We believe there are six main differences:
Our website operations are based in Longview, Texas at 1020 W. Loop 281. We have a walk-in, retail location at the Longview site, and another one in Tyler, Texas. We are a real business, with a real business location, not a home based business, hobby or second job.
Depending on your format (8mm or Super8), you can fit 16-20 three-inch reels, 4-5 full five-inch reels, 2-3 full six-inch reels or 2 full seven-inch reels. Once one DVD is full, we simply move on the next, and label everything appropriately ("disc 1 of 3", "disc 2 of 3", etc.). There is no additional charge if your order takes up more than one DVD, although this will affect the price of additional copies since we charge $10 per disc for extra copies.
Simply indicate the number of extra copies you want in the appropriate space at the bottom of your order form. Copies cost just $10 per disc. If you are calling to order at a later date, we will need to know the original customer name and month and year of the order.
3-inch diameter reels generally hold 50 feet of film. These reels are roughly the size of the palm of your hand. For 5, 6 and 7-inch diameter reels, we charge for the actual amount of film on the reel. A full 5-inch reel holds 200 feet of film, a full 6-inch reel holds 300 feet of film, and a full 7-inch reel holds 400 feet of film. Most of these larger diameter reels will have a gauge etched into one of the spokes of the reel that measures the length of film on the reel. Sometimes this gauge is very hard to see and you may have to look closely to see it. Once you find this gauge you can determine how much film your reel holds and what the pricing will be. The invoice we will return with your shipment will show you exactly what reel sizes you have and how you were charged.
Yes, if you have a sound stripe on your Super8 film, we will transfer any recorded audio. Same pricing as silent 8mm film. Note that less than 1% of all Super8 film has a sound stripe, and that some sound film does not actually have anything recorded on the sound stripe. Note also that because the sound on your film is recorded magnetically, it is subject to a more rapid deterioration than the film stock itself. The older the recorded sound stripe is the more likely that it will have warbly or degraded audio.
We do not offer music accompaniment for four reasons:
First, each of your reels is a separate menu item on the DVD. Because the majority of 8mm and Super8 film in existence is on 3 inch reels, and these run from 3 to 4 minutes, most songs would be truncated (cut-off at the end). There would not be a continuous flow of music.
Second, remember that these DVDs will last many, many years. We have seen transfers done back when VHS first came out, and the accompanying music is usually so bad you want to leave the room. Musical tastes change over time, and you or your heirs will probably not like the music in 20 years and turn the sound down anyway.
Third, we respect copyright laws, and most popular music is copyrighted.
Finally, it would cost extra, and we are a low-cost provider of 8mm to DVD transfer services. We strive to keep our prices as low as possible, and adding music would increase our cost, and thus the price you pay
If you want music, we recommend playing your favorite CD in your stereo while watching your home movies on DVD.
Yes you can. We can create editable .AVI, .MP4 or .MOV files of your 8mm film transfer and write them to a USB thumb drive for an additional charge of $15 per disc/hour of material. Just indicate this preference at the bottom of the order form.
Our DVD's will play in 99% of DVD players and computers. In rare instances where a customer can't play a DVD-R, we have a free re-burn policy, and will re-ship your DVDs in another format at our expense.
There are two types of DVD discs. "Replicated" DVDs, like the ones you rent movies on, have all the video information included in them when the disc is manufactured. There is no "burning" process, and these replicated DVDs are 100% compatible in all DVD players. However, because of the very high cost of creating a master DVD for this manufacturing process, it is not cost effective to produce replicated DVDs unless you are making hundreds of copies of a particular DVD.
"Duplicated" DVDs, on the other hand, start out life as blank media. The video information is then burned/etched with a laser during the DVD burning process. This is much more cost effective for small quantities of discs, however, they are not 100% compatible in all equipment. There are at least 8 different DVD formats and dozens of DVD manufacturers out there, all of which have varying degrees of compatibility with individual DVD players. We burn all of our DVDs on the DVD-R format, which is by far the most compatible format. In addition, we use Verbatim name-brand DVDs which have been shown in tests to be among the most compatible duplicated DVDs. However, if this disc happens to not be playable in your equipment, Just8mm.com offers free re-burns of our DVDs in another format. You should be aware that this compatibility issue affects every single one of our competitors, as well.
Using DVD copying software and a DVD drive in your computer, you can make copies of our DVDs. We don't add a copy-protection signal to our DVDs, or anything else that would prevent you from making copies. We copy the DVDs for archiving purposes on a tower duplicator dozens of times every day.
Our DVDs are formatted as .VOB files, which is the default file format for playback on standalone DVD players and computer-based DVD-Video playback software. Because you can't normally directly edit a .VOB file, you will need to select one of two options for editing your footage using computer based editing programs.
