"Daily Debrief: Retouching 'The Godfather'"
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CNET News Video
CNET News Video
Daily Debrief: Retouching 'The Godfather'
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>> I'm Kara Tsuboi, CNET News.com, welcome to Daily Debrief. My guest in Jim Kerstetter, Executive editor for News.com and Jim, we're talking about a movie classic here, the Godfather that has just recently been retouched using some really great new technology.
>> Absolutely. Imagine if the Mona Lisa wasn't carefully preserved in the loft, that's essentially what happens to the Godfather for about 20 years. In a refrigerator somewhere in LA, not a mess, but not what it once was.
>> So, using some new technology, the motion picture imaging was able to go through this film, classic and masterpiece, frame by frame and cleaned it up, is that right?
>> That's right and what's particularly interesting about this is that Francis Ford Coppola himself was actually watching the restoration project. One of our reporters was talking to the restoration editors and Coppola actually stood over them and there's a great anecdote when he says, if you remember the first scene from the Godfather when the undertaker asks Don Corleone for help in knocking off somebody, Coppola said, I want his face to appear as though it's in purgatory.
>> Wow, like only a director like that could say.
>> Exactly and the point being is that blacks in old film as it ages gets gray, it gets mottled and it's not what's the director and cinematographer originally wanted.
>> Absolutely and a film like that, the black is really conveying a mood or almost you know, plot for shadowing.
>> Yeah. So they cleaned up frame by frame, they enhanced the colors, they took off the hairs and the dusts and I mean this film was even damaged I think I was reading.
>> It was. And that was really wasn't that unusual for what we think of as American classics because the -- of course the viability until DVDs, until VCRs, until cable television for that matter of a movie was six-months, nine-months. The Godfather in fact was the first legitimate blockbuster to really have people wrap around the block going in to see. This same group has done work on Vertigo, Lawrence of Arabia. Movies that we can't imagine going to see, so to speak, but that's exactly what's happening and it's terrific that someone is finally making the effort to preserve these.
>> Absolutely and just the way that we are watching these movies at home now has changed. I mean our screens are bigger, better resolution televisions.
>> Absolutely and of course we have HD television now.
>> And those little details that you could pick-up in the movie theater, but maybe not at home.
>> You can now on that nice big screen TV with your Blu-ray disk.
>> So about 7 months to retouch the entire trilogy.
>> That's right.
>> And it's released sometime later this year, is that right?
>> From what I understand, they're releasing the three on DVD. I don't understand what the third one has to be thrown in there, but that...
>> Personal opinion.
>> That's for the critics and according to American Cinematographer they'll be re-releasing it in September in the theaters as well.
>> Oh, what a treat.
>> Yeah, absolutely.
>> Oh, that is gonna be great to see and I'm sure we will be able to buy the box set just in time for the holidays too.
>> I hope I'll get one.
>> Thank you so much, Jim.
>> Thank you.
>> Executive editor of News.com. I'm Kara Tsuboi. We'll see you next time on the Daily Debrief.
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