My experience with transfer of 8mm film to DVD

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Gary_E, Jul 30, 2003.

  1. Gary_E

    Gary_E Second Unit

    May 6, 1999
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    For the past 6 months, I have been working on a family project tracing my family's lineage from my grandparents’ immigration to America, up until present day. I've been restoring old photographs, recording interviews with family members and shooting video of locations we lived in or visited during our lives.

    While on a recent visit to New Jersey, my aunt presented me with 20+ reels of 8mm film, some dating back 50 years. A few of the reels I had seen 20 years ago but many I had never seen before. The films were in fair condition when I saw them back then and I was concerned about their condition all these years later.

    My intention was to shoot the film with a camcorder and hope for the best but then I found a company on-line, located in Naples Florida who specializes in this type of restoration. After numerous e-mails and phone conversations, I shipped the film to Mr. Joseph Kutay owner of Movies2DVD.

    After a 3-week turn-around, I received the DVDs and films back yesterday.

    Some of the films were in pretty bad shape and the evidence of their deterioration shows in the final result, however surprisingly many of the films look remarkably good considering the youngest reels I sent him were from 1964.

    Colors are very good including whites and blacks. There is still some evidence of film damage but overall it is quite impressive how good these old films look. What is most surprising is that none of the transferred film jumps or stutters during the DVD playback.

    I had the option of receiving the films on DVD as either .avi(s), mpeg(s) or have the films authored into a complete DVD. I chose to receive the DVD completed and will rip the .mpeg2 files myself. I may however have a set of discs sent to me with the raw .avi files for future use.

    I have no affiliation with this company or any relationship with Mr. Kutay. I present this information in response to the posts I have read concerning this subject and as a review of the work he did on my personal films.

    If you care to read about his process, visit his website:

    Mr. Kutay is a very nice guy, who answered all my stupid questions and assured me of his care in handling these priceless (to my family) films. It's refreshing to deal with a company and a man, who does what he says he will do and does it well.

  2. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

    Jan 23, 1999
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    I just performed this transfer in my basement and computer room myself with my family 8mm film going back to the late 50s. I ended up with 3 DVDs totalling about 6 hours. I would be very interested in seeing some screen shots from your project. My homegrown transfers came out better than I expected that they would when I started the project, but I would prefer better quality. Of course there's only so much resolution that can be had from an 8mm film picture - I mean the frames are absolutely tiny.

    Read about my experience here.
  3. Ray_D

    Ray_D Auditioning

    Sep 15, 2005
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    I had a bad experience with Joseph Kutay's "Movies to DVD" service. It was a small, simple order, but he held my film (childhood memories) for 4 months and stopped all communications with me. It took a third party threat of court/B.B.B. contact to finally get my dvd made and my film back.
  4. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

    Dec 28, 2001
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    How would one do this at home? I'm very wary of sending my stuff out to someone( Bad customer service, lost in mail, etc) and would prefer a home grown solution..

  5. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist

    Feb 8, 1999
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    Real Name:
    Robert Harris
    IMHO, one of the best entities in the country offering this type of service may be found via this link:

    The owner has a superb background in the handling of film elements with a Kodak facility in Hollywood, and has my support and trust.

  6. TedD

    TedD Supporting Actor

    Jan 9, 2001
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    I do this sort of work on a part time basis. There is a company, that will sell you a specially modified system. He has a sample clip posted.

    This is what I use, currently with a Canon XL-1s camera. The outut is captured using a firewire connection to a PC with each video frame comprising EXACTLY one film frame. This eliminates all strobing and rolling bar effects, normally seen when you just try to project on a wall and capture on video.

    I use Sony Vegas to edit and color correct the AVI. Then I can use it as source to author DVD.

    I am eagerly awaiting the new HD Canon and hope to test it soon.

    The quality of this system is very close to that obtained by using a professional telecine system.

    I have done S8, 8mm, and 16mm in the past.

    A side note to anyone who has home movies:

    Please don't store them in an attic or the garage!!! Many of these films are suffering from fading, and high temperatures will accelerate the process.


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