Digitize 8 Millimeter Film to Dvd

I’ve Been Meaning to do This Forever!

Yup, the very most popular comment that my customers make when dropping off their film! It is just one of those things that, well, can be done later. They can deteriorate a little more. Get a little more brittle. Fade a bit more. It’s OK. Until it is not, right?

The vast majority of film that I receive for conversion works just fine, or at least good enough. There is some fading, some of which can be improved. There is some breakage, most of which can be repaired. But there is that occasional film that is SO brittle, that it breaks every few feet. Of course a break or two can be covered as part of the business, but when it breaks this often, the time and cost is prohibitive.

So don’t wait, it really is worse later.

Plenty of People Still Use DVDs

While DVDs are on their way out, there are still plenty of uses for them. Some people just don’t want to mess with newer digital technology yet and are comfortable playing their DVD player. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But if you do want DVD conversion of your 8mm film, here are a couple of pointers:

  1. Request the highest target bps (bit per second) setting that you can. It may be slightly more expensive, but the quality difference can be noticeable.
  2. Get an extra copy. It is cheap insurance. Play one disc and keep the other in a safe place.
  3. Also get a copy of a digital version on a USB drive. Even if you don’t use that technology. If something happens to your disc(s), you can either play from the USB or make new DVDs from the digital file. Again cheap insurance – you should get a discount on the second format. See How to Care for Digital Files below.

Any Family or Friends out of the State – or Country?

How are you going to show your wedding film to your cousin in France who was your maid of honor 25 years ago? By converting your 8 millimeter film to digital and sharing it through the internet, of course. It really is simple.

If you are not familiar with using the cloud, like Dropbox, OneDrive, or others, don’t worry. What used to be a bit complicated is getting pretty simple. Once you set up your cloud service, follow these simple steps:

  1. Convert your film to DVD
  2. Take the advice in #3 above
  3. Have a friend (or grandkid) share it with friends and family all over the world. (I can do it as well, but the grandkids are cheaper!) You can even have them help you get it on your phone as well.

How Does it Work?

Today’s technology is truly amazing. Originally, ‘conversion’ of film was simply pointing a camcorder at the screen while the film was playing. Then, technology was created to shoot the film from a projector directly into a digital camera. Now, I have a custom created machine that scans each frame through a high resolution camera, stores thousands of frames per reel, and then through software, creates a high quality video file.

Then each new video file is edited by hand to frame the film perfectly, adjust for light and dark, brightness and contrast where needed, and encoded into the final format(s) that are desired: DVD, mp4, mov, etc.)

How to Care for Digital Files

No, you can’t polish them, water, them, or touch them in any way, but they need just as much care as your film did when it was being kept for projector use.

DVDS should always be kept in DVD envelopes, never loose in a drawer. Hold them by the edges and when inserting them into the DVD player, place the hole right over the player’s spindle without ‘dragging’ it across the surface of the DVD. Personally, any DVD that was valuable to me I would also keep a copy just in case…

Digital files are kept safe by keeping multiple copies:

  1. On multiple drives, internal and/or external
  2. Cloud
  3. On other family member computers

The idea is to always have somewhere to find another copy if needed.

Convert 8 Millimeter Film to DVD – Next Steps:

  1. Call or text Jamey (About Jamey) at 720 204-5464
  2. Set an appointment (every project receives my individual attention)
  3. Drop off your tapes (and records, cassettes, slides, or negatives, too)

In a week or less, pick up your new digitized VHS (and other).

James Nordby