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Short summary

Brief documentary on the painstaking process to restore Roman Holiday (1953) for DVD release.
Brief documentary on the painstaking process to restore Roman Holiday (1953) for DVD release.

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  • comment
    • Author: Kerry
    Restoring Roman Holiday (2002)

    *** (out of 4)

    Short but detailed featurette taking a look at the work that had to be done in order to bring ROMAN HOLIDAY to DVD looking better than it ever had. Phil Murphy (Paramount Senior V.P of Operations), Barry Allen, Ron Smith (Paramount DVD Mastering), Steven Elkin (head film librarian) and members of Lowry Digital Image team are all interviewed about the work that had to be done with the film. Overall this featurette, running less than ten-minutes, does a pretty good job at explaining all the details that had to go into putting this movie to DVD. We get several examples of how scenes looked before the restoration and then the finished project. They talk about the biggest problem being dirt on the print and they show how they're able to remove it. There's certainly nothing ground-breaking in this featurette but I think those interested in the technical side of DVDs should enjoy the information.
  • comment
    • Author: blodrayne
    The bulk of RESTORING ROMAN HOLIDAY is taken up with before-and-after comparisons between the original master which had "400 to 500 pieces of dirt per frame" and the digital restoration, in which 300 Apple computers worked 247 for months to remove "99%" of this "granularity." Even when the editors of this short use the split-screen and moving split-screen devices, the "improvement" wrought by the restoration is barely perceptible on an ordinary television screen. Perhaps a large screen running a Blu-ray disc, or an art house movie screen, would present a "clean-up" of this magnitude in a more positive light. However, the talking heads from Paramount offer no explanation as to why the picture is not in sync with the sound for a significant portion of the middle of the "restored film" (for dialog, not singing; and the technicians DO talk about the sound quality in other respects).
  • comment
    • Author: Yggdi
    . . . and Ryan Gomez, project manager for Paramount Studio's subcontractor, Lowry Digital Images, in the ROMAN HOLIDAY restoration project, isn't even talking sex. Gomez states that 400 to 500 particles of dirt needed to be removed from EACH of the frames of this 1953 flick nominated for 10 Oscars. At 24 frames per second, with a running time of 118 minutes, 3 seconds, this means between 68 and 85 million grains of dust were digitally eradicated from an original film master by banks of 300 computers running 247 for weeks on end. To the untrained eye, there is virtually no perceptible difference between the many "before" and "after" restoration comparisons accomplished by "screen wipes" moving horizontally from right to left and back again. I could see SLIGHT differences if I paused the picture, or ran it at one-eighth slow-motion speed, which leads me to believe maybe they should have used those 300 computers to find a cure for cancer! But then I'm sure some elitists would sniff at the "dirty" version of ROMAN HOLIDAY, muttering, "Another one bites the dust."
  • Credited cast:
    Barry Allen Barry Allen - Himself
    Steve Elkin Steve Elkin - Himself
    Ryan Gomez Ryan Gomez - Himself
    John Lowry John Lowry - Himself
    Phil Murphy Phil Murphy - Himself
    Ron Smith Ron Smith - Himself
    Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
    Eddie Albert Eddie Albert - Irving Radovich (archive footage)
    Audrey Hepburn Audrey Hepburn - Princess Ann (archive footage)
    Gregory Peck Gregory Peck - Joe Bradley (archive footage)
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