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How to archive video on film


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#1 drew_town

drew_town
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Posted 13 July 2005 - 08:47 PM

Greetings,

I know this type of thing gets asked a lot but I couldn't find the answer to this by searching. I'm working on a historical documentary. It will be shot on video and the clients are interested in archiving the material. I explained that video tape is not the best archive medium and they should consider a film transfer. They said they could probably get some grants to fund this.

Can a simple transfer be made if there is no intention of projecting or using the film negative from a transfer in any other manner than to be telecined back to video? Is this different from any other film transfer? Does it have to be 35mm or can it be 16mm, 8mm? It just needs to match the quality of the video without degrading it. Nothing fancy. And if asked I need to know what's the ballpark price per length for a transfer (just a general rule-of-thumb)?

Sorry if these are stupid questions but I just don't do this type of thing.

I'll read up if I have to shoot in 24p and all that because I know that's covered often.

And lastly could someone recommend a company that does this (in the US), is reputable, and reasonably priced (I know it's expensive)? A telephone number, e-mail address, or address would be helpful.

Thanks.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 08:58 PM

Almost all film recorders go to 35mm so there's not much point in archiving it on 16mm, especially if the costs are similar.

You can transfer it to standard 35mm intermediate stock on Estar base as a negative or positive. If stored properly, color intermediate stock will last well over a hundred years.

If you're even more concerned about color longeivity, then you can store it on b&w YCM separations. I think Pacific Title has been doing work in digital intermediates onto b&w separations for long-term archiving. Fewer places specialize in film recording directly to b&w seps.

I haven't heard of many people though spending the money to store video onto film. Most people would rather just plan on digitally copying the masters every ten years to some new digital format; whether or not that's a better approach I can't say but it's certainly cheaper in the short term.
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