Friday, October 17, 2008

Thief DVD poll

Andreas mentioned in his last post that we will take a break from posting for a few months. If any of our former Thief co-workers would like to do a guest post let me know. Just send email to thiefcobbler at yahoo dot com. I don't check that email account too often, so maybe leave a quick reminder in the comment section as well.

Many of you have been digging already into the archive. This is an opportunity to catch up on older posts. Some of the most interesting posts were posted months ago, so why not start at the beginning and read them all? Also check the TIPS FOR NEW READERS in the side bar.

Now, my apologies to the 23 people who already voted in the DVD poll. I want to simplify the poll, so please vote again in the new poll box on the right. Here is the long version:
A lot of us wish for an official DVD release with all the Williams footage of the THIEF. It would be good to know how many people would buy such a DVD. Please vote for one of these 2 options:

1. Yes, I would buy such a DVD, but only if the film gets properly finished.
2. Yes, a high quality version of the workprint, with storyboards. Plus documentaries etc.

I will vote for No. 2, because that could happen immediately. There is more than 1 hour of finished Williams animation footage, not counting the storyboards. Finishing the film would be a whole different story and who knows when that might happen. Would it be possible to re-assemble a crew that would be able to finish it on the same quality level? Would it make sense to spend the money necessary to get that whole machine rolling again? We have discussed this before, but please comment if you have strong opinions one way or another.


Ian said...

Yes, a high quality version of the workprint, with storyboards. Plus documentaries etc.

Bryon Caldwell said...

A workprint release would be awesome! I'd love to see some of the deleted scenes and hear some commentary on the making of the film!

Nils Poulsen said...

I want it all. First a workprint/documentaries/interviews-DVD and
if that should sell well maybe there would be interest from all sides to finish the film.

Anonymous said...

I want to hear commentary on the film from the man himself

Anonymous said...

I think this film could be finished before 2012 in the quality that Richard would approve of. Roy E Disney and Don Hahn could bring the elements of Thief & The Cobbler out of the vault and obtain finances. Alex Williams could direct; many of the film's animators in the 1989-1992 period could resume their work under Alex. Thief & The Cobbler can re-assert traditional animation as profitable, even if Princess & The Frog doesn't. After all, if Richard could get a whole hour of it completed (without a computer) in three year's time, 15 minutes of the same quality won't be that hard. Will it?

Garrett said...

Just the workprint that we have wouldn't be enough for me. There's enough partly-finished material that the workprint could be reedited ...... perhaps like the Recobbled Cut with less Calvert material. I really don't think the film would go back into production and that there would be more material finished -- but that's what needs to happen, since we're very close to finished on many scenes.

Holger said...

Any official Thief DVD release is theoretical at the moment, but it would be a lot of fun if Richard Williams could be convinced to become involved. If he would feel that the presentation of the film would benefit by including certain scenes that were finished without his involvement that would be great. But I think that should be his call.
I've described before how the Thief had it's biggest impact on me when it was shown to us in chunks during special screenings for our crew parties. For example the War Machine or the Polevault and Awnings sequences. In addition to presenting the whole story similar to how it was done for the workreel, combining finished animation, linetests and storyboards, I also would love to see Richard Williams present certain sequences that we managed to finish individually, with him doing a little on camera introduction for each sequence. I feel that this would help the audience appreciate the jewels that are in this film, without having to sit through unfinished and storyboarded parts that were never meant to be seen in that state.

Anonymous said...

If Williams could ever be persuaded, it would be great to present the film as a companion masterclass to his Animated Survival Kit documentary. Maybe not as much of a finished film, but an explanation of every element of key scenes like the War Machine and the palace chase.

I would be happy with just a restored work-print version from the best film elements held by Disney. Although, it would be neat to see an option to view finished shots in pencil form via the "multi-angle" DVD feature. They did this on the first Mickey Mouse DVD set, with Pluto's Judgment Day.

Anonymous said...

Has the mangled "Arabian Knight" version been seen in Los Angeles? Because if it hasn't, that means finishing the true "Thief and the Cobbler" and getting it screened in Los Angeles could make it eligible for the Best Animated Feature Oscar. What does everyone think of that?

Pascal said...

I think for now it would be nice to get a few more votes before we get carried away. Tell your friends to vote and don't forget to tell them also about this:

Rafi animates said...

Multi-disc release please.

Disc One containing all the Williams footage (workprint?) restored and remastered with audio commentry from the man himself.

Disc Two containing all the documentaries and tv specials to date.

Disc Three containing a newly finished film - completed under Williams' guidance and direction, for a final ultimate directors cut fully remastered + PiP commentary of course.

Disc Four artwork galore, lost scenes, all footage from the Nasrudin-era version and scenes from any other encarnations of the film.

wishful thinking I know.

Anonymous said...

I think you ar missing the boat with a DVD.

Blu ray is the format you should work towards. Animation of this historic quality should be viewed in HD quality.

Pascal said...

Of course HD would be appropriate for this, but I think the main point right now is to establish that there is a demand for an official release.

Anonymous said...

HD would be nice, but we don't even have a widescreen DVD of the lousy Miramax cut available (legally).

Craig said...

If a restored workprint is released it may kill any remaining momentum to actually complete those 15-20 minutes of animation, restore the existing workprint or negatives and do a proper release of the film everyone really wants.

If anyone remembers the Little Shop of Horrors DVD recall in the 90's (which included a rough, unfinished but truly epic original ending that was abandoned in 1986), this is the same thing David Geffen was up in arms about. He wanted to re-release LSOH with the original ending and he felt that issuing a DVD with a raw version of it as an unfinished special feature basically killed his hopes of that ever happening. Time will tell if he was right just on those grounds alone.

On the other hand, I've seen the Recobbled version and from that I know what kind of film it could have been. Restored Workprint or production revisited by its director, Disney needs to release some version of this film that has the original creator's approval.

The film at the very least deserves a Criterion quality disc release.

As far as Williams himself is concerned, I wonder if anyone at Disney other than Roy has ever really given the man reason to believe that he would be given full access to all his remaining film elements and final approval on any kind of release of his film.

If that were to become the case it might still be too painful or tiring a thought for Williams to consider, but it could also go the other way.

Realistic is a restored workprint release on DVD/HD. Very small chance is Williams actually being persuaded to complete his film for limited theatrical release.

Still, anything is possible.


Andreas said...

my guess is that there will never be a finished version. the cost to finish in keeping with the existing artwork is far too high to justify for am movie that holds a niche market is called the animation business for a reason.
a workprint with documentaries and commentary is more likely, realistic and, i think, more desirable.For whatever reason..and there are are several, it will remain the Thief that never was...and thats a plenty interesting dvd as is.

Jo Bingo said...

I vote the second option - anything for the DVD to be official, for the work to be honored!!!!!!