Sound and Vision Magazine has a nice article on the restoration and remastering process that films undergo as part of the process of bringing them to high definition, with the focus of the article being on the upcoming HD release of Blade Runner. A lot of work goes into cleaning up old films so they look their best in HD. I have some friends in the video production industry who have done this kind of work, even for SD DVD releases of older film. It is both an art and a science – you need to clean up dust and scratches, but if it is too clean it looks ‘wrong’, so you need to add ‘imperfections’ like film grain back into the video. It’s really quite fascinating – well, I think so anyway. I’ve also been told it can be utterly frustrating and maddening, especially if you’re, say, restoring an entire 36 episode classic anime series for DVD release. (You know who you are. )
I’ve had my deluxe box set of Blade Runner on Blu-ray on order for a while. I am very much looking forward to watching that.