Frequently Asked Questions

General:

Shipping:

Payment and Sales Tax:

Cameras and Film:

Processing and Transfer:

Discounts and Packages:

Misc:

Troubleshooting:

 

GENERAL


What is your mailing address, phone and general email?

2805 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505
818-848-5522 (tel)
818-848-5956 (fax)
info@pro8mm.com

 

What are your retail hours of operation?

Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm.
We are closed on weekends. We can accommodate a weekend opening if requested for a $1,000 charge and a minimum of 4 hours of transfer time. Our on line store is always open!

 

Do you have an after hours drop box?

We have an after hours slot in our front door for those who wish to drop film off at night or on weekends. We do not advise dropping off hard drives bulky packages or extremely valuable films through the slot. These should be handled through one of our sales associates.

 

Can I place an order over the phone?

We are happy to take orders over the phone. You will however be asked to provide a Work Order form and Credit Card Authorization form. International orders may also require a photo ID or other forms of verification.

 

How do I fill out the Work Order and Digital Mastering Form?

The Work Order form is required for all jobs. The work order form collects information about the client, the type and quantity of films coming in, and also credit card information and return shipping information. If you are filling out this form for a film transfer, Prep & Clean is required. (If you have purchased a film and transfer all-inclusive package, prep & clean is already included.)

The Digital Mastering form specifies the details of a film transfer. Check the appropriate box in each section for the various options such as HD or SD transfer, the scan rate, the file format, and framing.

All forms can be downloaded from on our website under "Forms" in drop down menu.

 

SHIPPING


Do you ship internationally?

Yes we do. Clients from all around the world purchase from us and use our services. We use FedEx for international shipments. Options are available at checkout from our on line store or from your sales associate.

 

Is there duty on my international shipment?

You local customs office will advise you of any duty that is owed when the package arrives in your country. Customers will be responsible for paying any applicable import duties and taxes. Charges may vary based on the contents of the order. Customers are advised to contact their local customs office for further information on current import regulations.

 

Can you use my FedEx account for shipping my order?

We apologize that we cannot use client supplied shipping accounts.

 

How much will it cost to ship my film?

Pro8mm uses standard FedEx rates and options including ground, priority overnight, standard overnight, 2-day, express saver, international, and Saturday delivery. Standards rates will apply depending on what you select on your work order form. 

 

Now that I have shot my film, I need to send it you for processing. What do I do?

Once your film is shot, you will need to send it to Pro8mm (2805 West Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505) for processing. You may ship your film to us via any ship method. Please include a completely filled out Work Order Form. It is also helpful to us if you supply a copy of your original invoice (especially if you purchased a film package that included transfer). If you had a film package including transfer, please supply a Digital Mastering form. You can download the forms from our website and you should have received a copy of them with your original shipment. Remember to fill the form out completely, including payment information, as you are responsible for the return shipping costs. We used FedEx published rates and there are a number of different prices based on whether you want it shipped ground, overnight, or anything in between.  

 

Payment and Sales Tax:


What are your terms of payment?

Due to the large number of customers who use our products and services for non-funded productions and "works in progress," we regret that we cannot offer credit terms, lay away or open account options. Payment must be made in full upon delivery. We regret that we cannot release materials or equipment until full payment has been made.

 

What forms of payment do you accept?

Pro8mm accepts Cash, Check, MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express. We also accept PayPal and Wire Transfers. All international transactions must be paid in U.S. dollars. Fees will apply.

 

Why do I have to fill out a credit card authorization form?

Film production is often spread out over various offices, locations, and staff members. It is not uncommon to have several contact people for a project. In order to protect our clients from unauthorized use of their credit cards, duplicate orders, etc, we will not take a credit card number over the phone. We require a credit card authorization form to be filled out and signed by the person who owns the credit card. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We do not have open accounts. All goods and services must be paid in full upon completion. We do not keep credit cards on file. If you are working with us on a longer project that spans over several weeks or months, and plan to use the same card every time, please discuss this with your sales associate so that you do not have to submit a new form for each transaction.

 

Do you accept international wire transfers?

Yes, we accept wire transfers from Foreign Banks in U.S. dollars. Please speak to a sales associate for wire instructions. Fees will apply.

 

What if my organization requires a purchase order?

