Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Phase II of "Dacota" Restoration Underway

Last year I began the restoration of only (known) surviving copy of the 1918 Silent Era movie: "The Trail To Yesterday" by Metro Pictures, was filmed in Arivaca, Arizona, a town where I own property and has a rich history being just a few miles of the International border with Mexico.
The film was found at an archive in Holland: The eyeFilm Institute in Amsterdam.  Only three of the five film rolls have survived 100-years.  The Dutch distributed release was under the title - "Revenge of Dacota".  I will use the Dutch title for my restoration project, since an incomplete film restored under the original US distributed title, would probably not be accurate representation of Metro's 1918 release.
I have two objectives for this project: 
1) (PRESERVATION) Restore the remaining film from a 2K digital scan in DPX file format and return to the eyeFIILM museum for archiving purposes.
2) (RE-INCARNATION) Reassemble the remaining footage in an attempt to recreate the original story from both the film's perspective and based on the book: The Trail to Yesterday (1913) by Charles Alden Seltzer

 The first pass of the restoration was performed using VIVA RESTORATION software by AgloSoft  The results were dramatic.
The current second-pass of the restoration (see screenshot above) is being performed in DaVinci Resolve editing and grading software, which can handle the professional digital DPX file format for performing image stabilization, any remaining artifact removal, and general editing in preparation for the preservation copy to be returned to the archive.
This restoration work requires meticulous attention to detail.  A website is being developed to document this effort.  To be announced.

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