The Digital Dilemma Report should be required reading for all of us. You can now buy a copy at the Academy or get it online by registering at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscars) website.
It’s compelling stuff. The Dilemma is how to best store your project for the future. If you shoot a 90 minute feature on film, it will cost a few hundred dollars a year to archive all the original negative, dailies, sound and everything else in a vault. If you shoot digitally, archiving may cost more than $14,000 a year, because you have to migrate your data every couple of years. This will surely change, but not even the Library of Congress has a good archiving plan yet. We’ve found that DVDs promising 100 years of life actually can fade in the sun and lose their data, and that most hard drives have a 95% chance of failure.
Presented by The Sci-Tech (Science and Technology) Council of the Academy, The Digital Dilemma investigates the implications of digital technology for long-term preservation and archiving. The report includes case studies of motion pictures that were either “born digital” or used digital processes for production and mastering.