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Baraka - From 65mm to Blu-ray

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Richard Greenhalgh, Hollywood, USA Date: 15.01.2009
Last night our SMPTE Hollywood section meeting was held at DreamWorks’ Campanelli Theater. The subject was “Baraka” - From 65mm 5 perf film to Blu-ray disc via 8K (a world first) which included a discussion and demonstration of the restoration and Blu-ray workflow for an Industry Reference Disc. We heard from Chris Reyna, Restoration & Blu-ray Producer, as well as Paul Chapman, Andrew Orem and others involved in the recent HD restoration and Blu-ray mastering of this 70mm classic, “Baraka” by Ron Fricke - Director & Cinematographer and Mark Magidson - Producer.

Last year the 65mm elements were scanned at 8K resolution and then fully restored to the latest HDCAM-SR standards at FotoKem. Then Blink Digital/Ascent Media took the HDCAM-SR Master and painstakingly encoded this very challenging imagery to what many are now saying is a new level of quality for the emerging Blu-ray format. This is believed to be the first ever 8K over-sampled feature restoration. Since its release on October 28th it has been nominated for Best Blu-ray of the Year, and is currently considered one Blu-ray Reference Disc to own. We saw screen examples from Blu-Ray sourced media.

FotoKem scanned the film at 8K (8192 x 3723) for superior Blu-ray imaging due to the 16:1 over-scanning. 144,000 frames scanned at 12.5 second per frame took 3 weeks (24/7) to complete which created 30 TB of data. They screened a portion of the film from the Blu-ray disc on a Samsung BDP Blu-ray Player connected to a Barco Theatrical Projector on a 24 foot screen at about 22 foot lamberts which looked very nice. I have this Bu-ray disc and it is gorgeous. I will love it even more if I can ever screen it in our theater (see below).

At the end of this most interesting program, they mentioned that these are the “frontier days” for Blu-ray and that the industry must move quickly to address the glitches in most players and inspire consumer confidence in the format. Having just purchased a new Blu-ray player, I will just say that is a MAJOR understatement. I hope someone in the industry begins to listen soon
More in 70mm reading:

Review of "Baraka" Blu-ray version

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Updated 21-01-24