Today’s black-and-white

archival emulsions promise

centuries of easy and accurate

reproduction of these cultural

treasures, regardless of

future display formats.

curatorial research, gathering elements from its own archives

as well as from various collections around the world. Under the

direction of the BFI, Deluxe carefully catalogued the images

from delicate and irreplaceable source material, and assembled

versions based on the best scholarship.

Deluxe used cutting edge restoration and preservation

technology and a staff of two senior graders and eight digital

restoration artists. Some of the fi lms were scanned by the BFI

itself, and others were digitized at Deluxe’s London restoration

facility. The task was made more delicate by some highly

fl ammable nitrate negatives. Elements gathered also included

nitrate, acetate and polyester fi ne grain positives, and nitrate

prints. After examination, preparation and cleaning, each element

was scanned through ARRISCAN or Spirit 4K scanners to create

2K data fi les (in DPX format). BFI archivists reconstructed the

fi lms shot by shot.

“As would be expected with fi lms made on nitrate and other

unstable fi lms stocks of that era, the original source material had

seen a fair amount of wear and tear as prints were repeatedly

made from the original negative,” says Deluxe’s Paul Collard. “The

celluloid had degraded and parts of the fi lm were either lost or

unusable. In places where the original celluloid had deteriorated

too far, we seamlessly replaced it with copy material. The key was

not to try to improve or enhance the original in any way, but to

present it authentically, in the way it would have been seen by our

grandparents and great-grandparents.”

The ARRISCAN scanner has a number of adaptations that

make it perfect for this delicate work. The registration

pin can be disabled and the LED illumination

means that highly fl ammable nitrate materials are not exposed

to any heat during the scan. Dry-and wet-gate scanning are also

options, depending on the type and condition of the materials.

Sometimes a “double-fl ash” technique was used to better capture

the rich tonal range on the nitrate material.

The next stage was a 2K digital intermediate, graded by Deluxe

restoration colorists Stephen Bearman and Trevor Brown, again

with supervision by the BFI. The graded, conformed scans were

then digitally restored to remove defects such as scratches,

warping, fl uctuations, mold and frame damage. Newly re-created

polyester inter-titles were incorporated based on existing prints

and extensive research.

Three of the fi lms were originally released as tinted and toned

prints. Tinting and toning were early color processes used to add

expressive colors to black-and-white images. In the days before

color fi lm, these colors were applied by dyes and toning baths

after the printing stage. “We worked to reproduce those colors in

the digital grade and the color management translated them to

intermediate negative and new prints,” says Kieron Webb, fi lm

conservation manager for the BFI.

After a fi nal review screening with the BFI, a 35mm fully

restored color or black-and-white polyester digital negative

was recorded out to KODAK Film frame-by-frame on the latest

ARRILASER fi lm recorders. Show prints of the new restorations

were made along with a 2K data archive of all scans and restored

fi les, a digital cinema package and television masters.

Webb says that several restoration masters were produced,

including fi lm, digital cinema, HD video and data. “In our full

restoration projects, we always make a new fi lm negative,”

says Webb. “This is important not only for the long-term

conservation of the fi lm and the restoration work, in addition

to the preservation data, but also for the creation of excellent

35mm show prints which are screened internationally. Early

in the Hitchcock project, we carried out extensive comparison

tests in conjunction with Deluxe of the various blackand-white

intermediate stocks. Deluxe recorded the new

negatives on their ARRILASERs and we processed and printed

them in the archive’s lab.

Echoing the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences

Digital Dilemma reports, Collard notes the challenges of

storing and archiving larger and larger data fi les as the demand

grows for 4K and greater resolution in feature fi lms. “What

better permanent, low-cost solution could you have than a fi lm

recording of the fi nal 4K master data onto black-and-white

separation masters, ready for re-scanning back to data up to 200

years into the future?” he asks.

In June and July 2012, The Pleasure Garden, Blackmail,

The Ring and The Lodger were presented with specially

commissioned scores in a series of screenings during the

London 2012 Festival, part of the Cultural Olympiad. Newly

restored prints of those fi lms, as well as Downhill, Easy

Virtue, Champagne, The Farmer’s Wife and The Manxman were

presented as part of a major Hitchcock retrospective at BFI

Southbank from August to October 2012.

