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[Rec]: Production version vs theatrical version

Arrow Blu-ray with two identical cuts of the movie

The Spanish horror film [Rec] is available as a new Blu-ray in the UK from Arrow Video since 04 January 2021. In addition to new bonus material, what stood out most was that there are two options on the disc: "theatrical version" (24fps, 1080p, 78 mins) and a "production version" (25fps, 1080i, 75 mins). As a reminder: The found footage shocker was shot with Sony and Panasonic cameras in 25fps, but converted to 24fps for the 35mm transfer for theatrical release.

The difference in frame rate of 25fps usually accounts for about 4%, which is exactly the difference of about 3 minutes for the production version at this duration. This already indicated that the film itself might not show any real differences. However, various comparisons in our archive show that in early stages of the movie, especially if we're talking about workprints or "Producer's Cuts", things may still get changed for the final theatrical version.

Arrow Video also writes in the booklet that the "production version" comes from the original digital intermediate, while the theatrical version was scanned from a 35mm source. Also because of this different material origin, we have of course taken a closer look at the two versions. However, no differences in content can be found. The first logo comes a bit later in the theatrical version, otherwise the versions are virtually identical frame by frame from beginning to end.

A similar and in detail somewhat different case could already be seen recently from Arrow Video with Ivansxtc, which is even available in three versions (see comparison to the Extended Producer's Cut) on Blu-ray. The original Producer's Cut also shows no differences in content to the theatrical version. Again, it was shot digitally with a Sony camera, but set to 30fps or NTSC. In this case, of course, that didn't cause any runtime difference from the 24fps of the theatrical version.

Beyond that, however, the picture quality on Ivansxtc differed quite a bit, while the two versions of [Rec] are almost identical in that regard as well. So it's really just a purist's question whether you watch the film in 25fps or 24fps. Older single releases, which mostly came in 24fps, may therefore also still be an option for people not interested in this framerate-related detail.

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Release: Jan 15, 2021 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Muck47

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