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How does the 4K Blu-ray compare to 35mm?

Jurassic Park has changed a lot since its release.

We’ve seen so many movies processed in different ways for DVD, digital, and Blu-ray releases. Have we lost the look of the movie? And is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Dean Cundey, ASC had just finished shooting hook for Steven Spielberg when the director asked if he was interested in working on it Jurassic Park. He took the chance to work with such greatness and imagination.

But does the movie look the same now as it did when it came out?

I stumbled upon this YouTube video where CNXToonami compares the original 35mm from Jurassic Park how it looks now on Blu-ray. A warning is displayed before watching: “Please ignore the slight mismatch of the frames. There were some problems converting the UHD with the correct SDR tone mapping to import into my editing program.”

Check it out and let’s talk after the jump.

Jurassic Park: 4K Blu-ray vs. 35mm

When Jurassic Park was brought to Blu-ray, they actually scanned the film’s negatives and used the raw data to put it on the digitized version. One of the big differences lies in the color of the 35mm, which appears bluer compared to the slightly more yellow 4K.

Over the years, Jurassic Park has gone through many broadcasts, and while 4K is considered the best, it can’t hold a candle to see the original movie on film.

Even good conversation can only mimic what we saw, and if you weren’t alive to see the movie in theaters in 1993, it is difficult to put into words what the film looks like. And that’s something we always chase after.

Original Jurassic Park shooting details

  • Color: Color (Eastmancolor)
  • Aspect ratio: 1.37: 1 (negative ratio) and 1.85: 1 (theater ratio)
  • Camera: Panavision Panaflex Gold, Panavision Primo and Slant Focus lenses, Panavision Panaflex Platinum, Panavision Primo and Slant Focus lenses
  • Laboratory: DeLuxe, Hollywood (CA), USA (color)
  • Negative format: 35 mm (also horizontal) (Eastman EXR 50D 5245, EXR 100T 5248, EXR 500T 5296)
  • Cinematographic process: Spherical, VistaVision (visual effects)
  • Print film format: 35 mm (Eastman 5384), 70 mm (horizontal) (IMAX DMR Blow-up) (double stripe 3D) (Kodak Vision 2383) (new release 2013), D-Cinema (also 3-) D version) (new release 2013)

What’s the verdict?

It’s always fun to see these comparisons. As more movies get transferred to 4K, it’s important to look back at the original 35mm prints to see what was right and what needs to be fixed. I’m all for film preservation and updating, but I think we need to make sure that every artist’s intent is on screen.

Let me know what you think in the comments.

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