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Archiving Final Draft: A potential digital gold mine of film and TV scripts

Emily Walker

Emily Walker

Last updated on 11 April 2019

Emily Walker is a CHASE-funded Doctoral Researcher at the University of East Anglia currently specialising in television comedy. Her thesis is investigating the representation of religion in four British religious sitcoms – All in Good Faith, The Vicar of Dibley, Father Ted, and Rev – to establish ‘religious sitcoms’ as a sitcom sub-genre. She is also undertaking a placement as Curatorial Assistant for the British Archive for Contemporary Writing’s TV Comedy Collection (University of East Anglia).


Archiving Final Draft: A potential digital gold mine of film and TV scripts

But can we access the creative process behind them?

Within the screenwriting industry, Final Draft is universally acknowledged as the industry standard scriptwriting software to use if you want to be taken seriously as a professional. The Final Draft website proudly boasts that companies from the BBC to Netflix to Walt Disney use the software for their productions, and includes quotes from users such as Guillermo Del Toro, JJ Abrams, and Sofia Coppola praising the ease of use and technical ability. Del Toro even humorously suggests that Final Draft has been such a ‘wise, patient and loyal writing partner’ that he would happily elope with the software.

The package – which currently costs around £200 – can write Film, TV, or theatre scripts, can be customised to suit any company scriptwriting format, allows for cross-computer collaboration, works on almost any device, and has regular updates introducing new interactive features like a beat board and alternative dialogue (which I’ll return to later). Overall, the Final Draft software is used in over 95% of film and television productions.

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Comparative analysis of uncompressed AVI and FFV1 video

Graham Purnell

Graham Purnell

Last updated on 3 May 2019

Graham Purnell is a former photographer, web content and social media professional who began working as a Digital Preservation Assistant with the National Library of Scotland in early January 2019


The purpose of these tests: to use FFMPEG to transcode an uncompressed AVI file to FFV1, with identical ‘pixel-for-pixel’ output to the original source video, and to verify the results.

I’ve read a lot of information on the internet about the benefits of using FFV1/MKV as an archive video format/wrapper, but little empirical evidence about why it is suitable. It doesn’t help that, in the minds of many people, the word ‘compression’ is synonymous with ‘lossy’ (“if file sizes are smaller, surely some data must be missing.”) Archivists and digital preservation practitioners avoid much of the technical video information when writing, and video specialists address the subject in terms beyond the scope of many archivists. Thankfully, I have some previous video production experience and I hope I can help make some sense of it all.

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Variation in national digital preservation policies

Alexander Roberts

Alexander Roberts

Last updated on 2 April 2019

Alexander Roberts is Digital Humanities Manager/Research Data Manager at Swansea University and attended iPRES2018 with support from the DPC's Leadership Programme which is generously funded by DPC Supporters


Denmark and the Danish Archives Act 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2007

With preparations for iPres2019 in Amsterdam firmly underway and the deadline for submitting contributions having just passed, I have begun reflecting on some of the themes that resonated with me from last year’s amazing meeting at iPres2018. This was my first taste of the iPres experience, and it didn’t disappoint! My particular interests lie in computer science, IT areas including a focus on the performing arts (I’m a keen musician and composer). I found all of these areas well represented with keen and informed speakers elucidating on the finer points of applying arcane techniques and wizardly approaches to solving all sorts of digital preservation conundrums.

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Signed, Sealed, Delivered - Working on the DP Handbook 3.0

Sharon McMeekin

Sharon McMeekin

Last updated on 29 March 2019

After the launch of the 2nd edition, one of our key goals for the Digital Preservation Handbook was for it be a dynamic resource. It would be updated regularly and keep pace with developments in the community. With this in mind I was appointed ‘Managing Editor’ afHandbookHometer Neil Beagrie completed his sterling work developing the 2nd Edition.

