London. - FilmLight's Baselight colour grading system recently played a crucial role in the restoration of The Godfather and The Godfather, Part II and the creation of a new Digital Intermediate of the Director Cut of The Godfather, Part IIII for Paramount Home Entertainment's highly anticipated release of The Godfather: The Coppola Restoration Collections on DVD and Blu-ray. Under the direction of Francis Ford Coppola and cinematographer Gordon Willis, the painstaking restoration of the films was supervised by master archivist Robert A. Harris, whose past work includes acclaimed restorations of such classics as Lawrence of Arabia, Spartacus and Rear Window. Restoration of the films spanned more than a year, during which the film imagery was rigorously restored, and the films' soundtracks were given new 5.1 mixes. "It speaks volumes about Paramount's and its commitment to the preservation of the great films in its library," said Harris. According to Harris, the Godfather films have, to some extent, been the victims of their own success. "We were dealing with very damaged negatives due to the age of the films," he said. "Also, because they are extraordinary films, they have been over-printed." Under Harris' supervision the existing film elements were scanned in 4K. After all of the various elements were scanned, Baselight was employed to aid in comparison, selection and finally to grade the scanned imagery. That portion of the work was completed in a DI grading theatre at Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging in Hollywood.
For Harris, it was his first exposure to grading via Baselight, and he came away very favourably impressed. "I don't look at the Baselight as a machine, I look at it as a musical instrument," Harris said. "And the colourist, Jan Yarbrough, sitting in front of the Baselight is like a concert pianist. It's incredible." Using Baselight, Harris and Yarbrough were able to perform butterfly tests, viewing graded scanned images alongside 35mm projections for of making comparisons and matching looks. "Baselight enabled us to do everything we needed to do, which was wonderful," Harris said. "It allowed us to not only see everything harvested in the scans, but to make the films look as closely as possible to what they did in 1972 and 1974." Harris is proud of the work that was done on the Godfather films, which have now been restored to pristine condition not only for the new DVD and Blu-ray releases but also for the enjoyment of generations to come. "Our data files are perfect; Baselight gave us everything that we needed," he observed. He added that viewers of the new Blu-ray collection will be treated to an incomparable viewing experience. "I actually prefer to watch the film digitally," he said. "Although I am a film purist, you can't always be watching a print that has just come out of Technicolor. When projected theatrically, the digital version has a higher resolution, a steadier image, and there is no dust or scratches. It's perfect." About FilmLight FilmLight is a manufacturer of film scanning, colour grading and colour management systems that are helping to transform film and video post production and setting new standards for quality, reliability and performance. The company's products are in use every day by leading post production facilities around the globe as essential components in their digital intermediate, commercials and video production pipelines. Fuelled by some of the industry's brightest minds, FilmLight is committed to delivering innovative tools that allow creative professionals to work at the forefront of the digital media revolution. Founded in 2001, FilmLight is headquartered in London, where its research, design and manufacturing operations are centred. Sales and support are conducted through regional service centres located in London, Los Angeles, Chicago, Sydney, Auckland and Singapore, and through qualified partners worldwide. For more information visit
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