Through the combined efforts of the Cinémathèque québécoise and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), with support from the University of Notre Dame in the United States, an animated film once thought lost—Gertie, by Winsor McCay—has been brought back to life.
The work involved creating a 2K digital version of the film acquired by the Cinémathèque québécoise (and stored at Library and Archives Canada) and removing the intertitles and live-action prologue. The first stage (cleaning and colour correction) was done by Eloi Champagne and Sylvie Marie Fortier at the NFB.
The missing drawings (about 200, including the encore scene) were then created by hand by animator Luc Chamberland, who tried to reproduce McCay’s sense of style and motion, to restore the fluid movement seen in the original.
I had the pleasure of seeing a few original stills of the film on a recent visit to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum in Columbus, Ohio.