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Patrick

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  1. Again, as much as I love my digital technology, the film restoration freak in me still comes to the fore here, and others have brought up this very valid point: long-term storage and archiving of one's projects. It is common knowledge that a properly stored film element can last decades, even to a hundred years-plus. I did some restoration work of footage shot in 1914, during World War I recently, and for the most part, the footage was in fine shape. A feature film, preserved on 35mm color-sep stock and vaulted is the gold standard. Even recent as 2009 HBO was archiving all their filmed entertainment...on film. But it isn't cheap. There's not yet a reliable, trusted solution for digital media yet. Do you really want to trust the feature film you slaved over to even enterprise-class hard drives or SSD's for long-term storage? Even LTO tapes (which we commonly use in my current position), don't have that long a shelf life, comparatively. To further extrapolate: Will the ProRes, DNxHD or even DPX codecs and file formats still be recognized by whatever systems or platforms we'll have in fifty years? I Sincerely HOPE that the digital media technologies will crack the code for long term archiving of digital media. Because we aren't there, but we desperately need to be. And irony alert: if I won the lottery today, I would certainly archive my important work on film and vault it until that solution comes along and proves itself.
  2. I'm an old salt. I've worked in film most of my professional life, primarily in labs (gigantic and small) , post-production and editorial. The past fifteen years, I've been in film restoration. I have literally seen and handled hundreds of millions of feet of film in my life, dating from the early 1900's to, well, negs shot just a couple of years ago. In my work, we use traditional photochemical and digital technologies hand-in-hand. There are things digital can't possibly achieve, and things traditional photochemical processes choke on that digital wins as undisputed champ. And I LOVE my digital tech. I'm no luddite. In the end, though, I feel posts like this one (and on other blogs) re: the film issue are an exercise akin to arguing how many angels can dance on a saltine cracker. Or, to put it more directly, "You can't argue taste." It's a tool in the arsenal, just like why someone would shoot video with an 8-bit codec at 720P. Because they can/need to/like to. Right tool for the job. Everything else is academic. If YOU, the media creator, make the format choice that you believe is correct from an aesthetic, technical and budgetary standpoint, so be it. You are the artist. If it is to be 4K HFR 3D, great, if you want VHS, okay. If you want film, rock on. As to the dated, anachronistic aspects of the film medium, I agree it can be frustrating, unwieldy and time-consuming. I also happen to think performing live music with a band is a pain in the butt just for the sheer aggravation of moving a truckload of instruments, cabling, amps, etc. around, setting up, tearing down, but I would never advocate trashing it all for a keyboard and sampler just because it is cheaper, more convenient and "is just as good." Just one man's opinion...
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