The trend of more and more movies being made digitally is, according to a 12.23.07 N.Y. Times story by Michael Cieply, a storage problem. Key sentence: “Suddenly the film industry is wrestling again with the possibility that its most precious assets, the pictures, aren’t as durable as they used to be.”
It’s all there in dollars and cents, Cieply says, in a study called “The Digital Dilemma” that was released last month. The subject is the digital archiving of movies, written by the science and technology council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
“Busy walking, or dodging, the picket lines, industry types largely missed the report√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢s startling bottom line,” he writes. “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.”