Pro8mm allows purchase orders from college and university programs only, not individuals. Payment terms are net 30.

 

What is your return/refund policy?

Pro8mm has a no refund/no return policy. All sales are final. We regret that we cannot exchange any film stock for a different stock once it has left our facility. This is so we can insure the highest possible standards of quality control.

 

CAMERAS AND FILM


What's the difference between Pro8 and Super 8 film?

Pro8 film is our brand, and the name given to negative Super 8 film stocks. These are the same gauge as any other Super 8 film stock, except they are film stocks that cannot be projected. We call them Pro8 films because they are made from the same emulsions as those used professionally for motion pictures, offering much more exposure latitude and resolution.

 

What's the difference between negative and reversal film?

Reversal film is a positive image that can be directly projected onto a wall or screen while Negative film has to be transferred to digital in order to view the images without the inverted colors. If you try to project negative film, you will not see a good image. The advantage of shooting on negative film is that there is much more exposure latitude and resolution, capturing more information on the film. The advantage of shooting on reversal film is that it can be projected.

 

What type of film does a Max8 camera take?

Max8 cameras can shoot with any normal Super 8 cartridge. This includes both Pro8 and Super 8 film stocks. The modification is in the camera, not the film. The advantage of shooting on Max 8 is that you get 20% more image on the frame because it utilizes the area once reserved for the audio track.

 

Why sell film with processing included?

In order to streamline the process, we sell all film stocks with prepaid processing. This includes the film we reformat from 35mm Kodak and Fuji stocks, and the Kodak Super 8 film stocks that are repackaged with our labels to show that processing has been included with the purchase. This makes it easy to just drop the film off or send it when it's ready for processing.

 

How long can I store the film?

For best results, it is recommended to shoot on fresh film stock and have it processed promptly after shooting. All photographic films degrade gradually over time and this rate is affected by various factors including temperature and humidity. It is therefore best to use the film within a few months of purchase. If you plan to store the film for extended periods of time, keeping it dry in the freezer will slow the rate of degradation and keep the film fresh for longer. It is not recommended to store exposed film for more than a few weeks after shooting as the images can degrade significantly if not processed.

 

Do the cameras record sound?

Super 8 film stocks with the magnetic sound stripe are no longer manufactured and therefore it is no longer possible to record sound directly onto the film using a Super 8 sound camera. However, it is possible to record sync sound on a separate audio recorder while shooting with a crystal-sync Super 8 camera available at Pro8mm. This is known as 'double-system recording'. The motors in these cameras are crystal-controlled to ensure consistency in the filming speed, so they remain in perfect synchronization with the sound recorder.

 

Can my camera shoot on Pro8 film?

Pro8 films come in the same cartridges as any other Super 8 film. As long as your camera works it should be able to take the film. However, not all cameras have the correct ASA settings to read the film properly. Very simple cameras may only read up to ASA 160, which means if you're shooting with a faster stock, the automatic exposure settings will still rate for ASA 160. This isn't necessarily a problem when shooting on negative stocks because of the wide range of exposure latitude. Film can be overexposed or underexposed and it can be easily corrected when the film is transferred. Another thing to be aware of is the camera's take-up torque. Modern film stocks are thicker than the film stocks that the cameras were originally designed for, and may be a little more difficult to pull through the camera if the take-up is too weak.

 

When do I use the 85 filter?

You'll need to use the 85 filter when shooting in daylight conditions using tungsten film. On most cameras you can tell that the filter is in place when you switch to the "sun" symbol. And the filter is out of place when you switch to the "light bulb" symbol.

 

PROCESSING AND TRANSFER


Do you process Kodachrome or other outdated films?

Specific chemicals for outdated film stocks are unavailable and are difficult to recreate. Kodachrome processing ceased worldwide at the end of 2010 and it is no longer possible to normally process Kodachrome film. There is, however, a way to cross-process Kodachrome using alternative chemicals to produce a black and white negative, which has to be scanned to be viewed. Other outdated films can also be processed in alternative chemicals to produce usable images. The turnaround time for this type of processing can take up to 3 months, and there is no guarantee that an image will be produced because of the age of the film and the alternative process involved. Check with a sales associate for more information.

 

What's the turnaround time for film processing and transfer?