One option is we can create editable .AVI, .MP4 or .MOV files for you. You would then use video editing software on your computer to edit as you desire. There is an additional charge of $15 per hour of footage for this service, and we provide those files on a USB thumb drive.
The other option is for you to use file conversion software to convert the .VOB files on our DVDs into an editable file format. Note that we do not offer or endorse any specific program, nor are we responsible for their download, performance, etc.
We keep normal business hours, 9am to 6pm CDT Monday through Friday. You can call us toll-free during business hours at 1-866-331-3456 (331-FILM). In addition, you can contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond as quickly as we can. We make a living by providing superior customer service, and don't plan on changing that anytime soon. We have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and have received several Gold Star Awards from them for superior customer service.
We will complete and ship your 8mm film transfer within about 6 business days of receiving your order. Assuming you use UPS in the continental U.S., we should receive it within 4 business days or less, and the return time to you should be 4 business days or less, so you can expect your order back in around 14 or 15 business days, or less. If you are shipping to us during November and December, please see the FAQ below about Christmas cutoff dates.
8mm and Super8 movie film, unless stored in very hot or moist conditions or in tightly sealed cans, is nearly always in good enough shape to do a film transfer. Although the plastic leader sometimes becomes brittle over time, in most cases the filmstock itself remains in good shape.
There are a few things to look for if you have doubts. First, smell your film. If it has a very strong chemical odor, chances are it has damage of some sort. Check to see if the layers are stuck together. If not, check to see if the film has started to curl if you look at it edge-on. Finally bend the film and see if it is brittle. If your film is stuck together, badly curled or very brittle, we may not be able to transfer it. For film that is slightly curled or damaged which we may be able to transfer, you will probably see defects in the transfer including edges that are out of focus, skips and pauses in the film, framing issues, etc.
About the only other thing that can ruin your film is water. If the film is stored in wet conditions, or if it is submerged, the emulsion layer will run and your images will be turned into red and blue blobs. Again, there is not much we can do in this case.
The good news is that far less than 1% of all the film we see is damaged so badly we can't do a transfer. We regularly transfer film dating back to the early 1940's, and occasionally from the 1930's and even the late 1920's, and it is generally in good condition.
Of course, there are small problems that affect the look of your 8mm or Super8 film, but won't stop us from doing a transfer. These may include slight fading, debris that is part of the film image, burns from prior play (note our method of transfer makes it impossible to burn or scorch your film), poor framing due to using a movie camera without a "through the lens" viewfinder, snagged or ripped sprocket holes, deteriorated sound quality on magnetic sound Super8 film, crystals that are part of the image, and many other little problems that annoy us, but you probably won't notice or care about.
It's no big deal. We will repair it (free of charge) and you probably won't even notice the break as you watch your film on DVD.
Your film was originally purchased as a 25 foot long reel of unexposed film about an inch wide. When it was exposed (shot) it was flipped over in the camera after one edge was exposed, then the other edge was exposed. When it was sent in for developing/processing, the film was split down the middle to create 50 feet of developed film about a half-inch wide.
To quote from the US Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology Publication 500-252, Page 13:
"Among the (DVD) manufacturers that have done testing, there is consensus that, under recommended storage conditions, DVD-R discs should have a life expectancy of 100 to 200 years or more."
In addition, many DVD manufacturers openly make the same claim on their own websites. Given the massive liability that would result if DVDs would suddenly start to fail in 15 or 20 years, it is highly unlikely that the manufacturers would exaggerate their claims. If you understand that a DVD is a solid-state media, not reliant on magnetism to store data, and encapsulated on all sides, such a long life makes sense. It really is more similar to a record or album than anything else (obviously DVDs are read with a laser beam instead of a record needle). Store it in a case in normal conditions and handle it carefully to prevent scratches, and it will last for generations to come.
Of course, nobody can say for sure how long DVDs will survive as a dominant media format. Just as records and albums are no longer the dominant audio media, there will come a day when DVDs are replaced with another format. HD is becoming popular, but because the vast majority of BluRay players can play (and upconvert) standard definition DVDs, you can be sure that the DVD format will be around and relevant for many, many years to come. And of course Just8mm.com can transfer your 8mm film to digital files such as .AVI, MP4, and .MOV.
The important thing to remember is that you will have digitally archived your film, and it will be very easy and inexpensive to transfer that digital information to some other digital format at some point in the future.
We get unbelievably busy during November and December. All orders in our hands by December 15 will be returned in time for Christmas. This deadline may be extended under special circumstances.
