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Why Choose Us?
Frequently asked Questions
Q. How many reels will fit onto one DVD?
A. For quality reasons, we will put no more than 1 hour of footage on a single DVD. That is about 20 small reels or 2 large reels. If you choose the Blu-Ray option make that 5 hours of footage, 80 small reels or 10 large reels of film.
Q. Can you break-down the process?
You fill out our order form and print the confirmation
page, (All though the order form ask for payment information, we don't
charge you card until the transfers are complete and we know exactly how
many feet of film you had.)
You determine, if you can, what order or combination you
would like your films to appear on the finished DVD's. Remember, we charge
by the foot, not by the DVD. So feel free to group your films into
different DVDs. For example, all Christmas films on one DVD, all vacation
films on another. If you can, label the films with numbers so sequence of
events are correct. Also note what kind of music you would like us to add.
Remember these are silent films. Anything helps, for example, 60's rock
and roll, Big Band, soft piano music etc. Or be specific. If you don't
mention a preference we will do our best to add something tasteful.
You place your films along with the printed confirmation
page into a Priority box you got free from your local post office. (Or any
other sturdy box suitable for shipping.) You make sure your return
address is correct and legible. You make sure our address
is correct and legible. You make sure the box is sealed with good shipping
tape, top and bottom.
In about three days or less you should receive an email or
call from us stating that your films have arrived safely. If you don't
hear from us within that amount of time give us a call at 1-800-617-8273.
We receive your films and estimate how many feet we think
you sent from just a casual inspection. We look for other things like
vinegar syndrome, or films with sound. (At this time we do not transfer
films with sound. We can transfer these films to DVD, but without the
We send you a preliminary invoice. Your final
charges are guaranteed to be the same or less than this invoice.
We then clean your films with emulation cleaner.
Next your films are ran through our machine that captures
Next the frames captured by this machine must be processed
so they come together as a single movie. At this point a computer will
tell us how many feet we actually captured so your invoice can be
corrected or confirmed.
First we want you to know we have never had anyone's 8mm or Super 8mm films lost in transit to us or from us. Also, after we digitize your 8mm films for the first time we keep a digital copy on our hard drives for 15 days. This means if something was to happen on the return trip or you needed additional copies, we could simply pull up our back-up files and remake the DVDs.
Also, when you fill out your order form we receive an electronic copy right away in our email. So we know who is sending what. If something doesn't arrive in a timely manner we investigate.
Safe Shipping Tips: We understand sending your irreplaceable tapes to us for transfer can be a scary task. With a few steps of caution your 8mm movies can arrive just as safely as driving them across town. In over ten years of doing mail order business we have never had a clients 8mm / Super 8 movies lost or damaged in the mail. The purpose of the following info is to share with you what we have learned over the years. These are not just our opinions.
Home |Reel-to-Reel | 8mm & Super 8 Film | Cassette | Video Tape
Media Transfer LLC
Serving Huber Heights, Dayton, Springfield, Troy, Tipp City, Medway, Piqua, Middletown, West Carrollton, Miamisburg, Ginghamsburg, Vandalia, Greenville, and more!
8mm & Super 8 Film Transferred to
The Video Tape of Yesterday
8mm film (and later "Super 8" film) was how family's recorded important moments in their life prior to the invention, and wide spread use of video tape. From as far back as the mid 1930's till the early part of the 1980's people would use this film to make short movies celebrating birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, family vacations and other special moments in their life.
They would purchase this film in a small canister at their local drug store or variety store. They would load the film into their 8mm movie camera, shoot half of it, flip it over and shoot the other half. (One roll of film would shoot just 4 minutes of movie footage.) When finished they would return the film to its canister and mail it to a processing plant (Kodak for example) to be developed. The processing plant would develop the film, place it on small 3 inch reels, and mail it back. The families would then load the film onto their movie projector and project it onto a white screen. You know, like at the movie theatre.
It's a Bird, It's a Plane... It's Super 8!
Later Super 8 film was invented that eliminated turning the film over half way through. You could shoot 4 minutes straight. Since it was suppose to be so much better than the old regular 8 film, it was called "Super 8" like, Superman! We transfer both regular 8mm and Super 8.
8mm Film Exposed!
