Film Transfer

Top Questions About Our Film Transfer Services

Below are common questions we get about our film transfer process. If your questions are not answered below please feel free to contact us. Or better still, drop by our brick-and-mortar store and on-site film transfer lab in Newton, MA.

  1. What types of films do you convert?
  2. Do you ship the film off-site to be processed?
  3. Why transfer my film at Play it Again?
  4. How long will it take to transfer my film reels?
  5. What does the price include?
  6. Do you have two-tiers of service: standard and premium quality?
  7. Can you put background music on my silent film?
  8. I want to transfer my film, but need to see what’s on it first. Do you have a viewer in the store?
  9. How many minutes of footage are on each film reel?
  10. How many reels will fit on one DVD?
  11. The film box says 25 feet. Why do you tell me there’s 50 feet of film?
  12. Do I get my original film reels back?
  13. How much does it cost?
  14. Where can I find more information?

Q. What types of films do you convert?

We specialize in 8mm, Super 8, and 16mm film, silent and sound.

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Q. Do you ship the film off-site to be processed?

No. We do it right on-site. Your precious film does not leave the premises until you come back to pick them up.

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Q. Why transfer my film at Play it Again?

We are local.  All work is done on-site.  Your film stays right here until you pick them up.

We’ve been transferring film for 25 years.  We use a combination of old-fashioned technology – hand-cleaning every inch of the film and repairing any sprocket damage – and the best 3CCD film-transfer equipment out there to get the highest film to dvd digital transfer quality possible.]

100% Satisfaction Guarantee.  If you are not satisfied with the quality of our transfer, we will redo the work or give you a full refund (up to $200).

In addition to the DVD, you receive a Master digital backup tape at no additional charge. In case you put a scratch on a DVD, or break it, you don’t want to pay for the film processing all over again.  The master digital backup tape allows you to reproduce the DVD for only a tiny fraction of the cost.  What else? If at a later time, you decide to upgrade to Blue Ray, or if you decide to edit the video and need it on an external hard drive, the high-resolution video on the master digi5tal backup tape lets will give you much better results, than using the compressed video on the DVD.

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Q. How long will it take to transfer my film reels?

  • Film is much more labor-intensive than transferring video cassettes.
  • It takes about 3 weeks to clean, condition the film, make necessary leader and sprocket repair, digitize the film, add any background music you may request, and create a final DVD and a backup Master digital tape.
  • If you need your film sooner than 3 weeks, please let us know. Since we do the work on-site, we can often accommodate your tight schedule (rush fees may apply).

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Q. What does the price include?

Film processing is labor-intensive because these media are 30 to 50 years old. So a considerable amount of prep work is required before the film even gets on the transfer projector.
The film transfer fee includes these services:

  • Cleaning and conditioning of film (every inch of film is cleaned with Kodak film cleaner to get years of grime and dust off)
  • Minor film and leader repair (our equipment is sprocketless, harmless to your film)
  • Splicing into larger reels as needed
  • Monitoring and adjustments from start to finish
  • Generic Opening “Memories” Title
  • Choice of background music
  • DVD copy and
  • archival-quality Master DV backup tape

More importantly, all our work includes a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.

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Q. Do you have two-tiers of service: standard and premium quality?

No, we don’t think it makes sense to have 2 transfer standards. Who would not want to have the best quality transfer on their priceless family home movies? We use a 3CCD (3-chip) camera/film projector for all our transfers. Our transfer quality and finished DVD is second to none. If you can find another lab that can give you a sharper, more vibrant transfer quality, we will refund you your money. We have been transferring film for 25 years. Through that time, we have continued to upgrade our equipment and software and skills. We claim that when it comes to film transfer, the quality, color and sharpness of our film transfer is second to none.

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Q. Can you put background music on my silent film?

Yes. You can choose from 4 playlist at no additional charge: Easy Listening, Light Classical, 50′s & 60′s Rock ‘n Roll, 40′ and 50′s Big Band.

You can also bring in CDs with your own music selection to use as background music for a small extra fee.

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Q. I want to transfer my film, but need to see what’s on it first. Do you have a viewer in the store?

Yes, we have a film viewer in the store. Call us to set up a time to view your film. There is no charge at all. Please understand that our lab is very busy, so our film-viewing time is limited, but we will accommodate your schedule as best we can.

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Q. How many minutes of footage are on each film reel?

The running time for 8mm film, Super8 film are approximately:
3″ reel (50 feet) 4 minutes
4″ reel (100 feet) 8 minutes
5″ reel (200 feet) 16 minutes
6″ reel (300 feet) 24 minutes
7″ reel (400 feet) 30 minutes

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Q. How many reels will fit on one DVD?

A DVD can fit up to 2 hours of video. 2 hours of video is roughly 1,600 feet of film.

Since I don’t know the size of your film reels, I cannot tell you how many of your reels fit on the DVD, but you can use the estimate above (previous question) to figure it out.

We’ve also created a video to show you how to estimate how much footage is on your film.

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Q. The film box says 25 feet. Why do you tell me there’s 50 feet of film?

If you look again at the box your film is in, you will see that it says you have “Double 8mm” film. What this means is: your film is of a certain type that was actually twice as wide and had exposure on both sides of its cartridge. You shot one side of the film, then flipped the cartridge around and shot on the other side of the film. So, when your film was developed, the 25 foot double 8mm reels were split down the middle and spliced end to end. The result being a 50 foot reel of 8mm film.

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Q. Do I get my original film reels back?

Yes. And in better shape than when you handed them to us. When you get back your original film reels, they would have been cleaned, conditioned, repaired of any minor leader or sprocket damage, and ready to be archived. Small 3-inch film reels would have been spliced together into larger reels in acid-free archival-ready film reel cases.

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Q. How much does it cost?

Please see our pricing page.

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Q. Where can I find more information?

Call us at (617) 332-3300. Or better still, drop by our brick-and-mortar store and on-site lab in Newton, MA. 

You can also find frequently asked questions about our

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