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Modern VideoFilm Remasters Alien’s Director’s Cut

Modern VideoFilm used da Vinci's 2K Plus color enhancement systems as a part of its digital intermediate (DI) workflow to remaster and restore Ridley Scotts new directors cut of ALIEN. The 2K Plus interfaces directly with the Quantel iQ servers in Modern VideoFilm's Glendale digital intermediate facility, enabling the staff to maintain a cohesive DI workflow that allows them to perform color correction, restoration and other post-production tasks through a single user interface.

Modern VideoFilm colorist Skip Kimball said, "The 2K Plus features a very crisp, clean secondary process, and its power tiers offer far more tools for isolation. When you give directors multiple layers of isolation, they have the ability to give their images more impact, more beauty. Creative people love this capability, which is why DI work is catching on with such fervor. On ALIEN, we found that in some scenes, the walls were discolored. With the 2K, we were able to isolate those colors and adjust them to the director's specifications. The director even commented on this capability with, 'Wow, that's how it was supposed to look!' It was satisfying to have the tools to give him what he originally envisioned."

The new version of ALIEN, which screens theatrically October 31, 2003, was cut from the original negative and the interpositive, which Modern VideoFilm scanned into a Phantom data engine using a Philips Spirit DataCine. Once image data was pulled into the iQ systems, the restoration began with removal of dirt, scratches and bumps, as well as modernizing many of the composites and artifacts inherent in the 1970s technology used to create the film. Finally, Kimball sat with Scott to color correct the high-resolution images using the 2K Plus. Once color timing was performed, an Arri Laser film recorder was used to record digital images back onto film.

Modern VideoFilm will use this same process to remaster ALIENS, ALIEN3 and ALIEN RESURRECTION for a new DVD boxed set, due for release sometime after the theatrical reissue of ALIEN.

Burbank, California-based Modern VideoFilm provides telecine, on-line editing, visual effects, duplication, digital cinema mastering, digital intermediate services, DVD authoring and audio mixing for the entertainment industry. Modern VideoFilm's 33-seat digital projection theater in Glendale provides services for mastering features for digital cinema projection, high definition video and DVD. For more information visit www.mvfinc.com.

da Vinci Systems, an Acterna Corp. company, provides SDTV, HDTV, data and digital film color enhancement technology and film restoration products to the worldwide post-production marketplace. The company has its headquarters in Coral Springs, Florida, with offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Germany and Singapore. For more information visit www.davsys.com.

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