I can accept Cinefilm in just about any format you might have. It might be silent it might have sound, the "Memory HD" can cope with everything.
Sound can be as an optical strip (COMOPT) or as a magnetic strip (COMMAG)
The "Memory HD" has no gate, three separate motors, is capstan driven and has two tension arms so that it can cope with cinefilm in just about any state of disrepair. If parts of your cinefilm archive are shrunken or warped or has damaged sprockets I can still get the absolute best from it. See "Cleaning & Repair" for further details
The total cost of digitizing your cinefilm archive will depend on how many feet of film that you have. To work that out it is easier if you know how many reels you have, what diameter they are and therefore roughly how many feet there are on each reel.
There are many different reel sizes, most of the more popular ones are listed below.
|3 inch reel - 50ft||4mins||2mins|
|4 inch reel - 100ft||8mins||4mins|
|5 inch reel - 200ft
|7 inch reel - 400ft||32mins||16mins|
|9 inch reel - 800ft||64mins||32mins|
|12 inch reel - 1,200ft||96mins||48mins|
|13.5 inch reel - 1,600ft||128mins||64mins|
The larger reels might have graduated marks along the spine of the reel to show how much film you have on that reel.
If you want to create your own archive by doing your own editing I can supply films in file format.
Standard file format for the PC
Standard Definition (720 x 576) files will be in the DV .avi codec at 13GB/hour.
High Definition Files (1920 x 1080) files will usually be in the AVID DnxHD or Matrox I-Frame codec at 30GB to 77GB/hour. (see below)
Standard file format for the MAC
Standard Definition (720 x 576) files will be in the QT .mov codec at 13GB/hour.
High Definition Files (1920 x 1080) files will be in the QT .mov codec at 30GB/hour or AVID DnxHD .mov codec at 77GB/hour.
If you have a particular requirement I can create files in just about any codec you want.
I do all of my cinefilm editing and formatting on Adobe Premiere Pro CS6.0
Please check out the "Hard Disk Drive" section for further details on HDD supply. I also the use "wetransfer" file sharing service if you want to download the files directly.
The easiest way to get a large self edit cinefilm archive safely back is on a Hard Disk Drive. A 500GB - 1TB USB passport sized drive is perfect for this as they do not weigh that much. A brand such as HGST, WD, Verbatim, Seagate, Toshiba, Buffalo or Samsung are readily available.
You can either:
a) Buy one and put it in with your films
b) Order one from an internet supplier and get it sent direct to me
c) Ask me to get one for you from PCWorld / Staples / Maplins, which are at the end of my road. I only charge you what I have to pay.
d) Bring your HDD with you when you deliver the films in person.
If you have a small archive then it might fit on a USB key, if you have one send it with the films, in Standard Definition one hour of film is about 13GB so a 16GB USB Key will do fine.
I also use the "wetransfer PLUS" system at https://www.wetransfer.com/ where I can upload your files for you to download at your leisure. I can upload up to 20GB at a time so even for HD cinefilm this is extremely useful
If you want your family films back as a playable archive that you can use on a normal under-the-TV player then you will need a disc format such as DVD or Blu-Ray.
I only use Verbatim DataLifePlus Thermal printable discs, these are industry standard, the best you can get and you cannot buy them in the shops. I use these because I NEVER want one of my discs to fail and I am prepared to pay for the best there is. I always create beautiful labels using stills from your footage and your chosen titles. To do this I use the superb TEAC P55c Dye Sublimation disc printer.
I NEVER compress the images to squeeze more time onto a disc. There would be no point in using the best digitizer there is, only to compress all of the quality out of those images.
Single layer DVD-R discs take up to 70 minutes of film
Dual Layer DVD+R discs take up to 120 minutes of film
Single Layer BD-R (Blu-Ray) discs take 120 minutes of film
If your archives are longer than these limits I will use more discs to keep the quality on screen as high as possible.
I have been asked on occasion to output the final film onto DV tape. I will happily do this. I only use SONY Professional DVCAM tapes which are acknowledged to be the best in the industry. These DVCAM tapes can be run in various formats and tape sizes.
