|What if I don’t know
order my films should be transferred in?
It is usually best to
films transferred in chronological order. If you do not know which
films are oldest, look for ‘hints’ on the film boxes. Sometimes there
is a date stamped on the box from the post office or a film expiration
date. Other times, someone has written on the film reel ‘Tommy’s 1st
Birthday” or “Christmas - 1957”.
If your projector is working, you may watch the
so you will know what order to put them in. However, if the film starts
to be ‘eaten’ by your projector, you may be causing irreparable damage
to your films. Family film projectors may
not have been used that much, but they are still 'old' and may have
internal corrosion or dry rotted parts. Be very careful! If
your film breaks, we can splice it, but if the sprocket holes on the
film are stretched and torn, that type of damage to your films cannot
be repaired. If your projector isn’t working properly,
use the hints mentioned above to get your films in the best order that
My movies are so old!
there is nothing on them?
For family movies, 8mm and 16mm film is an
format. All films are slowly deteriorating, but, if your films have
been stored indoors, away from high heat and humidity, they are
probably still in pretty good condition. What we normally see on family
movies is that the films are changing color tones and fading. For
example, the sky may now start to look purple instead of blue or what
was originally a red dress, now appears orange. The good news is that
the precious images of family, friends and of ‘days gone by’ are
normally still there and generally in pretty good condition!
Any films or portions of film that are all
all white are not transferred. However, you may see brief periods (1-2
seconds) of a black or white screen on your video.
You should 'smell' your films --- if their
mild and can be described as smelling 'old' or 'musty', this is common
and your films are likely to be in fair condition. If they smell
strongly like vinegar or have a strong chemical smell, this indicates
that your films are chemically decomposing. This IS NOT a good sign!
Anything that can be salvaged should be transferred right away.
How many reels or feet of
can I get on a videotape?
Usually 30 to 35 of the small (three inch
50 foot) film reels (about 1600-1800 feet of film) will fit onto a
standard DVD disk or VHS videotape.
How do I know whether I
Regular or Super 8mm film?
The sprocket hole sizes on each film type are
different. Also, the center hole in the middle of the reel that fits on
the projector arm is of a different size. For video transfer, you do
not need to know this information. If you do not already have a
particular order that your films should be transferred in then we will
sort out the reels for you and do the regular 8mm films first (since
they are probably the oldest).
film in cartridges or cases made by Polavision, Technicolor or Lanier Tel-Edisette Videotronic?
Yes. In order to
perform the transfer, we must remove the Super 8mm film from those
casings and splice the film onto a traditional 8mm film reel. The
cartridges are destroyed it the process, but
the original film is not harmed and will be returned to you along with your transfer on
DVD, digital tape, etc. Pricing for this service is different than the
standard film transfer pricing - please call us for a quote.
Why should I order copies?
By having your films transferred to video,
copies can be made and shared with all the family members involved
(with films, there is only one set so only one person has them). DVDs
are 'digital' so all copies are equal in quality. For additional VHS
copies we run the electronic digital signal simultaneously to up to 20
VCR’s. This means that every family member will get an equally high
quality copy of the family movies on videotape. One person does not get
the ‘original’ and everyone else a copy made from the original.
We include a FREE music background on all your films. The exception to
this is ‘sound movies’. We do not add music to these because that would
cover up your original soundtrack.
the background music sound like?
The music that we use as a
was written especially for video transfer. It is orchestral music (no
vocal or lyrics). The mood is sentimental and nostalgic. It is very
fitting for video transfer and accentuates the home movies.
sample of the music played in the background of the old home movies: