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

Fox

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#21 of 32 OFFLINE   seangood79

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Posted May 12 2013 - 05:39 PM

I think you are making a joke here, but fear you may be serious as we all know that digital data has an even shorter shelf-life than celluloid and needs much more maintenance to keep it from being forever lost. Files become corrupt, hard drives fail and software becomes obsolete.

 

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. 



#22 of 32 OFFLINE   Rick Thompson

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Posted May 13 2013 - 05:47 AM

My friend is a musician and they can't play digital files of recording sessions from a decade ago.

 

When I was producing stuff for Capitol Records in the early 1990's, we played tapes that were 40 years old without any problems.

 

Digital is far from a magic word!

 

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!


Edited by Rick Thompson, May 13 2013 - 05:48 AM.


#23 of 32 OFFLINE   Lromero1396

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Posted May 13 2013 - 11:22 AM

My friend is a musician and they can't play digital files of recording sessions from a decade ago.

 

When I was producing stuff for Capitol Records in the early 1990's, we played tapes that were 40 years old without any problems.

 

Digital is far from a magic word!

 

 

I think you are making a joke here, but fear you may be serious as we all know that digital data has an even shorter shelf-life than celluloid and needs much more maintenance to keep it from being forever lost. Files become corrupt, hard drives fail and software becomes obsolete.

 

 

Now film is in its final years, it's all going to be digital, so everything's going to be fine in the future, right?

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.


Edited by Lromero1396, May 13 2013 - 11:25 AM.


#24 of 32 OFFLINE   MatthewA

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Posted May 13 2013 - 12:41 PM

This is what I think of whenever I read about potential digital archival crises.


Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I am going to boycott The Walt Disney Company until then. And while you're at it, PLEASE stop dropping DVD/laserdisc extras from Blu-ray releases of other films.


#25 of 32 OFFLINE   Moe Dickstein

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Posted May 14 2013 - 02:32 PM

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.
Yes, these strange things happen all the time - PT Anderson, Magnolia

#26 of 32 OFFLINE   Lromero1396

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Posted May 15 2013 - 09:08 AM

This is a rather scary thought. But it's a valid concern.



#27 of 32 OFFLINE   Adam_S

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Posted May 15 2013 - 09:59 AM

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.

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.


Edited by Adam_S, May 15 2013 - 10:00 AM.

 

#28 of 32 OFFLINE   KMR

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Posted May 15 2013 - 10:20 AM

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.

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).



#29 of 32 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted May 15 2013 - 11:15 AM

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.

 

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

 

RAH


"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#30 of 32 OFFLINE   willyTass

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Posted May 15 2013 - 06:42 PM

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



#31 of 32 OFFLINE   RKR1970

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Posted May 15 2013 - 10:22 PM

[font="'courier new', courier, monospace;"][color=rgb(0,0,0);font-size:15px;]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 [/color][/font][font="'courier new', courier, monospace;color:rgb(0,0,0);font-size:15px;"]are 4 and 5 generations away from the original. Outside of DOUBLE INDEMNITY being digitally restored this year by Universal, [/font][font="'courier new', courier, monospace;color:rgb(0,0,0);font-size:15px;"]little digital work on has been performed on the EMKA/MCA Paramount library. [/font]

 

 

 

#32 of 32 OFFLINE   Lromero1396

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Posted August 15 2013 - 09:12 AM

 

[font="'courier new', courier, monospace;"][color=rgb(0,0,0);font-size:15px;]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 [/color][/font][font="'courier new', courier, monospace;color:rgb(0,0,0);font-size:15px;"]are 4 and 5 generations away from the original. Outside of DOUBLE INDEMNITY being digitally restored this year by Universal, [/font][font="'courier new', courier, monospace;color:rgb(0,0,0);font-size:15px;"]little digital work on has been performed on the EMKA/MCA Paramount library. [/font]

 

 

 

 

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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