Three Eras of Preservation and the Scourge of Magnetic Tape

In the Modern Age of Entertainment, we have — so far — sustained Three Distinct Eras of performance preservation. The First Era was Film.  The Second Era was Magnetic Tape. The Third, and current, Era is Digital. The most cursed of all the Eras, is the misbegotten second — Magnetic Audiotape and Videotape — where performances were not actually preserved, they were only perpetuated to die!

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The DiJiFi Review: Film, Video and Audio Restoration, Preservation and Translation

[UPDATED: June 26, 2014]

I have been writing and working in film and TV and radio all of my life.  I started young and I’m ending old!  I recently decided to upgrade part of my Boles.com website into a Prairie Voice archive of some of my previous work so it is more readily accessible and referenceable by collaborators and others.

I have so much film and videotape and audio stored that I didn’t know where to start the archiving process.  Then I decided to just get the scripts and other documents online that I had within hands reach — and that included some film and video and audio, too!  I contacted Parlay Studios in Jersey City for help transferring all this analog work into a digitized form for web streaming and Parlay pointed me to — DiJiFi in Brooklyn, New York — and that was best piece of pointery I’ve received in the last decade.  Continue reading → The DiJiFi Review: Film, Video and Audio Restoration, Preservation and Translation

Coloring History: Should Facts Remain Black and White?

Every so often, we get someone who steps forward to decide our shared, national, record of events isn’t good enough in standard black and white — and so they take the task upon themselves to “convert” the established, memed, facts of black and white history into their color-coded version of hues — to reset, in their mind, what really happened.

This modernizing filter of alleged aesthetic and absolutely craven creativity is just as disturbing to me today as it was 30 years ago when I was an undergraduate Freshman at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln taking a film class with the great Dr. June Perry Levine.

At the time of Dr. Levine’s course, Ted Turner was in full-burst mode in his effort to “colorize” old black and white movies and television shows by adding color to give them new life on his cable channel.

Turner’s effect was horrible and gross as skin colors were orange and backgrounds were dark blue and clothing was all a shade of a mossy green: Time travel at its complete worst.

Adding new color to old black and white images is like repainting a fresco of Christ.  The ultimate effect of each effort is the shared shameful same.

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Boles University Blog Archives

We are delighted to inform you the Boles University Bog Archives are once again hosted right here in the Boles University Blog!  You can search everything we’ve written in one place.

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Digging the Digital Hole

Are we in danger of losing our digital memories?

Too many of us suffer from a condition that is going to leave our grandchildren bereft. I call it personal digital disorder. Think of those thousands of digital photographs that lie hidden on our computers. Few store them, so those who come after us will not be able to look at them. It’s tragic.

As chief executive of the British Library, it’s my job to ensure that this does not extend to our national memory. At the exact moment Barack Obama was inaugurated, all traces of President Bush vanished from the White House website, replaced by images of and speeches by his successor. Attached to the website had been a booklet entitled 100 Things Americans May Not Know About the Bush Administration – they may never know them now. When the website changed, the link was broken and the booklet became unavailable.

The 2000 Sydney Olympics was the first truly online games with more 150 websites, but these sites disappeared overnight at the end of the games and the only record is held by the National Library of Australia.

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Preserving Greatness with the Kindle

What is the value of a digital, virtual, collectible? Is something really rare and valuable if it can be digitally cloned with no difference whatsoever between the original and the clone?

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