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Hundreds of unseen Andy Warhol films to be digitized for public screenings

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1,000 rolls of 16mm film to be turned to 2K footage

The Andy Warhol Museum

Approximately 500 movies made by pop art icon Andy Warhol, many of which have never been seen by the public, are in the process of being digitized. The project — a collaboration between The Warhol museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and two visual effects companies — will see almost 1,000 rolls of 16mm film converted to 2K resolution after being scanned frame by frame.

The painstaking process means the project is is set to take several years to complete, but some of Warhol's unseen movies will be available for public consumption sooner than that. 15 digitized films will have their public premiere in October of this year as part of the Exposed: Songs for Unseen Warhol Films exhibition at New York's Carnegie Music Hall. The Warhol says the it will make the restored movies available for public screenings, but for now, there appear to be no plans to put the freshly digitized films online.

Many of Warhol's films are known for their extreme running time

Warhol might be better known for his pictures and prints than his movie making, but the father of pop art built up an extensive filmography. Many of his movies are notable for their extreme running time. Sleep, created in 1963 as an "anti-film," shows Warhol's friend John Giorno sleeping for five hours and 20 minutes. 1964's Empire consists of more than eight hours of footage of the Empire State Building. Among the collection to be digitized are many of Warhol's screen tests, in which he would point his camera at friends and colleagues for hours at a time, capturing their daily lives and visits to his studio.