Over the course of two days last week, The Reel Thing conference in Hollywood took its audience through a multitude of presentations on how to better preserve the moving image.
The very first presenter was Michael Pogorzelski, the director of the Academy Film Archive. When he hit the stage he walked us through the large task of restoring The Front Page .
They had three versions to work from, all looking very different--like three different movies in some instances.
This NY Times article is an in depth look into the amazing story behind the preservation of The Front Page and Cock of The Air.
The industry shift from film to digital has been swift and dramatic and — despite the activist efforts of the high-profile likes of Christopher Nolan and the patron saint of preservation, Martin Scorsese — film on film has almost disappeared from theaters. Even features shot on film are digitally projected. (Almost all theaters worldwide are now digital.) Last year, I started following after Mr. Pogorzelski and Ms. Linville to understand the complexities of film restoration, largely because the medium is fast becoming a relic. More than 50 years ago, André Bazin asked “What is cinema?” But what is film?