You can have the tapes back as Mini-DV or as larger standard sized cassettes.
You can have them recorded as DV or DVCAM in Standard Definition or HDV, if your film is in High Definition.
There is a charge of £15 per Sony pro mini-DVCAM tape and £20 per large Sony Pro DVCAM tape. Or you can supply your own if you have stock of them.
The images will be recorded using the top of the range Sony High Definition HDV DVCAM M25E or M15AE decks which can take progressive recordings rather than just interlaced recordings.
The simplest way to get things moving is to either give me a call or drop me an email. We can go through what you have in your archive and what you are trying to achieve.
Call: 01793-495733 (office) or 07940-810733 (mobile)
email: firstname.lastname@example.org - for further details check the "Contact" page.
To be able to give you an accurate quote I will need to know how many reels / feet of film you have. Check out the "Formats Accepted and Reel Sizes" tab for further information on this.
You are more than welcome to bring your archive here and we can go through it in person. Just get in touch and we can work out an appointment that will suit you. If you wish to use the postal service then I recommend using Royal Mail Recorded or Special Delivery.
Please include in your package a covering letter with:
a) Your return and contact details including a phone number and an email address
b) What format you want the films returned as - SD or HD on Disc or Computer files (PC or MAC)
c) If you want discs produced your chosen title for the menus and labels. This should include, if known, a family name and an era. e.g. "The Smith Family - 16mm Cinefilm - 1950s".
For all film archives, whether 8mm, 9.5mm or 16mm, there are two elements to the final total. "Capture" and "Presentation".
The cost of "Capture" is based on how many feet of film you have. The cost of "Presentation" depends on whether you want to have Self-Edit computer files or have playable discs (DVD or Blu-Ray) and how long your archive is in hours.
The table on the next tab "Costs" will outline what these prices are. If you are not quite sure of what you have or I have muddied the waters then.......
a) You are more than welcome to call me to go through what you have and I can give you a quote.
b) If you want to bring the films to me, here in Swindon, we can go through your archive together and I will give you an accurate quote before you leave.
c) You can post the films to me and I will give you an accurate quote before any work starts. You are under no obligation to proceed and I will return your films to you if you decide not to go ahead.
Cine Film Digital Capture charges
|the first 100ft||£40||£34|
|per 50ft Silent||£14||£12|
|per 50ft Sound||+£1||+£1|
Cine Film Digital Presentation charges
|Definition (per hour of film)||HD||SD|
|Editable PC or MAC Files||£25||£16|
The Final Total will be the "Capture" charge plus the "Presentation" charge.
Summary for Silent film in Standard Definition
The capture charges are £34 for the first 100ft and then £12 for every further 50ft
You then have the choice of how you want the images returned, either as a playable DVD at £28 per hour of film or as SD Computer files at £16 per hour of film. (1 hour = 800ft @ 8mm or 1,600ft @ 16mm)
Cost Example - For 800ft Silent 8mm Film onto DVD.
£34 first 100ft
£168 next 700ft (£12 per 50ft of silent film)
£28 for up to one hour SD DVD Editing / authoring
Summary for Silent Film in High Definition
The capture charges are £40 for the first 100ft and then £14 for every further 50ft
You then have the choice of how you want the images returned, either as a playable Blu-Ray at £40 per hour of film or as HD Computer files at £25 per hour of film. (1 hour = 800ft @ 8mm or 1,600ft @ 16mm)
Cost Example - For 800ft Silent 8mm Film onto Blu-Ray.
£40 first 100ft
£196 next 700ft (£14 per 50ft of silent film)
£40 for up to one hour HD Blu-Ray Editing / authoring
Duplicate copies of your family's films make ideal gifts for anniversaries, Christmas or birthdays.
If you want duplicate copies of your archive for yourself as a back-up or for other family members you can order them at any point. You can get duplicates with the original order or up to two years later.
