Edgar Flores Ogarrio is perhaps one of the longest users of Phoenix and Nucoda out there. After restoring films at Estudios Churubusco for over a decade, he was then hired by Cineteca Nacional to help them to improve their workflow for post production, restoration and color grading, leading teams to create the sharpest and most seamless work possible. Now, he works at his own Anónima Post, most recently working on award winning El Bulto (1992), and is still faithful to our software.
I was ‘working with the best tools of every software combination to make very fast work with amazing quality’– Edgar Flores Ogarrio
MAKE IT NEW WITH NUCODA
Once upon a time Edgar was working in a movie studio, and when they asked him to make digital transfers of old movies to SC format, he spent his evenings correcting movies. This lead Edgar to work at Estudios Churubusco, where he oversaw the production of all restored films, working with assistants on shift to create a seamless process, using Nucoda for post production.
Over the years, he’s worked on lots of incredible projects, but his proudest moment is still working on the color for La Mujer del Puerto, which is a 1991 Mexican art film by the director Arturo Ripstein, which screened at the Cannes Film Festival that year. It was recently shown at the MoMA, giving this under appreciated melodrama the attention it deserves, as we follow a incestuous affair between a cabaret singer and a long lost sailor brother on the tawdry, local docks (adapted from a short story by Guy de Maupassant).
Edgar also restored Danzón (1991), written and directed by María Novaro, a single mother in Mexico City finds love in a ballroom class, and searches for her lover when he goes missing, travelling to Veracruz with a transvestite.
It was Filmworkz’s Nucoda that helped the color in this film sing. Edgar explains that color is integral to atmosphere in a film and for storytelling: ‘in order to make different moments to feel dramatic, you need to support it through light and dark, and different temperatures of color to portray the emotions of the characters as well as the emotions of the environment. We control how an audience feels’.
PASSING THE BATON ON
He later taught the team at Cineteca Nacional how to use Phoenix to enhance the performance of their film and says it works with everything. Edgar enjoys being able to see the precision panel and all the filters to choose which to work with – Nucoda is the same, you have everything at hand. Thanks to Edgar’s training and the power of Phoenix and Nucoda, they were ‘working with the best tools of every software combination to make very fast work with amazing quality’.
Using Phoenix allows these restoration artists to piece together film from different sources which might be off varying quality: ‘with Phoenix I have taught the team how to make a better texture with the grain: remove grain and then add range in order to make the match of the texture and color better’.
REVISITING MEXICO’S ‘GOLDEN AGE’
Whilst he was there, Edgar worked on film classics like Tiburoneros (1963), that won Best Film Drama Award at the Mar del Plata Festival that year, and ‘contrasts with the moralism of Mexican cinema of that time and defies the cinematographic stereotype in which the city is synonymous with sin and the province of integrity’. The film underwent stabilization, flicker reduction, automatic dust and interactive processes; as well as color correction and sound restoration. What’s more, 70 paintings that were not in the positive master’s degree were recovered and a total of 144,283 paintings were rehabilitated.
Another film classic that was brought back to life with Phoenix was Río Escondido (1948) by the controversial director Emilio “El indio” Fernández, with María Felix in the stellar role, and is considered one of the emblematic films of Mexico’s Golden Age. Mexico has often dominated the Latin American film industry and experienced it’s ‘Golden Age’ between the 1930s and the 1960s. Edgar is set on protecting his countries cinematic heritage to ‘give it new life so people, young people, can see all the beautiful and interesting stories’ from before.
FILMWORKZ’S FLEXIBLE SUBSCRIPTIONS
Edgar is trying to capitalise on the niche in Mexico as the restoration market isn’t yet exploited since the industry exists in extremes: expensive, high level restoration or minimal transfer of platforms. Edgar’s trying to find that sweet spot of creating amazing quality work without having to have a massive budget. That’s why Filmworkz’s subscription plan is so unique – we want to give artists the tools they need and can afford on scheme that works around them.
A lot of the footage that he works with are found in two or three big archives. For example, in cine has a list of the 300 most important movies of Mexican history and have made these restorations a priority in an effort to preserve them. Some of these films make their way to film festivals, like Cannes, Berlin, and Venice.
As a colorist, Edgar’s dream job would have been to work on Todd Phillips’ Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix, but for restoration its American war epic Apocalypse Now featuring Marlon Brando and directed by Francis Ford Coppola.