Legendary horror studio Hammer is conducting a global restoration project of films in its archive. In partnership with StudioCanal, Pinewood and other production houses, illuminate Hollywood is helping revamp more than 30 films in HD for Blu-ray and other new media formats.
Online PR News – 10-September-2013 – Los Angeles, CA – Hammer’s original U.S. production partners, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros and Paramount are participating in the project. The re-mastered films boast a host of newly filmed extras, including interviews with cast members.
illuminate Hollywood has already completed the restoration of five pictures in 2K and one in 4K. The Devil’s Bride, The Mummy’s Shroud, Slave Girls (aka Prehistoric Women), The Vengeance of She and Viking Queen were restored in 2K video. Rasputin was finished and colored in 4K video.
Frank Collins, a leading film industry commentator, wrote on the Cathode Ray Tube forum a glowing review of illuminate Hollywood’s restoration of Rasputin: “Quite stunning. There is incredible depth to this transfer (for both ratios) and a marvelous texture from the grain that gives this a truly film-like appearance. Deep layers of black dominate the image (Rasputin's challenge to Sonia's brother Peter takes place in small pools of light and looks incredible); there is plenty of detail in costumes and faces and spectacular reproduction of color. Check out Rasputin's red silk Cossack shirt, Sonia's purple cloak, the uniforms and dresses and the close-ups of faces, and you'll be rewarded with plenty of color, detail and depth. Bernard Robinson's sets look amazing, particularly Zargo and Rasputin's apartment, Tsarevich Alexei's bedroom and the interiors of Rasputin's villa. Michael Reed's master shots, which capture their full detail, symmetry and color, look very impressive here.”
Christopher Dusendschon, digital imaging supervisor at illuminate Hollywood, handled the scanning and image processing for the six films. He commented: “All titles were scanned natively at 4k on our proprietary scanners, using our iconform technology, and additional image processing was performed to guarantee delivery of the highest quality elements. While scanning is a crucial step, I cannot stress enough the enormous contributions of everyone working throughout the re-mastering process. It is always a treat to work on projects that are exciting and meaningful to everyone involved.”
Andrew Drapkin, head colorist at illuminate Hollywood commented: “ It was very challenging to get the right look, in particular the flesh tones, because of the age of the film. We had to use a lot of tools and creativity. There was a lot of printer flashes in the original film negatives, I had to correct them half-frame by half-frame, hundreds of them. Also, we had to correct the problems with the old optical dissolves, which were problematic: the colors shifted and we had to match them. The final product received rave reviews in the professional media.”
Hammer President and CEO Simon Oakes commented, “Our decision to restore some of Hammer’s most famous titles not only allows existing fans to experience the films again in high definition, but also encourages a new global audience to discover Hammer for the first time. We are confident that our Blu-ray plans will ensure that Hammer’s legacy will live on for generations to come.”
Hammer Films, also known as Hammer Film Productions, is a British film and television production company based in London. Founded in 1934, it is one of the oldest British film production companies still in existence. Its success was largely built on the back of The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), which is not only thought to be the origin of British Horror, but is also widely regarded as one of the most important horror films of all time.
About [illuminate Hollywood]
illuminate Hollywood consists of two facilities located ½ mile apart from each other:
illuminate Post /Digital Finishing and illuminate Studios.
illuminate Post /Digital Finishing services include:
• Digital intermediate
• iConform to HD, 2K, and 4K conforming from original film
• Digital file deliverables
• Editorial services
• Audio services
• Color correction
• Film restoration
• 3D conversion
• Visual effects and graphics
illuminate Studios’ services include:
• 4 sound stages with pre-lit sets, fully equipped for HD multi-camera production
• In-house cameras, 3 control rooms, comprehensive production equipment. All stages include complete lighting packages.
• Fully crewed production is available
• HD/SD fiber connectivity
• Social media video chat connectivity
• Kitchen sets, news sets, and talk-show sets
• Virtual sets, motion tracking
• Coved green screen
• Green rooms, conference rooms, production offices, dressing rooms
• 16' high lighting grid, 48 channel lighting board, clearcom/RTS intercom
• Secure exterior staging area
• On-site parking with free overflow lot
Contact us to find out how illuminate Hollywood can work with you.
Jim Hardy, CEO, (323) 969 8822, or
Steve Wiener, Chairman
Visit our website: www.illuminatehollywood.com
1. Nancy Tartaglione, “Hammer Teams With Studiocanal & Others For Major Restoration Of Film Library,” Deadline London, January 19, 2012.
2. Cathode Ray Tube: Rasputin the Mad Monk / Blu-Ray Review, October 13, 2012, by Fred Collins: