8mm Home Movies Transfered to DVD...?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Martin Fontaine, Oct 27, 2002.

  1. Martin Fontaine

    Martin Fontaine Supporting Actor

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    I went to the photo lab to drop a few rolls of film and I noticed they are doing transfer of most format (Including 8mm) to DVD.

    My dad has maybe an hour worth of 8mm movies that he took of me, my sister and other stuff when we were young.

    Are there multiple "Formats" in which it's transfered or is it pretty standard? And I know that my mom and my sisters might want a copy but they don't have a DVD Player. Is this easily copyable to VCD which they could watch on a computer (Without the use of illegal software, I doubt there is CSS Encyption invovled in 8mm Trnasfered to DVD)
     
  2. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  3. TedD

    TedD Supporting Actor

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    Be very careful, many places point a projector at a white wall, then point a video camera at the same wall.

    The result is a very poor quality transfer with rolling bars in the picture, possibly shown at the wrong speed.

    Ask to see a sample of their work before you spend your money.

    The proper way of doing this involves a telecine or a special projector. Another option is a device called a workprinter.

    Ted
     
  4. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    This can also get pretty expensive, even just for the transfer. I have a few thousand feet of film that was damaged in a fire, and I want to transfer what is left to DVD. The few places I spoke with about this indicated I was looking at over a thousand dollars (with undamaged film), and that was only to VHS. I am still looking for a way to do this, probably to DV so I can edit and author my own DVD at home.

    My project is compounded by having to do a lot of restoration since I have about an inch of sprocket missing every wrap of film. It may not be fixable.
     
  5. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Screenwriter

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  6. Dick

    Dick Lead Actor
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    Is there are a program comparable to that built into iMac for PC's? Also, when transferring super to DVD, is a disc which is outside-produced using DVD-R usable as a source disc in a home software program for final editing onto a new DVD "master"? (Does that make sense? I have super 8mm films I wish to re-edit and put on DVD, but I want all the original footage put onto a DVD-R by a company with a good telecine and reputation, and then I want to be able to take that DVD-R, plug it into my PC using some software program, copy it to hard drive, edit, adjust sound and add a little music, and then dump it onto a new DVD-R, which would become my master for duplication. Am I dreaming?)
     
  7. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Screenwriter

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    If you want transfers that you can then take back and edit on your own, have them transfer the 8mm footage to mini DV tape. Then you can capture digitally into your computer using your mini DV cam via Firewire, edit, and burn your own DVDs, etc.
    The 4.3GB of storage of a DVD-R will not hold much footage in the less compressed and preferred DV format vs. mpeg2 (approx. 5 min of video per GB in DV format). This is why you want to edit in DV and THEN author the DVD using mpeg2.
    Using stock, free, out of the box mpeg2 encoders (i.e. the iDVD2 software included in Macs), you can author a 1 hour DVD-R of very nice quality.
    iDVD2 also has an option to go to 1 1/2 hours, but quality suffers, in my opinion since there are automatic compression settings - up to 1 hour is one setting (approx. 8-9 mbps), and > 1hr is another setting (approx 5-6 mbps) - whether it's 65, 85 or 90 minutes). In other words you can't dial in a higher bitrate if you have a 65 minute program vs. a lower bitrate of an 85 minute program. For hobbyists, iDVD2 just prioritizes ease over control/quality.
    To get more than 1 hour of mpeg2 on a DVD-R, better (i.e. more expensive) encoders are recommended.
    I've been able to get a good 1 1/2 hours on a DVD-R using DVD Studio Pro and its included mpeg encoder (which you can manually dial in the compression rate to maximize quality vs. space left on the DVD-R).
    More good stuff on authoring can be found at www.2-pop.com's dvd authoring forum.
    Not sure about turn-key and free Windows PC audio/video editing/DVD burning bundles; perhaps someone else can chip in.
    Cheers,
    Felix
     
  8. TedD

    TedD Supporting Actor

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    Felix is correct:

    You don't want them transferred to DVD until after the editing process. You can't edit them due to the fact that only every 16th or so frame is a complete image and the decompression - recompression steps will degrade image quality.

    They should definitely be in DV format for editing, then the edited output is rendered as an MPEG2 file suitable for burning onto DVD.

