October 23, 2014 9:19 pm
This week we released a video to illustrate the dramatic difference in picture quality between the original Hoop Dreams released in 1994 and the newly restored HD version. Though the film is widely beloved and has been seen by millions over the past twenty years, it has never ever looked as good as this!
The Hoop Dreams digital restoration was a collaborative effort of Sundance Institute, UCLA Film & Television Archive, the Academy Film Archive and Kartemquin Films.
Hoop Dreams was shot primarily on analog Beta SP videotape, so the image was cropped and transferred for its commercial release. Working from multiple elements, including standard definition video masters and a 35mm film print, the project team created a new uncropped, high definition digital master that better represents the pictorial quality of the original cinematography by Peter Gilbert. Digitally remastered at Modern VideoFilm with sound restoration by Audio Mechanics, this version allows future audiences to see the film as conceived by its filmmakers. Nora Gully managed the restoration project for Kartemquin with archivist Carolyn Faber, and working extensively with Ross Lipman, who oversaw the restoration for UCLA.
The digital restoration premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. It has since been showcased at Full Frame, BAFICI, Dokufest, and the BFI London Film Festival. The filmmakers and stars will be attending upcoming screenings at Twin Cities Film Festival, Indiana University, Indie Memphis, and DOC NYC. Special screenings are in the works for LA, Chicago, Boston and Seattle in December. Get full details here: http://kartemquin.com/films/hoop-dreams/events. This restoration is available to watch online via Sundance Now Doc Club.
In exclusively previewing the side-by-side clip - compiled by Kartemquin's Ryan Gleeson - IndieWIRE's Zack Sharf writes: "A sprawling chronicle of athleticism, inner-city youth and American socio-economics, James' basketball documentary remains one of the greatest non-fiction features of all time."