Thursday, August 18, 2005

Pressure Drop

"I say a pressure drop, oh pressure, Oh yeah pressure drop a drop on you. I say when it drops, oh you gonna feel it..."
- Toots And The Maytals

My editor pointed out that the lab always exaggerates the damage—and indeed comparing my fear level going into the telecine suite, verses the way I felt coming out, I might draw that same conclusion. "Intermittent blue pressure marks throughout" turned out to be a dozen blue streaks that only lasted a couple of frames, most of which will be edited out naturally as we take the footage from 20 minutes to thirty seconds. So I'm feeling a great sense of relief.After the transfer Jim Hardy at Eyes Post and I had a chance to chat about the comparative benefits of film and video and he made some very interesting points. "With a lab problem like yours, there is definitely damage to the film, but that damage is small and correctable, it's a 2 out of 10. Whereas if you'd had a faulty tape or tape dropout, a digital deck might just give you an error message and refuse to play it back completely." Basically Jim's feeling is that video is not a medium that lasts. He talked about seven year old metal tapes (such as High Definition and Digital Beta) rusting and disintegrating to pieces the second he inserted them into a deck. Film on the other hand lasts, and no matter how technology advances, we will likely always be able to access the images on a film negative and "display them on soap bubbles if that's what the newest medium is." Even if film is damaged, it tends to retain a majority of its information, and thus as an archival medium it far outstrips video. "You keep this negative in a vault and In 70 years you'll be able to retransfer this Super16 and it will be the same. Even the blue streaks will still be there."


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