Posted by on Jul 5, 2012

Archive workshop at FIAF Summer School Bologna:

From the 16th of may until the 16th of july i was taking part in the FIAF Film Restoration Summerschool in Bologna.

The program is very well known and one of the few options for further education in digital film restoration and digital intermediate. it consists of  six weeks distance learning, the film festival „Il Cinema Ritrovato“ for restored films and two weeks at „Immagine Roitrovata“ a film lab specialising in digital intermediate, and restoration, spending 8 hours a day on their equipment in small groups of 4-5 people.

The following topics were covered each for one day:

1. Film repair and cleaning
2. Grading
3. Optical Printing
4. Contact Printing
5. Processing
6. Film Recording
7. Scanner
8. Telecine
9. Digital Restoration
10. Digital Color Correction1
11. Digital Color Correction 2
12. Machine Room and Network Management
13. Sound Restoration
14. Subtitles

It was quite thrilling to experience their activities and workflows and the collaboration of their departments.

For me it was quite a new thing to do manual film repair, and learn the techniques they used, we also wor watching Fellinis original Camera Negative of “Roma”, some early Lumiere films and so on.

It also was good to try another film restoraion package called “Revival” and learn other approaches than the ones we developed,. Although it was quite fast the overall system architecture seem a little outdated and the menu structure is far from being intuitive.

For color grading they used DaVinci , Quantels Pablo and Assimilate Scratch, which i found quite fast and intuitive.

At the Arri scanner we could work with the prototype of the sprocketless engine. They showed us some amazing material from lumiere, where the perforation was almost distroyed, but still they were able to scan it.

There have been around 35 people froim all over the world the team from Immagine Ritrovata was quite young, but very welcoming and extremely motivated. As they work on commercial basis they have to deal with short amounts of time for restoring, combined with small budgets which sometimes can compromise the quality of their restorations.

One thing that was quite striking was the lack of space inside the lab, without exaggeration sometimes people had something like one or two squaremeters as their working space.

For me it was not only professionally a great experience, but also because of the great people and friendships that have evolved there.

Next year the summer school is going to be in Pretoria (South Africa), let´s see if i can make it there 😉