8mm Film to DVD Transfer
The Competitive 8mm Film Transfer
The first step in a 8mm film transfer order is the cleaning and repair procedure. Bad splices will be re-spliced to ensure the smoothest transfer possible. Depending on the age, condition and type of 8mm film stock being transferred, the cleaning process will differ, but we really do clean every inch of the film. This initial inspection and cleaning process can sometimes take longer than the actual transfer which is why we usually ask for 2 weeks to complete your order. The cleaning process is something that many companies do not perform but is essential for this type of service.
Once the 8mm film has been prepped, it is time to perform the telecine transfer. Your film is projected directly into the lens of a broadcast quality 3-CCD camera.
NOTE: When comparing 8mm film transfer companies, always ask for the method of transfer. There are many companies out there which simply project your film onto a screen and record that image with a camcorder. This is not a quality transfer method and you will lose detail in your film.
Please contact our film transfer technician if you would like to view a full quality demo reel.
Premium 8mm Film Transfer
The Premium real time transfer is our highest quality 8mm film transfer service and can bring your 8mm film back to life by restoring color and brightness on a scene-by-scene basis.
Our retrofitted projector is one of the few in the world that has a manually adjustable brightness control which can make under or overexposed scenes look much better. The transfer technician will watch your 8mm film on a standard monitor as well as a waveform monitor and adjust the back-light brightness accordingly. This type of brightness adjustment is not available at most other companies.
The Premium transfer also includes scene-by-scene color correction. Almost all 8mm film will shift in color over time (usually to blue or red). The film transfer technician will go scene-by-scene (a very time-consuming process) to correct all discoloration. Please note that severely discolored or extremely dark 8mm film is nearly impossible to bring back to the original color vibrancy, but we can get as close as humanly or digitally possible.
Determining the Length of Your 8mm Film
8mm film is typically measured by the foot. To get the approximate footage of your reel, you first must measure the diameter of your reel. Most of the consumer format reels we see are about 3 inches in diameter, which are 50 feet long. Use the chart to the right to figure out the approximate footage of your 8mm film.
Unsure of what kind of film you have? Take a glance at our film conversion chart.
Enhance your 8mm film to DVD order even more by adding title slides. Title slides are short clips inserted into your video at any scene of your choosing which will provide the viewer with a title and/or description before the scene starts. Instead of watching your 8mm film in it’s entirety, title slides will allow you to put short breaks between scenes which will add production value to your 8mm film transfer. This is a great element to use for dividing up holiday scenes, birthdays or sides of the family.
Stock Music Examples
Looking to add some music to your 8mm film to DVD transfer? Either bring us your own mix of songs, or use ours! Feel free to preview some samples of some of our stock music using the player below. All of our stock tracks last a whole two hours to ensure your whole DVD has a complete soundtrack. Ask your 8mm film transfer technician any questions you may have about music selections.
Cellulose Triacetate Degradation or “Vinegar Syndrome”
When preparing your film for a film to DVD transfer, it’s probably the first time you’ve pulled it out of the can in a while. If you pull it out and notice a strong odor of vinegar coming from the film, then it’s sufferring from what we like to call “vinegar syndrome”. If you discover that one or more of your reels of film are affected by vinegar syndrome, quarantine them from the rest of the film as soon as possible to prevent spreading to other reels.
In 1948, the film industry began using cellulose triacetate as the main material used in the manufacture of film. Sadly, film was just not made to last forever. Every day more and more people are realizing this fact, as their film collections have been degrading for years. The term “vinegar syndrome” is derived from the fact that once cellulose triacetate breaks down, it releases acetic acid, which is the key ingredient in vinegar and responsible for its acidic smell. Film is more prone to this condition if stored in warmer, tropical climates as opposed to dry, colder climates. The chemical instability of this material, which was unrecognized at the time of its introduction, has since become a major threat for film collections.
With acetate film, acetyl groups are connected to a long chain of cellulose molecules. After being exposed to heat, moisture, or acids, these chains break from their molecular bonds, which result in acetic acid being released. The acid is first released inside the plastic, but slowly diffuses to the surface, causing a vinegar odor.
The degradation process is detailed below:
- During the initial breakdown, acetic acid is released, causing a strong vinegar smell. This marks the first stage of the degradation process.
- Next, the plastic film base becomes brittle, which in turn weakens the film, causing it to break apart into pieces at the slightest touch.
- After the plastic base degrades, the film will begin to shrink. With advanced degradation, film can shrink up to 10%!
- As the acetate base shrinks, the emulsion does not shrink, which will then cause buckling, referred to archivists as “channelling”.
- Cystalline deposits or small bubbles will form on the emulsion. These are evidence of plasticizers, additives to the plastic base, becoming incompatible with the film base and oozing out on the surface. This discharge of plasticizers is a sign of advanced degradation.
- In some cases, pink or blue colors appear in some sheet films. This is caused by antihalation dyes, which are normally colorless and incorporated into the gelatin layer. When acetic acid is formed during deterioration, the acidic environment causes the dyes to return to their original pink or blue color.