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Preserving films

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  • Preserving films

    I came across this article on the Criterion Notes website https://www.criterion.com/current/po...d-found-cinema about the work undertaken to identify lost films by the Library of Congress - totally fascinating!


  • #2
    Originally posted by Bonekicker View Post
    I came across this article on the Criterion Notes website https://www.criterion.com/current/po...d-found-cinema about the work undertaken to identify lost films by the Library of Congress - totally fascinating!
    It isn't clear, are they trying to restore any of the films or are they just preserving them in whatever state they are found in?
    I trust that they are looking after them well. There's a lot more to preserving films than just putting them on a shelf

    Steve

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    • #3
      With film as soon as you open the can, you instantly know all about it-what condition it's in- has it been edited etc .With tape until you can find a machine to play it on,you have absolutely no idea what it is on it-let alone what condition it's in. With digital sometimes it's there sometimes it isn't.

      ..this is why many 'digital' films today are now being archived on good old 35mm film... a reprise of the situation when VT first came out.

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      • #4
        Many of the BFI viewing copies are on VHS tape.

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        • #5
          I have bought a few of these so called rare films from Criterion Island of lost souls as an example, it was badly faded and nearly unwatchable. With being a devoted horror fan I was just glad to finally watch a classic, it still cost me a lot of money at the time. I also have to confess that I'm not a great fan of DVD and still have my VHS collection as well, just too many problems. My nephew has recommended transferring all my films to hard-drive which he says lasts longer. The future beckons.

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          • #6
            I still have all my vhs tapes.I really can't be bothered to put them on a hard drive.The oldest tape was recorded in 1979.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tv horror View Post
              My nephew has recommended transferring all my films to hard-drive which he says lasts longer.
              The trouble with putting them onto a hard drive or onto any digital medium is that it either works or it doesn't and nobody can tell why or when (or if) it will suddenly stop working. Professional film-makers are now often filming on digital and when it's edited, storing it on real film (35mm or some other size) as a backup or archive.

              Steve

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              • #8
                Actually Steve he did have a lot of trouble early on but now relies on the small 2.5 versions which he cannot rate highly enough.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by tv horror View Post
                  Actually Steve he did have a lot of trouble early on but now relies on the small 2.5 versions which he cannot rate highly enough.
                  But sometimes (and nobody knows when or why, it's totally unpredictable) you might have a digital recording which has been played often without any problem, which suddenly starts losing "bits" or suddenly becomes totally unplayable. I've spoken to librarians & archivists who have all seen this problem. Maybe because of the size of their collections it's more noticeable?

                  Steve

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Steve Crook View Post

                    It isn't clear, are they trying to restore any of the films or are they just preserving them in whatever state they are found in?
                    I trust that they are looking after them well. There's a lot more to preserving films than just putting them on a shelf

                    Steve
                    I've met a couple of people who work for The Library of Congress and as far as I know their work is limited to cataloguing and preservation (not just storage) of film materials, a massive undertaking on its own.

                    Restoration is left to outside parties who want to undertake it.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tv horror View Post
                      I have bought a few of these so called rare films from Criterion Island of lost souls as an example, it was badly faded and nearly unwatchable. With being a devoted horror fan I was just glad to finally watch a classic, it still cost me a lot of money at the time. I also have to confess that I'm not a great fan of DVD and still have my VHS collection as well, just too many problems. My nephew has recommended transferring all my films to hard-drive which he says lasts longer. The future beckons.

                      Your nephew is right, most of my collection is on PC and home network. Its not hard to do and I'm sure he will help you to get the hang of things.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Richard in Wales View Post


                        Your nephew is right, most of my collection is on PC and home network. Its not hard to do and I'm sure he will help you to get the hang of things.
                        It is very hard to do if you have thousands of VHS tapes, many with more than one item on tem. Plus hundreds of DVDs.
                        By the time I get all of those transferred onto any digital media they will have invented a new media to store them on

                        Also there's the issue mentioned above that digital isn't a stable format so I would probably need two copies of every transfer

                        Steve

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                        • #13
                          I agree to some degree Steve, transferring from VHS is really done in 'real time' so a 1.5 hour film will take 1.5 hours to transfer however, first see if you can find a digital version of the film you want which you can download in minutes (Youtube is becoming a great source of older films).

                          DVD/BR are simple enough to rip quickly to digital storage...depending on your storage space. I have a 1TB SSD drive on an i7 Pc and rip to one of the three 4TB spinny drives I have plus 6x4TB drives on the home network.

                          Backup, backup and backup.

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                          • #14
                            That's another thing my nephew agrees with back up that back up, again he swears by those 2.5 drives.

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