Sunday, March 8, 2009

Mya Responds

Marcello Rossi, of Mya DVD, has graciously responded to some of the questions I sent to him about the company and some of the comments I've made here in an earlier entry.

Here are the summaries:

1) The owner of Mya is not Michele de Angelis, as I thought (de Angelis was the co-owner of NoShame), but Salvatore Alongi, who worked for NoShame, as did Marcello Rossi. There is no formal relationship, however, between the companies. NoShame is out of business in Italy, just as in the USA.

2) Mya releases have to be, indeed, budget conscious. Part of this is due to a significant drop in DVD sales overall.

3) The missing frames in Mya's presentation of FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET were in the original negative and due to damage at the beginning and end of reels. I still want to ask a follow-up question on this issue in an interview I'd like to do with Mr. Rossi, but from his response, it appears the missing seconds (which may be less than 40) were not on the negative. [Another update: I've checked the scenes that have been mentioned as cut. I counted 12 seconds missing from the two connecting scenes that follow the burglary of Roberto's house beginning at 21:36, then 12 seconds from the party scene that follows the murder in the park, and 17 seconds from the two connected scenes that follows the murder in the men's room. A total of 41 seconds.]

4) The negative was not in pristine shape. A technicolor lab in Rome had to spend 40 days in cleaning it up. So, obviously, extra time and money was spent on this release.

5) The audio tone is correct. The telecine was 24 fps and the NTSC presentation is 24 fps. The German DVD is presented at 25 fps, so one can't go by that, as the tone will be obviously higher.... This is sure to be a controversial response, as there are posters on message boards who swear that the tone is off and are considerably bothered by this. As I have stated, I wasn't able to spot anything that stood out as being off, except for a brief snippet of Morricone's music in the end credits, where there is a warble. [I have since gone over this again, and the warble is present in the Italian audio, too, both before and during the end credits.]

6) The color-timing in the park scene is correct and as originally intended.

7) The setting of the paragraphs on the back are correct. A space separation was given between the plot and the commentary section, and also the last section that addressed the restoration. Also, the separation between "Velvet" and "finally" is present, but not that visible due to the italization of "Velvet."

I thank Mr. Rossi for taking the time to respond and hope to have an interview with him and Salvatore Alongi in the near future. A thanks to Mike Den Boer for initiating the communication.

1 comment:

  1. While the 41 seconds of visual material lost through damage at reel changes is comprehensible, the "explanation" about the pitch is simply inaccurate.

    5) The pitch for the Mya English audio *is* a semitone flat, compared to the original theatrical/NTSC 24fps Italian track. The opening and closing music of the English audio come from the correct Italian track, so they are fine. In between these "bookends," the English audio apparently comes from the well-known private German PAL disc of FLIES, and slowed from PAL's 25fps to theatrical/NTSC 24fps. That would have been fine except for one thing: the German PAL disc had previously been pitch corrected: as we have it, it is in +4% PAL speed-up but digitally lowered 4% to original theatrical *pitch* (many PAL DVD companies do this to reduce the strange sound of the overly high pitch at PAL speed-up--an example being Medusa's brilliant 2008 PAL transfer of L'ORRIBILE SEGRETO DEL DR. HICHCOCK); so the German PAL FLIES sounded correct to the ear while actually running at PAL speed-up. Because of that pitch-correction, when Mya used and time-synched the English audio from the PAL disc to the 24fps film source, the speed was correct but the *pitch* came out a semitone (4%) too *low* compared to the original Italian audio track. It is easy to hear by comparing the very flat Mya English and correct Italian accompanying music within the film (not the titles which, as I said, are from the original Italian 24fps).

    I would also note that if Mya was okay with porting over most of the private German PAL disc's English audio--albeit unaware that a +4 pitch correction would be required, it would have been just as simple to insert the 41 seconds missing at the reel changes from the same source (with a disclaimer for some alteration in quality), and converting it to NTSC speed/pitch, which any home user can do with a variety of software--thereby truly presenting a complete FLIES. --RES