Lee Clow's Beard Remasters Apple's "1984" in 4K

As the creator of the long-running Twitter account @leeclowsbeard, I naturally have an affinity for all-things Lee Clow and Chiat\Day related.

Of course, that’s understandable considering all the great work Lee and his cohorts created over the years. Perhaps the most famous of these – and the spot that ushered in the modern era of Super Bowl commercials – is the film created to launch the Macintosh for Apple back in 1984. Appropriately enough, it was based on the novel “1984” by George Orwell and was itself titled, yes, “1984.”

While everyone in advertising knows the spot (you do, don’t you?), few have seen it in a respectable form. It’s almost as if a version was uploaded to Geocities in 1995 and that’s the only version that’s been circulating ever since. Overly compressed. Highly pixelated. Low resolution. (Okay, standard definition.) Not exactly what the team at C\D or director Ridley Scott envisioned, I’m sure.

So I decided to fix it.

The base file came from Ridley Scott's RSA Films website, but it was the 2004 “20th Anniversary” version in which Anya Major is wearing an iPod and ear buds. This would simply not do for historical accuracy. So I had to replace those scene from other sources. Which proved, shall we say, challenging. Frame-by-frame painting was involved. The struggle is real.

The result isn't perfect, as you'll see, but it is the best example out there that I can find. Now watch as someone points me to a version rescanned in 8k from the original 35mm print.

Anyway, happy Super Bowl weekend to all. May my hometown Chiefs emerge triumphant yet again.

This has now been added to the 1984 Super Bowl commercials collection as and extra bonus.

Agency: TBWA/Chiat/Day, Los Angeles
Executive Creative Director: Lee Clow
Director: Ridley Scott
Editor: Pam Powers

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