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WAMG At The INDIANA JONES: THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES Press Day At Skywalker Ranch

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Indiana Jones and his one of a kind tales are finally coming to blu-ray, and to celebrate INDIANA JONES : THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES, I went on a little adventure of my own… to the press day at the legendary Skywalker Ranch.

In June of 1981 director Steven Spielberg and executive producer George Lucas introduced the world to Indiana Jones when the unforgettable RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK debuted in cinemas. Exploding to instant acclaim, the film has now been carefully restored, alongside remastered versions of the archaeologist’s other thrilling adventures: INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM, INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE and INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL. Prepare for excitement, adventure and snakes - ”Why did it have to be snakes?” – all with pristine picture and sound when INDIANA JONES: THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES debuts on Blu-ray today from Lucasfilm Ltd. and Paramount Home Media Distribution.

CHECK OUT THE TRAILER HERE:

Before going to the ranch, myself and the rest of my media cohorts were picked up and magically whisked to a local theater to see RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK on the IMAX screen. The film looks fantastic. It was a treat to see such a classic film on the big screen. (You can read more tomorrow about the restoration in my review of INDIANA JONES : THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES.)

The next morning we were taken over the river and through the woods (literally) to the Skywalker Ranch. The first location that we were taken to was George Lucas’ private Stag Theater Screening Room, which seats 300 people. While inside, they showed us clips from the new 2-part documentary that is included in the bonus features in the blu-ray set. They also went over how they restored RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK.

While restoring RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, they were painstakingly careful. Their main goal was to preserve the films original look, sound and feel. They scanned the original film at 4K and then went over each and every frame individually to check for damages, and to make repairs.

Next, Academy Award winning sound designer Ben Burtt and visual effects supervisor Dennis Muren talked a bit about working on the films.

The sound design was restored using Ben Burtt’s original master mix, which had been preserved in the archives since 1981. They created new, higher quality stereo surrounds by using the original effects and music tracks. Originally, these were only used in mono. Burtt stated that he was not to pleased with the original sound of the film…

“I felt for years that the original recordings that were done back in 1981, the original masters on RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK were possibly… higher quality than what we were getting on the release of the film, you know, theatrically as well as on home video. I’d actually gone to a screening of the film at the Academy, and I hadn’t heard it in many years, and I was a little disappointed by what I heard… and I thought there was some… I wanna look into this!”

Dennis Muren on the visual effects:

The effects for the Indy films took second place to, ahh, the story… and the characters. That’s what were featured in the Indy films. You know, Harrison Ford, all of the supplimentary actors… the secondary guys, the sets, the locations, just the plot… all that stuff was in the forefront, and our effects did not… uh, in any way could not show up as being flashy. They had to just fit right within that.”

You can check out some of their thoughts on the film here:

All of the discs feature teaser and theatrical trailers. INDIANA JONES: THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES also includes a special bonus disc with such features as On the set with Raiders of the Lost Ark, Making the Films, The Stunts of Indiana Jones, The Effects of Indy, and so much more!

Next, we were taken into an area where few have traveled… The Lucasfilm Archives. Walking into the Lucasfilm Archives was like walking into my own nerdy wonderland. They had a nice display of Indiana Jones props and costumes laid out for us to enjoy. Check out my pictures below. (There are also more in the thumbnails towards the bottom of the page.) Everything below is film used.

While there, we also got a brief tour of a part of the property, including the Tech Building, George Lucas’s vineyards, and Ewok Lake. You can check out those photos, as well as more from the Lucasfilm Archives below.

For those of you that would like a chance to see some of the props in person, the will be displayed from October 12th, 2012 -August 21st, at the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana, California as part of the Indiana Jones: Adventures in Archaeology exhibit.

INDIANA JONES : THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES is in stores today

Nerdy, snarky horror lover with a campy undertone. Goonies never say die.

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