Recovering the Old Forums (need help?)

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  • #174482

      Hello Roger and staff,

      happy new year to all of you.

      I wanted to ask if there are news about recovering the information in the old forums.

      I also wanted to offer my help in case it were needed – I recovered dozens of forums and websites that seemed irreparably lost, and would be willing to help with this if needed, at no costs for the community. Can point to my LinkedIn page if needed.

      The information posted in these forums over the past 10 years is just invaluable – for those interested in cinematography, for those making movies, and for those who just love cinema.

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    • #174505
      simon m

        I’ve been thinking and feeling the same thing, and am so glad someone with the skillset has offered help. Thanks for stepping forward. The loss of the last ten years  of discussions with Roger and others would be tragic. cheers.


          This would be great and important.


            Hey folks –

            What really really matters is that backups of the database from before the crash are being kept – as long as those are available, the content can be recovered, within this system or within other forum software. Even if the database in the backup is somewhat damaged, something can usually be done with custom import scripts.

            Otherwise you can attempt data recovery on the drives, but that might be trickier and trickier as time passes.

            Max A.

              I agree, I just “offered” my cent some weeks ago with the internet archive link but recovering the forum would be fantastic.
              It is a giant source of information and sharing.
              I really hope that there will be a solution maybe with the help of skilled people over this wonderful platform.

              Happy new year to all of you!

              rama lingam

                Hello Roger and James is there any possible way to recover whole forums. There are plenty of priceless information in old forum. Kindly take some action to recover the old forum

                rama lingam

                  Hi Mike If website’s failed then Roger and James teaching intentions also failed. If they don’t recover, their hard work will be meaningless. Why it was started for will end in failure. So they both reconsider to get back old forum while their free time.

                  rama lingam

                    I forgot to tell one thing. Forum is very better than podcasts. I think every forum member will accept this. This website’s also not in perfect structure. Podcasts is not much use until they rectify website’s


                      1. Be grateful for whatever Roger and James can give you in terms of their time and experience.

                      2. The podcasts are an entirely different thing than this forum, they are wonderful interviews with filmmakers talking about their careers, their lives, and their art.  No reason to compare the podcast to the forum.

                      3. The value of some things are not in their utility, not in what practical use they are for you. Some things just enrich you as a person, as an artist.


                        Thanks David for your comments. It’s disappointing to me that people can outright say that we have lost interest and seek the vanity of a podcast. The truth is that I was using a specific software for the previous forum, it failed and I am trying to figure out the way to retrieve the information. It’s not easy. Computer programming is not my day job but I do my best.

                        It’s surprising that some people can make statements about our intentions or outlook without any basis. Incredible.

                        Roger Deakins

                          Thanks to everyone who makes this site useful. And I for one would like to express a special thanks to James for both the site and the podcast. It obviously does not register with some people just how much work my wife puts into each.

                          Instead of criticizing James and myself for, supposedly, losing interest in the site perhaps you could save it for the person who hacked us. They are, after all, the reason the old posts no longer exist.  If we had the technology and, quite frankly, the time to retrieve them we surely would.



                            I’m not sure what made anyone believe that James and Roger lost interest in the site. They literally run it for us, not for them. Not a single ad. They answer every question.

                            This site to me has and always will be one of the very few, precious bastions in a shallow but screaming online world. Even after years I’m still in disbelief that these two industry giants engage with me at eye level, so…

                            Thank you James and Roger!


                              Reading this thread makes me very sad.

                              I want to thank you, James especially and Roger, for your unbelievable work. Everyone who ever worked on podcasts or a forum knows how much work it is.
                              As a fan of both the podcast and the forum (and someone who for most of the time was just a quiet listener and reader) I deeply admire the 10 years of work you put into giving other people an insight into your wonderful work and into education. For me, you both (!) are a huge inspiration and a big reason I am now on the best way to start a career in cinematography. As I can only speak for myself, but you both not only helped me on understanding the art but on how to find a voice and how to work in a team. That someone can do great artistic work AND be a descent and wonderful human being.

                              I hope that some of those comments do not keep you from this forum or from making your podcast. I am sure there is a great amount of people who silent readers and listeners like me who deeply appreciate your work.

                              And I just wish you that you will find a way to recover the old forums so that 10 years of your work aren’t gone. Maybe people who offered their help can do sth for you? As for the others, the old forum was a great source of knowledge who I came often to to learn.
                              But I will also not stop to ask questions, some of which pbb already have been in the old forum. 😉 Like this maybe we can build a new knowledge base together.

                              Hope you are doing well, wish you all the best!

                              simon m

                                Yes, thank you James and Roger! This site and podcasts have been an absolute wealth of information and insight for so, so many of us since the first forum until this one. All thanks to your generosity and efforts. Personally, anything of value that I know about cinematography, I can trace back to you both and this site, so thank you, thank you, thank you.

                                James, I understand rebuilding this forum and retrieving the old  postings is a daunting task, and not your chosen profession. The OP of this thread ‘Magneticat’ is offering their expertise and time to assist you. Is that a possibility? Like everyone, I just hope all those wonderful conversations aren’t lost.

                                Thanks again, and all the best to you both.


                                  Hello James and Roger –

                                  my original post was just an offer to help you recover the old forums, if you still have backups or data stored somewhere (or attempt a recovery even if the situation is more desperate than that). While I studied history of cinema and directing (20 years ago!) circumstances brought me elsewhere, so I worked specifically on internet forums and as a programmer for the past 20 years. This is my line of work, and I do not want any compensation for my services – regaining access to the old content is reward enough and it is my way to give back to the community. I can share my Linkedin, if needed.

                                  Anyhow, even if you do not want or need external help, for the time being, just make sure you store backups from before the hack. Many hosting services keep old backups for a limited period of time – so unless you have made your own copies locally, old backups containing a copy of the old database might be cycled out and removed permanently. I can work also with data recovery (so, deleted databases with no backups, etc.) – provided the host allows the access to do so – but it might be difficult to retrieve data from a few months ago.

                                  No criticism was implied in my original post, I know very well how busy you both must be, and I value the podcast just as much as I value the forum. Invaluable resources.



                                    Could you contact me on webmaster @ I would love it if you could help me figure out how to reconstitute the posts. Thanks so much.

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