Click Here for the Shaw
Brothers Release Schedule from Celestial
26/02/03 - Celestial TV Channel (full
Hong Kongs Celestial Pictures is set to roll out
its 24-hour Chinese movie channel, Celestial Movies, in Malaysia and
Brunei on March 3, with launches in other territories around the world
to follow over the coming year. ...Following its launch in Malaysia,
the channel will be rolled out in Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong and
Taiwan over the next six months with the US, Europe and Australia to
follow within a year. ...
...About 30% of the channels content will be sourced
from the 760-title Shaw Brothers library, which Celestial acquired three
years ago, while acquisitions will account for the remaining 70%. Among
the product Celestial has licensed is a portion of the Golden Harvest
library, owned by Warner Bros, which includes around 170 titles produced
in the 1990s several of which star Jackie Chan. ...
...We want to make it clear that this isnt a classic
movies channel or a Shaw Brothers channel, but a Chinese movie channel,"
said Celestial CEO William Pfeiffer. ..."
02/01/03 - Conversation with Celestial - Source
Does Celestial plan to release Region 1 encoded discs?
YES. We might possibly see such discs as early as May 2003. Now, before
you go spouting off this date to the fours corners of cyberspace, let
it be known that this is a "tentative" date and things can
and will change.
Does Celestial plan English dubbed versions?
YES. Or I should say "more than likely." The rep did not know
if such discs would use the original dubs or if they will be redubbed.
In any event, English dubbed versions will occur eventually (no date
Will Five Deadly Venoms be a part of the Celestial release?
YES. I saw a thread a while back debating whether Celestial had copyright
to this film and if it would be included in the remastering process.
The rep believed that the English version/rights to said film "may"
have been sold/leased to a company in the west by Shaw Bros. some time
ago -- however --- Celestial does have the rights to the Chinese version
and it will indeed be part of their release schedule. No street date
is known, so we will just have to play it by ear.
(as always remember this is really tentative!)
12/12/02 - Artwork for 10 Celestial DVDs
Come Drink With Me
The Heroic Ones
Hong Kong Nocturne
Kingdom and the Beauty
Love in a Fallen City
Price of Love
The Tea House
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Artwork at Asiandvdguide
05/12/02 - Release schedule for next few months
- COME DRINK WITH ME (martial arts) (R3) - Celestial
- THE WARLORD (comedy) (R3) - Celestial - 12/02
- THE KINGDOM AND THE BEAUTY (huangmei/yellow plum opera)
(R3) - Celestial - 12/02
- LOVE IN A FALLEN CITY (drama) (R3) - Celestial - 12/02
- THE TEA HOUSE (action/adventure) (R3) - Celestial
- THE HEROIC ONES (martial arts) (R3) - Celestial -
- KILLER CLANS (martial arts) (R3) - Celestial - 12/02
- HONG KONG NOCTURNE (musical) (R3) - Celestial - 12/02
- THE PRICE OF LOVE (drama) (R3) - Celestial - 12/02
- TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR (sci-fi) (R3) - Celestial
- THE HOUSE OF 72 TENANTS (comedy) (R3) - Celestial
- TILL THE END OF TIME (drama) (R3) - Celestial - 12/02
- KIDNAP (drama) (R3) - Celestial - 12/02
- THE EMPRESS DOWAGER (period drama) (R3) - Celestial
- THE BLUE AND THE BLACK (drama) (R3) - Celestial -
- THE ANONYMOUS HEROES (martial arts) (R3) - Celestial
- THE MAGIC BLADE (martial arts) (R3) - Celestial -
- THE BRIDE NAPPING (huangmei/yellow plum opera) (R3)
- Celestial - 12/02
- HONG KONG RHAPSODY (musical) (R3) - Celestial - 12/02
- HONG KONG PLAYBOYS (comedy) (R3) - Celestial - 12/02
- THE BLUE AND THE BLACK II (drama) (R3) - Celestial
- TEENAGE DREAMERS (drama) - Celestial
- THE THREE SMILES (huangmei/yellow plum opera) (R3)
- VERMILLION DOOR (drama) (R3) - Celestial
- CLANS OF INTRIGUE (martial arts) (R3) - Celestial
- THE LAST WOMAN OF SHANG (huangmei/yellow plum opera)
(R3) - Celestial
- TEMPLE OF THE RED LOTUS (martial arts) (R3) - Celestial
- BIG BROTHER CHENG (action/adventure) (R3) - Celestial
- THE VOYAGE OF EMPEROR CHIEN LUNG (comedy) (R3) - Celestial
- THE MILLIONAIRE CHASE (comedy) (R3) - Celestial
- THE BLOOD BROTHERS (martial arts) (R3) - Celestial
- THE MONKEY GOES WEST (period drama) (R3) - Celestial
- THE LAST TEMPEST (period drama) (R3) - Celestial
- HUMAN LANTERNS (horror) (R3) - Celestial
- DEATH DUEL (martial arts) (R3) - Celestial
- HEROES TWO (martial arts) (R3) - Celestial - 02/03
- THE CAVE OF SILKEN WEB (period drama) (R3) - Celestial
- THE LOVE ETERNE (period drama) (R3) - Celestial -
- LOVE WITHOUT END (drama) (R3) - Celestial - 02/03
- WE LOVE MILLIONAIRES (musical) (R3) - Celestial -
05/11/02 - Celestial signs huge video deals across
Patrick Frater in Milan
Celestial Pictures, the Hong Kong upstart which owns the Shaw Bros library
of Chinese classic movies, has put in place a raft of key distribution
partnerships across Asia.
