Main Title from DVD One
Main Title from DVD Two
It's called "Bob and Weave", in no way related to Bob and Ray. It can be caused by worn mechanics in a projector, or worn sprocket holes in the negative or worn sprocket holes in the print, or sloppy high speed printers, or a combination of any or all of them. The sample of the first DVD, shown above left, is 20 consecutive frames playing in a loop. The bob and weave is more noticeable in the sample than on your TV because I've slowed the film down. On the right we have a similar sample from the new DVD. If the image on the right appears to be a still then look closer. It is also a loop of 20 consecutive frames. Obviously the image is rock steady. (And the color is much closer to the original film)
The elimination of Bob and Weave is important in a number of ways. Though the amount of frame to frame misregistration in the original DVD is not extremely noticeable in the first DVD, it is subconsciously visible and it reduces the clarity of the perceived image. But there are technical benefits from eliminating Bob and Weave in a DVD transfer. Until such time as world leaders name the Curator as Supreme Emperor of the Universe we are going to have to accept data compression as a common function of electronic imaging, both at home and in a theatrical environment. Compression can be much more efficient with a rock steady image. Lower compression levels can be used with no substantial increase in the data storage requirements and yet the overall image quality can be improved over an unsteady image.
One more benefit derived from the uncanny steadiness that technicians at WHV have achieved is that despite the fact that the extremely wide aspect ratio robs us of some image resolution there is more than an equal amount of compensation because of the steady image.
Image steadiness has become a hallmark of recent video transfers that WHV have made from old and worn film elements. We invite you to compare earlier and current versions of films like Gone With The Wind, The Adventures of Robin Hood, and Singin' In The Rain, all of which are three-strip Technicolor productions that require perfection in registration of the three color elements. Even color films, such as Ben-Hur, made on single strip color negative can benefit from precision registration, as should be apparent in our illustrations.