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The Fallacy of Temporary Value

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Franz Bieberkopf
The Fallacy of Temporary Value
on Nov 18, 2013 at 6:07:25 pm
Last Edited By Franz Bieberkopf on Nov 18, 2013 at 6:12:10 pm

It's come up before in other guises (particularly with reference to project formats and legacy support, as well as the CC controversy) but as it just came up in the Quicktime thread below, its an opportunity to discuss.

[Bill Davis] "For 30 years people have been shooting stuff. And my bet is that about 1/10th of 1 percent of all the stuff shot has maintained any actual value a year past it's creation."

[Jeremy Garchow] "Really, all of this is flashpan technology as we are the midst of so much fundamental development change. It won't bother many people that Sorenson 3, cinepak, and 1bit Indexed Color RGB has been phased out."

Leaving aside the question of how many people it needs to "bother" before the question is somehow legitimate, it really is a question of value, and the long view.

I'm assuming many here are involved in projects only at one (or several) stages along the way, and ultimately not responsible or interested in them long-term. Its probably worth noting that this is another important nexus where individual artists and producers, as well as those working for institutions are going to have very different perspectives from many editors.

But I came here to post these two perspectives:

The first, a moral perspective from Martin Scorsese:

"So when I hear the question – and interestingly enough some people are still asking it – “why preserve anything?” – I just think of those stories. All that silent film, all those images of the Civil War, and there was no consciousness of their lasting value. That only came later. Why preserve? Because we can’t know where we’re going unless we know where we’ve been – we can’t understand the future or the present until we have some sort of grappling with the past."
"So we have to take really good care of what’s left. Everything, from the acknowledged masterworks of cinema to industrial films and home movies, anthropological films. Anything that could tell us who we are."

The second, a money perspective concerning Doctor Who (wikipedia, but many other sources out there):
(for context, some current audience figures here

The Doctor Who missing episodes are the instalments of the long-running British science-fiction programme that have no known film or videotape copies. They were destroyed by the BBC during the 1960s and 1970s for economic and space-saving reasons. … Doctor Who is not unique in this respect, as thousands of hours of programming from across all genres were destroyed by the BBC until 1978, when the corporation's archiving policies were changed.

The role or responsibility of Apple (or any other corporation) in all of this certainly up for debate, however its hard to regard with enthusiasm those who make it more difficult, and certainly those looking to the long term and making things easier should be applauded.


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