There was an effort recently to do video restorations and blu-ray
releases of "This is Cinerama" and "Windjammer" - they're good
examples of doing this type of work that makes the material available
at a reasonable cost.

They couldn't afford to do film scans of the original 3 panels from
each film, so they worked with 35mm print downs from the panels that
were done in the 1970s.  They didn't do "frame by frame" restoration,
but corrected the major issues (nasty splices, major scratches, and
color correction).  The result doesn't look like the "Godfather" or
Warner's work on the restoration of "How the West Was Won", but is
quite good.

There's a relatively small audience for these films - researchers,
institutions, and hardcore film buffs - and this approach scaled the
restoration effort to an acceptable level appropriate for the kind of
budget they had.


On Wed, Apr 3, 2013 at 6:52 AM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I watched Robert Harris working on the BluRay/70mm restoration of The
> Godfather trilogy. After the film was frame-by-frame touched up (by hand, I
> think in Korea), Harris and his assistant looked at EVERY FRAME. Harris made
> comments, his assistant wrote them down, the comments went to the best of
> the best touchup guys (I think in the US but maybe also in Korea), and the
> final corrections were made. Bob's time wasn't cheap and neither was
> frame-by-frame restoration. But, get the BluRay and look at the results.
> Does any typical film restoration project have this kind of budget? I highly
> doubt it. I know in the case of the 16mm films I had done via Telecine
> projector and DVD recorder, that was the absolute outer limits of my budget.
> There was no way we were going to pay anything more for anything
> labor-intensive or elaborate. I suspect this is the case with most
> film-to-digital projects, and I would strongly recommend not letting the
> perfect be the enemy of the good. Get stuff transferred to a usable format,
> especially if mass access is the goal. Work within your budget, don't worry
> if you can't do the Ultimate Perfect Transfer.
> -- Tom Fine