“Archives are working incredibly hard to ensure our

moving image heritage is reproduced as accurately as

possible,” says Webb. “And there’s always something very

reassuring about being happy with the new print at

the conclusion of a restoration


Photos – Cover – Top: The Ring,

Right: All from The Pleasure Garden

This page – Top: The Lodger Bottom

left: The Lodger, Bottom middle:

Blackmail, Bottom right: The Pleasure

Garden. (All Photos: BFI National


Enlightened showcases a fascinating collaboration between series

co-creator Mike White and lead actor Laura Dern, who also serves

as co-creator and executive producer. Dern portrays Amy Jellicoe, a

self-destructive woman who undergoes a breakdown, followed by a

spiritual awakening, and emerges determined to live an enlightened

life. This of course creates a wealth of comedic situations in her work

and home life. At the offi ce, she tries to enlist the meek Tyler —

played by White — in her jargon-fi lled schemes to seize the day.

Xavier Grobet, ASC, AMC shot the second season of

Enlightened, which began airing on HBO earlier this year. In addition

to the fi rst season of Enlightened, his credits include The Woodsman,

I Love You Phillip Morris, Nacho Libre and The Back-up Plan.

On Enlightened, Grobet uses KODAK VISION3 500T Color

Negative Film 5219 and KODAK VISION2 200T Color Negative

Film 5217 in the 3-perf Super 35 format. He shoots ARRICAM

LT cameras — usually two — and relies on COOKE S4 prime and


“We like the quality of fi lm, as well as the practicality,” says Grobet.

“We like the fi lm feel and fi lm grain. Taking care of my actors is

what’s most important for me. Especially with Laura, I always want

her to look good and I think fi lm helps that way. It’s gentle compared

to digital. And I have more freedom in terms of staging and lighting.”

The cinematographer also notes that he fi nds fi lm to be a

more effi cient way of working. White was also strongly in favor

of originating on fi lm. “It’s much more practical,” Grobet relates.

“There’s less technology and less paraphernalia around the

camera to deal with. It’s easier to handle. Film is reliable. The

technology is so advanced that you feel very confi dent about it.

“One of the problems I have with the digital world is that it tries to

go into perfection in terms of the quality and the defi nition,” Grobet

observes. “Sometimes that’s not what you’re looking for. I think it’s

best to use the texture and light. When something is too sharp and

too defi ned and too perfect, it loses the emotion in a way. When

there’s no texture, there’s a certain rejection, at least on my part.”

The set depicting Jellicoe’s workplace, Cogentiva, is a

predominantly white environment. Grobet has rigged two layers

of light — practicals, and above them, recessed movie light

fi xtures. On wider shots, the white room is comparatively high-key,

but Grobet modulates somewhat on close-ups, creating more

contrast and volume on faces depending on the scene. “I can

go with different levels or turn off light in certain areas,” he says.

“Sometimes I’ll kill all the lights

behind me so that the faces stand out

against the bright background.”

The show is split between sets on

stages and practical location shooting.

Given the tight TV schedule — an

episode is often accomplished in six

days or less — Grobet often comes

into a set for the fi rst time the day

before he must shoot in it. “You have

to come up with something without

a lot of time to think things through,”

he notes. “You have to be creative

and make it work. It makes you think

outside the box, experiment, and

go beyond what you’d do in a more

controlled situation. When you have

to make it work, you do.”

Grobet says that fi lm gives him the confi dence to push the

boundaries. “You know how the fi lm will react,” he explains.

“You know how much you can push it. You can trust the fi lm,

and that’s a good feeling.”

White writes the show entirely and directs about half of the

episodes. The opportunity to work with a rotating roster of

directors, including Jonathan Demme, Nicole Holofcener and

Miguel Arteta, appeals to Grobet. “But Mike makes the show

special and fulfi lling,” emphasizes Grobet. “He puts a lot of heart

into the project. It doesn’t feel like a TV production. Each episode

is almost like an independent fi lm, made with care. That’s what is

fantastic about HBO — you have the freedom to create.”

Photos – Top: Mike White and Laura Dern on the set of Enlightened. Bottom: Dermot Mulroney

and Laura Dern. Right: Xavier Grobet, ASC, AMC. (All Photos: Lacey Terrell/HBO)

Similar magazines