Want To Watch Your 8mm Film Again?

Digitize it! Yes, convert it to digital before it is too late.

If You Wait…

Film has many enemies to watching it again.

  1. Playing it on an old projector makes damage very likely. The sprocket holes can be torn, the film can be drawn over old spools that will scratch it, and of course, the machine can stall, and the light can melt the film.
  2. Good working projectors are very rare and disappearing by the day. Even if you wanted to play it through a projector despite tje the risk of damage, finding one in acceptable condition or the parts to repair one is unlikely.
  3. The film itself deteriorates over time. The media itself becomes more brittle every day, and the color that has been printed on it fades. Depending on storage conditions, many reels of film are already too brittle for conversion. When enough of the ink fades away, there will not be enough image to capture and convert.  For a more daunting description of film deterioration see Wikipedia (Film Deterioration Article).
  4. Again, due to storage conditions, mold is very common on film. While the film can be cleaned, it is important to know that the mold actually eats the ink and the cellulite film itself. Cleaning can just create blank spots where the mold was.
  5. It is not getting cheaper, next year will have new prices. Time is not a friend to film either.

How to Best Convert 8mm Film to Digital

Conversion technology has advanced like lightning over the past few years and the quality available has advance along with it.

Several key features of 8mm Film conversion include:

  1. Sprocketless, or sprocket free. This means that the film moves through the film capturing machine without the use of sprockets. Sprocket based equipment can easily damage film that is already decades old.
  2. Frame by Frame scanning. Old equipment used projectors to, well, project the image into a camera. Today, the best equipment scans and captures every frame to be processed into a video.
  3. Software that can vary light, color, and speed options. It is best to have both mechanical and software light adjustment options.
  4. A variety of resolution options to accommodate the budget and needs of the customer.

Once a film reel has been captured via sprocket free equipment frame by frame, it is now available to be processed into the desired format, resolution, and playback speed. The output is then ready for final editing to fit the customer order.

Your digitizing company should have access (and invest the time) to size the video to a clean, centered frame with no blurred or dark edges, do basic color correction, and eliminate blank or unusable frames.

Extra Benefits of Digitized 8mm Film

Of course, the number 1 benefit is that you get to watch it again… and again. Without risking any more damage to the film!

You also get to organize your videos the way that you want to. Often, the reels are unlabeled, undated, and otherwise a mystery. Once you watch them, you can label them as you wish and arrange them by date, subject, or people.

Backup is now easily possible. Digital videos can be copied to hard drives, external hard drives, and the cloud. Damage, deterioration, and loss are drastically mitigated.

Do you want to share some or all the video with friends and family? Digitizing 8mm just made it simple. Simply copy the hard drive that they were delivered on to other computers. The cloud is also available to share videos anywhere that the Internet is available. You can even email them.

Digital files (formatted correctly) can be played on virtually any modern device, including smartphone, Windows PC, MAC, tablet, laptop, Youtube, etc.

Converted film can also be edited. Reels can be combined, short clips extracted, and undesirable footage eliminated. It can even be combined with slideshows from photos, modern videos, and even audio (favorite songs or voices from the past).

What if DVDs are a Must

While DVDs are one possible option for Digitized 8mm film, many of the benefits of digital are lost by restricting to a disc

  1. Copies must be made and delivered if you want to share them
  2. They cannot be easily edited
  3. Backups are in the form of more DVDs
  4. The organization is manual, rather than computerized
  5. DVDs only play on DVD players, which are not even available on many modern computers.

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