Skip to main content

The hidden value in archiving

By April 7, 2016Blog


This week a client asked if there was any chance we could pull out some footage we’d shot a while ago.  When I explained that wouldn’t be a problem as we archive everything we ever do, she was amazed.  All her work with us was with filming and editing and when projects were finished she had considered them ‘job done.’ 

This made me realise that archiving is quite literally the hidden service in media production.  It’s also one of the most important, because properly archived material that can be retrieved, with no loss of quality, can save a fortune in re-shooting.  For example, we recently refreshed a previous promotional production for the Royal Microscopical Society, which with new graphics and branding, was transformed to be bang up to date.  

Archiving can also deliver whole new dimensions to the creative treatment of any production. Adding in archived footage is incredibly effective in strengthening a story or illustrating a talking point.


As for how it happens, if you work with document archiving you’ll understand the process and standards required to store material on robust media, with a user-friendly retrieval system.

Video archiving works on similar principles, but because the files are massively larger than documents, you need storage media and a retrieval system that can handle the huge amount of data involved.

Here’s how we do it.  When a project is finished it stays on our server for four weeks, then archived to our professional grade LTO tape backup system.  LTO is industry-standard magnetic tape data storage, widely used by broadcasters, large companies and Government archives.  LTO tapes have no moving parts to wear and fail like traditional hard drives and are rated to last at least 30 years.  We keep our tapes in secure storage and can retrieve any project we’ve shot for you within a matter of days.

So when you’re talking to us about your next project, ask us about archiving.  

Matt Greetham is Senior Editor at Oxford Digital Media.