Restored 'Lawrence of Arabia' Clips Previewed at HPA Event

 Courtesy Everett Collection

A preview of a lovingly restored 4K version of David Lean’s classic Lawrence of Arabia was shown Tuesday at the HPA Technology Retreat in Palm Springs.

Grover Crisp, executive vp, asset management, film restoration and digital mastering for Sony Pictures Entertainment, screened the before-and-after clips, explaining that the “emulsion was cracked” and “the negative is badly scratched” on the original. The restoration is being accomplished at Colorworks on the Sony lot.

The restored version of the film will be released on Blu-Ray later this year. A theatrical rerelease is also being planned.

Crisp presented the clips during a panel discussion about film remastering and restoration, also during which Disney’s work on its classic Pollyanna was shown.

“The more time we wait, the more difficult (restoration) will be,” warned Sara Duran-Singer, vp studio operations at Disney. “In a perfect world we would be scanning everything at 4K (resolution). The reality is there are budget constraints.”

She noted that Disney effectively has ‘A,’ ‘B’ and ‘C’ remastering processes for its library titles.

‘A’ category films—which includes Disney’s animated classics—generally have historic value and will all be restored and remastered in 4K, which is more than four times that of today's high definition resolutions.

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