Converting Film to Digital

Lois JewellFormat Conversion

Convert film to digital format

When I was young, Mum and Dad would occasionally pull out the old projector and reels of film and we would enjoy a peek into their lives before kids….Dad’s days in the Merchant Navy, their honeymoon road trip in country NSW, relived through the flickering light of the projector.

All that equipment has long since been laid to rest, and we’re lucky that all the old Super8 reels have been converted to digital format, allowing the occasional family movie night to live on.

We’re often asked about the process we use to capture and convert film to digital format by clients who discover they still have the film reels, but no means of playing them.

We use custom-built equipment to play the film and capture the image frame-by-frame to a digital format. These images can then be combined to make a continuous movie, published as either a DVD or MP4. This process eliminates the flicker associated with the original film and, as the equipment uses a LED light, there’s no risk of damage to the film from the high heat bulbs usually used in projectors.

Film reel sizeThis process applies to both Standard8 and Super8 film formats but does not capture any recorded soundtrack. (We haven’t found too many films with sound so far…to check whether your reels include a sound recording, look for a thin magnetic strip running down the film opposite the perforations.)

With the most common 3-inch reels containing just 3 to 4 minutes of footage, up to 45 reels can be edited together on a single DVD. Not so many opportunities to refill the popcorn on family movie night…but a bonus when it comes to reclaiming storage space at the back of the cupboard.

Found some film reels tucked away? We can help you make them the star of your next family movie night.