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November 2013

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Like much 16mm and 35mm film of the era, this film suffered from an excessive red tint due to the film stock, the processing chemicals and the residue left on the film. S8 and 8mm film is also prone to color shifts, turning blue over time. "The Ditto scanner could remove some red at scan time, but the red tint varied in intensity, so we had to go in and color correct each scene," says Hinkle. "Sometimes you come to the point where you can't remove all the red you want: It has colorshifted red so much that there are no other colors left. So do you remove as much as you can or do you turn the footage into black and white? Or do you do both? At this point we got the customer involved to see which direction they wanted to go in." Video Conversion Experts did all the color work manually, although Ditto's DSCO handled surface damage to the film auto- matically. "Some of the film had been projected more than others, so there was more scratch damage," says Hinkle. "Ditto was able to remove most of the damage, although some remained into the image layer. The client was looking for an inexpensive 2K scan and not a Hollywood treatment, so Ditto cleaned up the majority." Overall, "about 95 percent of the film came out looking pretty close if not exactly like the original," Hinkle says. "About 75 percent of it had not suffered a significant color shift toward red. Of the 25 percent that did, only a couple of films had shifted too far so that there were no other colors left. We removed as much as we could while making it look as natural as we could." And, without introducing any new artifacts. He notes that "as we removed more and more red, strange things started to happen in the shadow areas and other parts of the footage. And we didn't want to produce strange effects on the film." Ironically, while the US Geological Survey did a good job storing the footage in airtight canisters, the conditions actually promoted vinegar syndrome, which accelerates degradation. "Some film was already warping and fragile," Hinkle reports. "Ditto did all the Geological Survey work, but we've seen some film that's too warped or shrunken to run on Ditto's pin-registered system.Then we have to move to the Choice2k+, which has a laser registration instead of a physical pin. The Choice2k+ is better at handling older film that has shrunk and started to warp." Video Conversion Experts used its Choice 2K+, in part, for the restoration of footage for the US Geological Survey. Post • November 2013 35

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