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PASIG 2019, 12-14 Feb, El Colegio de México, Mexico City (part 1)

Rachel Tropea

Rachel Tropea

Last updated on 12 April 2019

Rachel Tropea is Senior Research Archivist at the University of Melbourne and and attended PASIG2019 with support from the DPC's Leadership Programme which is generously funded by DPC Supporters


Tropea 1a

Photo sourced from El Colegio de México, A.C. Available at https://www.colmex.mx/assets/slider/slide-folleto_original_16.jpg?1508794010 [accessed 9 March 2019].

This is my first of two blog posts about PASIG2019 held at El Colegio de México (pictured above) in Mexico City. Here I focus on the history and organisation of Preservation and Archiving Special Interest Group Meeting (PASIG), and in my next post I delve into the content of some of the presentations. With the list of conferences growing seemingly exponentially, PASIG is a stand out for people working in digital preservation and archives.

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The Application of Preservation Planning Templates to a Personal Digital Collection – Reflections on the Process

Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson

Last updated on 8 March 2019

Introduction

The PAWDOC collection was initiated in 1981 to support research into new office systems at the National Computing Centre in Manchester. The author continued to use the collection to manage all his documents throughout his subsequent IT career. The collection’s index contains six fields (Ref No, Title, Movement Status, Publication Date, Date Last Accessed, and Creation Date). Each of the 17,000 Index entries related to one or more of some 29,000 electronic files of a wide variety of file types stored in a Document Management System. The collection provides a unique snapshot of the development of computer use in industry, and of the impact on the day to day information load on professionals across the period of the introduction of the internet; and therefore seems worth trying to preserve.

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It's all about the money

Sarah Middleton

Sarah Middleton

Last updated on 6 March 2019

It was around this time four years ago that I (and other members of the 4C Project) were breathing huge sighs of relief. The Project had just been awarded an ‘Excellent’ rating by the European Commission Review Panel, but perhaps more significantly the Curation Costs Exchange (CCEx) had been born!

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First steps in a long journey

judith carr

judith carr

Last updated on 26 February 2019

Judith Carr is Research Data Manager at the University of Liverpool


The University of Liverpool became an associate member of the DPC in August 2018. At the time the nice people at DPC did not tell us that as a member you would be required to blog, nor that on their 2019 schedule we would be in Feb! This blog is rather like our digital preservation journey, a challenge.

We literally have only just started and none of us are experts! Nevertheless, we are trying in our small way to push digital preservation within the institution.

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Connecting the Bits 2.0 and the Digital Preservation Future(s)

Sarah Middleton

Sarah Middleton

Last updated on 22 February 2019

Connecting the Bits is one of the most important dates on the DPC calendar. It has changed over the years as the DPC has grown: initially just an extended working lunch for a small group of practitioners, it has grown to involve the whole of the Coalition’s membership. It is an opportunity for ALL members (whether Full Members or Associate Members, on the Board, Representative Council, Sub-Committee or none of those) to share their experiences with each other, identify shared challenges, and have a say in what we should do over the following 12 months.

For the last few years Connecting the Bits has been structured as an unconference.  This structure has allowed members to speak in detail and candidly about their plans.  This is important for the DPC as it allows us make sure our workplans are focussed very precisely on the needs of our members, and by extension the wider digital preservation community.

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Rings Around Me

William Kilbride

William Kilbride

Last updated on 22 February 2019

I fell into digital preservation pretty much by accident.  I am an archaeologist by training, inclining therefore to the slow lane of history.  I find a strange but productive juxtaposition between the hectic stylings of information technology and la longue durée of the archaeological record.  These themes have been for me an unexpected overture to a career in digital preservation where new technology and human history are in a sort of tension, occasionally even a sort of harmony.  But let me share an insight from this week, probably my favourite so far: there are records being created by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority with a lifecycle of around 10,000 years. Think about that. It means the records have to survive longer than writing has existed.  At the last count there were 5086 rings on the oldest surviving tree in the world, a bristle-cone pine in the White Mountains of California. These records have a lifecycle twice that long.  What’s a few thousand years between friends?

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