[Tig] types of film (technicolor) Now GoogleFS

Jeff Booth jeff.booth
Thu Mar 10 09:25:35 GMT 2005



The links above, point to some articles on the GoogleFS. This is a
method, developed by Google for storage and access of their vast data
library. The storage is based on (cheap) PCs, each storing data that is
arranged in such a way that if one PC crate dies, it (and its storage)
is put in a skip, the PC replaced, and the FS rebuilds the data.

Maybe the DI guys could build on this concept for data storage globally?

Just a thought

Jeff Booth
Soho Images

-----Original Message-----
From: tig-bounces at tig.colorist.org [mailto:tig-bounces at tig.colorist.org]
On Behalf Of Tom Nottingham
Sent: 09 March 2005 17:03
To: Martin Euredjian; 'Telecine Internet Group'
Subject: RE: [Tig] types of film (technicolor)

Thanks to Digital Pictures Sydney for supporting the TIG.

Your assessment of digital media is based on testing and other
forecasting methods, but such media has yet to last long enough to
confirm such conclusions. Digital media is subject to the same problems
as video and audio tape in that the support media and the binder that
binds the magnetic coating to the base are subject to failure. Yes, it
true that digital backup media may be copied (just like film), but this
assumes that someone checks the condition of such media over the course
of storage so that backups may be generated in a timely fashion.

Films shot before the turn of the century (1900, that is) still exist
And that is with no consideration given to longevity at the time. Since
that time, archival technology has deemed photographic images of silver
on a support base has excellent storage properties for extended periods
of time.
Since Edison invented the 35mm film format in the late 1800's, the basic
film format has not changed. This has allowed for new modern equipment
to handle even 100 year old films without problems. Such films as Gone
With The Wind, and The Wizard Of Oz can look as good today as they did
on the screen
65 years ago because they were stored on black and white silver based
films that were properly processed. Even Nitrate film stock, properly
stored, exist today and are available for future generations. That is
not to suggest that film does not have problems - it certainly does. But
proper storage can greatly extend any such limitations, and should be
part of any archival program.

Digital storage methods have come and gone in a matter of a few years.
As the technology marches on, the likelihood of being able to play
digital media even 20 or 30 years from now remains dim. While copying
and backing up digital storage media every few years remain a
possibility, having the technology available to process the media does
not. A few examples of such problems are A and B format 1 inch video
tape, 2" helical tape, streaming tape backups, 8" and 4" floppy disks,
Bernoulli, Zip and various other computer tapes - all used for archival
storage methods.

In the 1980s, the Library of Congress deemed Laser Discs to be good for
archival purposes - since deemed unreliable due to Disc Rot. CDs and
DVDs seem to subject to the breakdown of the silver coating; another
form of disc rot. Burnable forms of DVD and CD-ROMS are subject to
"image fading" due to exposure to light. The list goes on and on.

This is not to condemn all forms of digital archiving, but only the
march of time will determine just how archival such media can be. In the
mean time, if longevity is an issue, then storage on 35mm black and
white separations is the best available technology.

 -----Original Message-----
From: 	tig-bounces at tig.colorist.org
[mailto:tig-bounces at tig.colorist.org]
On Behalf Of Martin Euredjian
Sent:	Tuesday, March 08, 2005 5:31 PM
To:	'Telecine Internet Group'
Subject:	RE: [Tig] types of film (technicolor)

Thanks to Digital Pictures Sydney for supporting the TIG.

> Properly processed and stored, YCMs offer more than 100 years of 
> preservation for photographic images. Before you digital people jump 
> on the band wagon, I should point out that no one knows the shelf life

> of
> tapes yet...but if video tape is any example, 20 years would be a

What do you do with film after 100 years (if you can get that long out
of a non-trivial library)?

Regarding digital data.  Sure we know.  The shelf life of digital data
is probably as long as the period of time that this planet will be
populated by human beings (or longer...see move "Ai" for one vision of a
possible future).

Anyhow, any important data has nearly limitless longevity.  All that is
required is transfer to a new medium.  In film you have to store under
ideal environmental conditions to get best lifetime.  This cost money,
probably as much as a digital backup every x number of years.

Let's say that, today, x is 15 years.  I think that we can all agree
that a backup done to whatever medium in 15 years is very likely to
shrink the physical volume of the storage medium (due to increased
density).  The value of x is also very likely to increase significantly,
perhaps 30 to 50 or more years.

There are very interesting projects going on in the MEMS community.
Projects that could very easily rival anything that any existing storage
technology (including film) can do in terms of longevity, reliability,
flexibility and sheer volume of data.  I've seen some of these new
methods at work.  Definetly embryonic today.  However, some of these are
slated for initial introduction in the 2007 timeframe.

Silicon-based technologies can withstand 1000g's of shock (for
reference, that's about equivalent to crashing into a massive concrete
structure at 150 miles/hr, or 240 km/hr ) as well as survive in
environments approaching 1000 degrees C (for reference, Aluminum melts
at 660 deg C).  At the very least this means that expensive
environmental controls will not be required for optimal storage when
using MEMS-based media, trading off enviromental costs for duplication

There's clear evidence that digital technology makes things cheaper,
faster, better, more flexible, etc. over time.  No reason that this will
not eventually affect the way we store motion pictures for archival

And, while film is not dead by any measure, if you think ahead far
enough, it is pretty much a guarantee that digital --from acquisition to
exhibition and archival-- will be dominant, that's not even an argument
(or shouldn't be).  The key is to let go of what we know today and
understand that the future will bring huge advances in all affected
areas.  The Wright brothers couldn't have envisioned a 767 airliner,
YF22 fighter or a Concorde.  Keep that in mind.

At the same time, to paraphrase, we don't make movies with the
technology we wish we had, we make them with what is available today.

With that said, I think that what makes sense today is to store on film
with a look at moving to data in 5 to 25 years, depending on the nature
of the property and evolution in the necessary technology fields.

There's yet another twist to this.  The cost of duplicating film as it
approaches end of life is likely not to scale as digital would.  This
means that property owners might have to let some of their product die
simply due to cost.  Digital is guarenteed to allow ever-decreasing cost
of storage, duplication and distribution.  The immediate consequence is
that you may be able to sell copies of "American Chopper" and "The
Apprentice" in 200 years while film-based libraries such as those at the
Cousteau Society might loose significant chunks of material due to the
logistics and costs involved.
Back about 10~15 years ago I was involved in the planning of a
restoration and preservation project for Mr. Cousteau.  The pricetag
--including new enviromentally-controlled storage-- was in the order of
US$20 million.  It never got done due to funding needs elsewhere within
the organization.  I'm sure lots of material is already lost forever.

To conclude, it is nice to quote the theoretical 100-year shelf life of
film, however, the long-term reality might very well be that this is
just about the worst choice one could make if the library must survive
many generations.  On that time scale, dealing with film might be just
as hard as trying to find a working 8 inch floppy drive today.

Martin Euredjian
eCinema Systems, Inc.
voice: 661-305-9320
fax: 661-775-4876
martin at ecinemasys.com
ecinema at ieee.org

NAB Booth SL1210

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