Digital Archiving

Motion picture film has been an important part of our lives for over a hundred years – beginning in the 1890’s with the invention of the first motion-picture cameras and the establishment of the first film production companies and cinemas. Over time there has been a constant evolution of film stocks, formats and techniques. From the early silent movies taken in ‘one shot’, motion pictures have become ever more sophisticated, including sound, film editing, animations and special effects.

However, a great majority of films made in the silent era have been lost forever – many were filmed on an unstable, highly flammable cellulose nitrate film stock, which was expensive to keep and felt to have little or no commercial value after the advent of sound films. Often, they were thrown away or recycled for their silver content. Those that were stored were often destroyed in vault fires or crumbled into powder or dust over time. Film production moved to the more stable cellulose acetate film, but this too has been found to decay through ‘vinegar syndrome’ and colour films have been found at risk to fading.

Film archives are of great historical importance and require long-term preservation for future generations, and in 1980, UNESCO gave a recommendation for the Safeguarding and Preservation of Moving Images, encouraging nations to officially recognise and preserve their moving image heritage.

Prasad Group has been working with motion picture film for over 75 years. Our specialist archive solutions provided by our member company Digital Film technology GmbH enable the safe and gentle handling of badly damaged, sensitive and fragile film, enabling users to scan, save and restore films for future generations. Our solutions are used by independent and national archives worldwide.

Case Studies

BBC Studios and Post Production restores The Sweeney using dft scanner

Following the release of ‘ The Sweeny’, which saw Ray Winstone taking on John Thaw’s Regan role, home entertainment label Network Distributing decided it was time to bring the original into the 21st centur y. They called on BBC Studios and Post Production’s award-winning Digital Media Services who painstaking restored the content frameby- frame to create a new HD version using DFT Scanity Film Scanner. It was important that clarity and colour improvements were balanced with staying faithful to the style of the show and maintaining the 16mm film feel of the 1970s police series. The final episodes were formatted to HDCAM SR masters and released on Blu-ray.

BBC Studios and Post Production remasters ITV cult classic The Professionals using dft scanner

BBC Studios and Post Production’s awardwinning Digital Media Services team has restored the complete first series of the cult classic British crime-drama, ‘The Professionals’ using DFT Scanity, for Indie Distributor Network, with the other series’ to follow. The High Definition version was released Worldwide on Blu-Ray on 31 March 2014.

BBC Studios and Post Production Digital Media Services uses dft’s Scanity to put 'The Jewel in the Crown' for ITV Studios Global Entertainment

Thirty years after it was first broadcast on British television, BBC Studios and Post Production’s award-winning Digital Media Services team has digitally restored and remastered over 30 hours of film to bring ‘The Jewel in the Crown’ back to its former glory for ITV Studios Global Entertainment using DFT Scanity. Produced by Granada Television, and based on the Raj Quartet novels by Paul Scott, the stunning 13- part award-winning drama series stars Art Malik, Charles Dance and Peggy Ashcroft, and charts the final days of the British Raj in India during World War II.

BBC Studios breathes life into Trumptonshire trilogy

Like with many old classics, they were presumed consigned to the annals of TV history, never to be seen again. But, in a far-sighted and ambitious move, Murray with the help of his ‘Trumptonshire’ son-in-law William Mollett, decided to locate, restore, and importantly, future-proof and safeguard the trilogy using DFT's Scanity Film Scanner

Cinelicious invests in film's future

Digital Film Technology’s Scanity is the star of the facility’s workflow. Capable of scanning at 4K at 15 fps, and offering a dynamic range of 3.5 density, the Scanity features an LED lamp source, a Time Delay Integration line sensor and dedicated Field-Programmable Gate-Array image processing.

Malaysian National Film Development (FINAS) conserves film heritage of Malaysia

The decision for FINAS to purchase the SCANITY film scanner was straightforward. The management, creative and technical teams at FINAS felt that SCANITY’s feature set met their goals for safeguarding the local film heritage, as well as offering scanning and finishing services to their growing clientele. The long history of dft Digital Film Technology providing Academy and Emmy-award winning solutions and services to the global post community was also a key determinant in their decision.