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Get “REEL” About Your Home Movie Legacy Before It’s Too Late, Part I
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Welcome to Reddit,
Send me updates about cool new gear, production jobs, and the inspiration from the KitSplit community. The fact is we should be worried about our home movies.
We are in a digital dilemma about our growing personal libraries, and it can be a daunting task to digitize, organize, and share the material, given our rapidly changing technology. So we hold off. Now more than ever technology gives analog material new opportunities! Do you want to just see it, share it, edit it, sell it as stock footage, have it on the Internet, or use it as genealogy research?
This will dictate the type of workflow and playback chosen.
Make sure you work with a professional who understands your needs. They are part of our family assets, and help our legacy live for future generations. The original material needs to be protected and preserved with integrity, and should only by handled by people trained in working with original material on equipment designed specifically for digitizing media.
Make sure the handler has experience is assessing the condition of the film and is working with equipment that will not further damage the material.
Get "Reel" About Your Home Movie Legacy
Here is a list of the most common and the approximate years the format was released. Super 8 and 8mm film formats side by side. If they are, get these scanned ASAP! This is the single most important tip I can give you!
There are so many places that now offer transfers, often on very primitive equipment. These are usually modified projectors that can compromise the integrity of the film. You only have one archive! Hundreds of reels are destroyed every year. It can be difficult to get access to good projectors and tape players. Additionally, each time you project aging film, it runs the risk of being scratched or damaged.
The perforations of the film shrink over time and often do not line up in the projector properly.
Our recommendation is to scan everything except commercially produced films. Because you are dealing with original material, there are generally no copies, and it is worth it to have a back up.
What You Need to Know Before You Convert Your Old Home Movies
I have seen Mother Nature or fire destroy entire film and video libraries and if there was no back up, it is a devastating loss. Sometimes there is a single golden nugget on the reel that makes it a compelling part of the library. As in most things in life, you get what you pay for, and there are lots of places that transfer film very low quality, very inexpensively, and compromise the integrity of the material.
Some Big Box stores send it out of the country and do it factory style.