I usually listen to soundtracks while I work. Right now I’m listening to the Lord of the Rings Soundtrack.
Reel 6 is remarkably clean and complete, so it’s going much more quickly than I had anticipated, based on the other reels.
When I’ve had enough I walk away. On the days where I don’t feel like working on it at all I just don’t. Luckily it’s not my day job so I don’t have that “get it done or you’ll lose your job” pressure. There are also plenty of other things to work on, for example the 16mm SPFX doc, or 4K77 2.0, or even just other aspects of 4K80, such as sourcing the missing frames: Inserts from other prints must be color matched and cleaned and aligned, all of which takes time, but also provides a change, however small that helps keeps things moving but also breaks the monotony.
For anyone who has never worked on a film or animation, frame by frame, working for hours at a time it’s probably difficult to imagine how long it all takes, and how disappointing it can be to count up your frames for the day, whether it’s a dozen or 300 or 1000, and converting that into real time, only to realize that your “wahoo!” moment of “1000 frames!” equates to just 41 seconds of a 2 hour movie. It also means that you end up spending weeks and weeks looking at the stark whiteness of Hoth, or the dunes of Tatooine, or the forests of Endor. That moment when the action shifts to another set can be so refreshing that you can keep going for another hour!
The progress wheels help me a lot. Not only do they keep you informed of my (slow) progress, but it’s psychologically helpful to me - like crossing things to do from a list. It helps me see that there is an end, and every time I can move the wheels I can see I’m getting closer to it. 1% of a reel is about 12 seconds of film or 288 frames, so if I clean less than that in a session, I can’t move the wheels. I like moving the wheels, even by only 1%, so that gives me a goal to hit every time.
Don’t stress about it too much. At the end of the day (and I’m just speaking for myself), it would be nice to have it done asap, but that’s just not realistic. You have done an outstanding job (honest to god rivaling quite a few criterion restorations imo) with the other two 4k editions and I can’t wait to see what you’ve done with restoring Empire. Take as much time as you need, definetly don’t feel obligated to rush. We’ve waited decades for this, we can wait a bit longer 😃