Clint Eastwood Classic "A Fistful of Dollars" Restored With da Vinci Systems

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Last Updated: September 7, 2007 4:24 pm GMT
(CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. - Sept. 7, 2007) When the definitive spaghetti western "A Fistful of Dollars" is released on DVD, star Clint Eastwood will look as unblemished as he did in the film's 1964 premiere, thanks to da Vinci's Resolve® digital mastering suite and Revival™ image restoration system deployed by Digital Film Lab (DFL) in Copenhagen, Denmark.


DFL Head of Restoration Bet Schwenn deployed both the da Vinci Resolve and Revival systems to restore Sergio Leone's classic western. To begin the workflow, DFL colorists scanned the original 2-perf camera negative to storage with Thomson's Grass Valley Spirit 4K scanner and then leveraged the da Vinci Resolve RT system for easy nonlinear access to the stored frames. With capabilities to access digital images directly without file transfer, the Resolve and Revival systems performed the restoration processes simultaneously, shortening the time required to complete the many detailed tasks associated with film restoration.

"Love of cinema is a prerequisite for embarking on this kind of work," said Kris Kolodziejski, CEO of Digital Film Lab. "Having the chance to bring to life one of the great films in the history of cinema has been a thrill for the team here at Digital Film Lab. Frankly, without tools as exacting and precise as da Vinci's Resolve and Revival, we never could have achieved the beautiful result we did -- we like to call it 'ultracolor'!"

Using the movie's original trailer as a reference, DFL Colorist Jorgen Christiansen recreated the look of the original Technicolor print using Resolve RT's powerful features, including multiple PowerWindows™ with Object Tracking, unlimited secondary corrections, and the ability to pull select nodes from still references.

Five DFL team members led by Senior Operator Claus Greffel used two da Vinci Revival systems for cleanup and repair. The team created a batch queue for a number of automated processes, including corrections for warped images, scratches, dust particles, and dropped pixels. The fine details of many scenes in "Fistful of Dollars," however, required that dirt and dust removal be made manually as well, frame-by-frame, using Revival’s interactive mode rather than the automated mode.

Flicker shifts between color channels posed a particular challenge, a problem common to many older color films. Greffel was impressed that with just a click of a button, Revival was able to remove yellow spots from the blue channel entirely. Revival's high-speed processing hardware, including the deFlicker tool, smoothed out the blue, red, and green channels independently, providing a solid level and color balance. Once the film was re-recorded, the final HD version for digital projection and future HD-DVD release was transferred onto a Sony HDSR 4:4:4 deck.

"Resolve plays a key role in remastering projects, assuring top quality results while reducing the time and cost associated with restoration," said Bill Robertson, vice president and general manager of da Vinci Systems. "Revival's sophisticated set of restoration tools does the job accurately, speedily, and efficiently. With the Revival and Resolve systems working in tandem, significant and beloved films like 'A Fistful of Dollars' can be economically restored through a highly efficient workflow, thus preserving a valuable part of cinematic history."

For more information on the Resolve digital mastering suite and the Revival image restoration system, visit http://www.davsys.com

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