Print

Print


What I think Jamie is saying is that, once a mag-film has passed over magnetic heads with reasonable 
fidelity, his Plangent Process can then fix the pitch, wow and flutter problems that come from 
shrunken film stock messing up the time-domain. Sondor (sp?) makes a film-playback machine that 
doesn't use sprockets to move the film over audio heads. There is also a mechanism to press the film 
against the heads, I think, which would be needed for badly warped/shrunken vinegar-syndrome films. 
From there, Jamie's software can lock onto various signals that were constant in the original 
recording and thus fix the time-domain errors. I might not be describing this perfectly, and I'm 
sure my friend Jamie will correct me where I'm wrong! ;).

There is also a flutter component inherent to sprocketed-drive recorders, although Westrex's 
isolated-loop system was designed to mitigate that to some extent.

I would definitely say that the 35mm films recorded by Everest, Mercury and Command would need some 
serious mitigation today. The window is closed on playing them back on original equipment, because I 
am almost certain that every one of them has varying degrees of vinegar-syndrome shrinkage and 
warping by now. I don't think any of those films were polyester-backed, although Command made 35mm 
recordings up through 1967 so some of the later films may have been polyester. Everest was 1960-61, 
Mercury 1961-63, and Command 1962-67. Enoch Light's post-Command label, Project 3, was making 35mm 
masters into the early 1970s.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jamie Howarth" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 3:28 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] NYT film archiving article


> We have done a lot of vinegar mag feature film work. Many "unplayable" but every one came out 
> fine.
> Not been approached on any music biz 35s.
> Grundmans was doing Everest transfers but their guy didn't get it.
>
> Please pardon the misspellings and occassional insane word substitution I'm on an iPhone
>
> On Jul 23, 2013, at 2:38 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> Hi Randy:
>>
>> I'm not sure what you mean by this:
>>
>>> Certainly the Mercury/Everest experience with 35mm audio should be evidence
>>> enough to support my criticism that the comparison is severely flawed. What
>>> do the rest of you think?
>>
>> In the case of Mercury's 35mm magnetic film masters, whatever wasn't digitized in the 1990s (when 
>> all of the existing films were playable, as demonstrated by the sound quality of the 1990s CD 
>> remasters) didn't EXIST anymore. It's not a matter of "things not being transferred." Inept 
>> management at Polygram/Philips in the 1970s and perhaps the 1980s ordered some 35mm destroyed, 
>> and other appear to have been forever lost (assumed destroyed) by the contracted 
>> warehouse-storage companies. During the CD remastering project's 10-year span, exhaustive and 
>> never-ending efforts were made by Polygram vault/library personnel all over the world to find any 
>> and all Mercury Living Presence tapes. Under early Universal-era management, all of those tapes 
>> were assembled at the vault operations of Berliner Studios in Hanover Germany. That vault has 
>> since been outsourced to a unit of BMG, and I think it is at a different physical location in 
>> Germany now. I do not know if every single cache to former Polygram tapes in the world is now 
>> assembled in Germany, but I do think that every Mercury tape or film that existed in the 1990s 
>> did end up in one place.
>>
>> The ineptitude of former Polygram management to order the destruction of films and tapes 
>> (presumably to save on storage costs, likely on stern orders from the bean-counters in Holland), 
>> is worth a whole other discussion. But, it occured before the possibility of digital backup, so 
>> it is irrelevant to the topics of the NYT article.
>>
>> As for Everest, Mark Jenkins may choose to comment on that. As I understand it, the Everest films 
>> were damaged from poor warehouse storage conditions, long before the era of digital audio. 
>> Furthermore, despite the damage, many or all of the films survived to be successfully transferred 
>> to high-rez digital in recent years.
>>
>> -- Tom Fine
>>
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Randy Lane" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 1:35 PM
>> Subject: [ARSCLIST] NYT film archiving article
>>
>>
>>> This NYT article pointing out a very high cost of digital storage vs.
>>> traditional/legacy/non-digital storage has become the subject of discussion
>>> on another forum:
>>>
>>> http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/23/business/media/23steal.html?_r=1&
>>>
>>> From reading the article though, I don't see any evidence that the "cost"
>>> of traditional/legacy/non-digital storage includes the cost of maintaining
>>> the proper playback equipment. As we well know studios don't typically make
>>> that attempt. But given that the cost of digital storage as profile in the
>>> article includes migration to replacement storage media when existing
>>> media/drives/systems/etc.. reach their end-of-life and the potential access
>>> problems as digital formats evolve, including the cost of maintaining
>>> equipment to support full retrieval of traditional/legacy/non-digital
>>> archives seems like a no-brainer.
>>>
>>> Certainly the Mercury/Everest experience with 35mm audio should be evidence
>>> enough to support my criticism that the comparison is severely flawed. What
>>> do the rest of you think?
>>>
>
>