Pro8mm is proud to offer next day turn around for film processing and scanning. If the film is dropped off at our Burbank facility before 10:30 am, it is usually processed and scanned, ready for pick-up or shipment by 4:00pm the following business day. Turnaround times are schedule permitting and may vary based on the volume of film, your output options, etc. But 2 days is or average turn-around. 

We do offer same day turn arounds at an additional rush charge per run. These rush services are not guaranteed and the fee will not be charged if we are unable to perform the services within the requested timeframe. Please plan ahead if you have important deadlines to meet. 

 

What's the difference between a One-Light and Scene-to-Scene Color Correction?

When film is transferred using the one-light method, a basic correction is set according to what looks best for the footage and then it is transfered. This means that the colorist doing the transfer does not color-correct every single scene. It takes 15 minutes of machine time to transfer 10 minutes of footage with this method (1.5:1 scan ratio). A scene-to-scene transfer takes significantly longer because in this case, the colorist color-corrects the footage shot by shot, and makes corrections to improve the end result to the best possible quality. This option is ideal especially if the roll of film was shot under various lighting and exposure conditions. It takes 30 minutes of machine time to transfer 10 minutes of footage with this method (3:1 scan ratio).

 

I found some old film that has been shot and is still in the cartridge. Can you process and scan it?

There are different chemical processes for developing different types of film. Some of them are no longer available and may have to be cross-processed using alternative chemicals. There is a chance that the images on the film would have faded due to the age and large gap in time from when it was shot and when it was processed, so there is a risk involved. Scanning is the easy part and can be done with any film. You can reivew our Processing page under products for more information on the stocks we can process in house. 

 

I have very old reels of film that I want to transfer to digital. Can it be done?

We can transfer any type of 8mm, Super 8 or 16mm film to digital. If the film is old, there's a chance the film may be damaged (cracked/torn/shrunk) if it wasn't stored properly. Before a transfer is done, the film will have to be prepared for the transfer. This involves putting all the films on a large reel, adding leader to the ends, cleaning, re-splicing certain segments and repairing some damage as necessary. Here it is determined if the film can be scanned safely.

 

Should I scan at 18 or 24 fps?

We recommend that all film be shot at 24 fps. Most Super 8 films were shot at 18 fps during its heyday, especially home movies. Today, most films are shot at the standard 24 fps. Scanning at the same frame rate as the film was shot would give you a natural look, as the movements would look normal (not sped up or slowed down). When scanning to HD, 24 fps gives you the best results because the machine and file formats are set up for this modern standard. While the film cartridge can last longer when shot at 18 fps, it also takes more time to scan.

 

What is the difference between a supervised and an unsupervised transfer?

A supervised transfer is a client-attended transfer. There may be times when a client has a specific look in mind or wants certain creative control over the images, so supervising the transfer as it's taking place and letting the colorist know what you want can be beneficial. If a job is being done unsupervised, the colorist makes adjustments and color-corrects according to what he thinks looks best.

 

How do I provide my hard drive for the film transfer?

You may provide your own hard drive for the film transfer as long as it is empty and reformat ready. Please make sure it is sent in before the scheduled session. Either mail the hard drive to our Burbank facility or bring it to our retail store in Burbank (9am - 5pm Monday-Friday). Check to make sure there is enough space available to fit the files. Alternatively, we suggest that you purchase a new drive from us, which may end up being much more cost efficient. We are resellers of G-Tech and LaCie drives which are professional drives, highly recommended for their reliability over some consumer brands. This will save you time and money on the cost of shipping your drive to us.

 

What file format should I output to for editing on my computer?

The different file format options handle data differently. Footage transferred at a higher quality format will take up a significantly larger amount of hard drive space than footage transferred at a lower quality format. It might be tempting to go for the best, uncompressed option, but this means that every minute of footage will take up around 12 GB of space. Most computers and hard drives are not currently able to handle this high rate of data, so it is best to make sure that your system can handle the format you choose otherwise you won't be able to use the footage. Most jobs we do are transferred using the 422 ProRes HQ option. Some go to ProRes 444 RGB. This is a very high-quality, visually lossless format that is within the threshold of what most up-to-date computers can handle. Most of the format options are best suited for Mac computers with the appropriate codecs. They work great with Final Cut Pro. These files will also work on PCs as long as the appropriate codecs are available for reading the files.

