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How Yash Raj films archived a collection of 55 classics

Shubhra Rishi | Jan. 17, 2014
Yash Raj Films' stable of about 55 films needed a storage solution to ensure the safety of many of its classics and make them easy to re-purpose. IT had just the solution.

As the creator of timeless movies such as Kabhi Kabhie, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Dil To Pagal Hai, Yash Raj Films needs no proof of the amount of passion it brings to its business.

For the company, the drive to make memorable films and woo its audiences have ensured that it has stayed relevant for over 40 years. Whether it was Amitabh Bachchan in Silsila or Shahrukh Khan in Mohabbatein, or the recent Aamir Khan starrer Dhoom: 3, it's important for Yash Raj Films that each moment and every bit of the eternal romance built into these films is never lost.

The film company has a catalogue of about 55 outstanding triumphs to its credit and it strives to unceasingly produce its current average of seven to eight films per year.

To maintain this wealth of movies, the company was using a variety of devices such as servers, tape drives and HDDs. While it was a great start, it wasn't optimal.

Imagine, for instance, if Yash Raj Films decided to screen a 3D version of Silsila today; it would be tough to locate the film given its current storage arrangement. But, what perhaps worried executives at Yash Raj Films more, was the chance that some parts of a movie might be lost.

"Our film archive ran the risk of disk corruption or tape damage," says Dilip Patil, general manager-digital, Yash Raj Films. Each frame of a film was about 15 MB. In the event of a single frame being corrupted, it would mean losing time and productivity in identifying the frame and restoring it. Apart from the loss of art, this had a price attached to it.

"This would result in an enormous cost to the company and in turn, affect our distributors and audience at large," says Patil.

Yash Raj Films' stable of about 55 films needed a storage solution to ensure the safety of many of its classics and make them easy to re-purpose. IT had just the solution.

What YRF needed was a solution that could not only store its entire catalogue of film footage in a single location but also ensure content availability whenever it was required by all types of business stakeholders.

"We were keen to make the digital shift because we consider digitization as a preservation strategy and because it ensures the protection of materials that are in a fragile format. Also it would make it easier to chase new opportunities for this industry to recoup investments through the exploitation of new distribution channels and devices," says Patil.

After considering a number of options, Yash Raj Films chose a product to archive its film catalogue. "The solution allows us to integrate with our digital asset management software and the storage array lets us automate the meta-tagging process which was earlier a tedious manual task," says Patil.

 

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