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November 2014
Issue: February 1, 2009

RESTORING 'THE GO-BETWEEN'

LONDON - Directed by Joseph Losey from a script by Harold Pinter, the 1970 film The Go-Between is classic of British cinema, telling a story of a torrid affair between an upper class British woman (Julie Christie) and a country man of humble origins (Alan Bates).

For a new DVD release of the film, Dana O'Reilly, a restoration specialist at Ascent Media's facility in London, spent more than 100 hours returning The Go-Between to its original cinematic splendor.

Working from HD 4:4:4 media scanned from the original camera negative, O'Reilly employed MTI Film's Correct software in a three-step process. After identifying problem scenes, O'Reilly used Correct to automatically eliminate small dirt and dust particles. For more difficult problems, such as tears, chemical stains and bad splices, she used the software in its manual mode to apply specific repair options.

"I can split the frame into parts, move pixels around, adjust density, subtract grain, or replace part of one frame with part of another," she explains. "There are a lot of possibilities and you decide according to the nature of the problem."

Negative scratches are a common problem of older films. To address those, O'Reilly employed a feature of Correct to analyze the problem across a series of frames and apply an automatic solution. She then went back through each scene and applied additional repairs to frames that weren't completely resolved.

"It's time-consuming," O'Reilly says, "but it's also very satisfying to see the results."