 

Why should I re-master to High-Definition?

There are three area of great improvement in an HD master (i.e.: on a hard drive) over a SD Video master.1) You no longer need Ghost Frames: When you create SD video, you have to have 30 frames per second. Therefore, if you shot film at 18 or 24fps, you needed to create the additional frames to make the system work at 30fps. These extra frames that had to be created but did nothing but take up space, create unwanted artifacts, and reduce the quality of your master. Today, with frame-by-frame digital mastering, we know longer need these extra frames to make the system work. 2) You now have more digit: The second is the improvement of having more digit to describe your frames like having a 1920 X1080 HD space rather than a NTSC (640 X 480) With HD, there is 4 times more digital to describe the detail in every frame of film from SD. A lot of detail and color can fit in 4x more space. 3) The Hard Drive: The last improvement is the storage of your images on a hard drive. This provides access to all your materials without the cost of expensive and multiple format tape decks. Although technology is always improving, the great evolution to HD has begun to stabilize in terms of mastering in the market. Hard drives may get faster and cheaper and the playout option will always evolve, but the fundamentals of HD are now securely planted.

 

Why is a Master the best for Preserving my movies?

A master digital file is going to be the best in terms of future storage because a true master is going to provide your data in the highest quality you might require. A master will give you the flexibility of creating different play out versions, and allow you to re-create the playout versions of today, tomorrow or the past. Today's most popular formats are DVDs and streaming to place like You Tube, but it wasn't that long ago that we were watching films on VHS. As technology gets better playouts will continue to change. By having a master, you will always have a way to create a playout to a format that is most convenient for that time.

 

Why is a Playout the best for Watching my movies?

Trying to play your movies directly from the master is often frustrating and not necessary. Too many things must be synced, coded and compatible with one another. For a small fee, it is far easier to have your file made specifically for your playout and get a master so that you can change it at any time. At Pro8mm, we can create a playout to iPads, DVDs, Blu-Ray, or even a format to stream your film on Youtube or Facebook. Now you have the power of home movies at your fingertips.

 

DISCOUNTS AND PACKAGES


What is the advantage of buying an all-inclusive package?

Besides saving money, buying an all-inclusive film package simplifies and streamlines the Super 8 film workflow from beginning to end. When you purchase a package, you know that all of your services (film, processing and transfer) are done under one roof. This allows us to provide the best quality controls for your project and the fastest turn around times possible.

 

What do packages include?

Our pre-paid packages include film (your choice of stock), processing, prep & clean, and scanning by one of our expert colorist. State of the Art high definition packages comes with scene to scene color and exposure correction. Throw-back standard definition packages com with one-light color timing. You may mix and match stocks, and the discounts are progressive based on the quantity of film you buy. Package pricing is based on pre-paid transfer time, as stated in the price list, shooting and scanning at 24fps or 25fps PAL,) and the color timing ration as indicated in the package. Supervised sessions, splitting packages, extra formats, and transfers at 18fps or slower speeds may incur additional charges. You may supervise your scanning session free of charge, however please note that when the client and colorist work together, it is common to exceed the 3:1 ratio. Additional time in the suite will incur additional charges based on our published hourly rates.

 

Can I split my pre-paid package so that I can process and transfer my film in batches?

Pro8mm does allow customers to process and transfer their pre-paid film packages in batches. HOWEVER, the package pricing is based on processing and transferring in one batch. Splitting of packages may cause additional fees. For example, 1 prep and clean is included per batch. Each batch of film processed requires prep and clean, therefore if you process your film in batches, additional prep and clean fees will apply for each additional batch. Additionally, scanning is based on the pre-paid transfer time indicated in the package pricing, with a 15 minute minimum for unsupervised transfers, and a 30 minute minimum for supervised. Splitting your film package may cause you to use up additional transfer time. These minimums are based on how long it will take the colorist to transfer your film (3:1) and how long it will take the colorist to setup your transfer. Each time you transfer film, set-up time is required. If you transfer in batches, the additional setup time will cut into your pre-paid transfer time. Should you go over the allotted transfer time, additional fees will apply, based on our a-la-carte scanning suite pricing.

 

I bought a film package. What do I do once I've shot the film?

