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Keeping Film Alive in a Digital Age

The Media Village first started offering Digital Film Scanners in the early 2000s, as part of a Digital Intermediate (DI) workflow. In a DI workflow, each frame of the film is scanned into a high-performance storage system. These digital frames are then used in post-production, incorporating visual effects or CG elements, or for digital color grading. Today, with the rise of digital cameras, the DI workflow in post-production is no longer prevalent and film is used in only a handful of productions around the world.

Despite that, Digital Film Scanners are still very much available and even experienced growth in sales in recent years. The emergence of OTT and streaming platforms has not only fuelled growth in the production of new original content but has also given original content owners an additional opportunity to monetize their existing libraries of film and tape masters.

There is also a growing sense of urgency among content owners. who feel the need to digitally preserve their aging film libraries before they reach a level of deterioration where they can no longer be scanned. In addition, many of those involved in film preservation are approaching retirement age. Finding someone with the interest and the right skill sets to replace them is challenging, to say the least.

For The Media Village, the ability to offer film scanners and restoration solutions goes beyond just business objectives. We share the same passion for film as many of the clients we've met over the years, in facilities all throughout Southeast Asia. There's something very special about the people who dedicate their lives to the preservation and restoration of films - their love for movies, the knowledge they have about the different types of film and how they deteriorate over time, the skills they possess in the art for film preservation, such as cleaning, repairing and digitising of film. There also is a passion to share their love of film with others and a dedication to preserving film for future generations, so that they can be enjoyed and studied by all.

That's what struck me most when I came across this video. It highlights restoration expert Steve Stanchfield at Blackhawk Films, a film scanning facility in Southern California, as he walks through the scanning and restoration process, and shares his love for film.


The video above highlights the typical process of film scanning and restoration. The facility that is featured here also uses many of the solutions we represent, including the Lasergraphics Film Scanners and restoration software HSArt Diamant, Digital Vision Phoenix, MTI DRS NOVA and DaVinci Resolve.

If you are interested in a conversation about film preservation and restoration, we'd love to hear from you.


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