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13 Next we will hear from Moses Weitzman who is 14 a photographic expert who has worked with the Zapruder 15 film in the past. 16 Good afternoon, Mr. Weitzman. 17 STATEMENT BY MOSES WEITZMAN 18 MR. WEITZMAN: Much of what I was going to 19 say probably has already been voiced by previous 20 witnesses. My understanding of my testimony was to 21 comment on the technical value of keeping the original 22 and I believe there are several good reasons for 69 1 keeping the original in Archive control. 2 As already mentioned, technology is advancing 3 exponentially. In the future we will have better 4 capability of duplicating and analyzing the images both 5 photochemically and digitally. The copies that I made 6 for Time-Life was done 30 years ago. Even today's 7 technology is well ahead. There are better lenses, 8 film, and computerized digital scanning. 9 Because of the last mentioned item, digital 10 scanning, which would enable someone to accurately 11 record but also unfortunately to manipulate the image, 12 it would be important to keep the original as a 13 benchmark of accuracy to guard against irresponsible 14 manipulations of the image. 15 One of the -- I believe Mr. Lesar mentioned 16 something about the information between the sprocket 17 holes. Unfortunately, when I did the work 30 years ago 18 there was no equipment for duplicating 8 millimeter. 19 We jerry-rigged existing hardware and the way I came to 20 be recommended doing it was by the manufacturer of the 21 equipment, Oxbury Corporation. That imagery could very 22 well be duplicated by properly manufactured components 70 1 and if the material were to be retained by the 2 Archives, and I would recommend them doing so, it would 3 be well for them to invest in the hardware, which would 4 be nominal when all things are considered, to properly 5 duplicate this material with today's technology both 6 photochemically and digitally. 7 There are several very fine companies on the 8 west coast making motion pictures which are reaping 9 multimillions which I am sure would leap at the 10 opportunity to assist the committee in doing a better 11 job of this, and I would welcome any questions. I 12 guess that presentation is it. 13 JUDGE TUNHEIM: Go ahead, Henry. 14 MR. GRAFF: Mr. Weitzman, when did you last 15 see the film? 16 MR. WEITZMAN: I think I saw it for a second 17 time when, I believe it was CBS brought it to me for 18 duplicating. I think it was for an anniversary of the 19 assassination, possibly 1975. 20 MR. GRAFF: So you do not yourself know from 21 observation what the condition of the film is today? 22 MR. WEITZMAN: I was here about six or seven 71 1 months ago, here in the Archives, I don't remember 2 whether I was shown the film or not, but my 3 recollection was that in '75 it was in less condition 4 than it was when I first saw it. And with all things 5 that are not made of stone, they will deteriorate with 6 time. But preservation of film is a fine art today and 7 Eastman Kodak has put out many, many papers. It has 8 been my personal experience they even reclaimed a piece 9 of footage that the emulsion was peeling away from the 10 substrate. So there is certainly the possibility of 11 maintaining the film. It is approximately 30 some odd 12 years. You can keep films for a 100 years if it is 13 properly maintained. 14 MR. HALL: That was really the heart of my 15 question as well, and that is, is this truly a wasting 16 asset? 17 MR. WEITZMAN: Well, everything sooner or 18 later deteriorates and disappears, but I would think 19 for our practical purposes, I would think that you 20 could maintain this film at least for another 25 to 50 21 years, which would probably serve the purpose well 22 because by then the technology, which is advancing 72 1 exponentially, will enable us no doubt to record it 2 with permanent accuracy. That is not available today 3 and my original contention is that it should be kept as 4 a benchmark so that in the near future if someone 5 starts to manipulate the image and put things in there 6 that really are not supposed to be there, there will be 7 something that says, "Hey, this is what the original 8 was, there isn't XYZ person out there in the front." 