When you have finished shooting, send the exposed rolls of film to our Burbank facility (2805 W. Magnolia Blvd. Burbank, CA 91505) along with a filled-out "Work Order" and "Digital Mastering" form specifying the details required for the transfer, and the paperwork/receipt for the film package. You may need to purchase an external hard drive or provide one of your own to put the digital files on. After the film has been scanned, you may pick it up or arrange to have it shipped back to you.

 

Do you offer student discounts?

Unfortunately we do not offer students discounts. However, you can always receive a discount when you buy a film, processing and transfer all-inclusive package.

 

MISCELLANEOUS


What is Max 8?

Max 8 is a widescreen Super 8 film format, ready for the HD world. It utilizes the unused area on the film (once reserved for the magnetic sound stripe), increasing image resolution by 20%. This process involves widening the film gate to allow maximum use of the film's negative space, recollimation of the lens and optics to center the image, and the addition of 16x9 frame lines in the eyepiece to aid in framing for the HD aspect ratio. Max 8 footage must be transferred on a Max 8 equipped scanner for the full quality.

 

Do you make copies or prints of Super 8?

We are unable to make prints of Super 8 film. Most people will scan to digital and if needed, blow up the digital to 35mm at a post facility using the high-quality files we provide.

 

Do you sell or repair projectors?

We don't sell nor repair projectors.

 

TROUBLESHOOTING



I shot a roll of film and the colors look inverted... what happened?

You probably shot on negative film and tried to project it. Negative film cannot be projected. It has to be scanned and color-corrected during the transfer process to view it digitally.

 

Will My Transfer to Blu Ray Disc Play on a Sony PlayStation?

We have had various reports about this, but according to Sony tech support, go to the Settings Menu and turn "OFF" the BD 1080p 24 Hz Output (HDMI)". Then hit Play Movie. It should work!

 

I got my film back but I don't see an image on the entire roll. What happened?

There are different reasons for this. If the film comes back completely blank, chances are the camera you used was not working properly and either overexposed or didn't expose any images on the entire roll, or the film you shot was very old and had degraded to the point where no image could be captured on the film. Make sure the automatic exposure control in your camera is working properly before using it, or be able to adjust the aperture manually. Another reason could be that the roll of film did not even run through the camera. Even though the footage counter may have moved, the film might not have advanced through the camera due to a malfunction. Make sure that you process the film only after you have reached the end of the roll. It is marked by a slitted portion of film at the very end that prevents the film from moving any further once the end has been reached. We offer a 1-roll tester package so that you can test your workflows before investing in a large project with a camera that may not be working properly.

 

I got my film back but there seems to be scenes missing. What happened?

There are a few possible reasons for this. Most likely, the scenes weren't captured on the film. This usually happens at the very beginning or very end of each roll. It is a good idea to shoot for a few seconds at the start of each roll, before shooting what you really want, to provide "handles" on the film for processing. This also helps determine if the film is advancing properly. Scenes may seem to go missing at the end of the roll because users sometimes continue shooting unaware that they have reached the end of the roll. If scenes seem to have disappeared in the middle of the roll, chances are the camera malfunctioned in some way and did not pull/transport the film properly for that portion.

 

Why won't my hard drive open or play the files on my computer?

A hard drive has to be formatted for Mac or PC. Mac formatted hard drives are not readable on a PC and will not play the files. Conversely a PC formatted hard drive may have difficulty on a Mac. Please make sure to specify the type of formatting you require on the drive before the film transfer for a smooth workflow. Click here for more detailed information on how to open your hard drive and play your transferred files.

 

How can I fix a jammed cartridge?

Cartridges can jam when film is not taken-up at the same rate as the film running through the camera, causing it to bundle in the take-up chamber. To fix this, remove the cartridge from the camera and turn the reel (located on the back of the cartridge) clockwise until it is tight. It might help to pull a small loop of film out of the cartridge before tightening the reel. Put the cartridge back in the camera and try again. It might also help to tap the cartridge lightly. If the problem persists over multiple rolls, it would be a good idea to have your camera's take-up torque examined.

For more information about shooting Super 8 film, sign up for our newsletters, subscribe to our blog, or get one of our e-books or virtual boot camps!

Here is a useful link 8 Tips for Shooting Modern Super 8

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