Hey hey, Don from Synapse here with a note about CURTAINS to Synapse fans… There are two things about CURTAINS that may make it late by a few weeks (don’t worry… both are GOOD reasons). First, the film stock was incredibly grainy and, when we got our first encodes back, honestly, I thought they could be better. The encoder wasn’t handling the grain structure well and it was softening the grain enough for me to take a couple more cracks at the compression. It looked really good for the most part, but when paused, I was seeing breakup in the grain that I wasn’t too fond of. Right now, I am awaiting delivery of our third pass at the encode and I hope to have it Thursday. I could’ve released it as is, and probably no one would’ve noticed, but for me, it’s important to do it right, and I felt concentrating more on encode settings for as close to perfection as we could is the best thing to do. I mean, we ARE going from a 2K file 2TB in size, and trying to release a 50GB Blu, so there is ALWAYS going to be compression issues… It’s unavoidable…The 2nd thing is that, right after we’d encoded, got our bit budget and finished everything, we got the opportunity to add an additional supplement. On the Blu (sorry DVD lovers… space limitations on a DVD-9 had this version already squeezed pretty tight) there will be a small vintage documentary on director Richard Ciupka for the Blu that actually HAS BEHIND-THE SCENES FOOTAGE(!!!) from the set of CURTAINS. This didn’t come to our attention until late in the game, but Michael Felsher of Red Shirt Pictures really pushed for us to include it, and we will. Big thanks to the filmmakers for allowing access to it. The delay in getting the encode done much better, and adding the featurette for the Blu is, in our opinion, well worth the wait. I just wanted CURTAINS to be the ultimate presentation, so I hope you’ll all be patient for an extra couple weeks.
We apologize for the inconvenience about the street date change, but we feel the extra couple of weeks will just make for a MUCH better product overall. We owe it to the fans to make sure the discs are the best they can possibly be. We have posted this news on our Synapse Films page on Facebook as well, if you want to check it out over there.
Just so you can see my mania (and my incredibly picky personality that most companies can’t stand to work with), I’m going to post three images here of what was happening with the compression. Now, again, most of you might go “what, huh?”, but it WAS affecting the grain structure enough for me to pull this and go back… The first image will be a sample from the initial HD file before compression (magnified 200x times to see grain), the 2nd image will be the initial compression that I took issue with (magnified 200x), and the 3rd image is the newer, improved compression (magnified 200x). Here goes…
This is a still from the original master (click twice to fully enlarge):
This is a still from the original 1st encode that we rejected (click twice to fully enlarge):
This is a still from the newest encode (click twice to fully enlarge):
You can see in the greyish wall on the left how the compression was “breaking up” the grain structure of the film in the 2nd photo. Just wanted it to better represent the master as closely as possible, so we redid it. This, along with a few other factors, are being fixed right now.
We’re still shooting for a July release date. After speaking with my distributor yesterday, they thought that Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 would be a much better day for release (we really tried for the 22nd, but they thought the extra week would be better, based on replication schedules). This gives us time to send out early review copies a week before. But, those of you who order the discs from right here on the Synapse Films website WILL still probably get them earlier than anyone else. We’ll start sending out the discs IMMEDIATELY, as soon as they arrive in our office. Chances are, anyone who orders from us will get their copies before the new street date.