The Digital Dilemma 2
Perspectives from Independent Filmmakers, Documentarians and Nonprofit Audiovisual Archives

Editor's note: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Science and Technology Council recently completed the second report on The Digital Dilemma. Written by preservationist and AMIA member Milt Shefter and Science and Technology Council Director, Andy Maltz, this latest report looks at the issues from the perspective of independent filmmakers and nonprofit audiovisual archives. The archives section was accomplished with the help of AMIA members Eddie Richmond and Linda Tadic, who was the lead researcher for this section.

The AMIA TECH REVIEW asked Milt and Andy to summarize their findings from the interviews and surveys with US archives and archivists; what follows is an abstract of "The Digital Dilemma 2."

The recent selections to the National Film Registry by the Librarian of Congress included a 1912 two-reel silent melodrama "The Cry of the Children' and Charlie Chaplin's first full-length feature from 1921, "The Kid." According to Library of Congress research and the FIAF database, both of these titles still survive in the Museum of Modern Art and George Eastman House archives, among others. Now, over ninety years later, these are historic examples of long-term guaranteed access.

In 2007, The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences published a report, "The Digital Dilemma," that raised the issue of the lack of guaranteed long-term access inherent in the new digital production technologies and systems. That report covered major motion picture studios and other large organizations and businesses, and found that all had the same problem: as more and more digital data was being produced, there was no system of extending the life of that data for a period of time equal to or surpassing the life-span of analog materials, such as film.

That report focused on entities that had resources and built-in ecosystems. The Library of Congress, through its National Digital Information Infrastructure Preservation Program (NDIIPP), joined with the Academy to sponsor a follow-up report on the perspectives of independent filmmakers and non-profit audio-visual archives

Several issues highlighted in the new report may be of significant interest to archives and archivists. They are extracted and reproduced here, although for a fuller understanding of the issues affecting filmmakers and archives, it is suggested that one should read the entire report. "The Digital Dilemma 2" is now available on the Academy's website: www.oscars.org/TDD2 .

Through surveys, interviews and a representative cross-section of archives for case studies, it is clear that there is a severe lack of resources. This includes not only funding (what else is new?) but the need for a clear definition of "archivist" in the digital world. While archivists managing analog collections require knowledge of film and audio technologies as well as library science, the new "digital age archive" also requires skills in Information Technology (IT), in digital media systems (both hardware and software) and in how to handle spinning media (hard drives) before the data it contains is no longer accessible.

If A-V archives are to fulfill their mission of preserving moving image and recorded sound for future generations, they need to address the new challenges presented by digital materials. Some archives are using digital technologies to "rescue" problematic analog titles. Others digitize analog materials for distribution. But for most archives, the hard drives that contain this important digital data merely get shelf space, and not the active management they require for continued data accessibility.

With digital materials, there is a rapid devaluation curve. Whether the digital data is financial, audiovisual or otherwise, the life of all digital content starts at the top of the curve (100% playable) and decreases to zero (non-accessible.) The time span of this curve in the digital world is just a few years, not the 100-year life benchmark used for analog items.

This benchmark is based on two distinctly different considerations: 1) analog film has a proven 100-year life when stored in appropriate environmental conditions, and 2) the minimum 95 year copyright protection period. Content creators (and their families) can benefit from their efforts for at least that period of time, assuming there's content to be accessed.

There are many anecdotal horror stories about losses of material in months to just a few years. Hard drive manufacturers generally warranty their products for five years, but that warranty covers only the hardware. Filmmaker Magazine, which cooperated in a survey of independent filmmakers on this subject, cited the experience of Tom Quinn. He spent several years making a film about the famous Philadelphia Mummers and their annual parade, and he made a DVD (compressed, of course) of the movie to show his family and friends one weekend. During the viewing, he noticed a section he wanted to re-edit. When he went back to his desktop editing system a few days later, he found his hard drive containing the original digital source material had failed. His work was gone.

It's certainly easy to make a digital movie today. Almost anyone can do it. Just look at YouTube or America's Funniest Home Videos. Digital technology lowers the barrier to be sure. It also increases competition to get seen by audience, a prime goal of virtually all filmmakers. Film festivals, which used to be the major route to distribution, offer limited opportunities for screenings. A survey of the top film festivals revealed that the average acceptance rate for screenings from submissions was under 5%. That also means many worthwhile films and documentaries may not be seen unless they make it into an archive and are preserved.

There is no system at present to harness all this creativity and save it for the long term future, although nonprofit audiovisual archives have managed to amass substantial holdings of independent films and documentaries.

According to the National Film Preservation Board, there are approximately 550 public moving-image archives in the United States and its territories, and an additional 310 archives worldwide. Surprisingly, none of these archives were mentioned as an archival destination by any of the independent filmmakers, documentarians, marketers, distributors and film festival organizers surveyed or interviewed for this report, with the exception of the UCLA Film & Television Archive and its partnerships with the Sundance Institute and Outfest.

Audiovisual archives, especially the nonprofit public archives, came into being because archivists, curators and historians accepted that moving image and recorded sound materials were as legitimate a part of society's cultural heritage as books, documents, photographs and other media. As a result, the universe of audiovisual media preservation extends well beyond Hollywood's borders. In the last few decades, it has become apparent that many of these archives have custody of films that have been ascribed "permanent" value, i.e., enduring historical and cultural significance, even if these films did not generate much revenue in theatrical release.

The National Film Preservation Act, first passed in 1988 and updated several times since, codified the importance of motion pictures "as an art form and a record of our times." The Act and its subsequent revisions established the National Film Preservation Board, the National Film Registry and the National Film Preservation Foundation (a public/private partnership), as well as articulated a national plan to preserve the country's film heritage.

"Digital preservation" from the audiovisual archivist's perspective must first begin with the basic concepts of archiving, of which preservation is just one part. Archival work requires actions such as appraisal, arrangement and description (cataloging), preservation, management and providing access.

For analog materials, preservation is an umbrella term that includes conservation (storage in archival conditions), preservation (cleaning and reformatting) and restoration (proactive work to return the item to as close to its original state as possible). The critical conservation step means essentially "do no harm." If analog materials are stored in a cold, dry environment in appropriate containers, their life expectancy will be extended with minimal human intervention. Also known as the "store and ignore" approach, this relatively passive strategy is not possible with digital media.

Recent definitions of "digital preservation" by professional associations stress file management and related actions. If anything, the term "digital preservation" is a misnomer. Some use the term "digital archiving," which is different from what traditional IT staff considers "archiving" (regular backup to digital data tape with or without verification steps). Others prefer "data curation," which emphasizes the active management of a digital file throughout its life cycle. Whichever term is used, preserving digital media is an active process that comprises all stages of traditional archival work and important additional actions, some of which are very complex. Some of these additional actions must be taken even before the digital audiovisual data is created - selecting file formats and storage media, for example, and considering data-handling workflows that facilitate downstream preservation. In traditional analog archiving, archivists typically face substantial backlogs of incoming materials, but they can appraise and catalog them well after they are received, because analog objects are generally able to remain in an input queue for long periods without decaying.

By contrast, digital collections must be appraised and cataloged at the time of their creation, because there is insufficient time, resources and technical information available to process them for guaranteed long-term access once the digital collection reaches the archive. The fundamental difference is that the unmanaged life expectancy of digital materials is much, much shorter than that of their analog counterparts.

Several other actions are required to preserve digital media: copying to new media and file formats ("migration"), maintaining redundancy and verifying data integrity, as well as scheduling and managing the actions themselves. A further consideration is that assessing and cataloging digital collections require specialized hardware and software tools that may vary from collection to collection, and these tools require specialized technical skills to operate. Here, the term "digital preservation" is used to refer to both reformatting (using digital techniques to preserve analog or digital originals) and preserving the digital files themselves.