With original order
£10 - Single Layer DVDs (up to 70 minutes)
£16 - Dual Layer DVDs (up to 120 minutes)
£25 - Blu Ray discs (up to 120 minutes in HD)
£4 - Cover Design
Up to 2 years later
£13 - Single Layer DVDs (up to 70 minutes)
£20 - Dual Layer DVDs (up to 120 minutes)
£30 - Blu Ray discs (up to 120 minutes in HD)
£5 - Cover Design
To be able to give you access to duplicates up to two years later I have invested in reliable long term storage. I now have 100TB of back-up space using Enterprise Class Hitachi (GTech) Storage Raid structures.
This means that if your Great Aunt or Nephew visits at Christmas and they decide they would like a copy of the family archive you can just get in touch with me and I can organize duplicates for you.
Likewise if you lose your originals, whether on disc or files I can provide all of the originals back to you up to two years later.
The biggest loss one of my customers suffered was £770 due to reformatting his MAC computer and wiping his own Cinefilm files. He went to a Hard Drive Retrieval company and was told it would be over £1,000 to get the files back forensically with no guarantee of file integrity, he rang me to see if I could help, not realizing I still had the original digital versions. I was able to recreate his entire archive for £60, saving him a whopping £940+ in total. He was thus able to get all of his digital masters back 15 months after the original work was completed.
The sensible thing to do is back your own files up, but for whatever reason, if things go wrong I will still have them.
These are just some of the Museums, Universities, Schools, notable individuals and companies that I have been fortunate enough to digitize archives for over the last few years.
When people ask me what I do for a living I say "In general, I make people cry" indeed many emails or letter I get back involve describing some form of tear and laughter filled session with family and friends. This is lovely and I find this very rewarding to know that I have made someone happy.
Here is a small selection of the comments that I have received over the last few years. All genuine and if you wish to contact me about any of them you are more than welcome. Even with my own testimonials I would always take them with a pinch of salt. Many customers are only concentrating on the people and not the quality. I am happiest with the ones that talk about the cleanliness, colour and clarity, happy as I am that the customers are happy, I want the films and the service to be brilliant.......
Thank you for converting my Dad’s old standard 8 cine to DVD. Your attention to detail is extremely professional coupled with your genuine care for your customer’s historical memories.
Mike Wilson - Edinburgh
Thank you very much for the great film.
About a year ago I sent off my dad's cine film to Alive. It had been in an attic for years and Alive had a cine offer, so I just ran upstairs dug out the box and sent it off.They led me to understood that little pieces of off cuts offs were hardly worth the effort. But the little pieces were the only bits that had grandmother on it turned out.
That's why I'm so grateful for you work. This film is truly great, so much better to have 'live' film than old photos, her personality is in the film. My sister Shirley will be stunned I know it, because she really does treasures the memories of that last time seeing our lovely German grandmother.
It was lovely to have the film done by someone I felt cared too. And I love that the package was beautifully presented.
So thanks on all counts Chris.
You caused us to have a very late night last night, I have never seen my wife so keen to sit down and watch a DVD!
The introductory page on the wedding DVD with the trail in the corner and the music is lovely. Watching a surprisingly good quality video with clear audio, which we have not seen in years was a delight, my wife says she cannot remember ever seeing it at all! Seeing and hearing my parents again who have passed over, was a special moment for me.
Also watching a precocious daughter and young son on the old videos was very amusing, now that she has calmed down a little and our son now towers over us!
You have done an excellent job Chris, I honestly did not think you would be able to get this resolution from such tapes compared with the modern HD world. Your customer service is of a high standard, it will be a pleasure to recommend your services to others.
Nigel and Lorraine Cobb
Thank you SO much for the DVDs. They are brilliant and we are all very pleased with them. It is refreshing to deal with someone who is professional, efficient and obviously cares about what he is doing. Many thanks again Lesley Broughton and the Peters family
Just wanted to say a BIG thank-you. Just watched everything and it is fantastic. I bought the camera about 45 years ago so some amazing stuff on it. Can't wait to take them to New Zealand to show my kids and grandchildren.
Many thanks and best wishes.
Everything received safe and intact on Saturday.
I am delighted at the quality of the finished product and am staggered at how well the definition and colour have been reproduced from the cinefilms some of which were taken 50 years ago!
