[Tig] How much time film really has?

jim at media-matters.net jim at media-matters.net
Fri May 17 19:04:17 BST 2013

I wasn't going to jump into this, but since the thread seems to have garnered some interest and longevity I think it might be useful.

The group should know that many of the concerns mentioned in this thread are not new, but are the subject and study of an entire field called AV Archiving consisting of thousands of people worldwide. 
There are graduate degrees given in this subject on an international basis now for many years. Many of the topics mentioned have been studied and discussed for decades and there are conferences on 
an annual basis, so for those of you who are really interested I am sure the field would welcome your expertise and attention. 

There are journals, academic papers and presentations, and a wide variety of work has been done on these very topics, and over the years the field has dealt with many of the issues mentioned. Some of 
these specific topics, such as how the world's AV content can be preserved going forward in time (Digitally) have been studied for decades now and there are some very good solutions that have been 
implemented. There have been European Union research projects for over a decade now funded in the Millions of Euro's about some of these issues and a great deal of it is online. You might want to look 
at the results of the Presto, Prestospace, Prestoprime, and Prestocentre projects - there is a great deal of information out there. 

So the good news is that people ARE taking this very seriously, allot of work has been done, the field is always looking for new ideas, but many of the concerns mentioned as being problems have in fact 
been solved and solutions have been implemented and have worked for many years now. So those with the passion please join us - there are several organizations in the field, you might want to look up 
AMIA (The Association of Moving Image Archivists), SEAPAVAA (South East Asia Audio Visual Archive Association), FIAT/IFTA (International Federation of Television Archives), IASA (International 
Association of Sound and Image Archives), and so on.

Even more importantly, people are actually doing digital preservation of AV materials like Film and Video and Audio and have been for over a decade. Miles of film, Millions of tapes have been digitally 
preserved.  People are very aware of issues like machine obsolescence, the importance of preservation file formats, and discussion of methods of digitization and "how good is good enough".  Issues like 
digital migration have been discussed and largely "figured out", and systems around the world are at work preserving film, video, and audio. 

I am not saying this to stifle conversation, quite the contrary.  The field needs your expertise. It is also important, however, to read up on what people actually are dong now to get a better perspective on 
what real issues are and which ones have lower priority with solutions that work already in play.

Jim Lindner 

On Fri May 17 10:15 , Bob Friesenhahn  sent:

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>On Fri, 17 May 2013, Turnto at sbcglobal.net wrote:
>> All it would take is one EM pulse and film will be golden.
>Likewise, the whole power grid may be permanently toasted, along with 
>much of the electronic equipment attached to it if there is a 
>significant earth-directed solar flare.  The last time this happened 
>was in the 1800s and the telegraph wire strung across the continental 
>USA was vaporized as if it never existed in the first place.
>Just like we are due for another San Francisco earthquake, the 
>scientists tell us that we are due for another big solar flare event 
>and that life as we know it is at risk unless we take appropriate 
>precautions.  Thus far there has been only talk about taking the 
>precautions (e.g. temporarily inserting huge capacitors in the power 
>grid to block the DC), and no action.
>Film stored several thousand feet under the ground will likely still 
>be ok. :-)
>Bob Friesenhahn
>bfriesen at simple.dallas.tx.us, http://www.simplesystems.org/users/bfriesen/
>GraphicsMagick Maintainer,    http://www.GraphicsMagick.org/

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