Save small gauge film …

March 25, 2013

Millions of feet of small gauge film, 8mm, Super-8mm and 16mm, are decaying due to chemical breakdown. If these films—including documentaries, ethnographies, industrial and art films, aren’t scanned before this happens, they’re lost forever.

Gamma Ray Digital has launched an Indiegogo campaign to provide affordable film scanning services to organizations and filmmakers who do not have the budget for digital preservation. By crowdfunding the most expensive piece of equipment, Gamma Ray Digital will eliminate this problem and focus exclusively on scanning and preserving these films.

The first step in digital preservation is to create the highest resolution scan of the film possible, capturing the full dynamic range of the image to a flexible digital format. Once this scan is created, the film itself isn’t touched again and all subsequent work happens digitally without damaging the film.

“The cost of scanning film at high resolution for digital preservation has been out of reach of most customers, especially the ones who work with small gauge film,” says Perry Paolantonio, President of Gamma Ray Digital. “A major reason for this has been the high cost and slow speed of the equipment. If our experiment with crowdfunding the purchase of this scanner is successful, we’ll be able to offer preservation-level film scanning to small archives, filmmakers and artists at rates previously impossible for others to charge.”

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