With all the treasures of the past that they contain and the memories that are associated with them, it becomes necessary to preserve these gems called movies. There are a lot of movies that are lost, a lot of data that gets corrupted along with the old formats that are incompatible with the modern day devices. Because of all these issues we have already lost quite a lot of valuable data. To preserve this data and pass it on to the upcoming generations would be a collection of prized heritage that has survived years or decades and is of utmost importance. The digital data is said to last anywhere between five years to hundred years and the research is still on how to preserve the digital data, both digitized and born digital, for a longer period of time. We also today have techniques to preserve the old movies by converting them into formats that are compatible and modern and will last for few more years than they will last now if kept in their present condition. The process of preserving data is simple and handy for our personal collections. Here are a few useful tips on how to preserve your old movies.
1. Temperature and Storage
The movie films are sensitive to the physical attributes of the environment. It is very important for us to understand the effect that climatic conditions can have on our movies or films. The movies and both its components, audio and video when subjected to sunlight can deteriorate the quality of the movie exponentially as well as will reduce the life span of the movie simultaneously. Exposure to heat or any other kind of rays can also cause considerable amount of damage to your movies. Storing the movies in basements or the attics is another mistake because these places are not temperature controlled. Hence the movies should be stored in a cold and dark place with a relative humidity that won’t harm the attributes of the movie for increasing the life span of the movies. It is advisable to keep the place clean and keep a check on the humidity levels from time to time.
2. Cleaning and Handling
While working with movies and the equipment that deal with the reels one must be careful while cleaning or handling them. One must use clean cotton gloves while cleaning the equipment or the tape. While handling the tape or the equipment, it is necessary to keep it away from sunlight or excessive artificial light and from other items that can harm the tape like adhesive, food, liquids and smoke. Also the films are flammable so we should keep them away from any such items that can damage the tape permanently. The tapes and equipment should be handled gently. While cleaning or handling the tape it should not get any scratches as the scratched part of the tape will not be properly seen while watching the movie. The equipment should be cleaned from time to time so as to ensure that no dust particles settle on the edges or in the corners as it can affect the quality of the video shot. Also one should get the equipment serviced from time to time for long life of both, the equipment and the movie.
Digitizing the old movies is another way to carry the past to the future. With all sorts of options available to digitize it has become easier, less time consuming and cheaper to digitize your home movies. Sometimes one can find hardwares or softwares that convert the valuable data to a compatible digital format at home and are easily accessible but with others, one might need the help of professionals to keep the quality of the movie intact. Today a lot of web portals as well as companies do the 8mm to DVD transfer or 16mm to DVD transfer. One can transfer the movies to USB drives or can burn it up on the discs. It is advisable to digitize in the latest formats that would be supported by the upcoming electronic devices so as to watch the movies in the near future. Digitizing all your collection will also help you to manage your movies in a much organized fashion.
Updating all our digital archives is a necessity now-a-days. We all might have made movies and digitized those years ago but unfortunately those formats are not compatible with every device today. Hence one should keep updating their digitized data to match the current formats so as to make the copies of the movies easily accessible. Also updating the data will ensure a longer life of these movies and the quality of the data will also be maintained. There might also be some discs that are mishandled or have scratches on them over time, those discs should be replaced by the new discs as it is easy to burn the movies on the discs or transfer them to hard drives. Updating the movies also ensures in keeping a record of the collectibles and watching them in the best quality years down the line.
5. Backup Plans
For any kind of preservation a backup plan is mandatory. One cannot rely only on the digitizing and updating the data as preserving their old movie collection. A backup plan is to ensure that the data is still accessible even if the original copy of the data is lost while mishandling or transferring. One must make two to three copies of each and keep them at different places.
There are cloud services that are available online to store your valuable data. A copy of your movies can be updated on the cloud services but we cannot count completely on them. Other ways are to burn a disc, transferring it to the hard drive or updating them on social media. The researchers are trying to find out a concrete solution to preserve the digital data and hence a backup plan for every valuable movie from your collection is required.
Preserving your old movie collection is a treasure that would be admired decades later and also by the generations that are yet to come. Keeping a little care of your valuable data can save you from losing it completely in case of any mishaps. Hence taking a few steps towards preserving your movies can make the movies live a lot more than were intended to.