Universal Home Video has announced that Steven Spielberg‘s JAWS will finally be released on Blu-ray on August 14th, 2012. The blu-ray release will include an all-new, digitally remastered and fully restored picture, as well as 7.1 surround sound. The film is one of 13 classic films that Universal has selected to be digitally remastered and fully restored from 35mm original film elements as part of Universal’s ongoing 100th Anniversary celebration.
The restoration process for Jaws began with researching and evaluating the existing film elements (original negatives, inter-positives, 35 mm prints, audio magnetic masters, etc.) As part of the Studios’ preservation process, Universal geographically separates duplicate sets of elements in vaults in Southern California and on the East Coast in an effort to protect the company’s most valuable assets. All items are catalogued in a detailed database via barcodes.
After testing the various picture elements for the best quality and resolution, Universal technical staff chose the original camera negative for 4K scanning. Due to the effects of time and use, the camera negative had scratches that needed to be removed. Using Cineric, a top restoration post facility in New York, the negative was scanned through a liquid gate process that eliminates surface scratches. The files of scanned film were transferred to servers at Universal Studios Digital Services. Working digitally, the Studios’ skilled technicians meticulously worked to balance color, remove dirt and scratches and repair any additional frame damage on a shot by shot, frame by frame basis. All work is done in keeping with the artistic integrity of the original film.
Once the picture restoration was completed, the team at Universal Studios Sound prepared to up-mix Jaws to a 7.1 mix from the 5.1 mix that had been created in 2000 using the original mono soundtrack. Now on the forthcoming Blu-ray, fans can enjoy JAWS in DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, optimizing the sound for the latest home theater technology.
The entire collaborative restoration process is done in conjunction with Amblin’s post production team. Steven Spielberg personally monitored the progress and approved the final picture and sound.
As a part of Universal’s Centennial celebration, the Studio is producing a full slate of preservation elements for Jaws and 12 other classic Universal films. These new materials include videotape masters, digital file masters, Digital Cinema Package (DCP), audio masters, new film negative, check print and 35 mm screening prints. Through Universal’s on-going preservation and restoration process, these titles will be enjoyed by generations to come.