Access vs. Preservation:
Audiovisual archives have digital materials in their holdings for one or both of the following reasons:

To provide access to analog or digital materials, and to preserve content that is available only in digital form or is digitized from decaying or obsolete analog sources.

The growth of the Internet and the public access opportunities it provides, as well as the increased monetization opportunities that come with access to archival collections, are the primary drivers of digitization of analog audiovisual materials.

Since the original analog source material is not discarded, there is no need to invest the resources required to preserve the digital copies; the digital copies can be regenerated if necessary for as long as the analog source material is accessible.

Digital files for which there are no analog source materials are handled differently: they are treated as preservation master copies and therefore must be managed according to best digital preservation practices to maintain their viability. If preservation actions are not taken, the files become unreadable and are effectively lost.

There are many types of files (also called "file formats"), many variations on individual file formats and many kinds of codecs. The survey respondents identified 26 different moving image file formats with 15 different codecs, and 15 different audio file formats with 6 different codecs. Many of these formats are supported today by commodity operating systems running on popular computer platforms, but some require specialized software and/or hardware. Accessing these files requires at least basic computer literacy, and in some cases more technical skills, especially when it comes to long-term access.

Basic Preservation Practices: Data Backup, Verification and Migration:
As previously mentioned, preservation of digital files is an active, ongoing effort. The proper
execution of three key activities increases the likelihood that accessibility to digital files will be maintained:

Failure to effectively practice any one of these basic activities will eventually result in data loss.

  • Data backup: Making multiple (two or more) copies of a digital file. The copies should be stored in different geographic locations and on different types of storage media to protect against physical or technical disasters.
  • Verification: Regular inspection of all copies of digital files to protect against
    media or data transfer failure. A related activity is fixity checking, which verifies
    that a digital file has not been changed, either intentionally or unintentionally.
  • Migration: Regular transfer of all digital file copies to currently supported media
    and file formats to protect against technological obsolescence.

The archivists interviewed for the case studies were asked to identify what they thought were the biggest challenges facing archives that intend to preserve digital audiovisual files for hundreds of years:

"Paying attention. Can you stay abreast of changes when they happen so rapidly?
Will staff forget about it [the files], and wait too long? There's no down time."

"Keeping up with technology. [We] need money to move content forward as
technology changes, and appropriate staffing with a strong knowledge base. A
preservation/migration plan must be in place.… How much really needs to be
digitized? Do we have to do everything, or can we make curatorial decisions?"

"Rapid changing of technology. Equipment, file formats, software. Resources - [we]
need people, servers, people who know how to manage the servers."
"One of the biggest challenges of preservation will be keeping pace with technical
changes. I believe that it will be harder for the individual collector to preserve digital
materials. As such, there comes a need to ensure that archivists develop strong
institutional links that support preservation in order to sustain the mechanism
and diligence required to maintain scheduled migration strategies."

The archives that stored files on their parent institution's enterprise storage system had varied levels of influence on preservation and management policies. In survey responses and case studies, the archives that stored files on another department's equipment stated a preference for setting their own archiving policies, but many met resistance when they tried to do so. For example, some archivists favored storing a set of digital backup tapes off-site and migrating the files to a new generation of digital data tape every five years. This conflicted with traditional IT backup practice, which assigns a 30-year life expectancy to the tape stock and does not necessarily recognize the need to re-verify and backup data before the end of the physical media's useful life.

It is important to note that digital data tape manufacturer specifications for a 30-year life expectancy apply to the physical media only. It is currently unknown how long recorded digital data will last with the "store and ignore" approach, but the consensus in the user community is that it will not last anywhere near 30 years.

Furthermore, no surveyed archive would consider storing digital data tapes for that length of time, because today's data storage hardware and software reach technology obsolescence every five to seven years, and digital recording media historically become obsolete after two of these replacement cycles.

