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In the framework of the FIAF Summer School during the festival Il Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna, DIASTOR presented some of their research topics. Despite many other attractive events that took place at the same time, the DIASTOR presentation met a huge amount of attention with a large audience attending.
DIASTOR project Barbara Flueckiger started the talk with a presentation of the new design of Timeline of Historical Film Colors that was launched on that day. In addition to providing an overview of the information and the structure provided by the digital humanities platform, she presented the different ways to document color films. She then introduced DIASTOR and an overview of the case studies completed or currently under way, such as the color analysis for the CALIGARI restoration, the Swiss Technicolor No V production HEIDI AND PETER (CHE 1955), and DER MÄRCHENWALD, EIN SCHATTENSPIEL (GER 1919) in collaboration with Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek, Berlin. Both early colors and Technicolor will be major topics in DIASTOR’s second year.
Subsequently DIASTOR senior researcher Claudy Op den Kamp presented the restoration of the Dufaycolor film VOM SPINNEN UND WEBEN in more detail, with an emphasis on the scanning process. Dufaycolor – and additive screen process with a diagonal réseau in red, green and blue – is especially demanding, since the diagonal lines of the réseau interfere with the orthogonal pattern of the scanner sensor and can produce moiré artifacts. The setting of the focus is also crucial for achieving convincing results. DIASTOR’s scanner tests include Dufaycolor to study the scanner/film interaction with this demanding material. Claudy Op den Kamp explained the fruitful collaboration among the partners in DIASTOR, especially with the Cinémathèque suisse who provided the case study and collaborated closely on the restoration, but also with the implementation partner Cinegrell Postproduction where the 4K scanning on the ARRISCAN and the film-out including the photochemical processing of the preservation element took place.
DIASTOR senior researcher David Pfluger presented one of the main research areas in DIASTOR, namely the reconstruction of faded chromogenic film. Many of the films shot on photochemical stock have faded due to the selective decay of the dyes used for the process. David Pfluger explained the novel approach in DIASTOR which is based on previous research by Franziska Frey and Rudolf Gschwind from the Digital Humanities Lab at the University of Basel. While Frey and Gschwind investigated the color reconstruction for still photographs, their approach needs to be adjusted and redeveloped for motion pictures. In contrast to established tools for the reconstruction of faded chromogenic film, DIASTOR’s approach takes the material properties of the film and the dyes into consideration by measuring the spectral properties of the dyes and investigating the characteristics of their decay. Finally this approach also requires the adjustment of the scanning process accordingly.
For the subsequent Q & A, DIASTOR postdoc Franziska Heller and Caroline Fournier from the Cinémathèque suisse joined the panel and contributed their view. Franziska Heller explained in particular the interdisciplinary collaboration in DIASTOR where academic partners from humanities and natural science cooperate directly with partners from the private sector.
DIASTOR will present their scanner tests at the workshop of the FIAF Technical Commission in Skopje, May 7, 2014. This workshop is part of the 70th Congress of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) to be held in Skopje, Macedonia, from May 4 to 10, 2014.
DIASTOR will be presented at the conference Memoriav meets Humanities – Die Digital Humanities und Das Audiovisuelle Kulturgut in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. The conference investigates the uses of the cultural heritage for digital humanities. It is connected to the UNESCO World Day of the Cultural Heritage under the patronage of the Swiss UNESCO Commission.
At the same conference there will be a live presentation of Timeline of Historical Film Colors and all its functions.
Presentation at NECS Conference in Prague
Barbara Flueckiger and Franziska Heller of the DIASTOR team represented the project at two lively talks at the international NECS Conference in Prague: Digitization and Archives #1: Ethics, Issues and Opportunities and Digitisation and Archives #2: Strategies, Politics, and Cultural Context in collaboration with Anna Batistová, National Film Archive Prague, Ulrich Ruedel and Kieron Webb, British Film Institute, Oliver Hanley, Austrian Film Museum, Vienna Franziska Heller presented (Mnemo)Politics of Digitization: How the Digitization of Films is Shaping History and Barbara Flueckiger DIASTOR: Building a National Network for the Digitization of Archival Films.
Presentation at ARRI Archive Workshop in Munich
DIASTOR had its first public presentation at the international ARRI Archive workshop in Munich on June 11, 2013 where the project was met with a lot of enthusiasm.
Kick-off meeting at the Cinémathèque Suisse in Lausanne
On May 2nd the whole team from the academic institutions and the companies gathered at the Cinémathèque Suisse in Lausanne for a kick-off meeting to exchange ideas and to develop specific plans to develop DIASTOR into a fully operational project. Since then, a variety of subgroups were founded focusing on different tasks such as the acquisition of case studies, the development of software modules and the evaluation of international best practices.