Baby home movies still stuck in old VHS Tapes?

At our video transfer lab in Newton, MA, we see a lot of babies on our screens as we digitize families’ old home movies, 8mm film or VHS tapes to DVDs.

Parents are so besotted by their newborns, they try to capture every move, every new step, every smile, every breath of those precious few months.

But, I’ve never seen a baby’s reaction to a slice of lemon being captured so humorously like in the video below. This is one memory you want to save.

If you are still hanging on to your old 8mm or 16mm film reels, your old VHS tapes and other home movie tapes, please understand the media has a shelf life. We can help you digitize the old film reels and home movie tapes to DVDs so you can share the memories again. Is there a cute baby moment in your home videos that you can use to blackmail your now teenage or adult children? :-)

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Create a birthday Rock Star

Once you scan your photo you can create a birthday rockstar

Everyone wants to be a rock star right?  Well using JibJab you can turn yourself or
your friends into rock stars.  You’re probably tired of those boring old
greeting cards you pick up in the pharmacy anyway,  so why not create a
fun and exciting greeting using JibJab.  Watch this video from Play It
Again Video to see just how to create one.

 

Video-Editing: a great way to share your vacation trip

Jerusalem pilgrimage with Cardinal O’Malley

This long time Play It Again Video customer went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.  He came to Play It Again Video to make the memories of his special trip even more special.  Although his trip followed in the footsteps of Jesus he did not travel to places in the same order.  So after having Play It Again Video transfer his tapes he had us edit his videos together so they would follow the same order to create one very special DVD.  Play It Again Video can help you with your amazing video editing projects.

Wife surprises husband with old home movie


Karen and husband were vacationing in Maine

Customer Story: Photos in the Kitchen Wall

Linda, one of our repeat customers, found some family photos in a very unique way—inside of someone else’s kitchen wall. They went on quite a journey to get to her, and once she got them, they still had a ways to go!

Her mother’s family home was out west, and the family had long since sold it and scattered when the new owners decided it was time for some kitchen renovation. After knocking down a wall, they looked inside the wall to find, to their surprise, a stack of very old negatives. Luckily for Linda, the new owners decided to track down the original residents of the house and get those lost family photos back to them!

Then began the real work on their part. They started at their town hall, where they found records and information about previous owners of the house. A few generations had passed since Linda’s family had lived in the home, and her mother had gotten married and changed her name since her parents owned that house, but luckily she had some brothers who had kept the family name alive! The new owners tracked down one of Linda’s uncles and sent the stack of antique photos to him.

When Linda’s family got them back, they found that storing negatives in the kitchen wall left them open to all kinds of damage, but it seems that their string of good luck had not run out. Though some had faded or been damaged irrevocably, many of images were salvageable. They were taken using very old photographic equipment, and so they were not a standard size (well, not a standard size these days!) so we scanned the photos on a flatbed scanner to get the whole image, and then reversed the image. From there, some of the negatives just needed a little touching up. Some, however, will require extensive photo restoration.

Here are two of the negatives, and the images as restored at Play it Again Video:

negative-old-car

combine2

Slide Scanning – LeMans Corvette Racecar Found in Florida Warehouse



There’s a story behind every memory media that walks into the door of our store. Larry Berman, motorsport historian with www.briggscunninham.com came in to get his decades old slides scanned. The 35mm slides tell of a story of a famous car race in France. Here’s an excerpt from the AutoWeek:

One of three 1960 Chevrolet Corvettes campaigned by Briggs Cunningham at the 24 Hours of Le Mans–a car whose whereabouts have been unknown for more than 30 years–has been found. Cunningham fielded three Corvettes for the 1960 Le Mans race, the first time Chevrolet’s sports car participated in the race. Cars No. 1 and No. 2 did not finish the race. The No. 3 car famously finished first in its class and in eighth place overall after spending the last hours of the race pitting after every lap to stuff the engine compartment full of ice to keep the engine from overheating. Le Mans rules prohibited the team from adding more liquid to the cooling system.” Click here to read the rest of the story.

Thanks Larry, for the shoutout. Click here, for more information on our slide scanning service. Our slide scanning lab is located in Newton, MA. Have hundreds of slides that you need to go through? Call us and reserve a viewing station (no charge), we have a 80-slide slide viewer/sorter to make it easier to go through your collection of slides.


Murray Sheinfeld doesn’t miss a beat – Part 1

Murray Sheinfeld, Conga Drummer, Newton, MA 002

Murray Sheinfeld, Conga drummer, Newton MA, 2002

 As he taps the pads of his practice drum set, Murray Sheinfeld doesn’t miss a beat. A focused, determined look on his face, he glances up – “86 years old,” he says bluntly.

