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(508) 653 1500

16 Burning Tree Rd Natick, MA

Serving The Greater Boston & Beyond

Film to DVD Conversion FAQ

Film Questions:

1 - What are the different film formats that you can convert?

We will safely transfer:

  • 8mm film also known as standard8 or regular8
  • Super8 film
  • Super8 film with sound
  • 16mm film silent, 16mm with Magnetic or Optical sound
2 - How do I know what format of film I have?

The most common film formats are:

  • 8mm film
  • Super8 silent film
  • Super8 film with sound
  • 16mm silent film
  • 16mm film with sound
3 - How do I know how much film I have?

Measure your film reel from edge to edge. There are measurement markers on most large reels so you can approximate how much film you have.
The most common film reel sizes are:

  • 3-inch reel - fits 50 feet of film
  • 4-inch reel - fits 100 feet of film
  • 5-inch reel - fits 200 feet of film
  • 6-inch reel - fits 300 feet of film
  • 7-inch reel - fits 400 feet of film
4 - How do I know the condition of my film?

80% of film that comes through the lab is still in good physical condition. Signs that film could be deteriorating include: Mold or a strong smell of vinegar. If that's the case then bring into the lab so it can be cleaned, lubricated and transferred.

5 - How do I store my film?
  • Check you film before storing, make sure that there's no mold, signs of decaying, shrinkage or a strong smell of vinegar. If you do find any of these problems send your film right away to be cleaned and transferred.
  • Make sure that your film is stored in a cool controlled temperature environment.
  • Try to have your film reels stored vertically.
  • For small 3 inch reels, use a hard plastic case.
  • Film has to breath so if necessary make small holes on the storage case
  • Check your film periodically, I would say annually
  • For small reels that still inside their paper cases, check the case for mold.If cases are moldy copy information from cases and discard them.
  • Don't store your film inside a tied plastic bag.
  • Don't store film on garages, attics or basements.
  • Don't store film under direct sun light.

Film Transfer Process Questions:

6 - Are you a reseller, or will you ship my film out to be converted?
  • No, our film to DVD conversion is all done in our professional lab.
7. What is the HDV STUDIO Film to DVD Conversion process?
  • After receiving your order, we'll label your film reels accordingly.
  • We inspect, replace bad splices where necessary and add film leaders.
  • We clean your film using a fast drying cleaner and lubricant solution.
  • We use a professional machine called DV8 SNIPER PRO, which gently transfers your film frame-by-frame onto a computer as a digital file.
  • We then create DVD's and Digital Master Tapes from that digital file.
  • Super8 sound film is transferred using a Tobin System machine with true speed technology, so film and sound are in perfect sync.
  • Adjustments for bad exposure are made during the transfer process and color cast corrections are all made digitally.
8 - Will your machines damage my film?

No, our machines use a heatless LED light source, so there is no chance of burning the film. We also monitor the transfer process at all times in order to guarantee the quality and safety of your film and your memories.

9 - What is the standard turnaround time?

Film transfer turnaround time depends on volume and season. It normally ranges from 2 to 4 weeks. For high-volume seasons turnaround times, such as Mother's Day and Christmas please call the lab. Rush services are available for your convenience.

10 - After you transfer my film onto a DVD, can I edit the DVD?

It's possible, but not recommended. The video files on the DVD's are highly compressed. In order to make edits, we suggest you transfer your film to an AVI file on an external hard drive. AVI files can be edited on MAC's or PC's. In most cases, simple editing software is already installed on your computer.

11 - What is an authored DVD?

An authored DVD includes a menu with chapters that link to specific parts of the video file, just like in DVD's that you rent or buy. An authored DVD is more enjoyable to watch because you can go directly to specific times or dates on the DVD through the menu.

12 - Can you add music to the film transfer process?

Yes, we can add background music to your DVD. You can choose from the following selections: Easy listening, rock and roll, classical and big band. Additional music options are coming soon. For a more personal experience, we suggest that you create your own music selection and burn it onto a CD and include it with your film order. There is no additional charge for this service.

13 - Am I preserving my film when I transfer it to DVD?

HDV STUDIO believes that DVD's are a convenient way to watch, share and duplicate your memories, but when it comes to safely archiving your film, we recommend other options. As part of our film transfer package we include a Digital Master Tape (MiniDV). We also offer to transfer the film onto an external hard disk drive, that's provided by you, at no additional charge. Please inquire about the additional ways to archive your film, including the safe way to store your DVD's.

Typical problems with film:

  Blurry pictures
The camera was focused incorrectly. This problem cannot be fixed.

  Very light or washed out pictures
The film was overexposed, which can be caused by a number of things such as, the meter batteries on the camera were weak or the film speed set was wrong. HDV STUDIO can improve the quality, but might not be able to totally correct this problem.

  Vertical lines on the film
These are scratches on the film caused by dirt or rough surface on the film gate of the projector or camera track. A wetgate process that improves the look of the film can improve this problem. Currently HDV STUDIO does not use this technology.

  Foreign material on the borders of the film screen
This is usually caused by dirt in your camera gate when the film was shot.
This problem can't be corrected.

  Blue color cast or red color cast
The wrong type of film stock or type of filter was used. To get quality film color you had to make sure to use the appropriate type of film stock for certain times of the day or night, indoors or outdoors.
HDV STUDIO will correct color cast digitally, improving the overall quality of the film transfer.

  Dark pictures
The film was underexposed and the wrong film speed was set on the camera. This problem can be improved but not totally corrected.

  Jumpy pictures with vertical streaks
The camera used to shoot the film was out of adjustment.
This problem can't be corrected.

  Double images on transferred film
Your film was shot twice, causing a double exposure effect. This problem can't be corrected.

  Yellow or red streaks along the edges of film
Two things could have caused this, either the film was light struck when you were loading or unloading the camera, or it wasn't totally secured on the spool after it was removed from the camera.