Screening Old Film Prints | Gamma Ray Digital

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Screening Old Film Prints

Screening Old Film Prints

KQED has a piece on Negativland member Peter Conheim's private, invite-only screenings of 16mm and 35mm films. It's becoming harder and harder to do this, as the parts for old projectors become difficult to obtain. Our feeling has long been that digital projection of very high quality film scans is the way to keep theatrical screening of film going.

Most theaters have switched or are switching to digital projection, so it's already rare that theatrical projection is done with film. Besides, prints get scratched and dirty, degrade a little with every viewing, and often vary wildly in quality from one print to the next - sometimes even between reels of the same print. Not to mention the potential catastrophic damage that can happen to a shrunken print that's run through an unforgiving projector...

A high quality scan of camera original or an intermediate film freezes that quality in time and allows you to view it on a big screen over and over again as a digital file, without having to worry about new scratches or other damage from repeat viewings. The beauty of the film image is preserved digitally this way, so you still get the look, but without the downsides.

You can read the full KQED article here.

(Photo courtesy Sarahnaut, via Flickr. Creative Commons license)