“All from here,” he adds, pointing a drum-stick-laden fist to the left side of his chest.

Sheinfeld has been behind a drum set for most of the past 70 years, hitting the skins for Betty Grable, Frank Sinatra and a host of other singers, bands and outfits. A career moonlighter, Sheinfeld is currently enlisted in four active bands, playing the set, bass drum and congas for Boston-area ensembles, He bangs out swing and big band tunes four or five nights a week, and marches two hours in scorching weather for parades.

And he’s doing so at 86 years old, an age, he points out, at which rhythm and stamina aren’t easy to come by.
“I’m never going to stop.” Said Sheinfeld’s, sitting in his Commonwealth Avenue condo. “What am I going to do, sit around the apartment?”
For Sheinfeld, a thin man with a robust fashion sense, drumming in all he has left locally. His wife of 52 years, Sylvia, died in 1995, his son passed on before that and his only other child lives in Florida. Some would give up on Massachusetts, the only home Sheinfeld has ever outside of being in the service.

Instead, Sheinfeld packs his drums into his white Cadillac, dons a similar-colored tuxedo, and hits the road with one of the bands of which he’s become an integral member.

My whole life was playing.” He said. “I loved every minute of it. It’s like eating a big steak. I play with my heart and soul.”

Sheinfeld’s thoughts began to turn to drums when he was 15. His parents taught him to dance and he soon fell in love with swing music. As an early teenager, he took the wire rims off a pair of milk bottles and patterned makeshift drum brushes, beating them against everything in the house. His parents decided the kid showed promise and to further his talent — while also saving the furniture — they bought him his first drum set. It didn’t last long.

I beat the s—t out of that thing,” he said. In 1941, at the age of 24, Sheinfeld was drafted into the military. He quickly made a name for himself by helping to book talent for base shows and drums for them. Stationed at camps in America and base in London, Sheinfeld kept soldiers entertained during down time.

The bombs were all over the place,” Sheinfeld remembered. “I was just missing bombs in London. They were coming down from all over the place, let me tell you.” While avoiding death, Sheinfeld got to play with traveling acts in London.

While avoiding death, Sheinfeld got to play with traveling acts in to entertain troops, most notably Grable, whom he backed up on set.
“She was unbelievable,” he said. The draft effectively killed Sheinfeld’s plans to go to college to study accounting. But his father put him to work selling the coats he manufactured, allowing Sheinfeld’s talent to blossom at night. He would stand in at bars, clubs and any type of place that would feature music – all just to play.

I used to play in all kinds of joints for a dollar a night.” He said. “I couldn’t lift the drums, they were heavier than I was.” Even though he never drank nor smoked, Sheinfeld enjoyed the club atmosphere. He was at home whenever swing was wafting through the air.
“Those were the days,” he said.

In those days is when he met Sylvia, a striking woman who would often be confused for Liz Taylor. They met on a blind date.
More than her looks, Sheinfeld was in love with her willingness to be with him despite his hectic schedule.

A musician should never be married, especially a good one. You work all day and play all night. It was tough. It was a tough life,” he said. “I used to come home, eat supper and then put on my tux and go play.”

One of those nights brought together Sheinfeld and Ol’ Blue Eyes. Sinatra played a club in Boston and needed a drummer – the local union hooked him up with Sinatra. “Sinatra is the best swing singer who ever lived,” said Sheinfeld, who relished the chance to play with him.
Sheinfeld got that opportunity by not settling with one band. Rather than see the same people and play the same music day after day, Sheinfeld decided then to keep himself strictly freelance.

I never liked to do steady work, one-night stands mostly,” he said. “I like variety.”
Now Sheinfeld plays with the America Legion Post 156 marching band put of Waltham, a Shriners swing band, the Natick-based Sweet Little Big Band and Soft Touch, a swing orchestra that donates all of its profits to music charities. Soft Touch has raised $135,000 over the past few years, according to Sheinfeld, donating to Berklee School of Music and setting up music instruction scholarships for high school students.
“We don’t get paid, nobody in the band.” Sheinfeld said. “We help kids, that’s what the function is.”

