WHY WE PRESERVE AND RESTORE MOTION PICTURES

Early  Developments in
Motion Picture Making

By 1892, William Laurie Dickson and Thomas Alva Edison had developed the motion picture camera and the 35mm film format, which is still the standard film format to this day. The Eastman Kodak company supplied the film stock.

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Filming of "The King Of Jazz" in Two Color Technicolor in 1930

The Two Color  (Red/Green) Technicolor method, as conceived in 1917 and refined during the 1920s was often used to film extravagant, high value productions, such as the musical "The King Of Jazz", featuring Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra. It delivered excellent results when the set colors were chosen appropriately. Flesh tones were exceptionally well reproduced. Only few Two Color camera negatives have survived.

Mission

Preserve our film heritage by high resolution individual frame scanning, bring out the subtle details in the photographic image, and at the same time, do no harm to the original in the scanning process. In the digital domain apply sophisticated film restoration technology to present the image as originally conceived.

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Filming of "Stairway To Heaven" in Three Strip Technicolor in 1946

Fully developed in 1932, the Three Strip (Red/Green/Blue) Technicolor process with perfect natural color rendition replaced the Two Color Process. By 1946, the same Technicolor cameras were used as in the 1930s, exposing three strips of black and white 35mm film at the same time through a beam splitter with red/green/blue filters. For filming while recording sound, the camera had to be encased in a large lead lined blimp to minimize the camera noise, which was very loud.

Vision

After restoration, film should be made available for viewing, so generations of viewers to come will still have access to "The" artform of the 20th Century.

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Filming of "Fantasia" in Three Strip Technicolor and multi-channel  "Fantasound" in 1940

The visionary Walt Disney not only wanted to create a masterpiece with sophisticated hand drawn animation and Three Strip Technicolor in his 1940 film "Fantasia", he also wanted to add sound that would move with the image. He used four optical tracks (three sound tracks, one control track) to provide an immersive sound experience. In this picture, Leopold Stokowski can be seen on the podium with rear projection of orchestra members behind him.

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Newsreel crews filming a Southern Senator in 1938

Since 1927, viewers expected original sound with the movies. Newsreels were no exception, and special newsreel cameras were developed that could record sound on film in the same camera that also filmed the moving image.  A "sound man" was needed, however, who would control the sound coming from the microphone. Original newsreel footage has only survived sporadically, and what has survived, needs to be preserved.