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Click Here for the Shaw Brothers Release Schedule from Celestial

26/02/03 - Celestial TV Channel (full article)

Hong Kong’s 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 channel’s 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 isn’t 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 www.teako170.com

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 given).

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
Killer Clans
Kingdom and the Beauty
Love in a Fallen City
Price of Love
The Tea House
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
The Warlord

Artwork at Asiandvdguide

05/12/02 - Release schedule for next few months Upcoming

  • COME DRINK WITH ME (martial arts) (R3) - Celestial - 12/02
  • 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 - 12/02
  • THE HEROIC ONES (martial arts) (R3) - Celestial - 12/02
  • 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 - 12/02
  • THE HOUSE OF 72 TENANTS (comedy) (R3) - Celestial - 12/02
  • TILL THE END OF TIME (drama) (R3) - Celestial - 12/02
  • KIDNAP (drama) (R3) - Celestial - 12/02
  • THE EMPRESS DOWAGER (period drama) (R3) - Celestial - 12/02
  • THE BLUE AND THE BLACK (drama) (R3) - Celestial - 12/02
  • THE ANONYMOUS HEROES (martial arts) (R3) - Celestial - 12/02
  • THE MAGIC BLADE (martial arts) (R3) - Celestial - 12/02
  • 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) - Celestial
  • 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 - 02/03
  • THE LOVE ETERNE (period drama) (R3) - Celestial - 02/03
  • LOVE WITHOUT END (drama) (R3) - Celestial - 02/03
  • WE LOVE MILLIONAIRES (musical) (R3) - Celestial - 02/03

05/11/02 - Celestial signs huge video deals across Asia
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.

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 are:

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 Kuan Tai.
THE WARLORD - Comedy starring Lily Li.
TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR - Chinese science fiction, Shaw Brothers style.
LOVE IN A FALLEN CITY - Period romance starring Chow Yun Fat and Cora Maio.
THE PRICE OF LOVE - Another romance with Teddy Kwan and Chen Ping.
KINGDOM AND THE BEAUTY - Early Shaw Brothers musical featuring King Hu.
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 imperfections.

"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 Film Festival.

10/10/02 - Celestial Release Date Confirmed -5th December 2002

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 film’s 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

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