Go Behind the Scenes at Criterion as They Restore One of Hitchcock's Films

Since 1984, Criterion has been dedicated to collecting, restoring, and distributing some of the most important pieces of cinema ever created. If you're a cinephile like I am, collecting these films is not only about the novelty of their stylish covers and menus, but their invaluable behind-the-scenes and educational bonus features as well. Lucky for us, Gizmodo got the opportunity to visit Criterion's New York headquarters, where they learned what goes into a film's restoration. Continue on to find out how Criterion goes about acquiring, digitizing, and even designing these important films.

I absolutely hate spending a fortune on films, but owning a film from the Criterion Collection not only feels like I'm owning a piece of history, but like I'm contributing to a great cause. A distributor that wants to preserve and  protect films from falling into obscurity is certainly just as important as the films in its collection. In fact, I distinctly remember learning from and being tested on Criterion supplemental content while in film school -- so, you could say that Criterion's work played a pretty significant role in my education.

Gizmodo's video includes short vignettes of each process that goes into restoring a film -- in this case, Alfred Hitchcock's Foreign CorrespondentWe're detailed on how Criterion goes about acquiring film negatives, digitizing them, restoring the images, cleaning up the audio, and finally, designing those awesome covers. (I've nearly purchased Criterion films based solely on their covers.)

Check out the video below and get an inside look behind the scenes of Criterion!

Are you a fan of The Criterion Collection? What do you think of their restoration process? Let us know in the comments below.


[via Filmmaker Magazine]

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Your Comment


"I absolutely hate spending a fortune on films"

Lucky you don't have a job with anything to do with that horrible subject then.....oh

February 15, 2014 at 12:29AM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM

Fresno Bob

Keep up the good work Renee. The none trolling community appreciates it. : )

February 15, 2014 at 5:01AM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM

David F

¡Ay caramba, Fresno! You're killin' me.

Also, thanks David!

February 15, 2014 at 12:14PM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM

V Renée
Content Manager at Coverfly

We all need someone out there buying the content, or we're finished!

But I'll agree that Criterion is the one label that makes me spend more than I'd like to on a single title.
I once spent over £100 on that massive 'SEVEN' Laserdisc set, and almost the same on the Voyager 'Blade Runner' LD, so common sense goes out the window for the right edition.

February 16, 2014 at 1:21AM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM

Fresno Bob

We all need someone to punch when our lives are sh***y!

February 17, 2014 at 7:35PM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM

David F

Not widely known these days but very powerful B&W WWII themed film "The Ascent" by Larisa Shepit'ko is definitely worth checking out. A Berlin Int. Film Festival winner in 1977 that Criterion remastered with subtitles (which one doesn't need if s/he speaks Russian).

February 15, 2014 at 7:50AM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM


i LOVE Criterion. After years of watching classic movies on public library VHS tapes, I was totally blown away seeing Rashomon in HD for the first time.

They have a huge number of Criterion titles available on Hulu Plus btw. Not Blu-Ray, but close enough.

February 15, 2014 at 11:35AM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM


+1 !!!

February 16, 2014 at 6:51AM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM


Criterion has always been one of my favourite videodisc distributors. Their set _by Brakhage: an anthology_, is one of the only discs available to watch great avant garde filmmaker's works. In this day and age too easy digital creation, Brakhage was a master of analogue film manipulation, even drawing directly on the film surface. Without Criterion's edition, his works could have vanished – as fewer schools and theatres have the ability to play the old 8 mm, 16 mm and even 35 mm films that he produced.

March 23, 2014 at 2:13PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM