8mm, Super8 and 16mm - The Transfer Process
Many of us have old 8mm, Super 8 and 16mm sitting in boxes that we rarely watch since we have to set up the projector, set up a screen, spool the film, etc. These precious memories are sitting there just drying up. Why not let us transfer your films to DVD? Let us explain how the process works:
Step 1: Film Cleaning and Preparation Before Transfer
Your film is cleaned, restored, and repaired if necessary. Old splices will be replaced and leader will be added to each reel. In the unlikely event that the film can not be transferred, you will be contacted immediately. Three inch film reels may be spliced on to larger reels with leader material left on to separate individual movies.
Step 2: Digitizing During Film Transfer A trained operator usesÂ custom engineered telecine equipment which passes the light image of the movie film directly into a professional video camera, hence the term "film to video". A single high quality photographic lens is used on our projectors. No screen or frosted glass is used in the conversion (such as the consumer film to video box from the 1970's). The entire frame of film is visible during the conversion. The standard film gate of an 8mm or super 8mm film projector would cut out some of the image, but our capture extends to the edge of the sprocket holes. Our cameras are professional 3CCD cameras from the Sony DXC series. This setup is optimized for recording very small images such as 8mm film frames. We do not use the Elmo Transvideo telecine projector or Goko telecine projectors designed over 20 years ago, which are unfortunately still used by some in film to video transfer. Likewise, we do not use DV camcorders. Our DXC camera with 1,140,000 pixels offers 40% higher resolution than any MiniDV or DV camcorder. We are capable of focusing on the individual grains of film which makeup each frame. Because the grains of film are visible we can know that the resolution of the transfer is limited only by the film itself and not the camera or transfer process. Your picture will be the absolute best as the film allows it to be.
Step 3: Color Adjustments During Conversion The projected light image is separated into the three primary colors and digitally processed. The DXC cameras have large 1/2" CCD's and unique PowerHad technology which help with low light situations and great colors. An auto white tracing feature constantly adjusts and corrects many blue and red color shifts. For example, if your teeth and the clouds and everything else that should be white are actually blue from a color shift the digital processor in the camera adjusts these back to white and removes the excess blue from the rest of the 8mm film frame as much as possible. The results are outstanding for many 8mm film movies which were improperly exposed or super 8mm film which often has blue and red color shifts. Of course, there are limitations to this technology (extreme color shifts may be impossible to correct) but such attempts at improving your movies are a must. An operator constantly monitors and adjusts during the film to video transfer. Each frame of film is saved as a frame of digital video. During this process the frame rate of the 8mm movie is adjusted and synchronized so it can be displayed with no flicker. The cameras digital processor adjusts the colors, taking out the human guesswork and delayed reaction to constant changes. The operator is able to adjust the amount of light required to optimize your movie depending on its exposure level. Relying solely on a camera iris for exposure adjustments is insufficient, we are actually adjusting the amount of light used in the film transfer process. The many adjustments we are able to make during the transfer is unique to us and is much more sophisticated than simple brightness control.
Step 4: Direct Transfer 8mm to DVD To transfer 8mm to DVD directly clean video signals (all of the original high quality) are sent to various recording devices simultaneously. Super 8mm sound film is transferred with the original soundtrack. We convert 8mm to the same MPEG2 format used to record Hollywood movies to DVD. We use high-grade DVD media and print your customized title directly on the DVD. Your movies are never double compressed such as the conversion of 8mm film to DV (digital tape) and then to DVD. Of course we never transfer 8mm film or Super 8mm film to VHS and then use the VHS to make a DVD. VHS and other analog tapes are acceptable for viewing but their resolution is far lower than DVD or Mini-DV. Using VHS for a master tape is not recommended unless no other source is available. Many customers have sent us 8mm and super8 film originals that they had previously transferred to VHS and were amazed at the difference of our transfer to DVD.
Step 5: Adding Music, Editing and Menus After you receive your DVD back from us, you can then add music, backgrounds or editing of your new film. Just contact us and we can perform the changes requested. Each edited video costs $20.00. We use the LED Transfer method. Our cool LED light source eliminates HEAT, heat that comes from a bulb that is normally used in the film transfer process. What does this mean to you?
Your film is 100% safe from heat No Burning, Scorching or Melting More Detail Deeper, Richer Color
Q. How many feet of film will fit on one DVD?A. Roughly 1500 feet of film on one DVD. This can vary due to the sizes of your reels and other factors. As a rule of the thumb we can get 24-27 three inch reels on one DVD. We can typically get 3 seven inch reels on one DVD. MiniDV hold slightly less than a DVD. The tapes hold one hour of footage or approximately 1000 feet of film.