35mm filmComing soon! Full restoration of the The Moon & the Sledgehammer

For some time now we have been looking at finding ways restoring the film and producing a copy that is as good as the original.  We want the film to be seen properly, restored to its glorious colour, full of warmth with delicate tones and greater depth and range and an overall ambiance only film has, the power to capture you and take you on a journey.

Safeguarding the Film for Future Generations.

It is vitally important that the film is restored and transferred to digital format to keep it up to date with current formats.  This will ensure its place in the future for another 50 years.  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. The film is now approaching 50 years old – around the age film starts to deteriorate.  Little or no funding is available for restoration work, which is a painstakingly slow and expensive process.  It is tragic to think how many films – records of our social history, have simply deteriorated and disappeared, lost forever. Every purchase of the DVD takes us a step closer to restoration.

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.  The balance will be raised through the continued sale of DVDs and screenings.

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 quality and guarantees the longest storage life. This will ensure the film is safely preserved for future generations to enjoy.

Saving the film for Future Generations

The most important reasons for restoring the negatives is that it will guarantee a place in the future for 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 were no Pages? Mr. Page decried ‘push-button machinery’ and the quality of work coming out of factories.  He talked about pesticide being poured around cabbage and the cabbage going ‘Squaark … squaaark’.  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.