9 MR. HALL: Do you know how many copies there 10 are of the Zapruder film? 11 MR. WEITZMAN: Oh, God. Unfortunately, I 12 probably am the grandfather of many of them. The 13 original copy -- the original copy, the very first copy 14 I made was a 16 millimeter film which I showed to 15 Time-Life. They were very, very excited about that and 16 they commissioned us to make a 35 millimeter copy. 17 Since there did not exist any proper equipment, the 18 first copy I made in 35 millimeter was substandard 19 commercially. It was placed incorrectly via the track 20 area of the film. So it could not be used. That was 21 thrown into a box in my office. 22 I was general manager and quality control and 73 1 vice president of a company. I left the company 2 shortly thereafter and was then recalled by the owners 3 of the company, Technical Animations, to sell off the 4 assets, they wanted to close the company down, and lo 5 and behold, in my office there was my box with that 6 piece of film, that technically imperfect copy, and to 7 the best of my knowledge, that copy is what a great 8 many copies have been made from. I kept it as a sample 9 of my expertise, not being into the whole underground 10 culture of the Zapruder -- 11 MR. HALL: Part of your portfolio? 12 MR. WEITZMAN: So to speak, yes, what I could 13 do, drawing a perfect circle, so to speak. I would 14 periodically trot it out to show to people. I presume, 15 at some point, because it was not -- I didn't keep it 16 under lock and key, someone made surreptitous copies of 17 it and used it. 18 MR. HALL: It seems to me if you are 19 concerned about baseline issues, that having some sense 20 of the spread, breadth of copies that are out there, it 21 becomes very, very important. 22 Thank you. 74 1 MR. JOYCE: Mr. Weitzman, to return to your 2 comment about the importance of preserving the film as 3 a baseline, I am wondering, are you absolutely 4 confident that you, on the basis of the knowledge you 5 have both of the original film and technology in film 6 making and film reproduction today, that you could 7 authenticate the original film in the camera as the 8 original film? 9 MR. WEITZMAN: Let me understand the 10 question. Are you asking me whether at the time I did 11 it initially did I knew it was the original film? 12 MR. JOYCE: No. I am asking you if we were 13 to take -- if the film were to be taken today, and one 14 of the important considerations does seem to me to be 15 -- or thought about -- the baseline, which other people 16 -- I think Jim Lesar mentioned that as well, are you 17 confident that the film can be authenticated as the 18 original camera copy of the film? 19 MR. WEITZMAN: Certainly Eastman Kokak could. 20 It was Kodachrome and there might be, I don't remember 21 precisely, but I believe there were edge markings on 22 the film as to when it was manufactured and they 75 1 certainly could make forensic examination of it when 2 the material was laid down. As to whether it is a 3 piece that was photographed originally, yes, you would 4 look at and if the image reads through the base, we 5 know it came from an original-camera. 6 As to whether it -- it would be impossible to 7 make a duplicate contact copy reading through the base. 8 Today, someone might have hardware to make an image 9 reading through the base optically, that is to say, 10 through a lens. But if one were to make a contact 11 copy, immediately you would see the difference. It 12 would not be proper to also read the wrong way. So 13 there are a lot of ground rules that one could 14 determine A) it is an original that was photographed in 15 a camera, and B) it wasn't made by a contact copy, and 16 the manufacturer could give you a good indication of 17 when this particular piece of film was manufactured. 18 MS. NELSON: I have been interested in what 19 you were telling us because we have heard that the film 20 was really no longer viewable, that it had 21 disintegrated, and I think part of the problem was that 22 in the earliest period when Time-Life had it, probably 76 1 didn't have quite the same facilities that the National 2 Archives has. Just to make sure I understand, what you 3 are saying is that really doesn't matter any more, no 4 matter how bad off the film is, something can be done 5 with it, and can revive it, restored it. 6 MR. WEITZMAN: Unless the image is totally 7 destroyed, and I don't know that answer, the process of 8 duplicating it is on a frame-by-frame basis, on 9 equipment -- at least the equipment that I had used, an 10 optical printing machine, which looks like a motion 11 picture projector sitting on a lathe bed