The onslaught of digital materials flooding into our holding space; Digital files sitting on precarious portable hard disks, piling onto higher piles of plastic boxes with spinning disks.
These would be a familiar sight to all. Unlike analogue materials, the speed and volume grows exponentially. No one seems to have a foolproof solution for digital preservation.
Like a two-edged sword, the same digital advancement brought us the Internet. We are no longer bounded by physical boundaries. Not only we are just a tweet away, we can also finally reach beyond the confine of the audiovisual community.
The call for the galleries, libraries, archives, museums and records (GLAMR) sector to collaborate and cooperate is not new. As the world became more and more interconnected,
users of content from the GLAMR sector expect information about subjects of interest rather than the source of the information.
But where do we start? How do we cut through the noise? Who should we be listening? How can we collaborate?
This presentation hopes to shed some light by recounting AFA’s journey thus far.
Punching above your weight: Leveraging online resources SEAPAVAA22 5-B: Broadening Approaches to AV Archiving 10 April 2018
by Joshua Ng @joshuatj Asian Film Archive
Who are we?
The Asian Film Archive begun as a dream of a young man who were wondering why isn’t there a film archive preserving the rich film heritage of Singapore and Asian Cinema. We have gone through our ups and downs throughout the years. We survived because of support we received from local and international colleagues. Some years we barely have enough to hire any staff. But we persevered.
In 2014, we joined the National Library Board as a subsidiary. With the backing of a larger institutions, we hit the ground running, launching programmes and projects to save, explore and share the art of Asian Cinema.
www.asianfilmarchive.org/programmes State of Motion Bus x Art Tour based on actual film locations. Singapore Art Week’s flagship event. stateofmotion.sg
Asian Restored Classics film festival showcasing newly restored works and celebrating the best of Asian cinema. arc.asianfilmarchive.org
REFRAME salon series that constructs critical frameworks and examines topics surrounding cinema and the moving image through film showcases, panel discussions and presentations.
Alt Screen film series, co-organised with the National Library Board, Singapore, to showcase Asian documentaries and offering interpretations of global issues and critical perspectives of humanity.
Co:lab platform, co-organised with library@esplanade, where new live works are experimented and presented through cross disciplinary encounters between film and performing arts.
Film Restoration Projects (Highlights) Patah Hati (1952) by K.M Basker Taming of the Princess 醉打金枝 (1958) by Hsu Chiao Meng The Lion City 狮子城 (1960) by Yi Sui 易水 Sultan Mahmood Mangkat di-Julang (1961) by K.M Basker Gado Gado (1961) by S. Roomai Noor Chuchu Datok Merah (1963) by M. Amin Moon Over Malaya 椰林月 (1957) by Chun Kim 秦剑 & Chor Yuen 楚原 Blood Stains the Valley of Love 血染相思谷 (1957) by Chun Kim 秦剑 & Chor Yuen 楚原 China Wife 唐山阿嫂 (1957) by Chan Man 陈文
Asian Film Archive Publications Nanyang Trilogy DVD & Blu-ray Box Set Batch ‘81 Monograph www.asianfilmarchive.org/shop
Behind the scenes:
As we embark on film restoration projects so that we can screen the films again, digital deliverables are just inevitable. They come in the forms of RAW film scans, restored DCDM, digital videos of various formats and of course DCP. Couple that with filmmaker’s transit to 100% born-digital workflow, the volume of files quickly overwhelms us. We looked around for tried and tested digital preservation workflow. Then we realised that the few institution that has some sort digital preservation workflow, they developed it to cater to their particular situation. There just weren’t any one size fits all solution. For an archive of only six staff, most workflows just wouldn’t work for us. So we had to build the workflow from scratch, incorporating best practices as we go along.
A hierarchical storage management system was chosen mainly because it enables us a solid foundation for future scaling needs. We need a high speed large holding space at the hybrid storage stage, enabling our archivist to process the incoming media unhindered by storage size limit. For long term preservation, LTO tapes were our medium of choice, merely because it is still the cheapest on-premise long term storage method. To be extra safe, we keep two copies of LTO. We looked into cloud storage solutions, but with the large file sizes that we work with, even cold storage cloud solution often exceeds our budget. In addition, if we include the long term storage horizon of 25 to 50 years, recurring cost of cloud solution would quickly make it unsustainable. Finally, 8Gb Fibre Channel was chosen because our test results indicate that for large file transfer 8Gb FC beats 10Gb Ethernet. We managed to hit 700MB/s at our peak.
TransMedia Dynamics Mediaflex Guardian was our choice for a collections management system. We needed a solution that is scalable; provide a structured data schema that links both our physical and digital media; provide full audit trail of all collection operations. Aside from fulfilling the requirements, the successes of TMD’s deployment of Mediaflex-UMS for NFSA and NAA gave us the confidence that this is the right choice.
Having a collections management system setup does not mean that the work for setting up a digital preservation workflow is done. This is the thing about digital innovation, it is almost a curse, as we gain new ways to easily manage huge amount of files, the same innovation might bring about a disruption to the status quo. It is an unending cycle as long as storage and computing keeps getting cheaper, more and more transistors get squeezed onto a smaller and smaller surface area. Therefore we setup a small labs unit to try to get ahead of what’s going on out there. This unit sole purpose is to survey what’s out there, experiment and incorporate the good things into the workflow. I think every organisation should have a labs unit. It could be a small team of 2-3 people coming together once every week to look at the latest development in the larger AV archiving world. Try out the new tools. Brainstorm ways to optimise existing workflows. Perhaps even contribute to the open source tools that we use and love. Giving back to the community.
Okay, done with the background, I hope now you have a better idea of who is Asian Film Archive and what we do. But today’s talk is about how we can punch through the noise…
Where should we start? Who should we be listening? How could we cut through the noise? How can we collaborate?
