The Atomic Brain: 4K Restoration

Discussion in 'High Definition' started by X-human, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    We're in the last few days of the Kickstarter to restore 1963 film The Atomic Brain, aka Monstrosity, from the original camera negatives in 4k; along with production of a documentary about the film and its director, a notable cinematographer. It's from the same team/guy who brought us the Manos restoration. They've already reached the funding goals and so will be fully delivered. So now's the time to jump on if you want the final "exclusive" factory pressed DVD, or Blu-ray or 4k digital download.

    Right now the stretch goal is for a digital download of the rare German Hamlet uncut (also seen on MST3k), which may or may not persuade more contributors. :D

    Successful fundraising will support the following:

    For the Restoration:

    - Scanning of the Original Camera Negative and Fine Grain Positive on a top-of-the-line archival film scanner into the DPX format in 4K resolution.
    - Digitization of all audio from the Original Track Negative into 48khz uncompressed WAV Files.
    - Professional image restoration on PFClean and DRS™ NOVA suites to correct countless occurrences of dirt, tears, irregularities and scratches in the film.
    - Restoration and re-engineering of the soundtrack by an audio professional using iZotope, Protools, and other specialized hardware.
    - Hard drives and RAID for data capture, transportation, editing and backups. Working in 4k resolution means many terabytes of data and doubles of everything for backup.
    - Professional grading in a calibrated color correction suite. Even black and white films need this to ensure a consistent, accurate image across all video and theatrical formats
    - Long term digital storage and migration of the restored film on LTO tape or equivalent.
    - The creation of a 4K DCP to allow modern digital projection. A must if we are to exhibit the film.
    - The creation of Blu-ray, DVD and UHD home video masters, ensuring that backers get the best possible quality in their choice of format.

    For the Documentary:

    - Offset the cost of travel and lodging in creating the documentary.
    - Hard drives and camera memory cards for data capture, transportation, editing and backups.
    - The employment of crew during filming and postproduction.
    - Rental of lighting, grip and sound equipment for interviews.
    - Legal Fees to ensure rights and clearances relating to people, organizations and publications are all honored in the making of the restoration and documentary.

    If We Exceed Our Goal

    Our initial goal of $16,000 is the minimum to ensure that the restoration of the film is finished and incentives are delivered. Donations well beyond that amount will allow for a dramatic increase in quality.

    - Many more hours of cleanup on the film, for a truly flawless sound and image.
    - More personnel employed for image and sound restoration.
    - Access to better post-production tools and more extensive quality control.
    - A stronger budget for the documentary, enabling further travel, interviews, and equipment rental.
    - Extra crew hired on location and in postproduction during the creation of the documentary.
    - Professionally replicated dual layer Blu-ray discs with added, open-matte version of The Atomic Brain.
    - A new 35mm theatrical print, struck from the negative, for preservation and exhibition.

    Exclusive DVD, Blu-ray & UHD

    We're self-distributing this film for the duration of the project. This means several things:

    - A quicker turnaround. Backers, no matter where they are, need not wait for contract negotiations, retail scheduling, or press releases before they can receive their copies of the film.
    - Versatility. We can deliver the film to some backers in a 4K resolution file, suitable for viewing on UHD Televisions and monitors, before distributors have put a reliable 4K system into practice. We have the freedom to change this delivery method if new distribution standards arrive before we're done.
    - Backer Exclusives. As of now, there are no plans to distribute "The Atomic Brain" on physical media beyond this campaign. Whether this changes or not depends on demand- which, for such a niche title, is never a given. Backers could be the only ones with access to physical copies.
    - Transparency. I'll be in the loop at every step, and so will you. No non-disclosable information, and no need to get your information from another source.

    Both for the confidence of new backers and as a reward for repeat backers, I am placing a personal guarantee on the timely delivery of all media incentives. Should we meet our fundraising goal, incentives will be sent to backers between their original ETA of October 2016 and no later than December 31st of 2016. If this deadline is missed, then refunds on backer levels of $50 or greater (minus the Kickstarter / Paypal fees) will come from my own pocket.

    December 27th Update about Hamlet:
     
  2. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    Finally my copy came in last Friday. Being over just an hour long I decided to "get it over with" right away and have already watched it. Interestingly Something Weird gets to inject a title screen. I wonder if after this run of BD-R's if SWV will pick it up? Already seems to be out of stock at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Monstrosity-Atomic-Brain-Marjorie-Eaton/dp/B06X9GNPTK/ Maybe more will be up after all the Backers are all tucked in with their copies.

    The transfer is stunning. Pitch perfect contrast with nary a scratch or splice or what have you in sight. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for this one, although I have only ever seen it through MST3k. And I considered it one of the worst films ever made. But watching it stand alone, I really warmed up to this zany movie. It's funny how a good clean transfer of a movie can really help one to re-evaluate it. It has a very dark dry humor that I think catches the audience unawares. But the more I watch it the more I find myself laughing with it not at it.

    Next day I listened to the commentary by Tom Weaver and it's excellent, correcting many misconceptions and outright falsehoods about the movie. Weaver was also very funny, not only reading a few choice parts of contemporary reviews but also an ill fated attempt by an architect blogger in trying to view the house!
     

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