Inside the Academy’s Quest to Help Filmmakers Preserve Digital Titles Most Popular Must Read Sign Up for Variety Newsletters More From Our Brands

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has established the Academy Digital Preservation Forum, a website that invites filmmakers and others to address challenges facing digital preservation.

The forum is part of the Academy’s broader preservation efforts to advance the digital preservation of motion pictures for years to come.

The project is headed by Andrea Kallis, Paramount Pictures’ SVP Asset Management. His career has long been devoted to the world of conservation, having worked at the British Film Institute, DreamWorks SKG and Discovery Communications.

Callas hopes the forum website will become a place to educate those interested in film preservation through the stories, videos and topics posted.

Talking with variety, Callas said the idea was born out of frequent meetings with a group of experts including Randall Luckow, Director, Archives and Asset Management, HBO, Ujwal Nagodkar, Technical Advisor to India’s National Film Heritage Mission, Brian Nogal. , Manager, Creative Technology, Netflix and Genus. Simpson, Library Archivist at Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, The Walt Disney Company.

During that time, they shared concerns about digital preservation – such as what assets should be preserved, preservation costs, how to preserve digitally, and consumerism.

Those issues now serve as the mainstay of the forum.

On the topic of consumerism, Callas talked about what happens when streaming platforms remove original titles from services. “While it’s public knowledge that movie studios often revive older titles, it’s not widely known what happens to new original films.” He added, “That [the studios] Looking after new digital titles. If a title comes from the site, it’s not going away, it’s there. It is taken care of.”

Technology is another concern for digital preservation, as studios consider what the best file type will be to preserve the film. What if the software used today becomes obsolete? “If you have a proprietary format, you may need to convert that format to something else that’s readable. Data moves, and it’s constantly moving and migrating,” Kallis says. , you have to make sure nothing happens to it, and there are ways to do that.” She continues, “It’s a way of taking care of these numbers and that those numbers are art. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but a lot of people are working on it.”

Callas says the academy is the perfect place to host this forum. She hopes it becomes a place where filmmakers and industry people alike can meet challenges, encourage the exchange of information, and encourage productive work to address those challenges. Will be encouraged.

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