Digital Remastery

Once upon a time there was a short film called "Ferry Man". Even though it got finished the director wasn't happy with it and never showed it to anyone. More than a decade later, after badgering from some of the cast she agreed to hand over the Master for digitisation and an eventual showing.

This turned out to be no simple matter. The format of the tape, Digital Betacam, while entirely respectable in its day was no longer very common.  

Anyway, I got it digitised at work on an rickety old machine hooked up to an ageing MacPro. Just in the nick of time, too. 

The tape was so old that it broke during the play through!

Fortunately there were several versions on the tape because the Director/Editor was old school and made sure there were split audio and graphic free versions and all that stuff we had to do. So there was one complete full screen version digitised. 


Except for one frame which had digital dropout. 

Normally I would just try to digitise it again in the hope that it was dirt on the heads or solar flares or something. This time that wasn't an option.

The cheaty way to fix it would be to just cut out the frame or duplicate it. There would be a small jump but not as bad as coloured spots.

I went one step further. 

I exported the bad frame and the frame following it into Photoshop and stacked them on top of each other. Then I painted in a mask on the bad frame allowing the next frame to show through. Because there was very little movement in the shot the results were imperceptible, even with the nasty green bit over his eye.