Organization of digital items for the digitized films of Jacques Tati

30 June 2015. Published by Benoît Labourdette.

Participation in the organization of a digital film heritage.

Benefits of digitization

Beyond the technical debates between analog and digital cinema, digitization of film heritage works is a blessing for their durability and technical quality viewing to the audience.

Technical issues in digitized heritage

But the storage and backup time digital elements themselves raises management issues, classification, storage and replay capability in the future, which are very complex reality. In a way, it’s much more complex than the conservation of 35mm film reels, finally to be just, that’s another complexity, less directly comprehensible, less “material”. It is a complexity related to :

  • The great fragility of digital media and their short life time.
  • The rapid obsolescence of these same media (eg floppy disks, whose drives no longer exist).
  • And besides, the fact that the information is codified, and must have the key to be able to be played back. This sounds simple in principle, but that is not so much as that, because these encodings are most often the result of industrial use that charge coding for replay (a simple Word file, for example). If, in the future, these manufacturers are gone, we will face unreadable content as keyless encrypted (hence the challenge for the heritage of free software and formats).

Work for “Films de Mon Oncle”

“Films de Mon Oncle” is the company (founded and run by Jérôme Deschamps and Macha Makeïeff) that manages the assets of the films of Jacques Tati. These films were digitized and restored. The elements are multiple (versions, work steps, original “master” copies, distribution of copies, DCP...), on multiple media (hard disks and magnetic tapes). The organization and storage of these materials is a complex project, which I started participating in 2015, bringing organizational tools and methods, image replay, conversion for redevelopment, etc. It’s only a beginning.

“Les films de Mon Oncle” est la société (fondée et dirigée par Jérôme Deschamps et Macha Makeïeff)

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