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Old film... save it, or ditch it?

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Todd Terry
Old film... save it, or ditch it?
on Feb 9, 2015 at 9:22:40 pm

Having a little bit of a dilemma...

At our place we claim to "save everything forever," as far as assets to past projects go.

While trying to clean up a little bit today in the studio (since the stage was beginning to look a bit like Fred Sandford's living room), I decided to tackle some storage shelves. They are hidden behind our black cyc, mainly for stuff that isn't used very much... but being hidden away there also becomes an "out of sight, out of mind" vibe to it, and we never know what we are going to come across. A lot of "Who saved that?" or "What the heck is this?"

Anywho... today I ran across our stored film. Boxes and boxes and boxes of it. And more boxes of it. And reels. Reel after reel. Mostly big cores of 35mm negative, many many tens of thousands of feet, all taking up valuable real estate.

My dilemma.... chunk it? Or save it?

The film is all of past projects for commercial spots or corporate clients, some going back 15 years. Some of it might be valuable as stock footage someday... but who knows? And yep, we do have the footage, as it was all telecined. But...the vast majority was scanned at standard-def. If we wanted the footage now, we'd need it at 1080, minimum... ergo, we'd need to keep the camera negative. Or what if we needed it at 4K in the future? Or 8K?

It would be highly unlikely that this footage would ever see the light of day again. But it think it would make me cry to carry it all out to the dumpster.

Or should I just chunk it and not look back?...and reclaim valuable storage? From a real estate perspective, the land is much more valuable than the house that's presently on it.


Yeah, I'm a pack rat.....

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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walter biscardi
Re: Old film... save it, or ditch it?
on Feb 9, 2015 at 9:32:20 pm

Library of Congress accepts a lot of stuff. At the very least pack it up and ship it to them so the materials are around. No matter what they are.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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Ned Miller
Re: Old film... save it, or ditch it?
on Feb 10, 2015 at 1:15:54 am

http://www.adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/ask-and-learn/ask-expert/what-hoard...

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com
www,bizvideo.com


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Mads Nybo Jørgensen
Re: Old film... save it, or ditch it?
on Feb 10, 2015 at 11:24:32 am

[Todd Terry] "The film is all of past projects for commercial spots or corporate clients, some going back 15 years. Some of it might be valuable as stock footage someday... but who knows?"

Ask your clients - they may even want to pay for a 2K or 4K digital scan of the films. Which would make it a business opportunity. Alternatively, you should charge for storing film footage - if they don't want to pay for that, dump it at either a local museum, or national or straight to the bin - unless you are emotionally attached to it, in which case make space at home for it.

All the Best
Mads

@madsvid, London, UK
Check out my other hangouts:
Twitter: @madsvid
http://mads-thinkingoutloud.blogspot.co.uk


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Mark Suszko
Re: Old film... save it, or ditch it?
on Feb 10, 2015 at 2:27:03 pm

Hmmm... one could look at this as an opportunity to develop an in-house telecine transfer capability... there are DIY solutions out there. Some of them, pretty sophisticated, and semi-automatic. Sounds like a fun and easy gig for a teenaged summer intern or bored senior citizen to come in and supervise the process. And when you're done, you'll have the 4k footage, the cleared space, and a new sales hook to bring in customers with old materials that could be re-purposed.

Or, dispose of the film, ebay the empty cans...

When I was in high school art class, the teacher brought in reels and reels of discarded, old 16MM film, boiling and scrubbing it in a hot bleach solution to strip it down to the clear celluloid stock. We then each got a strip about three minutes long, and used sharpie type pens and markers to do frame-by-frame freehand-drawn animation. Some were quite ambitious. Mine was a simple cycle of a black dot growing to a sphere and then doing a bounce cycle. It was also a first encounter with a film splicer. Good times.


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