Film Scanning Considerations

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Type: 
White Paper
Author: 
Harm Jan Triemstra, Tom de Smet
Year: 
2011
Difficulty: 
Beginner
Tags: 
Compression, Digitisation, Film, Digital film, Mass digitisation, Scanning
Topics: 

The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (Sound and Vision) is one of the six original partners of the programme 'Images for the Future' which started in 2007 and finishes in 2014. The main goal of the programme is safeguarding Dutch audiovisual material by realizing maximum accessibility to the material for the targeted user groups.

Sound and Vision archives and offers access to a huge collection of film material that can be divided into two distinct parts. The first part of the collection covers broadcast film material of a period from roughly 1955 to 1989 with a total volume estimated at 25.000 hours. On the other hand a lot of national heritage film material of non-broadcast nature is also home to Sound and Vision’s vaults, ranging from 8 mm to 35 mm nitrate film. Within the “Images for the Future” programme about 17.500 hours of material from these film collections must be digitised by mid 2014. On average this amounts to a production of 3.000 hours a year.

The main challenge Sound and Vision faces is to find the optimal balance between production volume, available budget, time constraints, quality and present and future archival, preservation, access and repurposing requirements. A choice in the digitisation approach and formats will always be a trade-off between these factors.  Also, the availability of standards and capabilities of market solutions have to be taken into account.

This document describes the context of the collections, the considerations and choices of Sound and Vision regarding this sweet spot and the current and future digitisation approach.