Simply measure the diameter (the total width) of the 8mm reel itself. Most reels are the 3-inch type that fit in the palm of your hand, but there are three larger sizes of reels: 5, 6 and 7-inch. We prorate (reduce) our prices for these larger reels if your reel is not full, and will charge only for the actual amount of film.
For orders over $400, Just8mm.com will pay for return UPS shipping. For orders under $400, we add a $16 return shipping charge to your order. Note that some small orders under $50 may be shipped via USPS priority mail.
Yes, it is $15, not including shipping.
You bet, customers do this all the time. Send us 2 three-inch reels to transfer, which will cost you $33.98 including shipping, and try us out for yourself. When you send the rest of your reels, let us know and we'll add the original ones to your disc at no additional charge.
Believe it or not, this is the most common question asked when people phone us. They just want to make sure there are real, live people on the other end before they send in their family 8mm film reels. Yes, we are still in business and will be for years to come, but go ahead and call us if it makes you feel better...we don't mind!
Yes, you get your film back and our transfer process will not alter or damage your film in any way.
Package the reels so they don't shift around too much during shipping and they should be fine. If your reels are in cans or small yellow boxes, leave the reels in them. Try to avoid using shredded paper as packing material, and please do not use tape anywhere on the reels themselves. Please don't individually wrap each reel in bubble wrap, aluminum foil, cling wrap, etc.
We can also transfer all videotape formats, including Hi8, Digital8, VHS, Beta and MiniDV. The price for video to DVD transfers is $12.50 per hour of footage, with no charge for blank or unrecorded sections. Videotapes to DVDs/Files
Yes and the price is the same as 8mm. Note that we run all 16mm film at 24 frames per second, which is the majority of 16mm. If your film happens to be shot at 18fps, it will run faster than intended.
This is a difficult question to answer. We know there are other 8mm film transfer companies out there that charge 2, 3 and even 4 times what we charge. A better question might be why do these other companies charge so much? We provide a high quality product at a fair price, and we have become the largest 8mm to DVD and 8mm to digital file provider in the nation. We try to keep our operating costs low, we do a high volume of transfers, and we have a fast turnaround time. We would rather make a fair profit on a large volume of orders than overcharge customers on a smaller volume. This is our philosophy, and it has worked well for us since 2002.
Many companies have begun to offer HD transfers of 8mm film over the last few years, most often at a significantly higher price than ours. However, 8mm film itself is not a high definition format to begin with. In fact, the smallest level of detail you can see in 8mm film is the individual film grains. Once a transfer method can bring out that level of detail in the 8mm film (as our method does), then using higher and higher resolution equipment will not make the film look any more detailed or clear.
The other problem with HD transfers is the screen shape. HD is a widescreen, 16:9 format, while 8mm film is a more squared 4:3 shape, like old fashioned tube televisions. So to fit the standard 4:3 boxy shape of 8mm film to a wide HD screen shape, either the top and bottom of the 8mm film frame have to be cut off entirely, or color bars have to be added to the sides of the HD screen.
'Cleaning' of film is something that many competitors claim to do, but we think it is a bad idea to introduce chemical or liquid 'cleaners' to old film. The reason is that all film has deteriorated somewhat over time, and we don't want to risk damaging the emulsion layer of the film (where the image resides) with chemicals when there is no way to know how much deterioration has occurred. Therefore we never use chemical cleaners on old film. In addition, the overwhelming majority of film does not have any issues that would require a 'cleaning' in the first place. If film is wound on a reel there is virtually no way that any dirt or grime could embed onto the surface of the film. If we encounter a reel that does appear to have some loose debris on it, we will run it past an air blast or soft cloth prior to transfer.
Many of our customers have asked about a film transfer technique called frame by frame, which is a heavily computerized method of transferring movie film. Basically, a still image is taken of each frame of the film, and then these are stitched together in a computer to create a movie. We see two problems with this method (which we have experimented extensively with).
First, 8mm film is intended to be played on a projector with internal, spinning blades. These blades move in front of the film each time a frame goes by (this happens far faster than we can see) and have the effect of fooling our brains into thinking we are seeing smooth, continuous action. Without the blades, the motion of 8mm film seems choppy and jittery, which is exactly the result you get with a frame by frame transfer. You can especially see this problem when there is a lot of horizontal movement in a scene. With our 8mm film transfer method, the motion in the film is much smoother and more natural looking because we utilize the spinning internal projector blades with which the film was meant to be viewed.
Second, most of the companies using frame by frame cannot transfer Super 8 sound film because they never run the soundtrack though sound equipment. There is no way to record the sound from a single frame and then stitch the sounds together the way they do for the images. And if they did run the soundtrack through separate equipment, it would be nearly impossible to synch to the images with the sound. As such, we get a LOT of customers who want their sound film transferred by us after it was sent back to them by our competitors.