Master of film restoration

Pete Comandini, an expert in film restoration and preservation who worked on such movies as “Fantasia” and “Gone With the Wind,” died of heart failure on Dec. 16 at Providence St. Joseph’s Occupational Health Center in Burbank. He was 56.

Comandini co-founded YCM Laboratories after working for Panacolor, Technicolor and Universal Studios.

He was an internationally known expert who pioneered restoration techniques for movies filmed with the obsolete two-color Technicolor process.

He also worked on film-to-video and video-to-film transfers.

“To Pete, restoration was both a challenge and a labor of love,” said his friend Roderick T. Ryan, a retired Eastman Kodak engineer. “He was able to produce results that often exceeded the quality obtained in the film’s first release.”

Comandini supervised the restoration of such classics as Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” the musical “Meet Me in St. Louis” and the Western “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.”

After a stint at Universal Studios, he co-founded YCM Laboratories in 1982. The company received an award of commendation in 1992 from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

Comandini was a fellow of SMPTE, an associate member of ASC and an active member of AMPAS.

Comandini is survived by his wife, Patty, his parents and a son.

A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at the Old North Church at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, 6300 Forest Lawn Drive, in Hollywood.

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