Diamonds and Rust was a song written and performed by Joan Baez, released about the same time that this series was aired. Film and videotape start to “rust” in just a few short years after they are recorded. The emulsion and substrate material degrades almost no matter what you do. Preservationists have saved many of our greatest motion pictures and television programs from this fate, but thousands more were neglected and have been lost to time.
Unlike diamonds, that never lose their luster, film and tape will not last if not carefully preserved and transferred onto a electronic medium. The price of doing this job right is high, but so too is the reward to those who make the investment. DeBeers and the other diamond merchants have millions of carats of diamonds tucked away in vaults around the world. If you think about it, almost every diamond that was ever mined, cut and polished into a gem quality stone is still around somewhere. Unlike the film and video tape archives of our culture, they are not rusting away, soon to be lost to oxidation and chemical breakdown.
This is one of the reasons that Len Grossi, the former president of Sony Television, Tony Friscia, the former VP of contracts at Warner Brothers, and I formed Media Content Group last year. We are like miners who help content creators and their heirs bring their gems out of the vault and find new markets and new audiences to appreciate them once more. Google, Yahoo, MSN, YouTube and many other web video outlets have opened up the world to enjoy for the first time some of these masterworks of film and television.
If you, or someone you know, owns the rights to entertainment or educational content that is not being seen and earning the creators income, please contact me here and we will help bring these diamonds into the light.