Help Required: What happened at FOX in the 1970s?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Andreas Wagner, May 12, 2013.

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  1. seangood79

    seangood79 Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes I was joking. But I do worry about some studio exec of the future who asks the question "Why do we have all this film lying around when I have our entire library backed up on my 20 Petabyte thumb drive as 12K files (in 3D!)"
    I feel we're living in a new Dark Ages, which is was future historians will refer to our time when all our digital media gets wiped out. Emails, pictures, text messages, music, movies.
     
  2. Rick Thompson

    Rick Thompson Screenwriter

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    True indeed. Not that long ago, RCA/BMG decided to reissue several "Living Stereo" albums from the mid-50s. The original tapes, complete with editing splices, were still readable.

    Also consider this from Clifford Stoll back in 1994: "In 1979, as NASA's Pioneer spacecraft flew by Saturn, I helped record the down-linked data onto magnetic tape. To make certain that we didn't lose any of this priceless data, we saved it in four formats: 9-track magnetic tape, 7-track tape, paper tape and punch cards. Fifteen years later, all those cards and tapes survive in a Tucson warehouse, guarded by iguanas and scorpions. They're in fine shape, but I can't read 'em. Punch-card and paper-tape readers don't exist anymore. Neither do those big reel-to-reel tape recorders."

    After listing a bunch of extinct and fading formats (and the fadings are all gone now, plus several then in their heyday -- 1.44MB floppies and zip disks, anyone?), he asks, "Will my backup tape from last night be readable in a hundred years? I doubt it." Since he was talking tape, it might not be readable now -- less than 20 years later -- let alone 100 years!
     
  3. Lromero1396

    Lromero1396 Supporting Actor

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    Heck, I can't access computer files from 4 years ago at times. That's why I fear for FILM preservation in the future. Since modern polyester film can last for a few centuries if stored well. I hope that preservation stocks continue to be produced, even though I feel that those chances are pretty slim. However, the stuff in the National Archives might last a lot longer than film stored at studios, and at UCLA, GEH, and MoMA, perhaps the film will be retained as well.
     
  4. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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  5. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    Digital Archiving is a matter of making sure that when new formats appear to replace the old, the material is correctly copied and stored in the current (theoretically superior) format.
     
  6. Lromero1396

    Lromero1396 Supporting Actor

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  7. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    Several times in the epicly long "Why we wait for a few words about Lawrence of Arabia" Thread I asked what the Film-Out for the new Digital work of LOA was. I never got an answer. I guess nothing was printed back to film, and our lovely 4K DCP and Bluray is all there is (there ain't no more).

    A few years ago there was a terrific article on the Doctor Zhivago restoration that talked about how the raw uncorrected scan was printed back to film to generate a new element and to not 'bake in' any restoration work done today. I would hope that's the case for most restorations.
     
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  8. KMR

    KMR Stunt Coordinator

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    It's also making sure that copies are refreshed, and checked for data integrity. It's not simply making a copy, and sticking on the shelf only to touch it again when you recode it into a new format. The constant vigilance is part of what makes this a labor-intensive endeavor (and thus neglected far too often).
     
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  9. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    The majority of serious restorations are printed back to film. For Lawrence, it would be 65mm.

    RAH
     
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  10. willyTass

    willyTass Second Unit

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    would that be polyester, I presume that will last 100+ years ?
     
  11. RKR1970

    RKR1970 Agent

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    Fox is not the only studio in trouble with the nitrate era, the pre November 1949 sound Paramount features are in danger. Many of the 1958 FGM's delivered to EMKA/MCA have gone vinegar, the B&W nitrate negatives were junked quietly by Paramount, some preservation elements were lost in the Universal lot fire of '08, and other preservation elements are 4 and 5 generations away from the original. Outside of DOUBLE INDEMNITY being digitally restored this year by Universal, little digital work on has been performed on the EMKA/MCA Paramount library.
     
  12. Lromero1396

    Lromero1396 Supporting Actor

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    Did Universal not address and of these issues for its 100th anniversary? I seriously hope that the neglect of the Paramount Hitchcocks under Universal's control has not spread throughout the entire library. I'd like to see more transparency here as to what is going on. You've gotten me pretty scared just reading all this.
     

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