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BIOGRAPHY

CURRICULUM VITAE

VISUAL EFFECTS

FILM DIRECTORS

MIKE CONNOR

ALBERTO PARODI

ALESSIO FOCARDI

GUIDO PAPPADA'

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PARTNERS MOBILE LAB

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I offer my services as a consultant to supervise film conservation and restoration together with Guido Pappadà.

 

Below, a brief summary of our experiences both in modern and historic films in the field:

 

From 1995 onwards we 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 decided to call Cinecittà Digital and which was next door to Cinecittà’s film processing labs in Rome. The time and effort working intimately in both the chemical and digital labs was to prove important for us.

 

At the same time an increasingly extensive experiences in visual effects supervision led us to perffect and research methods in 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.

 

In 1999, Guido and I worked on a very important restoration of Charlie Chaplin’s film “The Kid” - 1921; with careful handling, we scanned the 35mm. black and white negative in very high resolution scans in Rome. Significant parts of the negative had very visible fungicidal growth, so we also scanned a positive print that had, luckily, been printed before the damage to the negative had come about. Then the damaged parts were substituted by careful rotoscoping, stabilising, colour 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 quality results that they decided to award the conservation, custody, and restoration of all of their considerable library of films to the “Cineteca di Bologna” from then on.


From 2003 to the present day we have continued to work on many film projects together with Guido Pappada'.


With a consortium created ad hoc, and the involvement of the digital lab we are currently researching and developing restoration processes to contribute to new, higher quality with 8k scans for the process. In essence a "library of defects" will be created, so as to make the elimination of those defects possible. Programming the elimination of defects process with Artificial Intelligence will enable it to become faster and faster.

our previous experiences with digital film restoration

Guido Pappadà

New techniques - film restoration in 8k with Pro Res XQ compression


Compression such as Pro Res XQ applied to film originated materials gives the resulting 8k scanned, mastered and restored films an extremely impressive look. The standard 4k 16 bit DPX files that have been for the last decade the bench mark mastering format require a data rate of some 405 MBytes/sec in playback, whereas the same film scanned in 8k with Pro Res Raw XQ becomes a higher (but eminently manageable) amount of data, with an incredible increase in picture quality. In numbers, the maximum quality Pro Res XQ file of an 8k film at 24 fps. is around 848 MBytes/sec. On the other hand, an uncompressed 8k 16 bit dpx file would be a whopping 8,018 MBytes/sec, or nearly 10 times as much data.


The point is that the 8k pro res XQ offers visually lossless compression, or, in other words a result indistinguishable from the uncompressed version, for a tenth of the amount of data.


Those that have not yet seen the kind of result possible with 8k scanning of films often state with conviction that 4k is “enough” for 35mm films. However, the Mobile Digital Lab intends to push the benchmark from “enough” to "excellent", and for good reasons; the 8k pro res offers better imagery with more fine detail than 4k can offer. It shows a certain pristine quality while offering an analog style purity and subtlety, in what could also be defined as arguably better quality than projected positive prints can offer.


Using higher resolutions to shoot digitally and scan film offers, in our opinion, better image quality for the finished product, and now that the technology has become eminently enabling for 8k and beyond, there’s no excuse not to use it!! It will look better!! And it won’t cost more!! Indeed, with Mobile Digital Lab it will cost less!! And we haven't even mentioned the fact that shooting in 8k or 12k also offers a certain degree of future proofing for the production...