The Lost Picture Show

The Lost Picture Show: Hollywood Archivists Can’t Outpace Obsolescence

The most chilling prediction I heard came from a top technician at Technicolor. "There's going to be a large dead period," he told me, "from the late '90s through 2020, where most media will be lost."

This sort of thing terrifies me. I still feel that film stock has a much better chance of survival than digital files, especially for the creators who can’t afford to constantly migrate to newer formats ever few years.

“We know how long film lasts,” says the USC archivist Everett. “And archives were designed to store things. They’re cool, they’re dry, and they have shelves. Put the film on the shelf, and it will play in a hundred years.”

“Put the film on the shelf, and it will play in a hundred years”. It may not be easy to maintain the shelves, but at least it’s feasible.