Kennedy assassination film to be restored

Historic film of the assassination of President John F Kennedy is to be remastered and restored using the latest digital technology.

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By  Marcus Webb Published  November 26, 2002

Historic film of the assassination of President John F Kennedy is to be remastered and restored using the latest digital technology.

The restoration will be carried out for the footage owners, Associated Press Television News (APTN), by London facilities house Metro Broadcast using special technology developed by Snell & Wilcox.

The restored version will be released to programme makers in January 2003, to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the assassination.

APTN's copy of the film will be transferred onto a digital tape and processed through an Archangel machine at Metro. Archangel has been developed by Snell & Wilcox to digitally stabilise and restore images by removing dirt, scratches, tape tear, film weave and other imperfections in film and video.

Known as the "Muchmore film", it is one of three main sources of motion picture taken on the day of the assassination. The film taken by Marie Muchmore was acquired at the time by the news agency UPI and is now part of the extensive APTN Library.

It shows the president's motorcade turning into Houston Street and captures the final fatal shot to the head. It also shows the mysterious "Babushka Lady" filming just feet away from the president's car. That film has never been retrieved and the woman never conclusively identified.

APTN decided to put the film through Archangel after seeing a demonstration at Metro. Archangel is the only technology to provide comprehensive restoration of damaged footage in realtime, rather than on a frame-by-frame basis. As a result it enables broadcasters and archivists to restore damaged film and video at a practical cost.

The film will be released at the National Association of Television Program Executives trade show in New Orleans on 20 January 2003. It will be available for ordering and licensing from APTN and special orders such as up-conversion to high definition formats will be available through Metro.

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