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Keep a Record

March 18, 2001

It is all well and good that the film industry is moving with the times and embracing digital production techniques ("Digital Cinema Gets a Push," March 4). I'm all for it but for one factor: digital is not archival.

I have been working in the film industry for nearly 10 years as an archivist and asset manager. One thing digital filmmakers do not consider, with some exceptions like Martin Scorsese, is: What happens to their digital artifacts after the production?

Technology changes daily. The relentless pace of evolving formats does not allow standardization. It creates digital orphans no one can read one year after production has wrapped. Robert Zemeckis is correct in part of his quest, creating the artists of tomorrow in the USC lab, but he is negligent if he does not consider film history as a part of a complete film school education. The only reason we can study the history of film is that the artifact (analog film) outlasts last year's digital output.

ADINA LERNER

Los Angeles

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