Many of you out there, especially the hardcore Digital Noise fans, have viewed or purchased something from the famous Criterion Collection. For three decades, Criterion has been dedicated to exposing the public to classic films by painstakingly remastering them and releasing them on DVD and Blu-Ray. The company does an incredible job with even some of the oldest, most damaged movies and now, we have small glimpse at how the procedure works.
Correspondents from Gizmodo recently went over to Criterion’s headquarters to see how the company resurrects the films of the past. At the time of the visit, Criterion was working its magic on Alfred Hitchcock’s Foreign Correspondent. Gizmodo’s Michael Hession describes the process in the following manner:
“…the first step in the process is tracking down the negative, or a print, that is in decent condition. In this case, that meant going to the Library of Congress, which had the original negative of the film. Criterion scanned it at 2K resolution, frame by frame, into digital files.
The digitized reels then make the rounds from department to department. Color is graded; dirt and scratches are retouched; audio is remastered. The team uses a combination of automated software that detects and removes flaws in the image, and manual re-touching of every frame. The entire process can from a few weeks to a few months for a single film, depending on the original condition it was in. Once the fidelity of the final product is assured, Criterion art director Eric Skillman conceptualizes the terrific art that accompanies the disc.”
What are some of your favorite releases from the Criterion Collection? Which films would you like to see get the Criterion treatment? Let us know in the comments!