Several archives noted the importance of working cooperatively with their institutions' IT departments, if there was one and to forge a relationship in which each department's strengths would be utilized. In an ideal scenario, the archive would recommend digital preservation actions according to archival principles, and the IT department would recommend how to implement those actions. This was considered a practical
challenge, however, as was the determination of cost sharing and operational responsibilities:

While an archive's digitization budget is often funded by its parent institution, it is defined here as funds allocated to digital preservation activities from the archive's operating budget. This is separate from funding that covers digital projects for the institution as a whole. For example, a parent institution might pay for the creation of an in-house digitization lab, but the lab's staff and their activities are supported by the archive's operating budget.

Archivists' Recommendations:
All the surveyed archivists expressed some knowledge of what needed to be done to preserve access to their digital files, and understood the basics of storage, redundancy and migration.

Many expressed concern that resource, organizational and technical issues would hinder their ability to design and implement comprehensive digital preservation programs. When asked what they thought should or could be done to assist them in developing adequate digital preservation programs for their audiovisual materials, the archivists responded with some recommendations and others were proposed by the staff and writers.

Digital moving image preservation format standards:
The archival community has not reached a consensus on a standard digital preservation file format and associated codec for moving images. In pursuit of such standards, archives and standards-setting bodies should not simply aim for a single format and its related technical details, but consider a range of formats that address archives' varied technical infrastructures. Recognizing that it might be difficult for archives with limited storage and management capabilities to reformat according to one "highest-performance" standard, the community should take a multi-tiered approach, described in clear language, so each archive could select the formats and codecs that it could best support.

It is worth noting that as of this writing, there are multiple efforts underway that are expected to lead to a set of digital moving image preservation format standards: the Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative Audio-Visual Working Group, the Image Interchange Framework project and the Interoperable Master Format project.

Establish in-house or cooperative digital reformatting facilities:
Having sufficient equipment and staff for digitizing in standard file formats helps archives with large collections do a larger volume of digital reformatting for preservation and access. Archives that have established in-house transfer capabilities report lower file-handling costs, which allow them to digitize more content than they would if they outsourced to more expensive digitization services. Those archives without the funding or collection size to justify in-house digitization facilities proposed developing cooperative fee-for-service arrangements with archives that are so equipped.

Several of the surveyed archives also suggested building a digitizing "co-op," where several archives would pool their resources to build a shared facility.

Foster relationships with IT departments:
Archives at institutions with enterprise storage capability should be encouraged to build relationships with the departments that manage their institution's digital storage systems.
As IT policies and practices for general business operations do not meet an audiovisual archive's needs, open dialogue among all parties rather than an "us versus them" dynamic will lead to more productive dialogue and collaboration. Through this type of collaboration, archivists could learn more about technology and data management, and IT staff could learn about audiovisual archival practices.

Develop affordable, fee-based digital preservation relationships with neighboring institutions:
Archives without enterprise storage capability must find other means to safely store their digital files. Given the typical size of archives' budgets and the relatively high cost of commercial data storage services, the surveyed archives suggested forming partnerships with nearby universities and libraries that have appropriate digital storage infrastructures to provide a minimum level of managed data storage at a price they could afford.

Practice geographic dispersal:
Archives should store redundant sets of digital files off-site. If they cannot afford off-site storage, they should explore partnerships with other archives in which each participating archive stored copies of another's files. Varying administrative, security and liability policies present significant challenges in this scenario, but however it is achieved, archives should practice geographic dispersal to lower the risk of catastrophic loss.

Archive-oriented metadata and file management tools:
Archives recognize that along with managing their digital media files, they also need to create and manage various types of metadata to preserve those files.

They would like to see software tools designed specifically for audiovisual archives rather than production-oriented DAMS or systems built from generic database management software. They also want their digitizing software to produce usable metadata in accepted schema such as PBCore and PREMIS.

