Quality Assurance and Quality Control for Film-Based Motion Picture Products

Some aspects of QA for film-based media are well defined by standards bodies and other professional organizations such as ISO (International Organization for Standardization), ANSI (American National Standards Institute), NFPF (National Film Preservation Foundation) and IPI (Image Permanence Institute) as well as major commercial vendors such as KODAK. In addition, NARA has developed some in-house guidelines to meet internal needs.

  • Risk Assessment

    • NARA Motion Picture Condition At-Risk Assessment Guide: an in-house resource developed to record deterioration levels and other damage. This information is used to determine appropriate treatment options.
    • Acetate degradation is measured using A-D strips
    • Film shrinkage is measured using a shrinkage gauge.
  • Film Processing

    • Black and White Film

    • Color Film

    • Density

      • Control strips are created on a sensitometer for each new processing batch and evaluated on the densitometer. Adjustments are made to the processing chemicals as needed to achieve the desired neutral visual density reading of “1” on the control strip.
    • Methylene blue testing (implementation underway)

      • ISO 18917 1999 compliance: Methylene blue testing to measure residual thiosulfate and its decomposition products is of use in appraising the adequacy of washing and therefore the permanence of the silver image on photographic films, plates and papers. Inadequate washing can cause a loss in image density and the formation of stain in low-density areas.

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