All cinefilm that I digitize will be comprehensively cleaned before I transfer it. Over a film’s lifetime of being played and stored it will build up quite a residue. Everything from dust, hairs, oil, grease, fingerprints and various specks. All of these will potentially end up on screen if the film is not thoroughly cleaned first. Firstly, I use the Industry standard ECCO cinefilm cleaner and I now have 3 of them operational for varying film formats.
I import the American industry standard “Filmguard” fluid which will clean and lubricate your film without reacting with it so there is no harm to your film whatsoever all allied to a pair of PTR rollers and a built-in wetgate system. Air cleaning is just not sufficient as it will only deal with very loose material leaving everything else behind. So, it really is belt and braces to get the cleanest possible version of your film archived.
A typical 8mm frame is just 4.5mm across, so a 1mm speck will cover over 20% of the width of the image. Blow that up onto a nice modern 40 inch screen and suddenly it is an 8inch blob on your screen, which cannot be a good thing.
Your films will be returned to you in a far better condition than they have been for many years, cleaned, lubricated and ready for many more years of archive storage
I have found over the last few years that the more time I spend on your archive BEFORE it gets to the new “Scanbox 4K” the better the final outcome. So during the cleaning process I take the films off your reels and put them on professional 1,200ft reels. I make sure all of the leaders are in good condition and the splices are good enough to ensure a smooth transition through my machinery. Within reason I will happily repair two splices per 100ft. Over that I will reserve the right to charge a nominal amount per splice. I have to do this as sometimes I get a 200ft reel with 40 broken splices or just “bits of film”.
During this process I also keep a close eye on the sprockets to make sure these are in good condition. The “Scanbox 4K” is capstan driven with laser registration so doesn’t need sprockets to drive the film. However, I will repair any severe damage.
After the archive has been digitized your films will be returned to their original reels and returned to you, usually in far better condition than they arrived here.