Caprino Studios has moved back home!

Published
10. september 2004
Exterior photo of Caprino Studios

in 2004, almost half a century since Caprino Filmcenter's first foundation stones were laid at Snarøya outside Oslo, the entire business has once again been reunited under one roof. The studios have been fully refurbished and modernised, and adapted to the new demands of the digital age. Caprino Studios, the new name for Caprino Filmcenter, now enjoys the status of a state-of-the-art production unit for digital image and sound. The equipment and expertise that the company represents currently rank among the leaders worldwide. Remo Caprino, executor of his father's estate, has the stated mission of reviving the old puppet film traditions.

Theodore Rimspoke

Next year it will be almost 30 years since Theodore Rimspoke, bicycle repairman at the top of Pinchcliffe, became a movie star.

To tie in with the 30th anniversary of the premiere of the Flåklypa Grand Prix/Pinchcliffe Grand Prix movie in 2005, Caprino Studios, in association with Sweden's Svensk Filmindustri, will be rereleasing all the old fairytale movies on DVD. These rereleases will offer audiences dramatically enhanced audiovisual quality in the movies compared with what was previously available on VHS and DVD. As bonus material for the DVD releases, Caprino Studios will also be producing tons of brand new material, but also presenting old Caprino movies, which very few of us will have seen before.

Great sound

The new studios are teeming with activity in every unit. In the sound studio, engineers are busy cleaning up the sound on the old movies. Caprino's sound designer, Alex Dimitrijevic, is creating a brand new soundscape which will allow audiences to hear and really appreciate the old movies now in stereo and Dolby Surround. We got to hear a few samples of what's to come - and it sounded amazing! For the real enthusiast, there will be a separate soundtrack so they can hear the original sound.

Old favourites in new packaging

Karius og Baktus

Karius and Baktus, the Norwegian classic story of two personified caries, will also be revived in digital form to enchant audiences on the DVD releases.

The artists (those who create the digital 3D figures and environments), Jan Fulton and Ove Trengereid, are working intently on modelling the various figures that will feature in the bonus material on the DVD releases. During our visit, we got to see characters such as Karius and Baktus, Ash Lad, the Troll, Lambert and Sonny. All of them digitalised and ready to get "back on the job" as our beloved "actors".

Animator Voja Dimitrijevic is in the process of adapting all the figures to enable them to move as required. This is a highly complex and creative task in which the latest in computer animation software has to be customised to meet Caprino requirements for motion and artistic styling.

To make the production of animated puppet movies more efficient and cost-effective, the company has invested in state-of-the-art technology. Caprino Studios is therefore the proud owner of one of the world's most cutting-edge Motion Capture (link til mocap-artikkel) studios.

Four generations

Remo's son Mario is sitting in another corner of the production premises. He is the company's programmer, and the guy who gets all the data to come together as a single entity. Without his highly advanced expertise, the movies and computer game would never have happened. One amusing and interesting fact worth mentioning here is that, in the material currently being produced at Caprino Studios, there are 4 generations (!) of Caprino with direct influence on the same product.

Puppets

But there is also other work ongoing besides that on the DVD releases at the new Caprino Studios. In close collaboration with the Norwegian Film Institute, all the old puppet heads which were modelled over the years by Ivo Caprino's mother, Ingeborg Gude Folkestad, are now undergoing full restoration. Many of them are in very poor shape, so this is a very painstaking and intricate task for the restorer, Mie Mustad, but will happily mean that the puppet heads will be preserved for posterity so that more people can have the chance to admire these wonderful heads and characters. Caprino will also be putting the results up on its website, so fans can follow the work in progress.

Restaurering av dukker

The old puppets were touched by the ravages of time, and will given some well-earned beauty treatment.

Comprehensive restoration work

Caprino is also working with the Norwegian Film Institute on another mammoth project: cataloguing and restoring all the old film that has languished for years in the basement of the old studios. Alongside this, quite some detective work is underway to track down missing sound and image negatives from various laboratories across Scandinavia. This restoration work will be ongoing for several years and cost several million Norwegian Kroner. One of the biggest problems is that some of the titles, such as Little Freddy and the Fiddle and A Doll's Dream, have almost completely lost their colour in the original material. All that remains on the negative is a faint shade of magenta (red colour). Fortunately, there are techniques around today for partially repairing this kind of damage - but it's a laborious and costly task.

A Doll's Dream

The negative for A Doll's Dream, which is almost destroyed, will now be restored.

Yet another project is to digitalise and catalogue all the stills that have been produced over 55 years. Much of the material is in very bad condition, but the company hopes to be able to salvage most of it. This involves several thousand images, which as a single body of work, document the cultural legacy produced at Caprino Filmcenter, literally for generations.