As an ordained minister of The Universal Life Church, I take my special God-type powers very seriously. And for this Friar, a transfer of a hot new acquisition is one of my most sacred tasks. There is nothing more professionally enlivening than viewing a pristine element, freshly racked up on the Spirit, pumping new life into a classic title, which may have only been previously available in a substandard, commercially-insensitive version.
When you’ve got a great element, you don’t need to worry so much about digital-restoration-type aspects. The best situations are when the element does most of the work for you, with little to no damage and most of its color timing already completed. In our business, these situations are rare; when you’re dealing with 30 year-old independent cinema, sometimes you have to apply a little elbow grease.
That’s why it was so thrilling to recently supervise our new transfers of Bloody Birthday and The Baby (images will be posted tomorrow). Not only are both films sparkling slices of sheer shimmering genius, but the licensor actually had fully intact negatives stored in a vault just off the 5 Freeway!
After a quick trip to Zankou, and a few hours to chemically remove some decades-old dirt, reel one of Bloody Birthday was finally ready to transfer. And from the first frame, it was a transcendentally mindbending ride; not only did the negative have little to no damage, but the color timing was mostly intact. Let me tell you — even without sound, and in little bite-sized chunks, Bloody Birthday still packs a murderously major wallop.
Bloody Birthday, The Baby, and John Lamond’s Nightmares all street on June 28th. Click each grab to see high-res.