Oscar-winning Peter Jackson Brings Newly Restored 100-Year-Old WWI Footage to the Screen, In Color and 3D

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures © 2018 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Warner Bros. and Fathom Events bring Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson’s (The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit) stunning new documentary about World War I, “They Shall Not Grow Old” to movie theaters in and around Southern California, with remaining limited release screenings on Thursday, December 27, 2018.

Applying state-of-the-art restoration, colorization and 3D technologies to century-old footage, Jackson has carefully chosen footage from hundreds of hours of original film that has been held in the archives of the Imperial War Museum (IWM.)

Using cutting-edge techniques and technology, the images of a century ago are transformed into footage with an almost contemporary feel. Its narration comes from WWI veterans themselves, selected from over 600 hours of BBC and IWM archive interviews. The footage captures “the day-to-day experience of its soldiers and reveals the reality of war for those on the front line” with “humor amidst the horror” showing daily life in the trenches and during periods of rest. The film has been rated R for “disturbing war images.”

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures © 2018 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Collaborators at Stereo D, after receiving footage from “Park Road Post, Jackson’s New Zealand‐based post‐production facility,” extracted as much information as possible up front, correcting any over-exposures, dark or muddled shots, and enhancing detail. Then took on the delicate process of “removing dust, scratches, tears, chemical splotches, and other defects.” Artists were able to “smooth out the look of the grain … adding some subtle grain back in and applying sharpening to shots as needed,” provided released details of the restoration process.

“Because the footage was not recorded at 24 frames per second we had to re-time every
piece of footage, so it didn’t look out of place with film and video we see today,” said Park Road’s Picture Manager Daniel Eady in a release. “Once the cleaning process was completed, we provided versions of all of the footage in black and white to Stereo D for colorization and for Peter and his editorial team to begin looking at the footage.”

“Unfortunately, I don’t have any papers from my grandfather—I don’t have any letters, I don’t have diaries. I only have a handful of photographs,” said Jackson in a Q & A on his Grandfather’s own experience in the war. “The one thing that I did learn from the 600 hours of audio interviews of veterans that we listened to is how surprisingly similar they all are.”

Numbers one and four are significant to WWI. The war started in 1914, Britain’s entry into the war was announced at 11 p.m. on August 4, 1914. By the end of the war, an estimated 114 million parcels had been sent to wartime soldiers. The war ended 100 years ago, on November 11.

Depending on the theatre, showtimes are at 1:00 p.m. and/or 4:00 p.m., on their respective specified dates.

They Shall Not Grow Old” will play both in 3D and in 2D locally at the Regal Alhambra Renaissance 14, Regal South Gate Stadium 20, Pacific Theatres Glendale 18, LA Live 14, AMC Citywalk 18 with IMAX, Cinemark 18 and XD Los Angeles, ArcLight Beach Cities, AMC Del Amo 18, and in theaters in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino Counties, Ventura County and the South Bay area as well, as part of a special nationwide release.

About Monique A. LeBleu

Monique A. LeBleu is a writer, photographer, videographer, and shameless foodie and wineaux. A love of film history and a background in film production, post-production, and film theory provide unique insights into her movie reviews. As well, a background in technical theater fuels her passion on all-things theater. As a foodie, living in the ever-growing and diverse culinary landscape that is the City of Los Angeles feeds her never-ending pursuit of the perfect comfort food—the world's best Mac n' Cheese!
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