Further education for audiovisual archivists and managers involved in digital preservation:
Many of the surveyed archivists understood the two basic digital preservation concepts: storage and backup. But most did not have the training or knowledge needed to ensure preservation of their digital objects for the long term. Archivists want a deeper understanding of the principles of digital preservation, especially with regard to audiovisual collections; they believe this will help them in fundraising, working with their institution's managers, creating partnerships and building digital preservation programs. Suggested approaches include workshops that go beyond the panel discussions that are typically incorporated into larger, more general archival conferences, with a focus on digital preservation concepts, digital preservation standards (to the extent that they exist), "best" practices and the application of ideal goals and principles to the reality of their individual situations.

Nonprofit audiovisual archives that are receiving or generating digital materials have the same problems that were reported for major studios in The Digital Dilemma. However, the archives' problems are compounded by severe resource limitations. This is not to say that the nonprofit community has no significant digital preservation projects in development. For example, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) spearheads the American Archive, a comprehensive effort to locate and preserve documentaries and other programs created for public radio and television stations. It is important to note that the CPB has an operating budget in excess of $400 million, which while unusual for an organization in the nonprofit audiovisual archive community, makes the CPB well-suited for such a leadership role.

A replacement for film as an archival medium:
An archival system for digital materials that meets or exceeds the performance characteristics of traditional film archives does not yet exist. While many well-funded organizations have implemented fully managed digital storage systems for audiovisual materials, the critical issue of technology obsolescence has not been resolved. This presents a more serious problem for nonprofit audiovisual archives because of their extremely limited resources.

Standardized nomenclature:
As of this report's writing, a unified approach to digital object naming systems had not yet been adopted by the motion picture industry. A few initiatives are underway that may address this problem, such as the International Standard Audiovisual Number (ISAN) and the Entertainment Identifier Registry (EIDR). Standardized nomenclature did not come up as an issue for nonprofit audiovisual archives, most likely because their digital motion picture material management systems have not yet reached a level of sophistication that would make this issue apparent.

Create film separation masters as archival masters:
While all of the major studios report that they are creating film separation masters for their theatrically released motion pictures, the process is simply too expensive for independent filmmakers, documentarians and nonprofit audiovisual archives. There have been some reports of lower-cost approaches that use intermediate and print film stocks, but none have achieved significant market acceptance.

Enable the enterprise to develop a rational digital preservation strategy:
The major studios are reportedly reorganizing themselves to manage their digital assets for the long term by improving interdepartmental collaboration and making other structural modifications. Nonprofit audiovisual archives recognize the need to reorganize with digital preservation requirements in mind, but resource constraints, organizational resistance and complexity prevent them from doing so.

The industry must work together:
Industry collaboration on digital preservation issues noticeably increased after the publication of The Digital Dilemma, and continues as of this writing. This degree of cooperation has been facilitated by the Hollywood community being geographically centralized and sufficiently intertwined from a business perspective. By contrast, the independent filmmaking and nonprofit audiovisual archive universe is far-flung, diverse and loosely coupled. It is consequently difficult to identify exactly which organizations or individuals should be working together - and how they should do so - to generate meaningful results.

The Library of Congress's National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) is an excellent example of how a diverse group of organizations can be brought together and have their energies focused on a common set of problems. The Library recently published a major report on NDIIPP, which details the program's accomplishments and proposes next steps. One of its more significant new initiatives is the National Digital Stewardship Alliance, which seeks to develop a framework for a national digital collection as well as to strengthen and enable public-private partnerships, among other activities. From the motion picture industry's perspective, NDIIPP provided a context for its own collaboration - namely the Academy's Digital Motion Picture Archive Framework Project - which resulted in productive work on file formats, metadata, open source software and data storage research with contributions from the major studios, manufacturers and the research community. However, the diffuse nature of the independent filmmaking and nonprofit audiovisual archive communities makes it more difficult to create a productive, collaborative environment to address their needs.

