Metadata, DAM, and MAM, oh my!

Recently a client asked about implementing a Digital Asset Management system. And a part of the system included capturing metadata from his film library. Of course we always capture any available data when we transfer films. A typical job could involve a few reels to thousands of reels. Many film cans and sleeves contain information about the film, notes that were made, loose slips of paper within the cans, and notes taped to the film reel or core. this is important information that needs to be captured and delivered along with the film transfer itself. For smaller batches we usually compile this info into a spreadsheet for the client. For larger batches a database needs to be considered. Most larger clients may already have a DAM system in place, or will be implementing a system internally. In this case, we were asked to help with that process.


There are many commercial and open-source DAM products on the market. But at the basic level, you must create a controlled vocabulary to describe the media assets, compile each data record into a system of description, which is the DAM itself, and link the digital files to the database record. The data can live locally, on a server, or be cloud-based on a remote server. And the devil is in the details.

Below are some references to the data were are compiling for this project.

Client Comments

quote1-40The preview disc you sent looks stunning--over the weekend, I put it up on a large screen at UCSC with a Christie projector just to check and Moumen Smihi was thrilled. We showed his Si Moh that you did and it also looked great.
Peter Limbrick, Associate Professor, Film and Digital Media , UC Santa Cruzquote2-40

quote1-40I premiered many scenes from your recent 35mm transfers in the new Lost Landscapes of San Francisco, and they were a HUGE hit. I am very much looking forward to doing more work with you. Thanks so much!
Rick Prelinger, The Prelinger Archivesquote2-40

quote1-40I just had to let you know how happy my client was with the quality of the 8mm film transfer you did for him. At 6000 ft of film (25 years of his families' life) there was a lot to deal with. Your technical expertise was very helpful in choosing the right digital format both for the subsequent edit we went through, and in hitting my clients budget and quality concerns. Feel free to use me as a reference at anytime. The whole experience was professional and very easy. Once again thank you.
John Kelly, Scott Video Productionsquote2-40

quote1-40These look great! Thanks so much for sending! Thanks! More on the way soon!
Steve Stanchfield, Thunderbean Animationquote2-40