Film Conservation, Restoration and Digital Intermediates
I offer my services as a consultant to supervise film conservation and restoration.
Below, a brief summary of my experiences both in modern and historic films in the field:
From 1995 onwards I became ever more involved in researching and developing solutions with manufacturers and technology suppliers to enable digitisation of entire films. This came about for several reasons:
Firstly, I had founded, designed and built a new digital facility that I had named Cinecittà Digital and which was next door to Cinecittà’s film processing labs in Rome. Through my work on feature films I had also spent much time and effort to make digital and analogue film inter-cuts practically invisible, working intimately in both the chemical and digital labs.
In essence, my extensive visual effects supervision experiences led me to research how to make cuts between analogue and digital scenes invisible - it was to prove the technical founding stone, together with a profound understanding of the original creative intentions of the film makers, for digital film conservation and restoration, and ultimately the now well established digital intermediate process itself.
Prior to Cinecittà, in 1999, I had worked with Guido Pappadà on a very important restoration of Charlie Chaplin’s film “The Kid” - 1921; with careful handling, he and his colleagues scanned the 35mm. original black and white camera negative in 3k scans in Rome, and, as significant parts of the negative had very visible fungicidal growth, also scanned a positive print that had been printed before the damage to the negative had come about. Then the damaged parts were substituted by careful rotoscoping, stabilising, color balancing and compositing work. The restored film was printed and shown to the Chaplin Family and to the public in Bologna at an event of l'immagine Ritrovata. The Chaplin Family were so enthralled with the pristine results that they decided to award the keeping of all of their considerable library of films to the “Cineteca di Bologna” from then on.
At the same time together with Steve Shaw we sent continuous feedback to Quantel for developing the toolset for the iQ and Pablo platforms.
From 2003 to the present day I have worked on many film projects together with Guido Pappada' to digitize entire films and I've also recently developed with Mike Connor an innovative unit that can be taken into film archives for specific projects.