Philip Berg reminded me that one of my undone projects is dealing with a shoe box full of old 8mm films that my dad took in the 50's and 60's.
I know that at least one has his 1922 T sedan in it.
(I remember the wheels seemed to be going backwards in the film as it went down the road.)
We have the old projector but the bulb is burnt out and I am a bit concerned that it would be rough on the old and brittle film.
Are there any good (and inexpensive) techniques to upgrading the media so the we can view the films and archive them for future generations?
There are many way to do it. If you Google 8mm to dvd you will get many options.
One service is:
$7.95 per reel
I have the same problem. Since I have so many 8mm reels (big 400' reels), I can't really afford to send them to a service.
I think about a do-it-yourself project. My daughter just bought a new digital movie camera, and I think I'll ask her for the old one. Then I'll try setting up the projector, screen, and camera -- and see what happens.
If I can find a setup that works, even if it means filming the screen at a slight angle to eliminate glare or something, it seems to me the real advantage is that we can narrate the filming so later generations can know what they're seeing, the names, the dates, the places, etc. That's not offered by the services I know of.
I'll let you know how it works.
I just did a search - Most people charge $7-8 to put a 50 foot reel of 8mm film on a DVD but there is a guy at 12925 State Route Ff, Caulfield, MO 65626 on ebay that says he'll do it for $3.00.
Can any of you MO T folks confirm that this guy is legit?
I've done it by projecting the film onto an 8 X 11 piece of white paper and videoing it with my digital camera. I've also sent it out to pro's and the quality isn't much better, maybe even worse.
Check out Costco. I had a load of 8mm stuff converted to disc there. Reasonable prices. I was satisfied.
I had mine done at Costco in So Cal. Cost me $12.95 per reel up to a certain length. It came with software on the dvd to convert to a wmv file so you can email to family and friends.
The problem is that technology keeps changing. Quite a few years ago I had 8 MM films converted to VCR tapes. Now the VCR broke and the new DVD won't play them. Constant conversions! At least, we can still run the Model T's on the current gasoline. I wonder how much longer?
Recording from a screen doesn't work well.......it works, just not well because you'll be recording the screen surface as well.
A little, periscope working thingy, gizmo is available with which you project to a mirror and record from the mirror so the recording comes out as well as the film.
Here is one way to do it: http://www.sears.com/film-transfer-system-movie-film-and-slide-transfer-telecine -system-do/p-SPM6110435104?pageInd=product&PRODUCT_TITLE_BRAND=film%2dtransfer%2 dsystem%2dmovie%2dfilm%2dand%2dslide%2dtransfer%2dtelecine%2dsystem%2ddo¤t ProductTitle=film%2dtransfer%2dsystem%2dmovie%2dfilm%2dand%2dslide%2dtransfer%2d telecine%2dsystem%2ddo&prdNo=7&isSEOCanonURL=true&catgroupId=SPM6110435104&catal ogId=12605&blockType=G7&storeId=10153&partNumber=SPM6110435104&blockNo=7&i_cntr= 1349984745277
The above looks like it would work very well. Years ago I used an Ambico Film Transfer Box and it did an outstanding job.
Scroll to post #5.......the Ambico is identical.
I had the same idea a couple years ago. The projector bulb blew when I turned it on. Haven't been able to find a new bulb.
I work in a university town. One day I saw an ad on CraigsList, a UO student advertising to put any media on DVD for $15 per full disc...as much as he could fit. AND he picked up and delivered!
I tried him on one first and then later, after deciding I trusted the kid, I gave him all my home 8mm film, 8mm video tapes and VHS tapes to do. It was a great deal and they all turned out just fine.
I don't know how you guys preserved 8 mm film to be able to put it on DVD or VHS. My parents took a lot of home films of my sister and I from the mid 40's through mid 50's and when it was given to me (within the last 12 years, it was all ruined and smelled to high heaven, and it was always kept in a constant temperature household environment.
Terry, my films were considerably newer, with my oldest film from about 1978 (last day of school my freshman year in HS). The kid that did them for me did have a breakage issue because they were old but that was about it. I have save them in the same cardboard box forever and they've been half-way around the world and back.
Norm is right about constant change of media. Thirty years ago we were "preserving" old radio shows by transferring them from 16" disks to tape. Now a lot of those tapes have deteriorated so much they're unplayable, while the 70-year-old transcription disks still play. This is why I still shoot slides with real film. Long after that nice digital image has degenerated into a screen full of electronic hash, those slides will look like they were shot yesterday.
One of the web sites said that moisture is the bad player in old film. Something about the emulsions breaking down and thus the smell and loss of the picture.
It is common for the film to break. All transfer services I have found say that they will splice the film when that happens and the cost is included.
Almost all put the image on a copyable DVD and many save the image on their hard drive incase you need another copy. According to current info DVD's life expectancy is 25 years or more - but the storage conditions do make a difference.
I am still trying to find out about the format of the image on the DVD (AVI, MPEG, etc.) and hif it can be easily changed as technology progresses without spending a zillion dollars. I think electronic versions of the old films have a chance to stay around longer than the current film that is degrading as we type.
I've got boxes and boxes and boxes of slides from travels to Europe in the 70's that have not seen daylight in 20 years. Someday I'll get them out and "remember the good old days"
I'm still looking for info about the guy in MO that does 8mm for $3.00 a roll.
Anyone near 12925 State Route Ff, Caulfield, MO 65626 that can tell us if he is OK?
According to Google Maps, Caulfield is close to the Arkansas border about midway across Missouri east-west. Googling the address turns up this: http://www.manta.com/c/mxf2cd5/video-photography-by-colasanti
I don't know anyone down that way who might be able to vouch for him.
