PFT-restored Associated Press archive digitisation wins Focal International Award 2014

Associated Press (AP) took home the award for Best Archive Restoration/Preservation Project at the eleventh FOCAL (Federation of Commercial Audiovisual Libraries) International Awards held on April 30 in London.

In 2011, AP engaged Prime Focus Technologies (PFT) to bulk digitise its archives after a stringent due diligence process. PFT utilized the unique skill sets of its global organization to digitize the film and tape archive, catalogue, manage, transcode and deliver AP’s priceless content for the digital audience. In total, 4 million files were delivered from 32,000 hours of AP archive material in less than 18 months.

“We wanted to digitize the archives so as to transform the business and better serve customers worldwide who are moving to file-based workflows”, said Alwyn Lindsey, Director, International Archives, AP. “Over 90% of the collection was only available on film or videotape. Some of the content was at risk due to degradation and format obsolescence. This bold project successfully digitized much of this content, so that for the first time, large swathes of late 20th century history is easily accessible, with online viewing. With this project, PFT helped preserve history for generations to come”.

PFT’s global delivery model, unmatched scale, expertise in restoration and hybrid cloud technology addressing the concerns around IP content security made it the preferred partner in this endeavor.  The success of this project is yet another accolade for Prime Focus’ award-winning London-based Archiving facility that is renowned for the complexity and range of work it undertakes.

In accepting the Award, Alwyn Lindsey said of the Prime Focus team ‘their customer service effort has been phenomenal’.

AP was able to harness the world-class expertise of Prime Focus’s London-based restoration and encoding team, whose award-winning archive film and video specialists had worked with them for many years.  Digitizing the archive followed a bespoke and highly efficient workflow. Once the film and video had been assessed, cleaned and digitized, the files were made available to the PFT teams in the UK and India via its award-winning, hybrid cloud-enabled Media ERP Technology platform, CLEARTM. The dedicated teams of cataloguers were automatically assigned files as they became available. After cataloguing and versioning, a high-res mezzanine file was created and four separate transcode files were produced and QCd automatically. The completed files were then pushed to AP’s London headquarters in Camden Town for upload to AP’s video platform. Dedicated connectivity between PFT and AP allowed instant access to the enormous volumes of content generated daily.

“We are thrilled to see AP win the award for its digitization project” said Ramki Sankaranarayanan, Founder and CEO, PFT. “AP can now make its valuable content available online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, accessible by anyone, anywhere in the world. We take immense pride in our association with AP and are humbled by the fact that we are instrumental in preserving unique footage of some of the most important events in history for the future”.

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