What is this miraculous technology of which I speak? It's called Ultra Resolution and it's pretty exciting stuff. According to a recent article in The Hollywood Reporter, the technique, invented by some smart chaps at Warner Bros., has been nominated this year for a Scientific and Technical Academy Award and has helped in the restoration of several films in the studio's vast library -- including Singing In the Rain, The Wizard of Oz, and one of my personal favorites, The Searchers. According to the article, prints of these classic films exhibited blurring or "color fringing" as well as shrinkage, stretching and other damage. In case you can't tell, that's a bad thing.
These issues were made especially visible by the Ultra Resolution process that involves digitally realigning and sharpening the older film negatives of these classic movies shot on Technicolor three-strip film -- thus enabling a much better restoration than previously possible. Says Chris Cookson, president, Warner Bros. Technical Operations and chief technology officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment: "It not only benefits Warner Bros. and the industry at large, it benefits the movies themselves and the people who love them." Well, I'm one of those people so I say, "Keep up the good work, Chris." Films are an important part of our history and the more that can be done to preserve them, the better.