[Tig] RE: [Tag] Digital data storage (was something else)

domenic domrom
Thu Mar 10 02:47:08 GMT 2005

As someone who spent three years working in stock footage I feel I must
weigh in with a studied observation, for the time being film is the most
practical storage medium, period.

I make this statement with all due respect to the digital storage
mediums (Rob, as far as your grammatical point, whatever). Film is a
universal format that can be put up anywhere, on any telecine (negative,
ip, etc) or projectors (prints) in the world. Yes some run at 24 and
some 25, got it.

When I was working in the stock world one of my jobs was to digitize the
library, free space, and simplify everything. A few problems arose, what
did I choose for a digital storage medium that would be here tomorrow
never mind next year. Another tidbit I learned was that the companies
making these devices had different definitions of what is good quality.
It was sure not the same as the people on this list. "Good enough" is
their catch phrase. I was selling high quality images, look is

One day I had a revelation. We received a panic order for a shot of
Charles DeGaul riding into Algiers in 1945. It was a ten second shot;
the client wanted a HD 24P master and they wanted it yesterday. I
grabbed a 35mm Dupe Neg made in 1945, ran to a Spirit and did a
transfer; it took me 2 hours to pull it all together. As I watched the
shot go down to HD, yet another new format that appeared over the life
of this piece of film from 1945, I marveled. It probably looked better
than it ever had. I couldn't say that about anything, digital storage or
otherwise. Film was better properly stored.

I want to see a new digital format arise but I think it is not there
yet. People who are responsible for archiving our heritage and
repurposing their companies incomes need to know that the medium will
last. Migrating (we use to call it dubbing) to the latest and greatest
format every few years is neither practical, financially feasible nor
intelligent. Why would I want to handle the material that much and would
I want to keep buying new storage or whatever we put it on. Standards
need to be established, I'm not saying I don't believe in it, I feel it
still has a way to go.              

Just a few observations from the real world.

Domenic Rom

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