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Greatstock future-proofs film heritage for the digital age

With a proven usable lifespan of over 100 years, the medium of film provides a vivid record of life through the ages. It is thus the only medium that can assure longevity of your visual assets in a constantly changing landscape. The Film Store division of Greatstock, SA's leading provider of visual solutions, is currently the only facility in the country offering expert film storage services.

MD of Greatstock, Margi Sheard says, "Film is a medium that is actually capable of 'future-proofing' your content by keeping up to date with the rapidly emerging standards of HD, 2K and 4K. We are passionate about brand heritage and fostering a culture of preservation when it comes to all production assets."

It is forecast that by 2018, 42% of all televisions sold will be ultra-high definition 4K screens. On these, and the increasing number of other large screen devices, older formats simply don't cut it, so retaining important film elements is the key to ensure your film assets can be used into the future.

Bringing content into the modern era

According to Sheard, many brands have invaluable assets which can easily be brought into the modern era. As seasoned producers of high-end television commercials and long-form productions, Greatstock has both the expertise and technology to extract and optimise key film content for clients.

"We select, edit and supervise the high-resolution scanning of content to the highest digital standards and back it up to LTO," explains Sheard, adding that this can range from product specific shots to full-length films and iconic brand advertising. She adds that the company has the means to preview film negative cost-effectively, before proceeding to scan selects to suitable hi-res digital formats.

The Greatstock Film Store facility includes two separate SABS-standard vaults for film and digital media storage, in the form of film, videotapes, external drives and LTO tapes. The vaults are monitored by security 24/7, protected by smoke detection and fire-retardant systems, and fitted with extensive temperature, pollution and humidity controls.

By producers, for producers

Beyond storage and digitisation, Greatstock also manages production assets through leading-edge systems which have been designed by producers for producers. These customised, user-friendly platforms can be created purely for clients' private use, be open to the public or accessed by registered users with certain controls in place.

"In the space of one year, we have achieved an audited saving of more than R4m for one of our multinational clients," says Sheard. "This has been achieved through carefully managing their film assets over time, vetting them for potential re-purposing and transferring selected shots to the best current standards to ensure longevity, then providing easy access to the content."

For more information on Greatstock and its Film Store division visit or contact Elizabeth Muir-Gouws on 011 880 2037 or 071 857 6336.

9 Oct 2014 13:22