Sign In

Post #1204006

Parent topic
The Original Trilogy restored from 35mm prints (a WIP)
Link to post in topic
Date created
8-May-2018, 6:20 AM

poita said:

Yes, it goes quiet here from time to time 😃
Sometimes a month or two can go by without an update, I try to only update if something worthwhile is happening.

My personal life can get a bit chaotic, I have ongoing health issues (which is a bit of an understatement) , I have 4 kids ranging from 5-17 years old, and the 12 year old is permanently at a cognitive age of around 18-24 months old, so free time is challenging, as is earning a living, as I am the primary carer for the kids.

Currently, I’m out of time and money, I have some paid restoration work this month that is eating around 16 hours a day, which is good to pay the rent, unfortunately restoration doesn’t pay very well, even at the commercial level, and the work is gruelling.

The last month or so has been particularly busy.
I’m recovering from a mild heart attack, and this month has seen the youngest need a tonsillectomy and adenoids removed, and the hospital is a 3 hour drive away, so it meant extra nights away, and the recovery was rougher than I’d hoped. I also do casual work to make ends meet, and I’ve had to take a few shift the last two months to feed the beasts.

My eldest is sitting her HSC exams this year (similar to the SATs or GCSE A-Levels) so a lot of the remaining spare time is spent helping her study and with assignments and essays, and the youngest needs stories at bedtime and isn’t at school until next year, so parenting takes up any non-working waking hours.
My 12 year old is fully-grown, so is the size of a fully grown woman, but has the temperament and abilities of a toddler aged 2 years or less in some areas. This is immensely challenging and time consuming, and creates a lot of safety issues for the 5 year old as you can imagine. When a ‘grown-up’ has a tantrum and lashes out if you take a toy off her, the results can be literally deadly to a small child, so managing them all can be, well, interesting to say the least.
She needs help toileting, bathing, with stairs, getting in and out of cars, pretty much everything you have to do for an 18 month old, and it will be that way forever sadly.

So my work on restoring films here comes in fits and starts. There are times when I am out of paid work, and can throw a reasonable amount of time and energy into it. Sometimes I get some better paid work and can sink some more funds into getting prints, getting them cleaned and scanned, so that stuff tends to happen in chunks as well.

Lately, equipment has been a real PITA. High end scanners are temperamental beasts, and the main unit had a focus motor problem, which took a while to get fixed, then the focus motor blew completely, which required the whole optical assembly to be removed and sent away. This creates a backlog on the commercial jobs and pushes the stuff here back a bit until the backlog is cleared.
Then sometimes the scanner unit is available, but physical exhaustion kicks in and you just can’t drag yourself to do it that night. (it all happens from midnight till dawn typically).
Cleaning a reel costs around US$200, and freight is annoyingly expensive as well, purchasing or renting the prints is also costly, and you always take a bit of a punt as to what condition the film will be in.

Scanning a reel at triple flash, with infrared at 4K full frame takes about 12 hours per 20 minute reel, and is around 4TB per reel, (and another 4TB to back it up) so it is a big undertaking of time and resources, and then sometimes the film will unspool due to a dodgy splice, or some crap will get in the gate and you have to rescan, or the scanner will just decide to be a recalcitrant old fart and not co-operate, and you have to wait for another night to scan that reel.
The restoration work once the scan is done then takes a huge amount of time and resources, just moving the files around can take ages. I’m currently waiting 12 hours for a file transfer to finish - backup two reels from my server to another hard drive so that I can clear enough space to load up the next scanned reel to start work on it.

So that is a long way around of saying that best laid plans sometimes go a bit off track, and that sometimes life and money get in the way, and things go quiet for a while.

At the moment, I am waiting on scanner access again to get the ANH SE scan finished, and I have five reels of a commercial restoration due in 3 weeks, and I’m going to be struggling to meet that deadline, but it will pay the rent, so I am working mostly on that. In the background I am transferring files around to make enough space so that I can get back to ESB as soon as that job is out the door.

Don’t expect to see much from me until May is done, then hopefully ANH might be scanned and I’ll have some time to get some progress on the original ESB.

Commendable and truly inspiring. Much love and best wishes to your family and especially your daughter.