CULVER CITY, CA — Colorworks recently provided picture restoration and re-mastering services for a new 4K version of Ivan Reitman’s 1984 comedy classic, Ghostbusters. Sony Pictures re-released the feature over the Labor Day weekend to theaters across the US and Canada in celebration of the film’s 30th anniversary. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release the restored film in a 30th Anniversary Blu-ray special edition on September 16.
Ghostbusters stars Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis as the principals of a ghost removal service. After struggling to get on their feet, they are summoned to investigate the strange happenings in a Central Park West apartment. What they discover is that all of Manhattan is being besieged by ghosts and other worldly demons through a portal in the building.
Restoration at Colorworks began by scanning the original 35mm camera negative at 4K. Scanned elements then went through a 4K restoration and color grading process, resulting in a new 4K master. Extreme care and attention was employed to restore the film.
“As with all restoration projects, our goal was to reflect what was shot and the intent of the filmmakers,” explains Rita Belda, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s VP of asset management, film restoration and digital mastering.
The restored 4K version, she notes, exhibits a level of image clarity and color fidelity that has not been seen before. “You see more detail in the backgrounds, in skin and hair,” she points out. Sony Pictures Entertainment technical specialist James Owsley oversaw the restoration. Colorworks’ Christian Lamie was the restoration colorist.
“The negative was in very good shape for a 30-year-old film,” Belda recalls. “Still, dirt and damage had to be removed to restore the film to a pristine state. 4K takes you much closer to both the details and the defects.”
“Taking advantage of 4K technology, we were able to go back to the source photography — the original negative — to access the artistry and craftsmanship that filmmakers used in creating this timeless entertainment,” says Owsley. “The 4K scanning allowed us to use all the imaging and information that were in the original film to provide a viewing experience even better for today’s audience than those who saw the film on opening night 30 years ago.”