Transfer from 8mm or Super 8 to DVD
Many people have home movies on 8mm film that contain irreplaceable video footage of themselves at a much younger age along with past generations of family and friends. Due to the fact that old movie film will deteriorate, fade, and get brittle, it is a good idea to convert the old films to a digital format such as a DVD to make sure the video quality and the video itself is preserved. Two Squares can convert these 8mm of Super 8 films to DVD, a format which can be played on your home player.
Can’t I just transfer my film at home?
When some people look at the potential cost of having their film converted, they may consider the idea of just converting it themselves using a projector and a video camera. This may seem simple in theory, but it is actually very difficult to make work with any quality. There are a number of problems with this approach that affect the quality such as alignment, exposure control, and an effect called “aliasing” which will create bright spots running through the final video. Most consumer grade video cameras and camcorders don’t have control features needed to make this work well and the quality will be poor.
If you were to obtain a studio grade video camera with the proper controls, you could come up with a reasonable capture with a lot of fine tuning, but the speed control and the difference in frame rate of film (which is typically 18 frames per second) vs. camcorder frame rates of 30 frames per second will always be an issue. These problems also make it very difficult to keep a proper focus on your image and your final movie will look blurry since the camera will ultimately be capturing the image as the frame is transitioning.
Film Aliasing Problem Example
Here is an example of a home captured video with a consumer grade camera and the “aliasing” effect. You will notice that the film will get brighter and darker as the aliasing pulses.
Our 8mm Film to DVD Transfer Process
Film cleaning and repair
Proper handling of old 8mm and Super8 film is very important as old film becomes brittle and can break or burn in an old projector. The technicians at Two Squares are trained to properly handle old film and can splice existing breaks or cracks in the film. All film is first inspected, repaired, and then cleaned with a special solution that also lubricates the film in preparation for the transfer process.
The best method for capturing film is a frame by frame scan of your film. By using a system that will capture each individual frame of the film to a computer, this will ensure the best possible quality and avoid the frame blur that you will get with the aforementioned method. After the frames are captured, a frame repetition and pattern is used to duplicate and reinsert frames to convert the film from 18 frames (or other lesser common frame rates) to the 30 frames per second required for standard NTSC DVDs. You will notice the quality difference in particular when you pause your movie and look at a the paused frame. It will be much cleaner and clearer when the film is captured with a frame by frame capture system.
Two Squares has professional grade conversion equipment that does this frame-by-frame scan of the film in a controlled environment and reproduces the video with the highest possible quality.
The picture to the right is one of our high definition 8mm / Super 8 scanning machines. The HD system uses an industrial grade camera mounted directly to the machine and one single very high quality lens to focus onto the film frame surface. This system provides exceptional quality as compared to other capture systems which use 3 to 5 lenses and mirrored surfaces between the film and the digitizer. These additional lenses can add minor distortions and make it more difficult to focus the image and reduce the sharpness of the video.
Here is an example of a “frame by frame” scan from one of our 8mm capture systems.
Post processing and color correction
Another issue that happens with old movie film is that the colors will fade or potentially shift to green or red. Even black-and-white films will appear green or sometime red. This is where a professional-grade post processing software package comes into play. Black and white films are made a true black and white (gray scale). Color films are white balanced and colors are more natural. Contrast and lighting levels are also corrected, but can often be limited by the film quality itself.
Additional 8mm transfer formats
Maybe you want to transfer your 8mm or Super 8 film into a format different from DVD. Two Squares can copy 8mm to AVI or MPEG files. This format can be put on your Ipod or Iphone, in addition to being viewable on the computer.
Pricing for 8mm/Super 8 film to DVD conversion services
- Frame by frame scanning
- Premium HD capture, down-converted to the highest DVD quality
- No setup charge
- Cleaning and splice repair included
- Color and image correction included
- Scenes menu on DVD included
$0.18 per foot of Regular or Super 8mm film
$0.36 per foot of Super 8mm film with sound
++ plus ++
a $30 mastering charge. (one $30 mastering charge per order) Your first DVD or DVD set is included. Additional DVD/sets are $5 per disc. A DVD will hold up to 2 hours of video.
$30 to convert all your captured reels to High Def 1280×960 AVI/MPEG/etc and
copy to a hard drive or flash drive. (You supply the drive)
$50 mastering charge for Bluray conversion.
Please contact Two Squares for help with 8mm film to DVD conversion.