Full restoration of the The Moon & the Sledgehammer
For some time now we have been looking at finding ways of making a new print of the film. We want the film to be seen properly, restored to its original glorious colour, full of warmth and delicate tones with more depth and range and an overall ambience with the power to enrapture the human psyche.
Safeguarding the Film for Future Generations.
A further important reason for restoring the film is that it ensures its future for posterity. For generations to come people will be able to watch and marvel at the Page family and their unique lifestyle; their legacy, reminding us of the other things in life.
But although everyone wanted a new print, the cost was the stumbling block. The film is now over 45 years old and work is required on the negative before a new copy can be struck. This is work we will only do once so it is imperative that it is done properly.
The Science Bit Restoring the Negative
The process of film restoration is fairly intricate.
The negative is examined with a fine tooth comb. Any damaged splices need to be repaired. Sparkles and scratches have to be worked on. The negative is washed and polished. Should there be any shrinkage or warping, these too can be corrected with the help of amazing new technology available today.
Finally, the colour correcting takes place. This is one area where we expect to see a noticeable improvement.
The film was originally shot in super 16mm. It was then blown up to 35mm and an inter-neg made so that 35mm prints could be struck to meet the requirement of the cinemas showing the film on the national circuit. Some of you may remember attending those screenings in the 70s. It was the support film to JUNIOR BONNER starring Steve McQueen.
However, the down side of making an inter-neg is that it interferes with the colour spectrum, reducing yellows, causing greens to have a tinge of blue.
The film was shot in the woods, at the height of summer with blue skies and the most glorious array of greens. We will be able to see these marvellous colours again when the new print is made. Keep watching this space for Before and After pics.
How we will finance it
Good fortune has been with us. This film is beloved of so many fans from all walks of life. Thanks to them and the forthcoming retrospective of Philp Trevelyan’s films at Harvard, the University has generously made a donation to get the ball rolling on the new print. We hope to raise the balance needed through a crowd-funding campaign. Crowd-funding works on the principle of many small donations pulling together to create the needed sum. Anyone donating will have the choice of taking a gift or reward. There will be a series of early bird offers on DVDs from the new print, up to tickets to attend the Premiere later in the year. More news about the crowd-funding campaign coming soon.
What if the negative is not restored?
Like anything, a negative has a life span. Eventually it will deteriorate beyond salvation. Of course, we will still have all those DVDs, but in time the hard ware will change and there will be nothing left to play them on. Yes, we could continue to upgrade to keep up with the new hard ware but the quality of the film will be a little poorer with each upgrade.
Restoring the negative is by far the best long term solution; it's economic, provides the highest possible results and guarantees the longest storage life. This will ensure the film is safely preserved for future generations to marvel at and enjoy.
Saving the film for Future Generations
Perhaps one of the most important reasons for restoring the negatives is that it will guarantee the future of the film and allow many generations to come to see and enjoy – and hopefully learn from – the Pages and their unusual lifestyle. How much poorer would the future be if there was no record of the Pages? Mr. Page decried ‘push-button machinery’ and the quality of work coming out of factories. He scoffed at man’s attempt to reach the moon, quite content to leave things as they were, as long as he had room to swing a sledgehammer. “Man will destroy himself,” he says. “Well, they’re already doing that now…” In our topsy turvy world, Mr Page makes a lot of sense. His is a voice that deserves to be heard for many generations to come.
If you would like to be part of this project to help save the film, our crowd-funding campaign will begin soon and will include early bird offers on the new DVD and a chance to be at the UK premiere of the new print. Join our mailing list on right for updates.