HPA To Honor Ignite Films For ‘Invaders From Mars’ Restoration

Ignite Films
(Image credit: Ignite Films)

BURBANK, Calif.—For its restoration work on the film “Invaders from Mars,” Ignite Films will receive the inaugural Jury Award for Restoration and Preservation from The Hollywood Professional Association (HPA).

The sci-fi classic was originally released in 1953, and Ignite Films is celebrating the film’s upcoming 70th anniversary with a release on Blu-ray and 4K UHD.

The HPA Awards Committee’s Jury Award for Restoration was launched this year in recognition of the exceptional work being done in restoration and preservation. The award is given at the discretion of the jury, HPA said.

Chaired by Anthony Magliocco, owner-founder of EMTM Inc., the jury included senior colorist Lynette Duensing; Bob Heiber, president of the Board of Directors of the Rick Chace Foundation; director and producer Jay Holben; archivist and historian Chris Horak, Ph. D; Richard May, former vice president of Film Restoration; and Janice Simpson, Library Archivist for the Walt Disney Company.

The story of David MacLean, a young boy who witnesses an alien invasion, “Invaders from Mars” quickly became a modern classic. It reflected Cold War tensions, the Red Scare and paranoid anxiety typical of many films of its era. 

The restoration effort was complicated by the discovery that the color negative confirmed for printing in SUPERcineCOLOR lacked many shots and needed to be sourced from 70-year-old prints. Preservationist Scott MacQueen, formerly head of preservation at UCLA Film & Television Archive, spearheaded the project. 

The restoration process involved piecing the project together from five separate sources, including elements necessary to fill gaps in the original camera negative stored at the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Additional elements came from the George Eastman Museum and National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.

“It’s a great honor to receive this award from HPA,” said Ignite Films Director Jan Willem Bosman Jansen. “We have taken tremendous care to ensure that the work we have done is an homage to the genius of William Cameron Menzies, and this recognition means the world.”

HPA Awards recognize excellence in craft categories including color grading, editing, sound and visual effects. They will be presented Nov. 17 during a gala celebration.

Lifetime Award Winner Kim Waugh and the HPA Engineering Excellence Award recipients, Amazon Web Services, ARRI Inc., LG Electronics, and Mo-Sys Engineering also will be recognized at the gala.

Tickets for the gala are available online (opens in new tab)

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.