Alive Studios were recently chosen by Explorer Pictures to restore priceless archive footage of world-renowned explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, for a major Hollywood documentary. Working in collaboration with the BFI National Archive, the filmmakers were granted unprecedented access to Fiennes’ personal film collection. Directed by Matthew Dyas (who also directed David Attenborough’s Flying Monsters 3D), Explorer has just been released in cinemas by Universal Pictures.
This isn’t the first time we’ve worked with Explorer Pictures – we previously provided archive footage from 8mm cine film containing rare childhood footage of Eric Clapton for the award winning documentary, Life in 12 Bars.
We transferred a mixture of 8mm & 16mm Cine Films, VHS, Betamax, U-Matic, DVDs and digital video files for the Fiennes project. The films date back to the 1970s so a major part of our job was to carefully clean and repair the material before scanning and remastering the files.
It was a big job, but we are always up for a challenge. Our team has extensive experience with archival restoration projects like this, and we’re passionate about preserving history—especially when it belongs to someone as accomplished as Sir Ranulph Fiennes.
About the Documentary
Sir Ranulph Fiennes is credited as being the World’s Greatest Living Explorer. Among his extraordinary achievements he was the first to circumnavigate the world from pole to pole, crossed the Antarctic on foot, broke countless world records and discovered a lost city in Arabia. He has travelled to the most dangerous places on Earth, lost half his fingers to frostbite, raised millions of pounds for charity and was nearly cast as James Bond. But who is the man who prefers to be known as just ‘Ran’? With exclusive access to Ran, his incredible film archive covering decades of expeditions and contributions from life-long friends and colleagues, EXPLORER tells the definitive story of an inspirational leader but it goes beyond a simple retrospective, ultimately revealing the man behind the myth.
You can check out the trailer below – all of the archive clips were transferred by Alive Studios.
The Importance of Restoring Archive Footage.
There’s always been a huge demand for documentaries about explorers and other adventurers. People are fascinated by stories of people pushing themselves to the limit and going places where few have gone before. In recent years, there’s been a renewed interest in these types of stories thanks to shows like Netflix’s Lost City of Z and National Geographic’s Explorer.
These shows have brought new attention to the classic stories of people like Sir Ranulph Fiennes – which is why there was such a demand for restored footage of him for this latest documentary.
While some might see restoring old footage as a simply a matter of transferring it from one format to another, it’s actually much more complicated than that.
Our team at Alive Studios takes great care to ensure that every frame is individually captured in 4K to retain every piece of detail possible. Our most recent development as a company is utilising AI (artificial intelligence) to bring out unseen detail and dramatically restore and remaster the film. We have built an enviable reputation on managing to get footage of film considered unviable by others – the older the better! We understand how important it is to preserve these stories for future generations
If you’re a fan of adventure documentaries, then be sure to check out Explorer – it’s an incredible story that features some amazing restored footage courtesy of our team here at Alive Studios. This has been an incredible opportunity for us to preserve history through film and video, and we can’t wait for everyone to see the finished product!
Find out more about Alive Studios film transfers here: https://www.alivestudios.co.uk