Digital restoration is our speciality.
We invest all of our passion, dedication, and experience in restoring films.
Restoration is the core of our company – we have extensive knowledge; we are sensitive to subtleties; and the overall effect and quality are our absolute priority.
We have years of experience in restoring old films to their former glory, and the excellence of our work has been recognised with several nominations and awards from the Polish Film Institute and the Federation of Commercial Audiovisual Libraries International (FOCAL).
Our experience in both restoration and postproduction gives us an unquestionable advantage and the tools to pinpoint the right solutions. Titles we have restored include The Ashes by Andrzej Wajda, On the Silver Globe by Andrzej Żuławski, Story of a Sin by Walerian Borowczyk, How to Be Loved by Wojciech J. Has, Kingsize by Juliusz Machulski, The Illumination by Krzysztof Zanussi, The Four Seasons of the Year by Andrzej Kondratiuk, The Passenger by Andrzej Munk, and Provincial Actors by Agnieszka Holland. Many film institutes and national archives have entrusted footage to us, including from Poland, Great Britain, Australia, Lithuania, Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, and Mexico.
Our restoration services:
Scanning sound and image, ultrasonic cleaning
We have two world-class 35mm and 16mm film scanners, with 2K, 4K and 6K resolution: a Lasergraphics Director 4K and an ARRIscan 6K. These machines offer scanning (also from 8mm, HDCAM, VHS, etc.) in HDR (with double or triple exposure), DICE and optical stabilisation. For film cleaning we use a Lipsner-Smith CF-3000 Mark VI with tetrachloroethane. We also provide transfer of magnetic and optical sound tapes using equipment from Sondor.
Archival materials very often require specialised stabilisation due to skips and folds in the film stock, particularly at the splices. We take an individual approach to each case, manually stabilising the picture elements. Depending on the desired effect, we can achieve a picture with all vibration removed or make a simulation of the original handmade splices.
In most cases, archival materials also require special treatment during colour correction. Most often the film stock is degraded by time and the chemical processes taking place in it. To reverse this process, our colourists work under the supervision of filmmakers, attempting to recreate the original colours as precisely as possible.
Film degrades over time, especially if it wasn’t developed in optimal conditions using high-quality chemicals. At Fixafilm we have developed several methods to reverse this damage. They depend on the degree of degradation of the luma and/or chroma, and on whether we are working with colour or black and white material. The final effect is an image with stable colour and brightness.
Scratches & stains
Some of the most common damage is from dust and hairs stuck to the surface of the film. In the case of duplicate materials, stains can also be copied, resulting in a build-up of successive layers of defects. Scratches that result from slippage of the film during copying are another frequent cause of damage requiring restoration. During the restoration process we remove all these defects, starting with automatic processes and ending with manual, frame-by-frame cleaning. Our meticulous process allows us to limit artifacts to a minimum, achieving finished work that is as close to the ideal as possible.
Work with films made on both analogue and digital media often requires adapting different types of film grain or image noise. Many filmmakers decide to remove the digital noise and replace it with film grain. We are experts at managing and restoring grain. We use Cinnafilm Dark Energy and Algosoft Viva Pro software to reduce grain or noise; to re-create it we use a mix of organic scanned film grain and generated grain adjusted to the original medium and its generation.
Sometimes the only remaining copies of a film are on video media. Our experience also includes restoration of analogue and digital video formats, starting with reel-to-reel, through VHS and Beta, to more contemporary formats. We are great at handling challenges such as chroma and luma separation, interlacing removal, digital artefacts, sync loss, colour restoration, stabilisation, image noise removal and upscaling to HD resolution.
Film stock preservation
Our services include diagnosing the state of film footage and reasons for damage, ultrasonic cleaning, and repairing splices and other damage.