I have been particularly impressed by the professionalism you have shown during my dealings with you - in particular your personal interest in the films and their content in order to be able to organise them into the sequences that were necessary. Its nice to see personal interest shown as opposed to a "conveyor belt" approach to the procedure.
Dr. Bryan Williams
Received the discs and I am delighted with the presentation and quality.
Is it possible you could QUICKLY send me 3 more DVDs and 1 more Bluray disc in time for Friday? Please advise total cost and I'll get back to you by return with a cheque in the post.
You are welcome to add our museum company to your published list of clients. I am impressed with the quality, having seen part of the film projected on a 9.5mm projector (not the one that ripped the sprockets). The DVD is far smoother than the projected film.
It really is refreshing to deal with someone who is thoroughly professional, efficient, helpful and courteous.
My old 1930's black & white films are now easy to watch and enjoy. Chris has cleaned, spliced, edited and titled them in an expert way, adding appropriate music. He even personalised the cover of the DVD by selecting images from the films.
Thank you Chris
"International Man Of Mystery"
Past President of The Magic Circle
Having been told by 3 reputable high street photography and film retailers that it was impossible to convert slides encased in glass onto dvd or cd rom, I contacted Chris. I found Chris's details on the internet and was drawn to his site because I felt it the most honest and straight forward out of a sea of many other sites. Chris informed me that he could convert the slides to dvd and cd rom and indeed he did. I am absolutely delighted with the results, the slides are precious images of my dad and mum from the early 60's. Chris produced for me exactly what I asked for - I could not be more pleased. He put the slides to music of my choice. I am very happy with the results, which have brought such joy to my heart which I will share with my family over Chrsitmas - thank you so much
Donna Mary Butler
Thanks for prompt reply.
By contrast, I had a bad experience elsewhere a few years ago which also probably explains the dirty condition of some of the film. In my first attempt to get this footage transferred, I sent it to a company in Glasgow 2-3 years ago. For some reason it was "lost" with them for about three months while they kept telling me it would be returned soon. I never received explanation for this, and when the order did come back the quality of the reproduction was very poor. Whatever happened in those three months, I reckon they must have handled the film badly since the surface deterioration only occurred afterwards, between then and now, ie. the last couple of years rather than the previous 25 years!
I just wanted to let you know that the DVD and DVD-roms arrived safely this morning and we are delighted with both the quality of the film (which is significantly better than we had hoped for, particularly the quality of the colour) and the presentation of it. We're holding a reunion event in June for the former students who undertook the Expedition when we'll be showing your restored film and it will be the highlight of that occasion without a doubt.
Many thanks indeed for your very careful and efficient work - we'll certainly pass on your details to anyone else we come across who requires a similar service!
With best wishes,
L.S. - Records & Committee Clerk - London Metropolitan University
Received the drive and the films back this morning. Had a quick scan of the files. Look fantastic, quality is superb and much of the footage is unseen as the stock was in such a bad state that it was un-viewable on my projector. Not just memories but a snapshot of the sixties. Great!
Many thanks. Will recommend.
Many many thanks for the DVDs which I received today, they're absolutely brilliant and the quality is far superior to that which I was expecting given the age of the films.
I love the music you've added, it's noticeable and adds to the films without being obtrusive. The less said about the clothes we were dressed in the better! So far we've only watched the first disk but I'm sure the second will be as good! Thanks again, I'll certainly recommend you if I hear of anyone else wanting the same service. Susan Hunting
For all cinefilm archives I will be using the award winning "Memory HD", manufactured by CTM Debrie which I bought from new and it has been regularly serviced and upgraded to make sure it is always it perfect working order. A .pdf data sheet of this equipment can be supplied upon request.
Virtually all of my competitors do not name the equipment they use, or who manufactures it. Some have given their equipment a wonderful vague name but do not show a picture of it but just use phrases like "State of the art" which means nothing. Do ask what system they use and who makes it, then check it out on google. I have invested a lot of time and money in the best equipment in the world for digitizing small format cinefilm. I am really proud of it which is why I am happy to tell you all about it. Also be aware of anybody that tries to tell you that their equipment is "exclusive" to them. No manufacturer in the world will just make one of something. "Exclusive" usually means "Homemade".
