The Legend That is Phoenix

23 September 2019

As the trusted custodians of the ITV Archive its vital that Content Delivery have a robust restoration service to bring degraded and deteriorated content both to its former glory.

In order to do this we use Digital Vision’s Phoenix. Phoenix is a very powerful tool that we use to carry out a number of restoration techniques to digitally clean the image, not limited to the following.

  • Dust busting
  • Image stabilisation
  • Scratch removal
  • Noise reduction
  • Grain removal or replacement.
  • Image sharpen
We’ve restored a large number of titles from ITV’s archive, as well as offering our services to other archive owners.
We have a very specific approach to our restoration work. We don’t want to make any editorial changes to the content, and our dedicated approach means that once film or tape has been digitised we will only enhance the image to a certain point. We won’t go beyond the capabilities or limitations of the original content creators, meaning content stays true to their intentions.
We transferred an very dirty reel of Captain Scarlett some time ago, which better illustrates this point. The reel we transferred was very badly scratched, extremely dirty, and had also shrunk. This obviously poised quite a few challenges for the restoration team, but was a good work out for Phoenix.
The film scratches on the film reel looked identical to the puppet strings, and our initial pass removed the puppet strings as well as the scratches. Obviously when Captain Scarlett was made back in the 1950s, there was no way of painting out the puppet strings, which must’ve been very frustrating for Gerry Anderson and his team. Our approach meant that we had rein in the software to ensure the strings stayed in the image, but the scratches were removed.
James Macmillan, our Technical Operations Manager will be speaking at the Raindance Film Festival this evening (23/9) and if you’d like to hear more about our restoration services please get down to Giving the Past Authenticity: Using the Archive to Create the Contemporary// Monday 23rd Sep @16:30-17:30, VUE Piccadilly.