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[:RU]How to store movies in America in the event of a doomsday[:]

[:RU]Contingency (or, worse, foreseen) end of the world mankind has several ways to help restore a culture of civilization. For example, in the US there are special storage, which contains the most important works of cinema. There are several companies, one of them founded by George Eastman, founder of Kodak, the other belongs to the New York Museum of Modern Art. Popular blockbusters often stored in the personal archives of major studios such as Columbia, Warner Bros. and Universal.

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But there are also many small, independent films, the creators of which often can not afford such «insurance». Such projects have the support of the storage associated with the Library of Congress, in accepting donated its archives thousands of tapes, where they go after a thorough restoration and digitization. Storage, founded by the son of one of the founders of the corporation HP (Hewlett-Packard), is housed in a decommissioned after the Cold War bunker, which was intended for the lion’s share of post-apocalyptic storage capital of the eastern coast. Wired magazine correspondent visited this amazing place, and knew which way are the films before prematurely to go to the shelves of history.

George Uilleman manages the archive, which stores the old films. His power more than 160 thousand. Flammable fragile coils, which recorded various masterpieces of American cinema — from the «Great Train Robbery» in 1903 to more recent paintings. And every week, George takes new arrivals.

The film received the tape in the vault through public, charitable or private organizations, and they are only a small part of the collection polutoramillionnom film, television and video, under which allocated more than one hundred rooms. Each room has a special conditions — temperature of 4 degrees Celsius and relative humidity of 30% — all in order to keep the fragile film in the best possible condition.

But there is a much more serious problem than the natural wear and tear — the film is very easy to ignite and explode. Because a single spark all saved in the archive can burn for a few minutes, and stop this fire would be virtually impossible.

To avoid catastrophe, cabinets with movies shared with concrete walls. The archive itself while under close supervision of the ongoing fire safety systems — in which case the fire to hurt shelves collapse strong flow of water, about 90 kilograms per square inch.

Most of the material (films, video tapes, handwritten copies of scripts, posters, radio recordings, music, and more recently the game) before heading to the archive, requires restoration, and sometimes a full recovery. The process of «rejuvenation» can take years and manage tens, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars. Warehouse Workers are constantly faced with the lack of resources — the number of incoming products disproportionately higher than the so-called «Throughput» lab, where they restored.

According to Rob Stone, curator kinootdela, he repeatedly offered to just give up on some new products to reduce the burden on the staff, «I can not do that. There are things that simply disappear if we do not take to them. Better to spend the restoration of ten years and then look ever this movie than to give him safely to disappear. » Mike Meshon, one of the main control storage arranges tour — worth a stroll through the corridors, to look into the room, and it becomes clear where there was such a timid policy. At one table are literally a hundred years of the history of cinema, «Frankenstein» to «The Big Lebowski» and in the next room is a 205-seat theater in the Art Deco style, where modern art can be passed through the projector «of the forties.» And in such an environment can give up the replenishment of the monumental collection?

Nevertheless, archivists selected works, guided by certain rules. There is a special act regulating the criteria for paintings, worthy to be in the forefront of the queue for preservation. Each year, through this act, a list of twenty-five of the most significant films (they should be at least ten years ago), which reads out the head of the Library of Congress.

Restoration of the painting can take place in different ways. Some belts require full photochemical reduction — for this in the lab actually produce a new film and gradually «copy» the original film material. Those that are not damaged, simply scanned and converted to a digital file. Regardless of whether you want to restore the film, it first is soaked in a bath of tetrachlorethylene — it allows you to patch the microscopic cracks and scratches. Then the tape into the hands of the employee who manually «repairing» a film with special equipment and sealed large cracks. Restoration of the film can take months, and for the restoration of the film adaptation of «All Quiet on the Western Front» Remarque (1930) took ten years.

In the hall where the digitized tape robots reign. On the shelves are arranged video players a variety of formats: as the famous (VHS, Betamax), and rare, such as Digibeta, Hi8 or DVCAM. Human participation is not required, the whole process is fully automated — four massive car smartly sorted cassette tenacious «paws», rewriting the disc. They say, for tens of years of work, the iron «writers» had to process more than half a million tapes.

But not so simple — let the process of conservation is well established, the important role played by the time factor. VHS of the seventies and eighties are already beginning to deteriorate and demagnetized, losing information stored on them. Stone convinced that the main task of the «cassette shop» — corny beat time and have time to rewrite as many tapes before they die, «Some tapes do not work, so we are dealing with a very short-lived format. We can not waste time, otherwise a couple of years all this will turn into a pile of useless plastic. »

A more modern formats — JPEG 2000 and MP4 — are stored on the ground floor, a huge server. According to Stone, currently in storage is about eight petabytes (8,000,000 gigabytes) of data. The main attraction of this department is that from the server to the Washington Capitol stretches 75 miles ultramodern fiber-optic wiring — which allows access to the file directly from the Library of Congress. Request processing averages three minutes.

«Until now, I can not believe that it works,» — says Meshon. In fact, it looks like at the scenery sci-fi movie from the eighties, the spectacle is truly impressive. But I want to believe that service to humanity such records are needed.

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