Standards Development:
The nonprofit audiovisual archives surveyed for this report expressed a clear desire for digital moving image preservation standards. It is encouraging to report that as of this writing, there is significant energy within SMPTE and the U.S. Government's Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative being directed toward image file formats and related technical details. Metadata standardization has still not been achieved, but pre-standards development work is underway at several organizations, including the Academy.

Interim Options:
Archives that have not yet developed an approach to preserving digital materials will eventually face a crisis as their digital holdings grow, whether through acquiring new collections or reformatting their aging analog holdings. At some point, they will be unable to access some percentage of their digital files.

The digital preservation needs of the motion picture industry as a whole have not changed. In this regard the needs of independent filmmakers and nonprofit audiovisual archives seem more urgent, given the changing dynamics of theatrical and non-theatrical digital distribution, the duration of copyright protection, the lack of a defined path to an archive and severe resource limitations.

It also seems unreasonable to burden nonprofit audiovisual archives with a dilemma they did not create, and unrealistic to expect them to organize themselves to tackle the dilemma without help. The studies by the Library of Congress mentioned earlier and the final report from the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access all contain calls to action for improved funding mechanisms and collaborative efforts. In effect these studies suggest sharing the burden of devising practical solutions that will enable all community members to maintain access to important cultural, historical and artistic works. Until the underlying operational and technology obsolescence problems are solved, however, a renewed and revised call to action in three key areas seems to be justified:

Identify key stakeholders and representative organizations that can make it their top priority to collaborate on the most pressing unsolved problems facing nonprofit audiovisual archives. As an organized group, they might take on the following initiatives:

A recurring theme among all surveyed groups was the lack of funding for digital preservation. The final report by the Blue Ribbon Task Force for Sustainable Preservation and Access discusses the funding gap at length and offers concrete suggestions for several archival contexts. Representative organizations in each of the communities covered by this report should review the Task Force's recommendations, and where appropriate, coordinate their efforts so that their constituents will be able to take advantage of applicable strategies and partnerships.

Documentarian and author Betsy McLane suggests that the only way to assure preservation is to have funding organizations insist that applicants include preservation in their budgets. This concept is being implemented in the scientific research community by the National Science Foundation (NSF), which now requires that all grant proposals for NSF projects include a data preservation plan if scientific data is generated as part of the project.

As long as independent filmmakers and archivists stay on the "technology treadmill," they will face the continuous need to refresh and update their knowledge of technologies and practices. The same is true for motion picture producers and executives. Moving image archive programs should offer continuing education classes covering the preservation of digital materials, and archives should require their staff to take them. Industry conferences focused on the content supply chain are good forums for presenting these issues to producers and executives. Likewise, film festivals are excellent venues at which to provide independent filmmakers and distributors with the knowledge to help "keep digital content alive" until the content reaches a suitable archive. Finally, college curricula for aspiring filmmakers and archivists should be updated to cover digital preservation issues so that succeeding generations will be prepared to meet the challenges of long-term preservation of digital materials.

Cooperatives and resource sharing:
There is a wide range of operational capability, technical infrastructure and financial resources across the archival community and in related fields, and many examples of successful collaborations in which "the whole is greater than the sum of the parts."

The Technology Obsolescence Issue:
There is no escaping the fact that digital technologies enable independent filmmakers to explore and extend the art form in ways that are simply not possible with motion picture film. The price to be paid for these new capabilities, however, is either the loss of content to digital decay, or accepting the responsibility of working with technology providers to articulate and satisfy industry requirements for the long-term preservation of digital data, backwards compatibility and standards implementation. Collaborations and best practices are insufficient by themselves to resolve the digital dilemma. The underlying technologies must take archival lifetimes into account.

