Video-8 preserves footage for NAA

Press release from Well Above

Digital media migration specialists Video-8 today gave details of the telecine services it recently provided to the National Archives of Australia (NAA). As the central repository for Australian Commonwealth Government records the NAA helps Australian Government agencies create and manage their records, selects the most valuable records created by Australian Government agencies to become part of the national archival collection, stores, describes and preserves the national archival collection and makes records in the national archival collection that are over 30 years old publicly available.

Video-8 Managing Director Robert Scott explained the recent project, “The NAA holds tens of millions of files including paper documents, film footage, sound recordings, maps, plans, electronic records and letters that document Australian history. The collection is full of stories of immigration, citizenship, Indigenous Australians, public works, war, sport, the arts and natural disasters – truly priceless national assets.

"Part of the NAA’s preservation strategy is to copy material from film to digital videotape and in February this year, after responding to their Request for Quotations, we were the company they chose to help them with that part of their strategy.”

The scope of migration and preservation project included the transfer of 35 mm, 16 mm and 8 mm film and NAA staff were also able to include information on the transfers to file formats and digital videotape.

Video-8’s Senior Telecine Operator Dominic Hundleby said, “Video 8’s telecine service is unique in the industry as we specialise in archival work. Hence our client list, which includes the Australian War Memorial, Screen Australia, various state museums and libraries and private collections.”

Video 8 has two telecine suites, both comprising Rank Cintel telecines fitted with Digital Vision Noise Reduction (DVNR) systems, with modifications including a DGS Quattroscan framestore and Metaspeed, allowing transfers at any frame rate from 1fps to 60 fps.

Hundleby continued, “As the Rank Cintels do not require pin registration but instead gently pull the film across the scanning tube in a smooth, continuous fashion, they are ideal for dealing with fragile or shrunken archival film material.”

The current NAA archiving project involves transferring material from film to Digital Betacam and according to Robert Scott, this scope will be expanded. He added, “It was interesting to note that a component of the original Request for Quotations also involved transferring material to uncompressed video files – a very forward thinking requirement and an approach that we share as we have developed workflows with our Media Factory DAM service to handle high-bit rate migration projects. Video 8 Media is proud to be a service provider to the National Archives of Australia and we look forward to further contributing and preserving Australia’s heritage in the future.”