“He whipped Indiana Jones into shape and cleaned up Sunset Boulevard. ‘The most popular movies are often, by far and away, in the worst shape,’ says DVD cleanup guru John Lowry. Now John Lowry is the unseen force behind the sparkling new DVD versions of George Lucas’ Star Wars films, which arrive Sept. 21 in a four-disc $70 box set,’ Mike Snider reports for USA Today.
“Over the past four years, Lowry Digital Images has emerged as the pre-eminent destination for studios looking to prepare their classics for DVD. Having cleaned up the Indiana Jones films for last year’s DVD package to the satisfaction of Lucas, director Steven Spielberg and studio Paramount, the Burbank-based firm earned the chance this year to do the same for the Star Wars trilogy,” Snider reports. “‘The most popular movies are often, by far and away, in the worst shape,’ Lowry says. ‘They have been printed more often and been duplicated more often, and each of those passes adds scuffs, dirt, scratches and the like.'”
“The high-definition video transfers of the first three Star Wars films (Episodes IV-VI: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) that Lucasfilm delivered to Lowry, he says, ‘were a little rougher than we expected coming in the door. I thought, ‘Oh, man.” Especially prevalent were scratches and dirt on the Tatooine sand dune scenes in Episode IV: A New Hope and on the snowy slopes of the ice planet Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back. Lightsaber scenes in all the films, Lowry says, ‘were softer and grainier and had all kinds of dirt,'” Snider reports.
“But Lowry mobilized the forces: 80 employees and 600 networked Power Mac G5 computers with the equivalent of 378 terabytes (378 million megabytes) of hard-disk storage.”
Full article here.