    That's 3 steps:

    Telecine to DV
    Edit the DV and render to mpeg2
    Author and burn the DVD from the mpeg2 file

    Ted
     
  9. Jim Robbins

    Jim Robbins Stunt Coordinator

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    I copy my own 8mm films to DVD. The projector I use has a 5 blade shutter that keeps flicker to a minimum. I copy via a Sony camcorder and a telecine converter. I then feed this into Premiere(editor) to add titles and effects. I output back to DV. I then convert to MPEG2 or mpeg1 using TMPGenc(shareware) and feed this into DVDComplete which makes the DVD. You can take the mpeg2 files from a finished DVD and convert them to mpeg1 using TMPGenc but the quality will not be near as good as using DV as the source. Some DVD authoring packages will let you make a cDVD which is 15min of mpeg2 and a runtime version of WinDVD. These will play on any computer with a fast enough video card.
    I agree with others to view a sample of the firm's work.
     
  10. Dick

    Dick Lead Actor
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    Felix, assuming I will have to go out and purchase a DV in order to be able to complete this operation, how does a firewall have anything to do with editing (I am semi-computer literate but have much to learn)? Will the MPEG 2 that I produce from the DV mini-tape be compatable with standard DVD players? Thanks for your help, BTW.
     
  11. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Screenwriter

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    Dick -

    It's Firewire, or IEEE 1394 - the digital connection/transfer protocol between the DV cam and the computer.

    You do not "produce" the mpeg2 from the mini DV. All DVD players have mpeg2 decoders - the compatibility lies in the authoring of the disc.

    If you're just getting a minDV cam, and don't even know if your computer is configured (or able) to edit video and author DVDs, or if this still doesn't make a whole lotta sense, you have to dig a little. There are some great books out there and websites/forums that go beyond basic dvd discussion here.

    Cheers,
    Felix
     
  12. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    I've got a Mac, with the appropriate software, and my Dad has over a hundred home movies, made with an 8mm movie camera (some as old as 1946). In the 80s, these movies were made into videos, but the quality is very bad, and I would like to remake these into DVDs, and do what I can to preserve the movies (which are very brittle).

    What hardware do I need to buy to make digital copies of these movies myself? Or should I have them digitized professionally, and then make the DVDs myself?
     
  13. Jim Robbins

    Jim Robbins Stunt Coordinator

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    I selected a Sony 340 Digital8 for digitizing because it could handle Hi8 and had a analog in for VHS as well. I had far too many films and tapes to have it professionally done. The cheapest place charged $30 for tape to DVD 2hr content. This is an automated process with no edits etc. The mac would accept the firewire and input DV. Some software like Studio 8 has all that is needed to do the rest if you have a DVD-R/+R burner. The hardest thing is finding a 8mm projector that is suitable for video transfer. I brought a european projector back from Germany that had speed control and a 5 blade shutter. This reduces the flicker of 16-18fps 8mm when converted to 30fps. Telecine converters can be found on the web for correcting the image from projector to camera. Last I checked Ritz camera wanted $125 for 8mm film to DVD. It's a lot of work but those old films are worth it.
     
  14. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    Of course, my Dad's home movies are only about 5 minutes each. The whole thing amounts to about 5 hours worth. I wonder if the store would charge me for each, or just the total time.
     
  15. Jim Robbins

    Jim Robbins Stunt Coordinator

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    You could splice them together and place them on a 400' reel. That holds about 30min. If they do it, they'll charge you. You also need to get a film cleaner solution and run the completed film though.
     
  16. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    The real problem with these movies is that they are so faded (not unlike many Hollywood movies!). I wonder if it's worth it to try and "restore" them -- it's just me and my family having birthday parties and taking baths, etc.

    LOL
     
  17. TedD

    TedD Supporting Actor

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    If you use a film cleaner on old Kodachrome film, you may wind up with a disaster on your hands. I have found that the emulsion may develop fine cracks over time that will become far more visible if you use any kind of film cleaner.

    Ted
     
  18. TedD

    TedD Supporting Actor

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    DeeF, If they were shot on Kodachrome, they should not be faded. If they were shot on Ektachrome, fading could be extreme.

    The better NLE's like Vegas Video and Abode Premier contain tools to apply color correction to handle fading and color shifts.

    Ted
     
  19. Mike Brantley

    Mike Brantley Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree re Kodachrome. Kodachrome was very popular for home movies for a long time (and is still available as unexposed stock from Kodak), and that stuff is truly archival. I've seen decades-old home movies on Kodachrome that still look stunning. Old B&W holds up well, too.
    Have a look at my site for some info and listings of companies that deal with some of this stuff. There is also a forum where members discuss things like digital transfer of 8mm film.
    http://www.super8filmmaking.com
    I sure wish I could find a 5-bladed movie projector to reduce flicker on my home transfers to MiniDV. They are elusive and pricey when they do pop up on eBay.
    Whenever you get your material moved over to DV, DVD, whateever.... please keep your original film elements safe. Kept in a cool, dark, dry place, they'll last a long time.
     
  20. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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