This news warms my heart like a newly delivered basket of puppies and kittens. The mother of all Kaiju movies, 1954’s Godzilla, or Gojira for you purists out there, is getting itself a remastering in Japan for the ages! Even cooler? The sequels are getting some love too!
According to Yahoo! Movies, at a humble Tokyo laboratory the original 1954 black-and-white film is stomping back with a digital makeover that delivers four times the image quality of high definition.
The effort with “4K” technology is carefully removing scratches and discoloration from the films and also unearthing hidden information on the reel-to-reel. Experts say the chemical reactions used to make old movies stored far greater detail than was visible with the limited projection technology of the era, as well as with subsequent digital updates. If all the hidden information of a reel-to-reel is ever brought out, quality would approximate 8K, they say.
Only one minute from the original film and from each of the sequels has been turned into 4K so far, but the results are stunning enough.
Faded, blurry, yellowing footage of the radiation-breathing creature that emerged from the Pacific after atomic-bomb testing turns sharp, clear, and vivid. It almost looks like state-of-the-art animation. “It’s better than the original,” said Toshifumi Shimizu of Tokyo Laboratory Co., the studio that undertook the painstaking effort. “You can feel the impact of the bodies banging into each other under the suits,” he said in an interview Wednesday with The Associated Press.
The details of the cityscape models, the bumpy skin of Godzilla, and the metallic shine of the robots are revealed as they once were. The craftsmen at the lab made a point to keep visible the wires from which the flying monsters hung. The goal was to stay true to the intention of the original.
In turning Godzilla films into 4K, each frame of the reel-to-reel is scanned by a special machine. Each frame is then examined for blotches and other damage that has crept in over the last 60 years. Any problems with a frame are fixed on a computer, one by one, by a film-processing specialist.
We’re still a long way off from having 4K tech readily available at home (unless you wanna shell out for Sony’s 60-inch model that sells for $25,000.00), but it’s nice to know that once it is affordable, Big G will be there waiting!
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