Taxi Driver restoration team enlists Baselight Eight18 August 2011
Martin Scorsese’s 1976 classic, Taxi Driver, recently received a 4K restoration, which has been released on Blu-ray Disc by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 35 years after its American premiere, writes Carolyn Giardina.
The project was under the direction of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Grover Crisp and with guidance from director Martin Scorsese and the film’s director of photography, Michael Chapman, ASC.
The restoration process included 4K colour grading using FilmLight’s Baselight Eight, which was completed at Colorworks, the digital intermediate facility at Sony Pictures in Los Angeles.
Before grading began, the original film negative was scanned at 4K using a specially designed wet-gate scanner at Cineric Laboratory in New York. The files were then transferred to Colorworks, where colourist Scott Ostrowsky graded to match answer prints personally approved by Scorsese.
“Since it is such an important film, we really took our time to achieve the best quality picture,” Ostrowsky said, noting that the grading process alone spanned more than a month. “Our aim, as with all restoration projects, was to make the film look like it did when it was first shown in theatres.”
Ostrowsky’s DI grading suite at Colorworks features a Baselight Eight colour grading system and a Sony 4K digital projection system that allowed him to view and grade imagery at 4K, including when working with multiple layers.
“Our role was to serve Martin Scorsese and cinematographer Michael Chapman by remaining true to their vision,” said Ostrowsky.