CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. â€” April 3, 2008 â€”
A surreal romantic fantasy that never enjoyed wide release has been restored for â€œre-premiereâ€? by Screen Time Images with the help of a da Vinci Systems Revivalâ„¢ image restoration suite. â€œAnimals With the Tollkeeper,â€? written and directed by Michael Di Jiacomo, was reviewed as â€œâ€¦one of the most visually stunning independent films I have ever seenâ€? by Geoff Gilmore, Sundance Film Festival Catalogue.
While the film won many awards and earned great reviews when it debuted at festivals 10 years ago, it subsequently became enmeshed in legal issues and disappeared into obscurity. Now Screen Time Images, a post-production company in Schaumburg, Ill., has acquired distribution rights. The movie will be shown at the Palm Beach International Film Festival on April 14, with a North American theatrical release to follow. Mickey Rooney will be present at the screening and will be receiving honors for his career. As a special feature at the festival, selected scenes from â€œAnimalsâ€? and other examples will be shown in 3-D using new technology that requires no special 3-D glasses.
Time was not kind to the original negatives of â€œAnimals With the Tollkeeper.â€? To prepare it for rerelease, Screen Time Images had to perform six months of exhaustive and meticulous restoration ordinarily reserved for A-list movies with guaranteed revenue potential. Sean McKee, president of Screen Time Images, explained, â€œBecause I own not only the distribution rights, but also a restoration company, I was in a unique position to muster the resources required to ensure that this unique and wonderful film is shown at its best.â€?
To restore the film, Screen Time Images first scanned it at 4K resolution and then deployed the da Vinci Revival. Each frame was manually reviewed using the Revival operating in interactive mode to remove dirt and dust, repair splices and vertical scratches, and to de-warp and stabilize images. For these operations, Screen Time used Region of Interest (ROI) tools and also utilized Revivalâ€™s powerful processing and machine-vision algorithms. For color grading, Screen Time gained access to the original film labâ€™s printer lights timing settings, which da Vinciâ€™s color enhancement systems were configured to emulate. Technology has improved since the film was made, and these settings were used as a baseline starting point for the improved color enhancement. The result was a deepening of the filmâ€™s visual, emotional power. For McKee and his team at Screen Time Images, a special pleasure was having director Di Jiacomo sit in for final color adjustment and approval.
For the showing at the Palm Beach Film Festival, Screen Time Images has partnered with Xtreme Electronics Systems (XES), maker of autostereo 3-D displays and software, to bring to life several scenes from â€œAnimalsâ€? in three dimensions. Clips demonstrating this amazing new technology will be displayed throughout the weeklong festival. In addition, Screen Timeâ€™s McKee will join representatives from XES and da Vinci to host a seminar April 15 at 4 p.m. at the Marriott Delray Beach, 10 North Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach, Florida, to discuss restoration and emerging 3-D display technologies.
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About Screen Time Images
Screen Time Images has restored thousands of classics films and television programs for DVD release and theatrical rerelease. Clients include major studios, networks, home video distributors, archives, and actorsâ€™ estates. The company has expanded operations with new divisions to include licensing and rights acquisition, distribution, and new content development The company is located in Schaumburg, Ill. They can be reached at +1 847-534-9000 and their Web site is
About da Vinci Systems, LLCÂ®
da Vinci Systems, a JDSU company, is the leading provider of color enhancement and image restoration products used in post-production facilities worldwide. Incorporating the companyâ€™s EmmyÂ® Award-winning technology, da Vinciâ€™s products support SDTV, HDTV, data, and digital film. Since the introduction of the companyâ€™s first color corrector in 1984, da Vinci has been a front-runner in the field of image enhancement, shaping color enhancement into the vital role it holds in post-production today. The company is headquartered in Coral Springs, Fla., with offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, France, Germany, and Singapore.