facing a very 12 precise camera focusing on the image and photographing 13 it, is advanced frame at a time. Also, one would use a 14 full-immersion gate that is kind of an aquarium that 15 each individual frame is surrounded by a liquid that 16 has the same refractive index as the emulsion. That 17 would remove a good deal of the damage. If it were 18 being scanned rather than being put onto film, but 19 scanned digitally, then that image could be enhanced 20 and repaired, so to speak, as many modern motion 21 pictures are being done for commercial re-release. So 22 unless the material is really, really destroyed, it can 77 1 be brought to near pristine condition. 2 MS. NELSON: That is an important 3 consideration for us. 4 JUDGE TUNHEIM: There is, however, Mr. 5 Weitzman, from the evidence -- that some of the frames 6 from the original are missing, through handling at some 7 point in time in its past. That, together with the 8 somewhat deteriorated condition that the film is in, is 9 there any argument that first-generation copies made 10 today be better evidence of the original than the 11 original itself? 12 MR. WEITZMAN: Certainly a copy should be 13 undertaken now with today's technology. It is better 14 than what I had 30 years ago. No question about it. 15 And I think if that were to be done, someone should 16 invest 10 or 15 or $20,000 that is necessary for the 17 hardware to duplicate regular 8 millimeter with full 18 immersion gate. The missing frames were missing when I 19 got the material because that was part of what it is. 20 However, if there exists those frames elsewhere, even 21 if they aren't very good, they could be reinserted and 22 enhanced. So you could reconstruct the digital copy 78 1 that in some ways might be better than the original. 2 But nevertheless, the original would still be the 3 benchmark because one would assume this is being done 4 by responsible people and being held under responsible 5 circumstances. 6 MR. HALL: Help me a little bit here. There 7 are, in fact, copies of the Zapruder film that predate 8 the taking of those frames -- so there is in fact a 9 copy that contains those now-missing frames in the 10 original, right? 11 MR. WEITZMAN: Yes. 12 MR. HALL: The question that I would pose 13 then, and this is in the area of speculation, would it 14 not be the case that that copy would have, for 15 evidentiary purposes, because it is pristine in the 16 sense that it has not been chopped up, greater value? 17 MR. WEITZMAN: No, sir. Because of the 18 contact copy, in my understanding, that is to say, it 19 is an 8 millimeter that was made not optically with a 20 lens but by contact, a sandwich, and as a result of 21 that, fine detail was lost. 22 MR. HALL: So the argument then would be that 79 1 previous copy, the full copy that was with the frames 2 in it is of value but it doesn't in your judgment 3 transcend the necessity of having the original as the 4 baseline? 5 MR. WEITZMAN: That is correct. 6 JUDGE TUNHEIM: We have heard arguments that 7 there is the ability to enhance the original, to make 8 it into a sharper image, make a better film out of it. 9 Is that true, can you take the film today and enhance 10 it or are we simply creating new issues where there 11 weren't issues before? 12 MR. WEITZMAN: Yes, there is that capability. 13 I am not an expert in computer technology. I have a 14 passing understanding of it because it is now a 15 technology that is coming to fruition after I retired. 16 However, from the literature I have read the answer is, 17 yes, you can take an unsharp image and sharpen it. 18 There are algorithms that will determine where the 19 edges meet, so to speak, of a light and a dark area and 20 create a new image. You can even -- well, you have 21 seen it in motion pictures, Jurassic Park and any 22 number of them, where they create and paint full 80 1 images. But unfortunately that very capability would 2 enable someone who is irresponsible to paint in 3 something that doesn't exist. So the necessity of 4 keeping that meter block in archive is very, very 5 important. 6 MR. HALL: So the baseline argument really 7 turns out to be important not just in terms of gauging 8 other copies but taking into account with what might be 9 done with the original if it were in private hands, to 10 some way distort -- 11 MR. WEITZMAN: Sensational exploitation. 12 Needless to say, everyone has been exposed to that sort 13 of thing.