Date: June – September 2019
Partners: L’Immagine Ritrovata
The Asian Film Awards Academy (AFA Academy)’s Young Film Professionals Overseas Training Program (YFPOTP), with the support of Create Hong Kong and the Film Development Fund of the Hong Kong SAR Government, is offering two-months’ work placements at L’Immagine Ritrovata film restoration laboratory in Bologna, Italy. The placements also include attendance at the Il Cinema Ritrovato festival of restored films!
The candidate followed the whole process of film restoration, including analog and digital treatment of the film. Beginning with the reparation and chemical department, which directly repair the analog film. Followed by the scanning and film comparison department, which connects the analog and digital workflow.
The digital restoration workflow includes sound, digital restoration and colour. Towards the end, they worked at the mastering and printing department which produce DCP and restored analog film respectively. They were also introduced to the subtitling workflow as well as the process of digital asset management.
The candidate were first introduced to the reparation and chemical department, learning how to mend and prepare the film stock physically and chemically so that it can run through the scanner safely. At the scanning department, they worked with the scanners and printer and learned about the workflow required for efficient and accurate scanning. At the film comparison department, they learned about the process of putting together the film with information from the reparation department as well as the client/archive. Decisions are made according to the condition of the film as well as the request of the client.
At the sound department, the candidate learned about scanning, digitally repairing and printing of sound. They also learned about the mechanism behind and the history of sound recording in film. The digital restoration department is where we learned to use the restoration software to clean the dirt and scratches and repair the broken bits of the film without compromising the authenticity of the film. At the colour department, they learned to the history of the colours in the cinema. They colour corrected different kinds of films: black and white, tinted, toned, bochoir and colour film. At the mastering department, they learned about quality control and production of a DCP, as the digital product of the restoration; while at the printing department, they followed the process of developing the film back to analog film stock.
The things they have learned during the placement at L’Immagine Ritrovata is more than words can describe. They have gained practical knowledge in the restoration workflow, which is also applicable to the general post-production process. But more importantly, they gained a better understanding to the philosophy behind every steps of the restoration, about the daily challenge restorers face.
Through learning more about the history of different aspects of filmmaking, they have a better understanding about film and the restoration process, from the perspective of both audiences and a filmmaker. Last but not least, they have the opportunity to work with professional film restorer. With their guidance and the great chance of attending the Il Cinema Ritrovato Festival and the Venice Film Festival, this experience has broadened their horizon and deepened their passion for cinema.