For Immediate Release
March 31, 2005
Oh Davey! Screen Time Images restores “Davey and Goliath!” for release on DVD
Schaumburg, IL – Screen Time Images was recently hired by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to restore the classic stop-motion animation series “Davey and Goliath”. The popular children’s show ran from 1960 to 1975, and became a pop culture icon. The Sunday morning series featured a little boy Davey® and his loveable dog Goliath®, his family and friends, and numerous other characters from his community. The program addressed urban issues like prejudice, poverty, loneliness, disabilities and delinquency, and was one of the first television series to introduce African American and Latino characters. The creators of Davey and Goliath, Art Clokey and Ruth Clokey Goodell, also made “The Adventures of Gumby and Pokey”.
In 2002, PepsiCo, Inc. helped to re-launch “Davey and Goliath” with a Mountain Dew commercial that featured the characters. That commercial won several awards, including one from AdWeek for being the best spot in 2002, and best spot from Advertising Age for non-alcoholic beverages. The series has also been referenced on shows such as Friends, the Simpson’s, MadTV and Jimmy Kimmel Live. The buzz has renewed demand for “Davey and Goliath”. As a result, Screen Time Images is restoring all 65 original episodes and 6 specials. The shows will be licensed and distributed in various collections, with an expected shelf date beginning in Q4 2005.
Demanding only the finest quality and a team experienced with restoration of animated features, ELCA’s Producer Ava Martin sought out the services of Screen Time Images, one of the only companies in the country with a primary focus on film restoration and preservation. Martin explains, "It was extremely important to us to identify a company we could trust with this property. The films are in some cases, over 40 years old. Even though we have several prints of each episode, they were beginning to show signs of age and deterioration. Davey and Golaith has received lots of attention over the past two years and we felt that the time had come to make sure these programs were preserved and made available for a whole new generation of children. We are actively pursuing the creation of video and DVD compilations through our licensing agent Mark Bannon of Animation Content, LLC., and knew that we had to take this step to ensure the quality and marketability of the property. When I first went to Screen Time Images, they took me step by step through the process of film restoration. After viewing their reel and seeing first hand what they could do for Davey and Goliath, our team was convinced they were the perfect company for the job, and one of the best companies in the business.”
The restoration process began by Screen Time sending out an archivist to locate, inspect and evaluate the condition of various elements and find the best original 16mm film elements stored in the ELCA archives. The film was scanned and color corrected on Screen Time’s da Vinci system by colorist Peter Pyskacek. According to owner Sean McKee, “Like many old films, dye-fading was immediately apparent, causing the image to look red, dull and washed out. Using our da Vinci color corrector and Revival restoration system, we were able to bring the film to life and enhance the colors to make it as vibrant as the day it was shot. Although it was filmed in color, the early broadcasts were in black and white, so this could be the first time many people have seen some of the episodes in color.”
Using da Vinci’s Revival restoration system and other proprietary software, Screen Time Images proceeded to digitally clean up the film dirt, scratches and splices. “We are the oldest users of the Revival restoration system,” says McKee, “and through constant development, it still never fails to amaze both us and our clients with the beautiful end results we can achieve. For this project, the client wanted today’s children to watch the shows without realizing that the series is over 40 years old. So we were asked to remove the most distracting artifacts and debris, while still maintaining the nostalgic charm of the series.”
McKee continues, “A light grain reduction was
performed, as well as a semi-automated dirt removal, which gets rid of a large
percentage of the random dirt and scratches. Next was a frame-by-frame restoration
of any large debris that remained. This is where Revival really shines, giving
us tools not available on any other system, such as splice damage repair tools,
color restoration and the ability to automatically track motion of reference
frames for use in recreating missing areas of the image. The ease and speed
with which Revival lets us work allows us to clean up the most amount of film
debris within the client’s budgetary and deadline requirements.”
Not stopping with the image alone, the ELCA had Screen Time restore the optical audio soundtrack as well, removing clicks, crackle and hiss. Audio restoration and sweetening was performed with Cedar Audio hardware, Pro Tools and an AMS-Neve Libra audio console.
Just as the frame-by-frame restoration process can be very involved, it is interesting to note the painstaking process that was used to create the animations. All characters, props, clothing and sets are hand made. Character dolls were never moved more than 3/8 of an inch at a time, and one animator, working 8 hours a day, was lucky to get 10 seconds of animated film completed. For one of the episodes, Sudden Storm, animators had to create a lake that was over 32 feet long, and used a full sprinkler system to create life-like rain.
After a 29 year hiatus, a new one-hour television special titled “Davey and Goliath’s Snowboard Christmas” was completed. This program is created in the original stop-motion animation style and produced for the ELCA by the Clokey’s Premavision Studios, now run by their son, Joe Clokey.
“This show is as relevant today as it ever was,” says McKee. “Regardless of race or religion, the ideals presented in this series create a strong foundation in children that will last them the rest of their lives. The production values are also very good, and still feel contemporary amongst the current 3D animated weekend morning cartoons. Even though the ELCA’s goal is to create new episodes, the fact that they came to us with this job shows that there is value in the classic material. It is a pleasure to work with a forward thinking organization such as the ELCA, who realizes that their film assets are worth restoring, giving them life with a new generation of viewers. All profits from licensing or merchandise sold go directly back into the project, expanding the brand and creating new productions, so it will be exciting to see more of Davey and Goliath. I remember watching these shows as a kid, and although classic is a term that applies here, a better description of this series is timeless.”
Screen Time's owner Sean McKee and colorist Peter Pyskacek
For more information on Davey and Goliath, visit www.daveyandgoliath.org.
Screen Time Images has restored thousands of classics films and television programs for DVD release and theatrical rerelease. Services and pricing are designed to accommodate every type of project and budget range, from clients with public domain material looking to perform a low-cost automatic dirt removal, to clients with rights to A-list movies wanting to bring the film to perfection through frame-by-frame restoration.
Screen Time Images Inc. is located at 974 Estes
Court, Schaumburg, IL 60193. They can be reached at 847-534-9000. Web site is