Sheinfeld plays conga drums in the 18 piece Soft Touch band, which he hopes to bring to more audiences. “A lot of people don’t know about us,” he said. Sheinfeld has been encouraged by retired musicians to move down to Florida. But for him, this is where the action is. This is where the happening joints are. “I say, leave me alone, will you,” Sheinfeld explained. “ I’d rather play than eat.”
~ Written by Matthew Call, Staff Writer, Newton Tab, Aug 2002

Our Favorite Customer – Murray Sheinfeld


I love Paris in the springtime! I love Paris in the fall! But I love you most of all.
That’s the greeting we get every time our favorite customer walks through the door. He walks right by his own picture on the wall, a framed print of a wonderful Newton Tab article written ten years ago about his incredible and long career as a jazz drummer. That career has only gotten longer since, and is showing no signs of slowing down. Murray Sheinfield has been behind a drum set for eighty one years this year. As far as I can tell, he’s better than ever.

I first met Murray while sitting behind my desk (where I am when I meet most of our wonderful customers). He walked in with some recordings of the band he plays with. He was already a regular here, getting albums and cassette tapes transferred to CD so that he can give them away to people who enjoy his gigs, most of the staff of Play It Again Video included. We became such big fans that our boss not only invited him to the company barbecue, but got a drum set there and we had our first company jam session.

We didn’t plan it out much, but it went great just the same.

After Myrtha played piano for a few tunes with Murray, I had the unbeatable experience of singing jazz with him. Pick a song he knows, and he can really make it fly. I was singing with just conga drums, but you would have thought I had a whole swing band behind me. Working where we do, you can bet we got a video. I’ll treasure that DVD forever! I don’t think I’ve ever had that much fun singing, and believe you me, I’ve sung a lot.

Whether playing or just popping by in the afternoon, I think Murray is what’s keeping me young. I thought I’d seen and heard it all in my 23 years (which don’t seem like very many next to nearly 96!) but I’ve never met anyone like him. He’ll never leave you without a wink and a joke, and he’s always dressed to the nines no matter whether he’s playing with a swing band or just grabbing some CD copies and heading to the post office on a Wednesday afternoon. He makes me think that maybe, as he says, guys today don’t know what they’re doing. I’ve never met one who can make me feel as happy and as pretty as Murray does every time he walks in the door. Most of the young men of today don’t have it in them to be as charming as Murray is, but it wouldn’t hurt them to try! And it goes without saying that they could use a little romantic education from him as well.

I met my wife in January—I married her in September! I don’t know what’s wrong with guys today,” he tells me at least once a week. There’s something just wonderful about the way he talks about his wife. Still so respectful, no matter how familiar she may be. He lost her a few years ago to cancer, but they were married for 51 years. From what I know of Murray, those were some wonderful years. He keeps her picture in his wallet, and I have to agree with him—she looked just like a young Liz Taylor.  The third time he took out his picture of her, I went home and gave my boyfriend a wallet sized photo of myself.  Maybe everyone’s life could use a little bit of old-school charm. And everyone could use a visit from Murray every now and again, to keep them young.

Written by : Rachel Esteban, Play it Again Video resident author 

My Wife’s Upcoming Batmitzvah

Because the bat mitzvah ceremony is a relatively recent development traditionally, many adult women did not have the opportunity to participate in this Jewish coming-of-age ritual. In response, the adult bat mitzvah ceremony came into being to offer these women a chance to study about Judaism and to affirm their Jewish faith publicly. Bob Kaplan’s wife, around 60, is one of these women.

To celebrate his wife’s bat mitzvah, Bob created a music video montage out from his wife’s childhood and young adult photos. Many of our scattered pictures video montage – as raved about as they are during the celebration – become even more cherished with time, as they become a memory legacy of a loved one’s life.

For more information on turning your photos into a custom choreographed video montage, go to http://www.scatteredpictures.com

Audio Cassette Tapes Digitized – Hear that Voice Again

Hi, I’m Myrtha, I work at Play it Again Video. Today, a customer, Danielle, walked in the door with audio cassettes she said had recordings of her daughter speaking Balinese. She brought her audio tapes to transfer them to CDs. Danielle and her daughter lived in Bali for a number of years right amongst the natives. In one of the audio cassettes, we even heard a rooster cock-a-doodle-do.

It was amazing how her daughter picked up Balinese just living there for a few months. From the recordings digitized from the audio cassettes, we could hear her joking with her friends like 2 Balinese little girls. You could not have guessed one of the two had curly blonde hair and deep blue eyes.

I told Danielle, my biggest regret was not recording my daughter saying the Shabbat prayer which she learned to do in Pre-School at the Jewish Community Center near our house. She could say it in perfect pitch and intonation (we are Chinese), and I did not record that on audio or video.

If you did record your children’s voices, we can help you transfer your audio or video tapes to digital forms; you and your children can hear that voice again.