There are just 38 telecine machines like mine around the world but I have the only "Memory HD" in private hands in the UK & Ireland because I have been prepared to invest in the very best.
One of the main reasons I was looking to invest in a machine like the "Memory HD" was that I was seeing more and more damaged and imperfect film. My previous system, like many others, was OK if the film was pristine, it would travel through safely enough. However the slightest imperfection would cause problems. Film that was warped, thin, crispy, bent, poor splicing with any kind of damage to the sprockets or which had shrunk would cause issues that would be seen on screen and in some cases meant the film could not be run at all.
The "Memory HD" is capstan driven with three separate driving motors and very sensitive tension arms. It also utilizes a "Light Bath" rather than a single positional bulb. This means that many of the problems listed above, including scratches, can be negated or minimized and the image on screen will suffer little due to the imperfections in the physical film.
So if you know your film is somewhat less that perfect the "Memory HD" allied to my working processes of "FilmGuard" cleaning, repair and preparation will mean you will still get the best possible image on screen.
In early 2012 I had several major upgrades applied to the "Memory HD". One was laser focusing so that I know at any point that the film is in perfect focus with the machine. It is really difficult getting and keeping film in focus and this upgrade has paid for itself already as it leaves me free to concentrate on Colour and exposure safe in the knowledge the Focus is taken care of.
The other major upgrade was installing the ability to pre-programme the "Memory HD" with the correct parameters for each scene before capture (See colour correction - parameters).
This method also means that I can perfectly edit your films for you at no extra cost. If there are any blank, un-viewable spots in your film I will simply tell the "Memory HD" not to capture them.
If your film has a soundtrack I can capture this sound at the same time as your images so that they are perfectly synchronized. This can be a magnetic stripe or an optical stripe on Standard 8mm, Super 8mm or 16mm film. Some companies will tell you that sound cannot be captured or they might charge you a 50% surcharge because they cannot capture the image and the sound at the same time and they have to try and get them sychronized in editing software. If you have sound involving talking to camera then this is a hopeless method of progressing, the sound must be captured at the same time as the image.
If your film is silent I will add a gentle classical soundtrack. I have carefully chosen the tracks I use so that they are not intrusive. If you want to have silence you can either instruct me not to use any soundtrack or you can have the soundtrack and reduce the volume of the TV to zero or use the mute button.
I have just invested a serious amount of money in a TEAC - P55C Dye Sublimation disc printer. I have done this because I want to make the disc in your hand look as good as the image does on screen. I have chosen to do this for positive archiving reasons and have not increased my charges.
Making the disc look good with useful information (who, when, where) and 3 quality pictures from your cinefilm means it is more likely to be saved and therefore survive passing through the generations. Finding a blank disc in a drawer in 20 years time or a disc with just "Smith" written on it in felt tip pen increases the chances of it being discarded as rubbish. The whole point of digitizing cinefilm is to save it for future generations and I will do anything I can to increase the chances or your archive's survival.
Using a Dye Sublimation (Thermal) printer with Verbatim Thermal DataLifePlus discs means that the disc label will be waterproof, scratch-proof and it will never, ever fade unlike inkjet printing which is susceptible to all of these three issues. In 20 years the image on your disc will still look strong and not a smudged and faded blur as is typical of inkjet printing.
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. I use the Industry standard ECCO cinefilm cleaner and I now have 3 of them operational for varying film formats. The cleaning fluid used is "FilmGuard" by Film-Tech the industry standard film cleaner from America. FilmGuard will clean and lubricate your film without reacting with it so there is no harm to your film whatsoever. Air cleaning or PTR rollers are just not sufficient as they will only deal with very loose material leaving everything else behind.
A typical standard 8mm frame is just 5.5mm across, so a 1mm speck will cover almost 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 "Memory HD" 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 20 broken splices or similar.
During this process I also keep a close eye on the sprockets to make sure these are in good condition. The "Memory HD" is capstan driven 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.
