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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Swanage, Engerland
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Exactly. Gladiator didn't have a DI at a fixed resolution, so they could go back to the original negative and get a juicy 4K scan done of the completed film. The LOTR movies were finished at 2K ( effects, colour grading, everything) and I'm not sure that an original negative even exists (in the conventional sense) for a DI show.
Is the camera negative ever actually cut together or is it simply stored once scanned? I presume that a complete, fully graded negative gets filmed out from the digital files for purposes of making prints, but again it's hamstrung by that 2K resolution.
This situation is somewhat analogous to rebuilding Star Trek TNG for HD; it's not like it can't be done, but it'll require a lot of time, money and effort to do so.