Peter Jackson – Restored Gallipoli Film

I will add some commentary in due course but for now these are the notes from the Auckland War Museum website:

A World War I buff, Jackson approached the Australian War Memorial with the idea of applying computer technology developed at Weta Digital. “He wanted to see how the technology could be applied to archival film,” says Madeleine Chaleyer, the senior curator of film and sound at the Australian War Memorial.

The War Memorial had destroyed its original nitrate source material in 1967, after copying it to safety film. The best print available was scratched, fuzzy and low in contrast. Weta has removed most of the scratches, white spots and some of the shudder caused by shrinkage and sprocket damage.

The result is that the film has not looked better since it was first screened to rapt audiences at the Empire Theatre in London on January 17, 1916, under the title With the Dardanelles Expedition.

Chaleyer believes there are dangers with digital restoration. “With advanced software you can now make a film look better and cleaner than the original ever did. Peter has done a great job because it still has the feeling of authenticity. The aesthetics have been maintained.”

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