What formats of film reels do you scan?
We specialize in converting home movies on regular 8mm, Super 8, 9.5mm, and 16mm film formats, including sound films, if applicable.
What video resolutions do you offer?
Our resolution options for film transfers are either 2K 1920×1080 HD or 4K 3840×2160 UHD.
2K or 4K: Which resolution should I choose?
Transferring home movie films to 2K resolution is considered high definition and works with all current devices and software. However, 4K transfers (also known as ultra-high definition) are becoming the new standard for high definition as seen in the increased sales of 4K smart TVs and computer monitors. Choosing 4K is an excellent choice for those who want to keep their formats as current as possible and future-proof them now as films continue to deteriorate in time.
What digital format do you output film transfers?
The 2K resolution transfers are H.264 MP4. The 4K resolution files are H.265 MP4. We can also output to ProRes by request.
How large are the video files that are produced?
The 2K resolution transfers average about 1.2 GB per 100 feet. The 4K resolution transfers average about 2.3 GB per 100 feet. If you choose 4K we also output in 2K, for a total average of 3.5 GB per 100 feet.
How are the digital files returned to me?
We output your digital files to either an appropriately sized USB flash drive and/or a digital download link via Dropbox.
Can you make DVDs or Blu-ray discs of my film reels?
We convert films to MP4 digital files for output via USB drive or download primarily, and only offer DVDs as an output option by special request. Blu-ray discs are not offered. The digital files offer much greater overall flexibility than physical discs, which are becoming obsolete as multimedia technology advances. The video resolution of the MP4 files are also greater than the limitation of DVD resolution.
Do you clean the films first and can you repair bad splices?
We carefully clean, lubricate, and repair splices before transfer. Properly cleaning the film greatly reduces debris artifacts for a cleaner output. Film leader is added as needed to ensure every frame of film is captured.
Do you perform color correction?
We run histogram color balancing and auto white balance but do not offer more extensive color correction. Our goal is to capture the image data from the range of shadows to highlights.
I have Kodachrome boxes that say 25 feet and “double eight.” What does that mean?
This is referring to regular 8mm film format which was first introduced in 1932 as a more portable alternative to 16mm. The film stock was a 16mm double perforated roll 25 feet long which was exposed on one side, then flipped to expose the other side, then split and spliced together for a total of 50 feet of 8mm wide film, which at 16 frames per second runs about 4 minutes of footage. (more info)
Do you splice together smaller films and combine them on larger reels?
We do not splice together and combine smaller reels like many other companies often do. Transferring them separately is the best method to preserve the original films and associated subject titles. We will label each individual reel of film to correlate with the digital files. Once the films are digital, the videos can be merged together with video editing software, if desired.
Is the scanning process safe or is there risk of damaging my films?
We use scanning equipment that is very gentle on your film and does not use sprockets or claws to advance the film during scanning. Each frame is over-scanned using a high-bit sensor to capture the entire frame, including sprocket holes. Custom cropping is then done on every section of film with software developed by Memories Renewed, resulting in an accurate full frame archival quality capture.
Do you process undeveloped films?
No, we do not process undeveloped films. If your film is in a black cartridge/canister, then it is likely undeveloped and should be sent to a film processing service. Once the film is developed, we can digitize it for you. You can send your undeveloped films to companies like Film Rescue International or Pro8mm.
Why do my films have a strong smell like vinegar? Are they still good?
The smell of vinegar is known as vinegar syndrome or more technically acetate base breakdown. The smell is acetic acid being emitted from the breakdown of the film. Once this process begins, it can accelerate rather quickly, especially if stored in sealed containers. It may not be too late, and in this case, we highly recommend digitizing before the film breaks down further and becomes too brittle for transfer.
What film scanners do you use?
We use upgraded Retro Universal Mark I units for film scanning to 2K 1920×1080 HD or for film scanning to 4K 3840×2160 UHD. See below for more information.