1912-1992: 80 years of Olympic films restored

International Olympic Committee   |   Switzerland

Country of Origin of cited work: Switzerland First Transmission / Publication Date since restoration: 2014-8-3 Where published (Channel/Website) since restoration: https://www.olympicchannel.com/en/ Programme Duration (mins): 6000 Number of episodes in Series (If applicable): 100 Brief Synopsis in English (up to 100 words): All Olympic Games since 1904 have, to varying degree, produced a moving image legacy. At the beginning this was limited to newsreel coverage and short films, but starting in the 1920s, world famous film directors were commissioned by the Organizing Committees to create full length documentaries about the Games. Since 1930 these films have been mandated by the IOC in its charter and from 1948-on the term "Official film" has been used to differentiate these films from others productions made at the Olympic Games. Together the Olympic films form a body of work that provides a unique audiovisual legacy of the Olympic Games. Reason for submission in English (up to 100 words): In 2005, the IOC started an ambitious project to ensure the restoration and long term preservation of all the most important Olympic films. That project is now completed: more than 40 long form documentaries and 60 additional short films have now been meticulously researched and restored using the best elements for each and taking advantage the latest digital technologies available. To illustrate our submission, we selected six titles which give a good overview of the eighty years of films covered by our project - from the first Olympic short films of 1912 to the last Olympic film shot on 35mm in 1992 - and show the various challenges we faced in working on them. Further Information 1. The element(s) used for restoration, stating gauge and nature and specific problems associated with them e.g. damage, dispersal of elements and complexity of reconstruction (up to 100 words): The original 35mm and 16mm film negatives, or the best surviving film elements, were used for each restoration. The IOC did not produce these films itself, so did not own the original elements for most of them. We had to collaborate with more than 40 film archives, studios and producers around the world to acquire, or get access to, the original film elements for each film. Specific details for the six selected titles will be provided separately. 2. Original and restored aspect ratio and format (up to 100 words): All the films were originally shot on either 16mm or 35mm film and had aspect ratio varying between 1.33:1, 1.66:1, 1:78:1 and 2.39:1. The restored films were output on 35mm film, DCP, HDCAMSR and LTO. All OARs were respected in the restorations. Specific details for the six selected titles will be provided separately. 3. Time since aimed for version was last available. How does this version differ from previous versions e.g. in completeness and improvement in quality (up to 100 words): Olympic films have historically been produced in multiple versions for specific territories. The general policy we set up was to restore the films in their original language and original form. Additional language versions, alternate cuts or inserts were also researched and restored where possible. Some films had not been seen in their complete form since their original release, some other films were thought to be lost, and generally all the films were only accessible, if at all, in standard definition copies. Specific details for the six selected titles will be provided separately. 4. Where the work was carried out for each title, (including labs and facility houses) and broken down where there are multiple titles in an entry (up to 100 words): Our project used various labs and facility houses across Europe, the US and Asia throughout the years: Arane-Gulliver, Digital Film Lab, Haghe Film, Deluxe 142, Edit Store, L'Immagine Ritrovata, Cineric, Fotokem, Imagica to name but a few. Since 2007, Audio Mechanics in Burbank has carried out the sound restoration of nearly all our films. Since 2010, Warner Bros Motion Picture Imaging has been used nearly exclusively for the picture restoration. 5. What methodology was used? (up to 100 words): Each restoration followed a similar workflow: research of textual and film sources, video-based comparisons of source elements, restoration of the best elements for picture and sound, creation of deliverables for exploitation and long term preservation. Collaborations with the archival community and respect of its best practices were key points in our project. Specific details for the six selected titles will be provided separately. 6. What preservation elements have been generated and where will they be stored? (up to 100 words): 35mm filmouts, composite prints, track negatives and mags, all polyester-based have been created for most of the restored films. They are stored at the Swiss Cinematheque, which holds most of the IOC's film collection. Restored image files have been recorded on two LTO sets and restored audio files on two archival DVD sets. These will be stored in the IOC's vaults and servers. Specific details for the six selected titles will be provided separately. 7. How and where has the restoration been presented and made available to the public? (up to 100 words): The restored films have been screened at festivals, film archives, and other cultural institutions worldwide, as well as being shown on the IOC's online platforms. They are also slated for release on home video, video on demand and theatrical re-release in certain territories. Specific details for the six selected titles will be provided separately.