Movies! This is where it started for me. I bought my first Super 8 camera while I was in junior high school. Later it turned into a business. I shot TV spots, corporate productions and weddings on Super 8 sound film and had to find a way to transfer film to 3/4" and Beta SP tape with television broadcast quality. I found a place in CA scanning motion pictures for Hollywood films. So here we are in 2018 and it has come full circle. I am using equipment far superior to those days, the latest film scanning technology that takes a high resolution picture of each frame of film. No claw that digs into film sprockets like a projector. The finished product can be a DVD, Blu-ray disc or hard drive, high definition or even 2K properly formatted for modern 16:9 screens. Note that this is huge: the original film frame is formatted for 16:9. Since every frame of film is converted into a jpeg, we can even make high quality still prints from a frame of film!
Don't send valuable one of a kind films to an unknown place you found on the internet. A company may claim to be the best using a slick website but that doesn't mean they are the best choice for your family films. A drugstore or big box store will send your films across the country to a company with multiple stations running films concurrently in order to do them as fast as possible, but not the best possible. I have seen film conversions from many different companies. Some things I see are: dark or out of focus edges, black borders, flicker, fast motion. Some "professional" transfers are nothing more than a camera shooting a projected image off of a wall! Frame by frame film scanning (no projector, nothing to damage the film) is how Hollywood films are archived. There are scanners ranging from consumer grade to Hollywood movie grade. I use new technology and a professional grade scanner optimized for 8mm, super 8 and 16mm. Smaller reels will not be spliced onto larger reels and your films will be returned in the same or better condition. The method and equipment used and skill of the archivist make a difference in the finished product. There is no watchdog agency that assures any kind of quality standard for film archiving and people can say whatever they want on websites and advertisements. I am a film and video archivist with an emphasis on quality rather than quantity. I do not do a high volume of film. The advantages for you are that my attention will be laser focused on your project; you will get the highest quality; and your films will not be sent from my place to yet another place across the country. The cost is .30 per foot of film, including an ISO Certified archival DVD, a standard DVD and high definition (1920x1080p) digital files saved to a hard drive you supply, or we can sell you a hard drive. No additional charges for attaching leaders or splicing, unless your films are falling apart or moldy. There is a 10% discount if you do not need a DVD and only want digital files. Beware of super low internet prices. This is a craft not a commodity.
If you are local, I am happy to meet you at a location and time convenient for you to discuss your family films, give you advice and options and give you an exact price quote. Since my start in Super 8 film many years ago, I have served local customers. Through word of mouth customer recommendations I have received orders from across the country and even from other countries; I would be honored to archive your films if you are not local; call me for safe shipping advice. If you want top quality and extreme personal attention, call me. Mike Madden (651) 452-0546.