MDPI Film Processing: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

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Main contributor
Wheeler, Brian
The MDPI project posed a tremendous technical challenge: digitize and process around 280,000 audio and video assets by the University’s bicentennial.  The first objects began processing in June 2015 and by the summer of 2016, the major problems had been worked out and the processing was proceeding smoothly.  

Then the discussions of film processing began.

In theory, processing film is the same as audio and video.  On paper, it seems easier:  even though the time allotted is less than A/V, there are only 25,000 reels to process.

In reality, however, it is a very different beast.  An hour of film scanned at 2K resolution is 20x larger than an hour of video.  When a film is scanned at 4K, it is 80x larger than video.  Additionally, the film preservation master consists of not just a few files, like we see in audio or video, but thousands of files:  a picture for every frame.  Like all preservation masters, these files must be validated.

This session will address the challenges and solutions that were needed for the back end processing to be able to process film efficiently.
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