June 08, 2012

Éléphant, a family album

Technicolor Creative Services Montreal has initiated a groundbreaking partnership to support emerging cinema artists and help develop their technical skills

“In the fall of 2008, with the help of Technicolor’s Creative Services, we set out to digitize and restore Quebec’s film heritage within the scope of Project Éléphant, a celebration of the rich history of Quebec cinema. Since then, we’ve restored nearly 200 feature films. It would have been impossible to achieve such an enormous feat without the professionalism and dedication of Technicolor’s highly competent and conscientious technical staff and the company’s impeccable sense of organization. The people at Technicolor have done so much more than merely “work” for Éléphant; they have embraced the project and adopted it as their own. The outcome is a testament to their passion and dedication.”

Marie-José Raymond and Claude Fournier, Éléphant Project Directors

Digitizing a film legacy

“Celebrating the rich history of Québécois cinema, the Éléphant Project is digitizing (into standard and HD formats) the entire collection of feature-length Quebec films. Since the project’s launch in November 2008, nearly 200 cinematic works of fiction have already been restored and digitized. Many of these films were in such poor condition that they could no longer be viewed. We have brought almost 200 films back to life!”  Excerpt translated from the Éléphant Website.

The media service team kicked off Éléphant’s film restoration process in 2008. Since then, Technicolor has been coloring, removing dust, correcting, equalizing, synchronizing and encoding Québécois heritage films.

Throughout the year, ten artists and artisans from almost every department of Technicolor Montreal’s Creative Services handle films for this monumental restoration project. Thanks to their expertise, the quality of their equipment and the trust established between them and the Éléphant team, we can deliver the highest quality restoration service.

Whenever we receive a movie or a trailer’s 35mm film from the Cinémathèque québécoise, we go through the same methodical stages:


  • Transferring 35mm film to HD digital file
  • Transferring 35mm audio tape to Pro Tools file


  • Electronic dust removal
  • Frame by frame colorizing
  • Electronic image correction: stains, scratches, tears, etc.


  • Sound level equalization, noise reduction, image synchronization and Sound effects recording when necessary.


  • SD and HD file encoding, combining image, audio and closed caption file for the hearing impaired.
  • Delivery of the hard drive to Illico, (the broadcaster), according to required standards.