Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Article: The Afterlife Is Expensive for Digital Movies

This New York Times article (free registration may be required) talks about the cost and agony of preserving movies that are being made using digital technologies. And the cost?
To store a digital master record of a movie costs about $12,514 a year, versus the $1,059 it costs to keep a conventional film master.

Much worse, to keep the enormous swarm of data produced when a picture is “born digital” — that is, produced using all-electronic processes, rather than relying wholly or partially on film — pushes the cost of preservation to $208,569 a year, vastly higher than the $486 it costs to toss the equivalent camera negatives, audio recordings, on-set photographs and annotated scripts of an all-film production into the cold-storage vault.
"What" is being preserved is an interesting question. Are they preserving too much? Will this eventually cripple the movie industry?

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1 comment:

Christina said...

My brother in law is starting to make a name for himself in all digital production. How he set up the servers and load sharing was part of what he did that was new. (sort of an advertisement:
Don't know what he's doing about archiving -- he's got things in all stages of production.