The digitization of motion picture film is an emergent discipline with a still-evolving set of practices within the film preservation community. Some institutions have fully embraced digitization with mature workflows and defined products; others are just starting to investigate how film digitization fits in to curatorial and programming needs. This panel takes a look at a range of viewpoints on the film scanning spectrum. Carl Fleischhauer (LC) will introduce some of the general challenges with film digitization including the diverse array of motion picture materials, variety of possible output formats and changeable state of technology and relevant standards. Criss Kovac (NARA) will discuss the collaborative development of 2015 FADGI report Digitizing Motion Picture Film: Exploration of the Issues and Sample SOW which combines an introductory essay, defines a set of tables that describe a range of film "inputs" and digital "outputs," and concludes with a model statement of work for outsourced conversion of film to video. Ken Weissman (LC) will discuss aspects of the Library of Congress’s film digitization workflow with an eye towards capturing the sound track elements through software image processing packages. Ken will be joined by Greg Wilsbacher (USC) to highlight the NEH- sponsored AEO Light project, an open-source software application that takes a digital scan of motion picture film with optical sound tracks and directly reproduces the audio, producing as a result a synchronized sound film file. Noortje Verbeke (VIAA) will discuss VIAA’s integrated approach for digitizing, archiving and giving access to audiovisual material now scattered amongst large and small cultural heritage and media organizations across Belgium. The high cost for film digitization, coupled with the desire for large scale, high-quality projects, required VIAA to develop a selection process that took into account limited resources and very little knowledge of the collections themselves. Erwin Verbruggen (Sound and Vision) will recap the Netherlands’ Images for the Future collaborative project with an eye towards lessons learned from the project’s organization and results. Finally, Matthew Davies (NFSA) brings the discussion full circle to discuss managing expectations for how film digitization might support the curatorial and programming needs of NFSA. Among the discussion topics are how available tools and workflow options inform capability planning and capital budgeting. Audience members will come away from the session with a better understanding of how a variety of large complex organizations are meeting the challenges of film digitization as well as several publicly accessible tools and resources.
Library of Congress
26 Sept Monday
LoC Madison Building: West Dining Rm.