The move represents the group's first substantial revenues
streams after the start-up phase and enable it to boost the catalogue's
visibility ahead of its TV channel launch.
Celestial boss William Pfeiffer and Gordon Cheung, executive
vice president of distribution, has signed multi-year home entertainment
licences with Deltamac for Taiwan, United Home Entertainment for Thailand,
Videovan Entertainment industry for Singapore and Malaysia and Cipta
Mitra Video Nusa for Indonesia. The company expects to sign similar
licence deals for China, Korea and Japan in the next couple of weeks.
The 760 title deals cover all the Shaw library as well
as a number of newer titles. Many of the Shaw titles have never been
on video and most have not been on TV since the 1980s.
"These are all top of the range distributors, the
kind that release Hollywood studio product and do normally handle Chinese
library titles," said Pfeiffer.
Breaking new ground in Asian video distribution, Celestial
has secured simultaneous release of the films in batches of 10-12 titles
and price co-ordination in order to combat video piracy and parallel
imports. Celestial has so far restored and re-mastered more than 100
films and is currently completing 15 more per month. It expects to release
150 titles via the partnerships in the first year.
In its native Hong Kong it has struck a straight distribution
deal with Intercontinental Video leaving Celestial responsible for marketing.
It is launching a mini film festival in Hong Kong from Nov 15 just ahead
of the launch of the first batch of titles in early December.
"With these deals under our belt we can now concentrate
on European and US sales during Mifed. In these territories we can re-release
some films into theatres and re-start the windowing cycle," said
Pfeiffer confirmed that Celestial will now roll out its
Asian film channel in the first quarter of 2003. It has been frantically
licensing rights to contemporary titles to complement the Shaw library
films, that will make up approximately 25% of its airtime. The channel
is to be broadcast via a combination of satellite and cable and is capable
of being customised for all the territories covered by its footprint.
31/10/02 - Celestial Site states it will be up
and running in December for trading:
30/10/02 The first 10 Celestial Shaw titles
THE HEROIC ONES - The classic Chang Cheh epic starring
Ti Lung, David Chiang
KILLER CLANS - Prominent swordsman thriller starring Lo Lieh, Danny
Lee, Yuen Hua, & Norman Chu.
COME DRINK WITH ME - King Hu's early martial arts smash starring Yuen
Hua, Ku Feng, and Cheng Pei Pei.
THE TEA HOUSE -Highly regarded contemporary action yarn starring Chen
THE WARLORD - Comedy starring Lily Li.
TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR - Chinese science fiction, Shaw Brothers
LOVE IN A FALLEN CITY - Period romance starring Chow Yun Fat and Cora
THE PRICE OF LOVE - Another romance with Teddy Kwan and Chen Ping.
KINGDOM AND THE BEAUTY - Early Shaw Brothers musical featuring King
HONG KONG NOCTURNE - Another musical starring Lily Li, Cheng Pei Pei,
& Chin Ping.
Read on... www.dvdcult.com/kfdvd.htm
29/10/02 Article on how Shaw films are being remastered
- Copyright unknown
CORAL SPRINGS, Fla./USA - Da Vinci Systems, Inc. today
announced that Shaw Brothers Studios Remastering Center is using da
Vinci's 2K color correction system and revival for discreet film restoration
solution on the restoration and remastering of 760 Shaw Brothers films
from the late '50s to the mid '80s. The da Vinci systems will be used
to preserve the full spectrum of Shaw Brothers' productions, including
dramas and musicals, as well as the martial arts films that inspired
directors such as John Woo and Quentin Tarantino while launching the
careers of several actors including Chow Yong Fat, star of "Crouching
Tiger, Hidden Dragon."
The collection, much of which has remained in a Shaw
Brothers film vault for the past 30 years, was purchased in 2001 by
Hong Kong-based Celestial Pictures, which also holds all reproduction,
remake, and sequel rights. Shaw Brothers Studios Remastering Center
will be completing 20 high-definition (HD) films for Celestial Pictures
each year, with the remainder of the films remastered in standard definition
(SD). The release of remastered works is scheduled to begin this fall.
"Some of these films are 40 or 50 years old, so every time we open
up a can to look at a reel of film, it's a new surprise," said
Thoma Thurau, chief engineer at Shaw Brothers Studios Remastering Center.
"We don't know what we're going to face. No matter how well you
store it, film naturally will start decaying. Luckily, we've been able
to catch it and start remastering digitally."
