8mm to DVD Transfer – 4 Questions for you

8mm to DVD transfer seems pretty straightforward. However, there are actually a number of options to think ahead before you show up at the film transfer lab.

1. Background music – Most 8mm film is silent. There are some Super 8 film with sound, but the VHS came out very soon after Super 8 sound film, so it’s quite uncommon to find film with sound. Many customers ask to put background music as they anticipate the stroll down memory lane. Still, some customers prefer the silence – more authentic. That’s how they remember watching the film decades back with their family – in silence.

2. Leader between reel – If your film are in 50-foot reels, which are about 3 inch in diameter, the reels will be spliced together into one big reel. That’s because each 50-foot reel is only 3 minutes in length, it is not practical to put each reel on a CD. The choice you need to make is if you want a leader between the reels when they are spliced together. A leader is about 5 seconds of whiteness that separates the individual reels. Some customers like the leader because it tells them when one reel ends and when the next reel starts. Some customers find it annoying that there’s 5 seconds of snow every 3 minutes. We recommend no leader.

3. Sequencing – How do you want your film sequenced? Because the film reels are spliced into one DVD, how the film is sequenced matters. For some of you lucky people whose parents or grandparents labelled the film reels with dates, take the time to sequence them by date so what you watch is chronological. If the film reels have no labels, look for clues – postage dates, etc.

4. Transfer to DVD or transfer to a portable hard drive? I’ve seen customers labor over this choice at length. Here’s the simple answer, if you only want to watch your film, choose DVD. If you have plans to edit your videos, choose the portable hard drive. Please consult this post for a more complete discussion on transferring to DVD or hard drive .

If you are not sure what’s on your 8mm film, call and reserve our film viewing station.

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