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Why Pro8mm for Transferring Home Movies

Posted on October 19 2017

The responsibility of handling your precious archival material is one that we take very seriously. Home movies are original material and rarely are there copies. We strive to earn your trust and confidence by knowing that your personal films will be handled with the utmost care, professionalism and integrity.

Since we began our business in 1972 we have been tasked with handling the private images of the worlds most famous places and faces. From Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, and JFK, to Kurt Cobain, and Jackie Robbins (to name a few) we have seen the most incredible personal, intimate, organic histories through the camera lens. We are so humbled and grateful that we can have a hand in preserving history, not just for celebrities, but for the rest of us.

When you re-master your home movies or legacy material at Pro8mm, we apply the same workflow, quality, and integrity to your films as we do for when we archive for the entertainment industry. Earning your trust is extremely important to us.

Unlike the local big box, camera store, consumer transfer shop, or home hobbyist that can make a low quality transfer of your home movies, we can scan your film up to 5K to make the highest quality digital master of your film using state of the art professional scanning equipment.


Technology is in the constant state of evolution. As television screens and monitors offer us higher and higher resolution, we are getting more sophisticated as consumers of media. While no one can “future proof” that the digital standard you choose today will be the format of choice tomorrow, we can support you in bringing your film into your digital life at the highest possible quality currently available.

At Pro8mm, we have many choices for making a digital master of your material. It can be confusing what to choose. Think about your intended use for the material. Do you want to edit it? Share on social media? Use it in a documentary? Upload clips as stock footage for sale? Give copies to your family? Do you want your film color corrected? Discuss this with one of our project coordinators. We can help you choose a workflow that fits your vision and your budget.


We use the same scanning equipment on your home movies that is used for television shows, music videos, commercials and major motion pictures. Scanning your film to a digital file such as ProRes and stored on a hard drive gives you easy access and endless possibilities to use and share your film images now and in the future.

NEVER THROW AWAY YOUR ORIGINAL FILM: IT IS YOUR MASTER
THE PROCESS
Gather all your material. If you want the film transferred in a specific order, number your reels with a sharpie and we will transfer them to your specifications. Otherwise they will be transferred randomly by format (All 8mm, then all Super8mm, and then all 16mm). Don’t stress about the chronology. The beauty of having the material as data files on a drive is you can easily reorder the files on the hard drive, unlike a DVD that you cannot early edit.
Fill out the Pro8mm Digital Mastering Form.
Select your time frame (scheduled, a few days turn around time, or unscheduled, discounted price tier we call Home Movie Legacy with a few weeks turn around)
Send your films to us, FED-EX, signature required. This is the best safeguard to protect your original material during transport.

PREP FOR SCANNING
• When the film arrives, we will inventory your archive and prepare a quote based on the specs provided on the digital mastering form. Each reel will get a twin check label which is a 4 digit number on the original film box or reel, and the matching 4 digit label will go on your paper work. The same 4 digit number will go on your new archival safe film box and on your hard drive. This is the way you can cross reference your material, and add any information that might be written that you want to identify
• Our lab tech will hand clean your film, check splices, wrapping a new splice over any broken or weak ones instead of cutting the film so you do not loose a frame. We will replace the old leader with new archival safe leader. This process is part of our commitment to give you back your film as a proper archive. Clean film with new leader will increase the life of the film should you ever want to rescan it in the future.
• For 8mm and Super8mm, we will combine smaller reels
together scanning 200 feet at a time. This is how the material will be returned to you. The twin check number system is a cross reference system so you can identify the original reel to the new reel and the same number will be used on your data files so you know what the material is.

Sometimes there is important information written on the original film boxes. We call this meta data. For example, your reels might say something like Christmas 1968, Dad’s 40th birthday party, Hawaii 1970

WHAT YOU GET BACK, STORAGE AND BEYOND
You will be getting back your film as a proper archive on new archival safe reels and boxes, with the proper amount of archival safe leader, heads and tails. We will also send you back the original reels, unless you request that we do not. The return of your original reels will increase your return shipping cost. If you want your film put back on the original reels (which we do not recommend for preservation purposes) there is an additional charge called “un-prepping” the film. The digital files will be on a hard drive, and labeled by twin check number.
Store your original film in the middle of the house, not an attic or basement. 65 degrees is recommended. This will help increase the longevity of your film incase you ever need to transfer it again. Always go back to the original film for future transfers for best quality. NEVER throw away your original film!

4K Archiving for 8mm Film from Phil Vigeant on Vimeo.

 

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