I've heard that it's present in the TV version of the film; are there any recordings of older TV airings that we know of?
Last edited by omgitsgodzilla on Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Godzilla 1985 - Reconstruction Project

Postby omgitsgodzilla » Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:14 am

I want to offer my sincerest thanks to Bigdog, who has supplied me with a 720p TV broadcast recording of the Japanese version in the correct frame rate and aspect ratio. This not only makes v0.5 much easier, but it means that since it's probably the same transfer, the color is likely the same as the material Kraken is using. I might even be able to just take the same project file, change the resolution, and substitute in the rip of the Kraken Blu-ray without any color-sensitive work being compromised. This simplifies matters so much I'm actually really excited.

So far I've gotten the first two shots done. That's more work than it sounds like: In the first shot, the establishing shot of the Yahata-Maru, I had to locate the original shot from much later in the scene from the Japanese version, match the editing, and then re-create the "100 MILES SOUTH OF TOKYO" location super, which I got reasonably close to - the biggest challenge was finding an exact font match; the one I settled on has slightly differently shaped zeroes, but it's otherwise almost identical.

The second shot was more complicated: There was a large location super in the Japanese footage that needed to be removed. I decided that, to preserve the higher quality of the Japanese footage, I would merely cover the location super with the equivalent portion of the same shot from the US version. The US version is cropped slightly differently and has different colors, but after about two hours of fiddling with the placement, masking, and different color adjustments, I managed to cover the location super pretty well. The shots didn't blend 100% perfectly, but have a look for yourself:

Resized Image

Resized Image

It's not flawless, and I might come back to it to tweak it a little more, but it's more than good enough for this version, and it's probably not that easy to notice if you're not looking for it.
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Re: Godzilla 1985 - Reconstruction Project

Postby Pkmatrix » Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:51 am

I'd have to see it in motion to be sure, but as a screenshot it looks fine and isn't that noticeable at all. :) Great job!

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Re: Godzilla 1985 - Reconstruction Project

Postby omgitsgodzilla » Tue Jul 19, 2016 3:26 pm

This project is going by much more quickly and painlessly than anticipated; I'm already a solid 15 minutes into the movie and the biggest challenge remains matching colors when masking off Japanese text, which is tricky since each shot needs slightly different adjustments, but so far it's not too much of a challenge. However, I've just finished the scene where Naoko and Ken reunite at the hospital, which means that the next scene is the sinking of the Russian sub, which will require both a lot of masking and color work to cover up the Japanese subtitles and recreating the subtitles themselves, so that'll most likely be slower going, especially considering that the last few scenes weren't nearly as heavily edited as some other scenes.

What's really interesting about this project is how much I'm learning about the changes and edits that were made to this movie. I never realized just how extensively this film was recut; aside from several scenes being removed, a good deal of shots are rearranged within the scenes themselves and some establishing shots are taken from entirely different parts of the original film - for instance, two establishing shots of Tokyo are played before the scene of Maki confronting his editor in the US cut, but they were originally used after Maki visits the geologist. As I mentioned before, the first shot of the Yahata-Maru in the American version is actually taken from much later in the scene, meaning that it actually plays twice, aside from several shots of Godzilla emerging and Ken's reactions being shown in a different order.
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Re: Godzilla 1985 - Reconstruction Project

Postby Bigdog » Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:13 pm

omgitsgodzilla wrote:I want to offer my sincerest thanks to Bigdog, who has supplied me with a 720p TV broadcast recording of the Japanese version in the correct frame rate and aspect ratio. This not only makes v0.5 much easier, but it means that since it's probably the same transfer, the color is likely the same as the material Kraken is using. I might even be able to just take the same project file, change the resolution, and substitute in the rip of the Kraken Blu-ray without any color-sensitive work being compromised. This simplifies matters so much I'm actually really excited.

So far I've gotten the first two shots done. That's more work than it sounds like: In the first shot, the establishing shot of the Yahata-Maru, I had to locate the original shot from much later in the scene from the Japanese version, match the editing, and then re-create the "100 MILES SOUTH OF TOKYO" location super, which I got reasonably close to - the biggest challenge was finding an exact font match; the one I settled on has slightly differently shaped zeroes, but it's otherwise almost identical.

The second shot was more complicated: There was a large location super in the Japanese footage that needed to be removed. I decided that, to preserve the higher quality of the Japanese footage, I would merely cover the location super with the equivalent portion of the same shot from the US version. The US version is cropped slightly differently and has different colors, but after about two hours of fiddling with the placement, masking, and different color adjustments, I managed to cover the location super pretty well. The shots didn't blend 100% perfectly, but have a look for yourself:


It's not flawless, and I might come back to it to tweak it a little more, but it's more than good enough for this version, and it's probably not that easy to notice if you're not looking for it.


I'm glad you're doing well with this transfer, omgitsgodzilla. As for the work you've done so far with the shots, it looks good to me, but I haven't seen the full quality either. I'm looking forward to seeing the final version myself because the highest quality I have for 1985 is VHS. It'd be cool to see the movie in a better quality until the rights eventually get sorted out.

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Re: Godzilla 1985 - Reconstruction Project

Postby JVM » Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:10 pm

Congrats on your work. Good to know that even if Kraken and Toho can't pony up on this, someone can - and the fact you're doing it from your position speaks volumes about how plausible it is to do so.
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Re: Godzilla 1985 - Reconstruction Project

Postby omgitsgodzilla » Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:42 pm

I really appreciate the support, you guys. I'm still slogging through the Russian sub sequence but it's getting easier as I do it more.
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Re: Godzilla 1985 - Reconstruction Project

Postby omgitsgodzilla » Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:42 pm

It's been a grunt, but I've finally finished the Russian sub scene. I had to make three passes at this scene: one to line up the Japanese footage with the US version's editing, another to mask off the Japanese subtitles, and a third to add the English subtitles. The English subtitles aren't precise recreations of what's on the video version, seeing as we have no reference for the theatrical subtitles that I'm aware of, so I took a few minor liberties.

The line breaks in the video subtitles are preserved, though the positioning is different since the video version was severely cropped to remove the theatrical subs, meaning that lining mine up with the video subtitles would put them in very awkward-looking positions. I positioned them roughly the same distance above the bottom of the frame, with similar line spacing. Since the font, as far as I could tell, was the same one used for the opening "100 MILES SOUTH OF TOKYO" location super, I used the same font for the subtitles that I'd previously used to recreate that. There was a heavy black outline/shadow on the video subtitles that I didn't replicate exactly, but I did add a subtler version to help make the text a little more distinguishable from the background. The video subs had other idiosyncrasies such as putting spaces before question marks or exclamation points, which I confess I didn't replicate because it just looked really odd to me. Also, except for a few cases where a subtitle appeared in the video version one frame before a cut to a different shot (I simply started those at the same time as the cut), the timing should otherwise be a frame-for-frame match.

Here are a few before and after samples to compare:

Resized Image

Resized Image

Resized Image

Resized Image

Resized Image

Resized Image

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