Where should we start?
Channels about AudioVisual SEAPAVAA—SouthEast Asia-Pacific AudioVisual Archives Associationseapavaa.net/resource-centre AMIA—The Association of Moving Image Archivistsamianet.org/resources/amia-resources/amianet.org/resources/general-resources/ FIAF—International Federation of Film Archiveswww.fiafnet.org → E-Resources PrestoCentreprestocentre.org/resources prestocentre.org/resources/av-archiving-networks Restoration Asiarestorationasia.org
Free Resources for Non-profit Microsoft Azure—$5000 credits for Cloud resourceswww.microsoft.com/en-us/nonprofits Techsoup—Software Donation or Non-profit ratewww.techsoup.org Google for Nonprofits—G Suite, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofitwww.google.com/nonprofits/ Workplace by Facebookwww.facebook.com/workplace
Who should we be listening to?
Channels about AudioVisual SEAPAVAA—SouthEast Asia-Pacific AudioVisual Archives Association@seapavaa_org#SEAPAVAAxx #SEAPAVAA22 #SEAPAVAA19 AMIA—The Association of Moving Image Archivists@AMIAnet #AMIA1x #AMIA17 #AMIA16 FIAF—International Federation of Film Archives@fiaf1938#FIAF201x #FIAF72 #FIAF2016 JTS—Joint Technical Symposium#JTS201x JTS2019 #JTS2016 bit.ly/jts2016 SOIMA IASA Resources section of various AV/Film Archives
Beyond Boundaries → GLAM
Preservation and Archiving Special Interest Group #PASIG2017 #PASIG201x http://www.preservationandarchivingsig.org/ @MuseumNext www.museumnext.com #MuseumNext @MuseumCN (MCN—Museum Computer Network) www.mcn.edu #MCN2018 #MCN201x International Conference on Digital Preservation#ipres2017 #ipres201x #digipres #avpres
There’s no lack of resources!
How do we cut through the noise?
Twitter Listsarchives by witnessorgtwitter.com/witnessorg/lists/archives avpres by joshuatj twitter.com/joshuatj/lists/avpres digipres by todrobbins twitter.com/todrobbins/lists/digipres Digipres1 by DavidUnderdown9twitter.com/DavidUnderdown9/lists/digipres1
Twitter Lists: SearchGoogle search site:twitter.com inurl:lists <film> Search within twitter list query list:username/listname
Nuzzel Takes all your connected social media feed and present you with the important/popular ones.
How can we collaborate?
glammr.usglammr.us is a space for folks interested in productive conversation about, well, galleries, libraries, archives, museums, memory work and records. https://glammr.us/
digipres.club digipres.club is a space for folks interested in productive conversations about, well, digital preservation! If you enjoy talking about how to do memory work with computers, or even with cardboard boxes of old photos, you belong with us on digipres.club.
Something to think about…
Why do we not have a SEAPAVAA mailing list? Should we consider having a SEAPAVAA Mastodon? SEAPAVAA Forum? How are we collaborating at this point? How do we keep in touch with what’s going on at each other’s institution? Why do we have to wait for SEAPAVAA each year only to know what’s happening? Time to embrace social media?
…the day of the passionate individual is here. It is only individuals working together who can build the stable and secure institutions needed to ensure the ongoing protection and accessibility of the audiovisual heritage. Ray Edmondson Audiovisual Archiving: Philosophy and Practices, 3rd Edition 2016
Asian Film Archive
The Asian Film Archive was
founded in January 2005 as a
non-profit organisation to
preserve the rich film heritage
of Singapore and Asian
Cinema, to encourage
scholarly research on film, and
to promote a wider critical
appreciation of this art form.
To Save, Explore, and Share the art of Asian Cinema
Asian Film Archive Publications
Nanyang Trilogy DVD & Blu-ray Box Set
Batch ’81 Monographwww.asianfilmarchive.org/shop
Behind the Scenes: Digital Preservation
● Hierarchical Storage Management System
○ Quantum StorNext Storage Manager
○ 8Gb Fibre Channel. Tested to reach 700MB/s transfer
○ Hybrid Storage—QXS
○ Tape Library—Quantum Scalar LTO7. Two Copies.
● Collections Management System
○ TransMedia Dynamics Mediaflex Guardian
● AFA Labs
○ Investigate FFV1v3 for film scans in DPX
○ Determine the best way to handle DPX, DCP—BagIt
○ Incorporate checksum tools into workflow
○ FFMPEG experiments on Bash on Ubuntu on Windows
Where should we start?
Who should we be listening?
How could we cut through the noise?
How can we collaborate?
Channels about AudioVisual
● SEAPAVAA—SouthEast Asia-Pacific AudioVisual Archives Association
● AMIA—The Association of Moving Image Archivists
● FIAF—International Federation of Film Archives
www.fiafnet.org → E-Resources
● Restoration Asia
Free Resources for Non-profit
● Microsoft Azure—$5000 credits for Cloud resources
● Techsoup—Software Donation or Non-profit rate
● Google for Nonprofits—G Suite, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofit
● Workplace by Facebook
glammr.us—GLAMMR Mastodon instance
glammr.us is a space for folks
interested in productive
conversation about, well, galleries,
libraries, archives, museums,
memory work and records.
digipres.club—Mastodon instance for Digital Preservation
digipres.club is a space for folks
interested in productive
conversations about, well, digital
preservation! If you enjoy talking
about how to do memory work with
computers, or even with cardboard
boxes of old photos, you belong with
us on digipres.club.
…the day of the passionate individual is here.
It is only individuals working together who can build
the stable and secure institutions needed to ensure
the ongoing protection and accessibility of the
Audiovisual Archiving: Philosophy and Practices, 3rd Edition 2016