Definition April 2021 - Web


DVD RELEASE A frame from George Michael’s Freedom video, which was directed by David Fincher. This music video was shot on film, but here is how it looked as a 720p DVD release


original colourist to be brought back to restore the film. If that were to happen, would the new colourist rewrite history? Bolter ponders: “You build your career off being the colourist for a famous Madonna music video, for example. But if that video is opened up again and restored by someone else 20 years later, does that mean I am no longer that video’s colourist?” BLURRED LINES While film restoration is largely meaningful, it does raise concerns. Where lines really start to blur is in the 4K restoration of early digital film – that awkward period of filmmaking history when digital cameras first came out, but could only capture on to a 1080p sensor. Bolter recalls: “I remember shooting on early Alexa cameras in 2010 and 2011 and talking about the fact that what we were creating did not feel future-proof.” Now, many filmmakers of that time are looking to boost the pixels of their HD movies by restoring them in 4K. Some have already taken that step, as Paramount did with Michael Mann’s Collateral (2004) in December 2020. It was recently announced that Sony is rereleasing Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive (2011) in 4K UHD. But unlike 4K film mastering, upscaling 1080p to 4K is much less organic. Analogue doesn’t have a resolution like digital; its quality is dependent on the device you use to watch it and not your storage capacity.

ABOVE Since film doesn’t have a resolution, you can rescan and boost it to 6K if you need to

4K RESTORATION The same frame, but with a 4K restoration. The extra detail of Linda Evangelista is much closer to how it would have been seen on a film projection when originally released

grain provides such amazing textures, the pixels almost become irrelevant. Farrell has restored some big hits, including George Michael’s Freedom video, directed by David Fincher, as well as Depeche Mode videos, directed by Anton Corbijn. And even though he was the original colourist on many of the music videos he’s restored, he cautions against altering the image in the process. “I have to be faithful to how it would have looked when it was presented back in the day. I want to give audiences something new and special, but I don’t want to change anything. It’s an enhancement, not a manipulation.” This is a good point, especially if – unfortunately – it wasn’t possible for the

If that video is opened up again and restored by someone else 20 years later, does that mean I am no longer that video’s colourist?

26 DEF I N I T ION | APR I L 202 1

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