After each film is examined physically, checked for splices
and other damage, and cleaned, it is transferred on a Spirit telecine
controlled by da Vinci's 2K. After doing a best-light color correction
in high definition, the operator creates an HD D5 archive tape. The
film is downconverted, depending on whether Celestial has requested
HD or SD, and then transferred into a 14-terabyte Discreet stone disk
array via the Discreet backdraft. From there the film is distributed
to five da Vinci revival for discreet systems, which perform an automatic
pass on each reel to clean up much of the dirt, scratches, and other
"The power of the revival's automatic mode, in addition
to support from da Vinci, allowed us to reduce our staff's workload
dramatically," said Thurau. "One of the problems we faced
early on with the Kung Fu films was that we were getting artifacts or
pixelization during scenes containing a lot of action. An actor would
be throwing a punch, and the system would think that the unusually fast
motion was dirt. da Vinci's revival team adapted the system's algorithms
to take care of this unique fast-motion issue. As a result we were able
to run all of our reels of film through the system in an automatic mode,
eliminating a lot of the 'interactive' work -- sometimes more than 50%
-- that our staff would have done manually otherwise."
Fifty-six Linux CPUs run the automatic pass, and 12 additional
Unix CPUs can be used in combination to assist in processing. Depending
on how these CPUs are combined, automatic processing is often performed
in real time. When the auto pass is complete, staff members use the
revival's interactive mode, going through the film frame by frame to
complete the process. The reels are then sent to one of three Discreet
smoke systems that edit together the reels. This transfer is done via
backdraft using a HiPPI network to which all of the revival and smoke
systems are attached. This product integration allows Shaw Brothers
staff to continue with restorations and complete the final 2K color
correction pass simultaneous with the automatic transfers.
"As a film restoration program that can work inside
a Discreet file system, da Vinci's revival for discreet allows us to
maintain each clip as a full film reel averaging about 10 minutes long,"
said Thurau. "We don't have to convert anything over to another
file format or into individual frames for restoration. For the sheer
volume of the work we do here -- often with 15 to 20 films on our system
at a given time, each reel holding 15,000 frames -- you can imagine
the nightmare of keeping track of all the frames. Being able to keep
it all in a single file format has great advantage."
Shaw Brothers Studios Remastering Center employs a staff
of 37, with shifts running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The remastering
center completes as many as four titles each week in both Mandarin and
Cantonese versions. In its first six months in operation, the lab remastered
50 films, including "Come Drink With Me," a classic action
film from 1967. The film, which was remastered in HD 1080/24p and transferred
back to film in just two-and-a-half weeks, was warmly received during
its presentation at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.
"On a project of this scale, it is important to
have the resources of our equipment vendors behind us, and the support
we've received from da Vinci has been second to none," concluded
Thurau. "It's been really fantastic. Without their help, I don't
think this project would have gotten off to such a strong start. Each
time we face a new problem with an old film, the R&D people have
worked with us in developing a great solution. The da Vinci and Discreet
systems all fit very nicely together, creating a high-volume, flexible
tapeless remastering center."
About da Vinci Systems, Inc.
da Vinci Systems, an Acterna Corporation company (NASDAQ: ACTR), provides
digital film, HDTV, and SDTV color enhancement technology, and film
restoration to the worldwide post-production marketplace. The company
has its headquarters in Coral Springs, Fla., with offices in Los Angeles,
New York, London, Paris, Germany, and Singapore. Visit da Vinci on the
Web at www.davsys.com.
About Shaw Brothers Remastering Center
Shaw Brothers Studios Remastering Center, located in Hong Kong, was
established for the purpose of remastering a collection of 760 Shaw
Brothers films for Celestial Pictures, which recently acquired the rights
to the collection. In its first six months in operation, the lab remastered
50 films, including "Come Drink With Me," a well-known 1967
action film remastered in HD and presented at the this year's Cannes
10/10/02 - Celestial Release Date Confirmed -5th
Check out press release:
Celestial Pictures presents Shaw Brothers Masterpieces
Digitally Restored starting December 5, 2002
Celestial Pictures Ltd. proudly announced the coming
release of the Shaw Brothers film masterpieces, which have largely been
unavailable to audiences after their initial theatrical release. A total
of 760 gems from this film treasure trove will be made available for
the first time on DVD and VCD formats from the 5th of this December
onwards, after undergoing a state-of-the-art digitization process to
restore each films sound and image to exceptional quality. The
entire restoration process will take over three years and involves a
team of 30 professionals who work round-the-clock to restore the visual
and sound quality of each frame of the 760 movies.
The launch was announced today at the historic Shaw Brothers
Studio lot in Clear Water Bay by William Pfeiffer, CEO of Celestial
Pictures. Mr. Pfeiffer commented, "Celestial Pictures is honored
to launch the Shaw Brothers library in the restored digital format.
Modern audiences worldwide will now have a unique opportunity to these
masterpieces of Chinese cinema."
read on at http://www.teako170.com/shaw.html