For years now, the Criterion Collection has been the unquestioned gold standard for classic films on laserdisc, DVD, and Blu-ray (and its online streaming at Hulu ain’t too shabby, either). Its films look the best, sound the best, and come with the best packaging and extras. But how do they do it?
This six-minute short from Gizmodo brings you into the Criterion offices for a tour of the production facilities. The staff explains the process step-by-step, from locating and scanning the original negative to restoration to color correction to sound editing to box design, using Criterion’s new DVD and Blu-ray of Alfred Hitchcock’s Foreign Correspondent as an example.
Although the film’s only six minutes, and represents an infinitesimal percentage of the actual time spent bringing Foreign Correspondent back into print, it still does an impressive job of giving viewers a sense of just how time-consuming and tedious the job is, and how much effort Criterion puts into its work. It’s worth noting that when you buy a physical copy of a Criterion film you’re not just buying a movie you like, you’re voting with your dollars for movie restoration with this level of care and sophistication. It’s an important job.