A primary sales pitch by digital storage system vendors is that "storage always gets cheaper," and while that has proven true with respect to storage media, price efficiency is significantly offset by rising energy and labor costs as well as more sophisticated technological support systems and data management policies that such systems require. Increases in data storage density show no signs of abating, but history suggests there is little reason to believe that the already huge (and growing) amount of important digital data will somehow manage itself.

While some claim that following simple data backup procedures can preserve one or even a handful of digital motion pictures, these procedures do not scale for larger collections held at the hundreds of audiovisual archives worldwide. For these archives, the wide variety of incoming data formats and media types, coupled with the archives' limited financial, technological and staff resources, make it impossible for them to do much more than shelve the material while they wait for the largest and best-funded institutions and organizations across the private and public sectors to solve the problem in a way that might yield trickle-down benefits.

Time is and will be the greatest enemy of future access to digital data. Filmmakers ignore the limited lifetime of unmanaged digital data at their own peril. For nonprofit audiovisual archives, continued deferment of a comprehensive digital preservation program will result in mission failure. Interim options offer some possibilities for temporarily extending the accessibility of digital content. The authors hope that there will eventually be a standardized, globally adopted solution that will address the technology obsolescence issue. Until that happens, and without immediate mitigating action, our moving image and recorded sound heritage is in danger of beginning to disappear in a few years. Facing this danger begins with answering key questions during the production of economically or culturally valuable digital work:

  • Whose responsibility is it to preserve independently created work for future use?
  • What would be the economic and cultural impact of losing this work?

But the broader questions remain:

  • What will it take to create digital preservation standards and achieve their universal adoption?
  • Who will assume the leadership role in solving the digital dilemma for the independent filmmaking and nonprofit audiovisual archive communities?

The time for doing studies and defining problems has passed. The issues are clear. The steps to answering these critical questions are also clear, and they start with you, the reader.

It is the hope of all who worked on The Digital Dilemma and The Digital Dilemma 2 that the next report will be titled The Digital Solution.

Milt Shefter
Andy Maltz

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About the Authors

Milt Shefter, co-author of both of "The Digital Dilemma" reports, is also a former President of AMIA. He and Andy Maltz have presented both reports at conferences world-wide, including at AMIA in Austin, Texas.

Milt's company, Miljoy Ent. Inc. has been a key consultant and project manager for moving image and recorded sound preservation. He created the world-wide Asset Protection Program at Paramount Pictures and has been involved with similar programs for studios, distributors, museums and archives housing large collections of media. He was also on the design team for the Library of Congress' NAVCC Culpeper facility.

He is on the Science and Technology Council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and also active in The American Society of Cinematographers. He served on the Board of Governors of SMPTE and was elevated to Fellow Status for Section and national activities and contributions to the technology. He served as Chief Judge for the Pune' (India) International Film Festival and speaks internationally on issues of media preservation.

Andy Maltz, Director, Science and Technology Council, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

The Academy reconstituted its Science and Technology Council in 2003, and as its first director, Andy is responsible for developing and implementing its operational plan, administering the Council's day to day operations and individual contributions to selected Council initiatives.

Previous to the Academy, Andy was CEO of Avica Technology Corporation, where he led the first worldwide commercial deployment of digital cinema servers, drove the development of key technologies for digital cinema, and was heavily involved with the digital releases of many major motion pictures in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Previous to Avica, Andy served as a consultant to companies such as Sharp Electronics and Microsoft, where he spearheaded the development of the Advanced Authoring Format, a widely adopted professional media interchange format. Prior to these assignments, he was executive vice president of operations and engineering for nonlinear editing pioneer Ediflex Digital Systems.

Andy serves on the U. S. National Archives Public Advisory Committee for Electronic Records Archives, is an associate member of the American Society of Cinematographers, and is a fellow of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers where he serves on several engineering committees and the SMPTE Journal Board of Editors. Andy received his B.S.E.E. from the State University of New York at Buffalo.




The Tech Review . April, 2012. ©2012. Association of Moving Image Archivists.