TRANSFER PROCESS FAQ



How does the process work?

The first phase of transfer is prep. Here, we splice the film onto large, 13" inch archive reels, checking for and replacing bad splices as we go. Then begins the transfer itself. Our scanners capture the film in Ultra HD - the scanner's optics transfer the film at 24 times the original resolution of the film. This called oversampling. By oversampling, we're able to pull more detail off the film, and our spectrum for light and color enhancement is much greater. We then downconvert that raw data into 720p or 1080p (the maximum resolution of the film) and record it to the media of your choice.



So my home movies will look like a Hollywood film?

No - your family film will still retain the texture and inherent qualities of home movies - which is a good thing! We don't add any artificial colors or saturation to your film, rather we use the color that's already on the film to restore your film's quality to as close to - if not better - to how it was originally shot. It's important to remember: the quality of the film itself matters. For example, if you have film that's severely underexposed, there's only so much detail on the film to begin with since not enough light made it through the camera to expose the film. We'll put as much light into it as we can, but there's no process in the world that can create images that just aren't there.



Is there any risk of damaging my film?

No - maintaining the physical condition of your film is critical to our process. Our scanners do not use hot bulbs which can burn film or pressure gates which can scratch film. We don't even rely on sprocket holes to take the film from one reel to another. The motion through the scanner is smooth, with no jitter or low tension so as to not break the film. If you have film that has become exceptionally deteriorated and needs special treatment, we will notify you right away that we are treating your film as a salvage project. Salvage projects take a bit longer than our normal turnaround time, because we will try to do everything possible to scan as much of the film as we can without inflicting damage.



Do you transfer other media, such as VHS tapes, camcorder tapes, and photographic slides?

No, we only concentrate on motion picture film. Film is unlike most other media. It has a large amount of quality inherent to it. Even your small gauge home movies have a tremendous amount of detail, texture and depth. A home movie taken in the 1920s has inherently a significantly higher quality than a camcorder tape from the 1990s. Our focus is on tapping into that quality and transferring as much detail as we possibly can. Most catch-all companies use consumer level equipment when they transfer media. That's suitable for VHS and camcorder tapes. But when it comes to movies, there's a level of quality that just can't be captured without the right technology.





What happens if I overestimate my final cost? If you overestimate your footage, that's no problem. You will only be charged for the footage that was scanned and the media that was recorded. If you pay by check, we will simply send a refund check back along with your project. If you pay by credit card, we won't charge the card until we have wrapped up the transfer and know the exact charge.


What happens if I underestimate my final cost? When we receive the film, we will make our own estimate. If we think the final cost is going to be more than you anticipated, we will let you know right away. We won't proceed with the project until we receive a go ahead from you that it is okay to do so. If you are paying by check, you can simply send a check for the balance due, or charge the balance to a credit card. If you are paying by credit card, we won't charge until the transfer is complete, so all we need is your confirmation of the cost.


Do you use a wet-gate process or dry-gate?

We use a dry gate in scanning. While a wet-gate is designed to reduce the appearance of light scratches in film, the process is more suited for newer film that has been stored in ideal conditions. The process is not suited for home movies, even ones that have been stored well, in metal film cans. The reason is that the dirt and dust that have accumulated on the films will be released in the solution. Even if some light scratches are removed by the solution, an additional layer of noise will be added to the transfer, while the heavier scratches (caused by projecting the film) will remain. In order to remove and reduce scratches, along with dirt, dust, noise and grain, the best method will be digitally, as in our Ultra 1080p process.