A few weeks back, artist Nick Acosta built composite images to illustrate how the original STAR TREK series might have looked in Cinerama. The results were gorgeous and immediately had me thinking about DARK SHADOWS.
So, using a selection screencaps from various DARK SHADOWS DVDs, I set about trying to recreate the experiment in Collinsport. Instead of aiming for Cinerama dimensions, I opted for the more modest 16:9 of modern television screens. The idea wasn’t to take an existing image and crop it to fit; the images you see above are composites of panning shots. As the camera moved, I took screenshots of the scene, piecing them together in Photoshop to make one image.
Some of these images turned out a bit kooky. The photography of DARK SHADOWS had a tendency to follow a specific actor throughout a shot, giving me a lot to work with. The images at the bottom show how long sweeping these shots could sometimes be, with the same actor sometimes appearing more than once in a single composite.
STAR TREK was shot on film and has been lovingly (if controversially) restored in HD. DARK SHADOWS is not so lucky. Shot on video tape, it’s unlikely there will ever be a technology that will allow DARK SHADOWS to make a genuine leap to high definition. As it stands, the show's picture is inherently soft and blurry and will never look as good as STAR TREK.
So, here they are for your enjoyment. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the results.