ARCHIVES AND RESTAURATION
The Project Of Protection, Restoration And Reconstruction Of The National Film Collection (1995-2002)
This study discusses the state of Croatian film heritage and, based on European experiences, explains the method of photographical-chemical protection, restoration and reconstruction of film footage. The intention is to protect the most important film genres: animated films of the Zagreb School of Animation (1954-1985), feature films (1945-1985), and documentary films (1945-1985). Film footage from the ’50s, ’60s and the ’70s was kept in the storages of production studios, usually in the conditions of high humidity (80% RV) and subjected to significant temperature fluctuations (30 degrees in the summer, and 5 in winter). The footage was also badly damaged mostly due to the vinegar syndrome. Besides fungi, footage was exposed to deformations of film tape, narrowing of the perforations, separation of the emulsion from the film base. Another problem was belated production of replacement material on the part of producers, which resulted in overuse of the original film footage. Since film tape from that period was quite unstable and of poor quality, it soon began to lose colour, sharpness and contrast. The author uses specific examples of protection to demonstrate all necessary measures for the reparation of such badly damaged footage. He analyses the ’case’ of each film in detail, and concludes with the results obtained from the usage of this particular method. This essay is the first of its kind in Croatia. It offers many useful information and serves as an educational tool for film archivists and experts who deal with the problem of protection of film, photographic and audio-visual material.