Projectors are pretty plentiful nowadays. If you want one that is gentle on the film, get a Bell & Howell unit.
As for projector bulbs, use google, there are many places to get bulbs. 1000Bulbs is one, AllBulbs is another, and there is eBay. I have some 16mm B&H projectors that use a sealed arc lamp that lists for $300 and is considered good for 50 hours. Needless to say, I try to pick up any bulbs I find at a reasonable price.
I need such special bulbs as I project silent films in a real theatre, and need lots of illumination to have anything on the screen that's viewable!
David, I have a photograph of the cast and crew (autographed by each) of the 1915 film "Her Painted Hero". Really an incredible image...
Posted on another forum a long time ago- here is my solution to a blown 12 volt projector lamp.
TO STEVE MILLER--I have a friend in sacramento that may be able to help you with a bulb . He is happy for you to e/mail him re,same.
His name is Bill Millard E/MAIL Bill Millard <email@example.com>
I will chime in my .02 here. My dad died when I was 1 year old thus I never knew him. All that I ever had was a picture of him in his 60th infantry Army uniform. He died in Germany on October 17, 1944 officially but my own research shows he probably died a few days before that.
The point of the above narrative is so that you might understand fully the value to me of a 16mm film that suddenly appeared a few years ago that was shot at a family reunion in the 1940-1943 era. In that short silent film were a few frames of my dad walking around and pitching horse shoes and laughing with his girlfriend (my mom). Unfortunately someone in my family tried to project the film and that almost completely destroyed it since it was old and brittle and the sprocket holes in the side of the film simply shredded. I recovered what was left of the film and did some research on the subject and found an expert archivist in Detroit with the help of an archivist from the Henry Ford Museum. That expert film restorer gave me some valuable insight. He stated that IF before you attempt to project the film you send it to someone who really knows about film, they can place the film in a vapor that will soften the film and allow it to be projected but that the softening will only last a few hours at most. He took the film and put it in the vapor and then while it was soft he bonded it to a clear film containing only sprocket holes. Every so often the film was stretched and some frames had to be removed to allow the sprocket holes to line up again but this only ended up showing as an occasional click flip of the framing but most of the film was salvaged. I sent the film to him via high security messenger and he kept one copy of the recovered film now projected on VHS and sent me 3 copies of it. Once I had secured the 3 copies he then sent me the last master. I did this because if the film got lost by FEDEX - I would still have a copy of it. My sister is into video editing and shoots weddings and stuff. She is the one who made my Strobo-Spark demo dvd, She recently transferred the VHS tape to DVD and I can burn new copies of it at will.
I share this so that others may not know the heartache of having a valuable film destroyed. If the film archivist had gotten the film before it was projected he could have treated it and projected it and copied the whole thing without issue most likely. Unfortunately I do not have any current info on any source for this service and the man who did mine is nowhere to be found so I think he may be on the other side of the grass but I am sure that a good museum curator could help you find someone.
I'm glad to see this thread revived because I haven't done anything about transferring the 8mm film to DVD.
As John suggests it would be bad to loose our family history. I'll have to move this nearer the top of my to do list.
There are machines at Best buy that play both dvd and Vhs.You can record the info from the vhs to the dvd yourself at home.
I would do that and enjoy the stuff while you still can.
I cant believe folks throw out the vhs's so soon.
Plenty of good info and entertainment on them.
Shucks,the first and only time I was ever on the Tv news is here on vhs!
And no,I werent telling about a tornado either!Hehe.
For those of you with a lot of old 8 and 16 MM film I have a Mansfield 950 film editing machine. The box is a little shabby but the machine appears to be in nice shape. It even has the instructions with it. I don't know where it came from, probably something my (late) father had.
I don't know how it works, I just plugged it in and the light comes on, that's all I know. Free to a good home for the price of shipping. PM me if your interested and include an e-mail address.
There's one almost identical to it on E-Bay right now, mine has what looks to be a film splicer with it.
I had boxes upon boxes of 35mm slides. I set up a projector and showed them on a piece of poster board. With a digital camera set up on a tripod was able to take adequate quality digital pictures of the slides. Not HD quality but was good enough. I have some super 8 rolls but the old projector was notorious in taring up the film so I have not ventured into trying those.
My late aunt had several thousand slides of various trips. As she was getting older (she died at age 95) she wondered what to do with them. Her son found a computer printer/scanner that had a back-lighted slot in the lid for exactly the purpose of scanning 35mm film negatives or slides into the computer. She spent many hours doing that, and as a bonus she was able to type in descriptions of the views. I imagine there is still such a scanner available, as this one was not something special - I think he got it at Best Buy for about $120. Of course that doesn't help those of us with movies, but those with slides and negatives of snapshots might want to check it out.
This is something I have researched heavily while for years putting off getting my film converted.
One very important thing I learned is the key term you want to look for is "direct video transfer", and then make sure it is being used correctly.
Lots of places doing "professional transfer" are just playing your film through a projector and recording it from a screen with a camera. This is no good for many of the reasons cited above, not the least of which is potential damage to the film.
Direct video transfer is supposed to play the film directly into a computer frame-by-frame and not doing it as would be done with a projector. The transfer quality is higher, handling of the film more gentle, and they can easily edit out frames that have gone black, so on and so forth.
What I was told by someone who does this is to visit the outfit you'd like to use and ask to see their equipment. If they really do direct transfer, they will be happy to show off their equipment because of the investment they have made. If not, it will either be obvious, or they will refuse to show you.
You may only get one crack at this depending on the condition of your film. Someday I'm finally going to get mine sorted. The only good thing to come of my procrastination is the technology has gotten a little better over time!