If you can imagine the conditions that your cinefilms were shot under. Some dark rooms, under yellow lights and some outdoors, bright sunshine, beaches and sea, woods and buildings, white wedding dresses against dark churches. Each of these scenes need careful handling. You cannot just get the first few frames right and then set the film off. This is because as soon as the scene changes from indoors to outdoors the exposure and colour will need changing to make them look realistic.
The image to the left is my pre-capture imaging software, allowing me to manipulate the image before it is captured. This is the equivalent of being able to "photo-shop" every scene BEFORE it is digitized.
For every scene on your film I can set the individual parameters for colour, exposure, shadows, highlights, contrast, hue, saturation and luminescence with total control of RGB and HSL at every point. All of this is done BEFORE I capture the images using the hardware of the "Memory HD". The final outcome will be vastly superior if this work is done in hardware for each scene individually before capture rather than just putting an "Auto-colour" filter over the whole film in the editing software. it takes time to do each scene individually but the on-screen image is just so much better.
It is my job to make sure that every frame of your film has the best possible colour and exposure. It is hard to get the shadows and highlights right so that you can see individual leaves on a dark tree in the background whilst still being able to see the folds on a white wedding dress in the foreground. A most difficult balance to strike. In summary, by the time I have finished programming the film in the "Memory HD" will know what every single frame should look like and remember it.
One of the new upgrades I have had installed on the "Memory HD" is the ability to pre-program in all of the edit points that the machine will digitize. This means that if there are any un-exposed and blank pieces within your film they will be edited out during this process. You will not have to sit through so much as even 1 second of "blank" waiting for your films to restart.
On your instruction I can also pare down overlong scenes. So if you know you have long scenes of flower beds or forests I will cut these down. For example you might have many 60 second shots of various harbours that you want reduced to 15 seconds or so. It will make the film flow and you will still know that you were there but it can make a film more watchable,
Because I keep the digital films in an editable fashion for a long period of time I can edit specific pieces of film out at a later date if you want. You might want specific scenes or people cut out. All you have to do is give me a disc number, chapter number, in and out points and a brief description of the scene and your unwanted scene will be gone.
Many customers want to be able to give a copy of their family's archives away to another family member. For this purpose I offer the service of creating a bespoke Cover service. To do this I carefully go through your archive selecting 14 of the best stills. I have a lot of experience in successfully choosing these stills. I will pick a good selection of facial close-ups and family groups with a good cross section of older and younger family members.
The cover service will finish off the professional look of your archive and will cost £15 for the master copy and £4 for a duplicate copy.
If you choose a cover and have details of the reels within your archive I will print those details on the inside of the cover. I use clear Amaray DVD cases and you will be able to read the details of your archive without removing the cover.
Reel 01 - May 1974 - Maureen and Bob's house - Folkestone.
Reel 02 - August 1974 - Mary's 2nd birthday party - Warwick
The latest area of my archiving service to be upgraded is that of labelling Discs. All CDs, DVDs and Blu-Rays are Verbatim DataLifePlus Thermal Printable. These are the best you can get and you cannot buy them in the shops.
I have recently upgraded to a TEAC Dye Sublimation disc printer. This is the type of printer used by the music and software industry to make discs look as good as possible. Thermal printing gives a perfect colour image which will never fade or run. It is scratch proof and it will make your archives look as good in the hand as it will on screen.
Each label will be made with your chosen title and three images from the footage on that disc. Usually a good facial close up of your child or maybe you as a child or possibly a parent or grandparent from the film. I take a lot of care to make these images not only the best, flattering shots but relevant too. Presentation is key to me particularly if you are thinking of giving your archive or a duplicate disc as a gift to someone close.
Whenever I create a disc, whether DVD or Blu-Ray, I will create a nice musical menu. For this I will choose a really good still photograph from your archive. It is amazing how many times I find a perfect picture of a family group or Mum and Dad on a hillside pointing at the sky.
I will print all of your main title of choice as it also appears on the disc label. On the DVD Menu your film will be playing in it's own little window. All you have to do is press play or enter and your family archive will begin.
This bespoke menu service is included in the price, I always try to make your archive look as attractive as possible.