Unlike modern video recording devices, 8mm film required a lot of light to expose the film properly. So family's had to deal with these large, hot lights on them (or go outside in the sunlight.) There was different types of film for inside or outside. The lighting had to be just right or your film would be underexposed (dark and grainy) or overexposed (washed out and white.) Many adult children from this time period remember the large light bar blinding them Christmas morning. You will notice people squinting and putting there hand up to their face to shield the light in these old films. The film had be exposed just right. It was not as easy as it is today with our point and shoot camera's.
Reel it in.
All of these films came back to the owner on 3 each spools 50 feet long. Usually in paper envelopes about 5"X7". That is how you will find much of the film still today. But, one of these films would show only 3 to 5 minutes of movie. So come movie night, dad would load a movie onto the projector, (no small feat), sit down, eat a handful of popcorn (popped in a pan with grease, not in a microwave) and the movie was over. Then he would turn the lights back on and do it all over again. You wound up watching Dad fight with the projector more than you watched films.
So dad would buy an empty 7" reel and splice his 3" reels onto it. That would hold 400 feet or eight 3" reels. This way he could load the projector and watch movies for a full half hour!! Revolutionary at the time.
Determining the cost to have these films transferred to DVD
Determining the cost to have your 8mm or Super 8's converted to DVD can be confusing. The reason is most transfer shops, including us, charge by how many feet of film we transfer. But you are at home looking at a dusty box of 8mm reels thinking.
"I have no idea how many feet of film there is in that box!"
We understand that. So I want to spend a minute showing you how to estimate how much it will cost to have your 8mm films transferred to DVD.
It's all in the size of the reel. There are three basic and most popular reel sizes. Three inch, Five inch and Seven inch. Most likely your reels will be one of these sizes.
The Three Inch Reel: A three inch reel measures three inches across. It should fit in the palm of your hand. (Unless of course you have very tiny hands.) This, the smallest of the reels, are how the films came back from the processing plant. This is the amount of film a camera could shoot at one time. They are about 4 minutes long. 20 of them is 1 hour of video and will fit onto one DVD. This reel, full, is $5.50 or less to external hard drive and $7.50 or less to transfer to DVD.
The Five Inch Reel: A five inch reel measures five inches across. It is the middle child of the film family. It should be the same size as a CD. (A CD case is 5X5) These reels are about 200 feet or 4 three inch films spliced together. 4 of these reels will fit onto a DVD and make a 1 hour video. This reel full is $22 or less transferred to external hard drive$30 or less to transfer to DVD.
The Seven Inch Reel: The seven inch reel is the biggest reel 8mm projectors would allow for. They measure seven inches across. As tall as a 5x7 photo, or as wide as an I Pad or tablet screen. They can hold full 400 feet of film or eight small reels. Two of these will fit onto one DVD and provide 1 hour of video. These reels were created by someone sitting down and splicing small reels together. You might even find several small empty reels in the same box.. One of these large reels full is $44 or less transferred to external hard drive and $60 or less to transfer to DVD.
When your 8mm or Super 8 films arrive here we will estimate how much film you have and send you an invoice via email. As we transfer your films our computers will calculate how many feet of film are really transferred. Large areas of black or white will not be transferred. The rule is, the tech should be able to identify what he or she sees during the capture. That is why sometimes your final cost will be less than your estimate. If our estimate was too high we will adjust it to reflect the actual feet of film transferred. If it was too low, we will let the invoice stand as it is. So you never have to worry about paying more than our estimate.
Other things to consider
"Are my 8mm films too old to be put on DVD?"
8mm film was first introduced to the public in 1932 and we have transferred 8mm films from as far back as 1936 with no problems. There is one thing however that can cause your 8mm films to be non-transferable:
Vinegar Syndrome: Vinegar Syndrome is the name given to 8mm film that have started the decay process. If you have 8mm movies that have Vinegar Syndrome you will know right away by the strong smell of vinegar. This does not mean that if your 8mm movie reels smell like vinegar we can't help you. The decay process is a process. What I mean by that is your 8mm films could be in the early stages of decay and can still be transferred to DVD. What the smell of vinegar should mean to you is; put your project higher on your to-do list. Time is running out for 8mm movies with Vinegar syndrome.
Before films corrected for color and density.
After films corrected for color and density.
We clean all films with emulsion cleaner before running them through our machines. This is to give you a better transfer and to protect our machines from dirt, mold and dust.