National Geo goes HD

National Geographic Film Library has hired Minneapolis-based post-production company Hi-Wire to convert more than 500 hours of film archives to high definition. The goal is to more easily meet the demands of customers, such as museums, that apply HD technology, or even TV programs like West Wing,
which request material in HD.

"This offering is going to be a mix of film and the stuff that is now being shot in HDCAM," says Matthew White, vice president, Film Library, National Geographic Television & Film. "It's obvious that, in order to supply the market with material from our archives, this is the only meaningful way. The only other way is incredibly time-consuming and problematic in how the film is handled."

According to Hi-Wire Vice President Larry Sexton, transferring the 12 million feet of film to HD will take three to four years. The facility's Spirit Datacine will be used for the transfer, and a daVinci 2K will do the color correction. It will be business as usual for other Hi-Wire customers, Sexton notes.

Hi-Wire will also handle fulfillment requests from National Geographics customers.