How We Transfer Film Differently
All 8mm and 16mm film has been sitting for years. During that time, the aging process has been hard at work degrading your film. Our cleaning and reconditioning process is a must to get the best possible picture quality during your transfer to DVD or External drive.
The cleaning process and materials we use are the same as those used by film archives around the world. We use a professional film cleaning solution that soaks two linen pads. Your film is slowly guided between these pads. This solution cleans dust and debris from the film, and more importantly, it cleans built up oxidation from your film.
This oxidation makes your film less clear and it is also what eats away at your film as it builds up. The cleaning and reconditioning process also lubricates your film and applies a protective layer to your film that helps prevent future oxidation.
The result is a better picture on your DVD and a longer life for the film. This cleaning solution is expensive though. That’s why many services like ours will use alcohol instead. Watch out for this. Alcohol is a drying agent and can damage your film. It is not recommended as a film cleaner.
While the cleaning process is going on, we are also inspecting existing splices and replacing them as necessary. 50 foot reels are also spliced together onto larger reels so long term storage will be more convenient for you.
This process alone takes about as long as most others will spend running your film. An hour of film takes about an hour to clean and recondition, the same amount of time the other guys will take to do your entire job.
Frame by Frame Film Scanning
The next step is the frame by frame film transfer. Your film goes through our film scanner that takes a separate scan of each frame of your film. This is the secret to a clear and accurate digital transfer. This step alone takes two to three times the running length of your film.
After the frame by frame transfer is complete, the files captured by the computer are then edited. We adjust contrast, brightness and color to make your film transfer look as good as possible. This isn’t just an automatic process either. We actually review your footage scene by scene and make adjustments manually. This is another painstaking process that helps you get the best possible quality from your film.
Disk Encoding and Burning:
and software combination. While this takes longer than connecting the video camera to a DVD recorder during the transferring process, you will agree that the extra time is well worth it. After all, if this encoding process is not done well, you would lose a significant amount of quality and that just isn’t acceptable to us. Once the MPEG 2 files are created, it is time to burn the DVD disk.
Your menu screen and disk label (labels are printed directly on the disk, not a stick on label) will have pictures chosen from the film as a nice touch, but the best part is that we use only the top of the line disks in existence. We use only the top brand gold archival DVD disk there is. This means that while other DVDs will fail after only a few years, these disks are tested and rated to last well over100 years. This is the longest lasting disk there is, even among other gold disk brands.
This entire process takes between 7 and 8 times the running length of your film and the extra care at every step translates to a more enjoyable, more accurate, and longer lasting DVD than any other that we know of.