Post Magazine

November 2012

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 25 of 51

and DVD mastering, and we've used restora- tion tools to fix problems in new features," so the company decided to enter the restora- tion market and tap a new revenue stream. "[Thanks to these lower cost tools], we can do it all under our roof: color, restoration, sound, tape and file deliverables, Blu-ray mas- tering," he says. Sony's Grover Crisp oversaw the 4K restoration of the classic film Lawrence of Arabia. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA It hardly seems possible that David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia has hit the half-century mark. With its 50th anniversary in sight, Sony Pictures Entertainment decided that the film should undergo its first significant restoration in more than 20 years to produce new 4K digital cinema and Blu-ray versions. Grover Crisp oversaw the project. Lawrence of Arabia had an extensive reconstruction and restoration in 1988 when Lean and editor Anne V. Coates produced a definitive director's cut, with Robert A. Harris overseeing the initiative. This version of the film served as the basis for the new restora- tion work. Happily, both Coates and Harris were available to provide their expert input to the task at hand. Sony Pictures Entertainment began the process by scanning the original 65mm camera negative at 8K, the equivalent resolution of the 65mm negative. The files were then reduced to 4K and sent to Colorworks, the company's DI facility, where the restoration work came together ( Crisp reported that the negative was badly scratched in places, had torn and missing sec- tions, some chemical stains, and suffered from a lot of wear and tear as prints were made over the years. To solve these problems, reels were dispatched to Prasad Corporation in India for general image clean up. Colorworks was charged with restoring the film's trailer ("trailers are usually a lot dirtier than the film elements," notes Color- works restoration artist Jackie Lopez) and its featurettes using Pixel Farm's PFClean. "We spent over 100 hours on the trailer alone, handling all the clean-up basics," Lopez points out. Restoration artists Jason Ruitenbach, Tim 24 Post฀•฀November฀2012฀ Schmidt and Beth Osterman pooled their talents on the job. But Lawrence of Arabia also had a unique problem stemming from its desert locations: The heat distorted the film stock in the cameras, so there were places where the emulsion had cracked and then sealed over. The cracks appeared as vertical bands run- ning across the frame in desert scenes in almost every reel, and these flaws were exacerbated over time. With no one-size-fits-all solution in sight, MTI Film in LA, after months of experimenta- tion, developed a new algorithm to solve the problem using a combination of digital resto- ration and color grading techniques coupled with extensive manual intervention. The six-channel stereo masters, created during the previous restoration, were used by Chase Audio for additional audio restora- tion work and remastering. When restoration was complete, the entire film was regraded and remastered in 4K at Colorworks by colorist Scott Ostrowsky, using a Filmlight Baselight system under Crisp's direction. Ostrowsky used director-approved prints as one source to match color. The newly restored Lawrence of Arabia had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May. THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW Iconic television series are enjoy- ing new lives on DVD and now Blu-ray as Baby Boomers wax nos- talgic about the shows of their child- hood while new generations dis- show business and suburbia. Point 360 transferred all 157 episodes of the show from the original cut negative, which was found in "very pristine condition," according to GM Bill Infuso. "There was a moderate amount of dirt but a lot of grain." The grain issue was handled with Point 360's proprietary ART (Advanced Restora- tion Tools) process, which was developed about three years ago. "ART is resolution independent; it can remove up to 100 per- cent of grain," says Infuso. "The client is usu- ally involved in setting up the desired look: You don't want to remove all the grain or it will look plastic, but with excessive grain you get sizzle." In bidding for The Dick Van Dyke Show restoration, Point 360 ran a sample of the show through the ART process with a rudi- mentary setting. "The client was blown away," Infuso recalls. "It looked like it was shot today but in black and white. So we established a de-grain level they were comfortable with and applied the ART process to the frames." cover how some classic program- ming never grows old. Point 360 Digital Film Labs (www. in Los Angeles recently completed restoring all five seasons of The Dick Van Dyke Show for Paul Brownstein/ Image Entertainment for release on Blu- ray. The series, which debuted in 1961, introduced audiences to TV comedy writer Rob Petrie and his ex-dancer wife Laura and their often hare-brained adventures in Restoration artist Ben Satory of Point 360 at work on The Dick Van Dyke Show. He notes that sometimes, when more aggressive fixes are required, grain can be taken to zero, repairs made, then grain rein- troduced so the results "don't look fake." ART can also match grain to a movie's sequel or prequel so the look is consistent across a boxed set. Consistency is a concern with series, too. To meet an accelerated deadline for the Blu-ray

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Post Magazine - November 2012