Posted on March 28 2018
Tips For A Super Fast Turn Around From The Lab For Your Super 8 Film and 16mm Film – Rhonda Vigeant (C) 2018
Recently I saw a post on Instagram from someone saying that the biggest problem this person experienced with their super 8 film project was that it took "forever" to get the processed and scanned film back from the lab. I didn't ask which lab it was, as I felt there is no need to judge or put down the efforts of others trying to make it in this business. The post did however get me thinking about how many filmmakers who want to use celluloid think that labs take "forever" to get the film processed and scanned. I am quite sure that newbie super 8 and 16mm filmmakers are not aware that our company, Pro8mm can turn around your film project with processing and scanning in 2 to 3 business days. We can even do same day rush services for an additional fee, as we typically do for commercial jobs here in LA or out of New York, Atlanta and Canada.
What Many Filmmakers Don't Know About Film Labs
At one time there were many labs throughout the country and the world that processed motion picture film. Now there are a handful, and of that handful, only a very few get enough work on a daily basis to process the film every day. Many companies want the scanning work, which is more lucrative and much less risky than the film processing business. This is why some labs take "like forever". Read on...
Here Are Some Important Things To Consider
Tip #1 Going to the Source:One thing that dramatically effects turn around time is whether you are sending your film to the actual lab or a company that is acting as an agent for another lab. As we said, many vendors just want the scanning business and while they may list themselves as a motion picture film laboratory, many are not. They only scan film, or are a very small lab that can only process certain types of film. Modern super 8 film has 3 distinct processes, each requiring its own processing machine and chemistry. These are:
1 Color Negative
2 Black &White Reversal
Tip #2 Scheduled Processing vs. Waiting for Enough Film to Make it Worth It:
Tip #3 Processing and Scanning at the Same Facility:
Tip #4 Shipping and Digital Upload:Check out your shipping options both when sending film to the lab, and the shipping back of the film and hard drive. While the postal service is often cheaper (Fed-EX now has about a $20 minimum for ground shipping) the post office is often much MUCH slower. We prefer to use FED-EX because of the ability to track the package and their delivery time corresponds with the time the film needs to be here in order to make the 10:30 AM processing run. When shipping film to us you do not need to be concerned with X-Rays that will damage the film, however we suggest you still write FILM: DO NOT X-RAY on the box. For jobs under 20 gigs, we can also send you the files via WE TRANSFER as soon as the scan is completed. Additional Fees apply.
While the analog film process does have a time line in its workflow it should never take "forever". Pro8mm prides itself on accommodating YOUR production schedule. Whatever it takes. We offer same day rush and after hours service. Our normal turn around time is 2 to 3 business days, and you can have the files sent to you over the internet if you have under 20 gigs.
So get out there and shoot some Super 8 or 16mm film. You know you want to!
Visit us at Pro8mm.com