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'Preserves history': Sask. film rescue company restores historic film through digitization


Since 1999, Film Rescue International has been operating out of an old bank building in Indian Head, Sask. Their specialty is developing historical film. Some of the oldest being a camera from Australia that contained photographs from the 1880’s.

"It might be the last picture of their grandma or the only picture of the father that died in war,” said Gerald Freyer, a film archivist with Film Rescue International.

At times, those films go lost or sometimes even forgotten.

“What we are doing here at Film Rescue is trying to preserve history,” added Feyer.

Another important way the rescue tries to preserve history is through transferring old movie film to a digital format.

"Generally all of it has a lot of grain to it and the contrast is usually not as good as it would be if it was new. We have to do a lot of things like put a lot of light through it. We have to do a lot of post stuff to clean it up,” said Cory Rennebohm, a senior transfer specialist with the rescue.

The provincial archives in Regina has been a partner with the rescue to help preserve their collection of old film stock.

"For the security of the film, the security of the archival record, the ability for us to be able to deal with these professionals that are just down the road, less than an hour away, as opposed to having send them out of province or sometimes internationally to have this type of work done,” said Curt Campbell, records processing and preservation services with the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan.

Film Rescue does work locally as well. They collaborated with the Indian Head Museum on a book, digitizing photos of high school graduating classes dating back to 1914.

The Cold Storage room at the Saskatchewan Archives where reels of old film are stored at four degrees to help preserve them. (GarethDillistone/CTVNews) A majority of their clients come from outside of Canada. Many of their clients are international with even some famous faces.

"We've had things in from members of the Beatles families, we've had things in from presidential libraries. I did some stuff one time for the family of Sharon Tate," said Rennebohm.

The crew even had the chance to work on a film of the first ever graduating class of female cadets at the RCMP training academy. Top Stories

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