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FotoKem’s Restoration of The Sound of Music to Open TCM Classic Film Festival


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The Sound of Music (© Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Robert E. Wise)
The Sound of Music (© Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Robert E. Wise)
FotoKem’s restoration of Twentieth Century Fox’s The Sound of Music will kick off the 6th annual TCM Classic Film Festival on March 26 in Hollywood. Originally released in 1965, the re-mastered version of this cinematic treasure will grace the screen of the TCL Chinese Theater IMAX as the fest’s opening night film.

The movie’s stars – Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer – will be on hand to introduce the film, along with Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne. Directed by Robert Wise and photographed by Ted McCord, ASC, The Sound of Music earned five Oscars for best picture, director, sound, editing and score. The Rodgers & Hammerstein musical tells the true story of a nun (Andrews) who leaves the convent to serve as governess at the nearby Von Trapp household, where she falls in love with Captain Von Trapp (Plummer) and the family encounters dangers and eventual triumph in Nazi-era Austria.

This marks the second consecutive year that a movie restored by FotoKem has opened the TCM Classic Film Festival. Last year, Twentieth Century Fox’s Oklahoma! was unveiled for attendees. FotoKem completed the restoration of both 65mm classics through 8K scans from large-format film elements, down-sampled to 4K for restoration and digital cinema mastering.

“The popularity of The Sound of Music is in part a testament to the power of 65mm capture,” said Schawn Belston, executive vice president, media and library services at Twentieth Century Fox, who supervised the restoration. “FotoKem’s 8K scanning and complimentary digital post resulted in a stunning digital version of this timeless classic, and made our new 4K restorations of The Sound of Music and Oklahoma! a perfect fit for the opening night screening slot at a festival as prestigious as TCM’s.”

FotoKem provides digital workflow and creative finishing services, and continues to operate one of the last motion picture film laboratories in the U.S.

“We’re honored to have been entrusted with the job of digitizing and restoring The Sound of Music,” said FotoKem’s Andrew Oran. “This 50-year-old film comes alive today in a whole new way – with a vividness and emotional impact that arguably exceeds even its original release – because of its 65mm pedigree, and the great care we’ve taken throughout the post process to honor that unique, ultra-high quality source.”

Oran and his team began by creating the highest quality 65mm intermediate film components possible on the facility’s re-engineered 65mm contact printers. Next, those film elements were digitized at 8K on the 65mm IMAGICA scanner. FotoKem colorist Mark Griffith mastered the film from re-scaled 4K files, utilizing digital tools to address quality issues present in the sourced material, such as flicker and variable color fading.

“At FotoKem, we employ many of these same restoration tools and techniques on 65mm-originated images week in and week out for new Hollywood features, giant screen documentaries and theme park attractions,” Oran added. “Working with 65mm requires precision, whether the images are new or old. Whatever the vintage, we consider it our duty to retain the intentions of the original filmmakers.”

A 5-disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition 50th Anniversary Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD version of the film, which features over 13 hours of bonus content, launches today in the U.S. Additionally, through a Fox partnership with Fathom Events and Turner Classic Movies, the restored film will also be shown for two days only, April 19 and 22, in over 500 theaters across the U.S.

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