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MoMA | Film Preservation in the Digital Age

In this era of digital storage and viewing of moving image materials and films, I’m sometimes afraid that the public at large will think that the problems of preserving films have all been solved—or worse, rendered irrelevant…  I find myself explaining that, despite every new wonder of electronics or digital format that comes along, the best source material for older works is still the film itself…

When DVDs and Blu-ray discs became popular… studios and archives were searched for original film elements to copy to digital format. Videotape could have been used for source material, but they did not always have the image quality to match the film originals or the color values…

Just as DVD and Blu-ray have mostly replaced videotape for home viewing of motion pictures, sooner or later a new format will come along to render even these obsolete. The answer for these new and yet-unheard of formats is, once again, to go to the source: the film elements stored at studios or archives. By preserving to the best of our ability the quality of these moving images on film, we can be assured of the best-quality formats in the future. That’s exactly what the Film Preservation Center was built for.

via MoMA | Film Preservation in the Digital Age.

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