Film Digitization

Quick Pricing

8mm - $0.175 - $0.20 per foot

16mm - $0.15 per foot

Pricing Details

Standard Service

Regular 8mm and Super 8mm Film

Price dependent on the amount of film on each reel.

Sound film is double.

Reel Size Breakdown

Reel Diameter Footage Price
3"50'$10
100'$22
150'$31
5"200'$40
250'$50
300'$55
350'$60
7"400'$70


16mm Film

$0.15 per foot

Sound film is double.


Sound Film

All Sound Film is double that of silent. A 2-pass process is requited with special equipment and a knowledgeable operator. It's a more costly process, but we do produce an excellent final product. See more about our sound film process in the process and technology section of this page.


Basic Service

20% Discount for AVIs and h264 Files Only

If you agree to receive only AVI and h264 files of your materials, we will give you 20% right off the top.

You can provide a harddrive or we can provide one for you at cost from Amazon.com.

Seagate and Western Digital external drives are good choices.

In this day and age of iTunes, AppleTVs, iDevices and Dropbox do you really need DVD-Video discs? See our Advanced Viewing section below.

We highly recommend this option!

So much so, we probably have it underpriced to promote it.


$100 Project Minimum on All Projects

We will enforce a $100 minimum on all film projects. We do this because completing a film project isn't as simple as running film through one end of a machine and having discs and digital files pop out the other end. There is a substantial amount of overhead with any project. It's just part of having your film done properly.

The minimum charge of $100 includes only the price of digitizing the film. It does not include shipping.

If a customer decides they do not want to pay the minimum charge after we have received their project, we will gladly ship the project back for the actual cost of shipping the package back.

Formats Accepted

Regular 8mm

Regular 8mm Sound

Super 8mm

Super 8mm Sound

16mm

16mm Optical Sound

16mm Magnetic Sound

Wikipedia Article: 8mm Film

Wikipedia Article: Super 8 Film

Wikipedia Article: 16mm Film

Deliverables

Standard Project

  • DVD-Video discs: Labeled DVD in a standard DVD case with label

  • AVIs on data-DVDs: Labeled DVD in a paper DVD sleeve

  • h264s on data-DVDs: Labeled DVD in a paper DVD sleeve

AVIs and h264s Only

  • AVIs on data-DVDs: Labeled DVD in a paper DVD sleeve

  • h264s on data-DVDs: Labeled DVD in a paper DVD sleeve

Optional

  • USB Thumbdrives

  • External Hard Drives

There are no additional fees for us to put your files on these drives.

These options make it easy to get your files onto your computer becasue you won't have to copy all the DVDs manually to your computer.

This is a must for computers without DVD drives.

The DVDs are still good for long term preservation in a safe deposit box.

You can send us an external hard drive, or we will sell you one at our cost. We buy them off of amazon.com

Process and Technology

Receipt of Film

We catalog all of your project materials.

The reels of film are marked with labels, uniquely identifying your project materials.

If you haven't provided us titles for your film, we will extract what we can from labels on the film and canisters. These will be used as the chapter labels on your TV DVD-Video discs and on your DVD case(s).

We build the cost estimate and email it to you.

Prepare your film for digitaization

We check the splices of your film, and visual inspect it to make sure that it is safe to run, and that it will run smoothly for us.

Frame-By-Frame Digitizing Your Film

Your film is digitized through our proprietary frame-by-frame transfer machines.

These machines utilize a high CRI light source, simulating natural sunlight, for the best color reproduction.

In conjunction with the high CRI light, our transfer machines use 3-CCD, a.k.a. "3 chip", professional digital video cameras.

Our film machines have enlarged gates. This allowing us to capture the entire frame of film instead of a cropped frame that is viewable through the gate in a standard projector. This will allow you to see more of your film than ever before. The gates stabalize to filmstrip as it progresses through our machines so the focus remains crystal clear.

Because we use a frame-by-frame process, we have total control over the final product. It results in your digital reproductions having no flicker, correct focus, even light balance, excellent color and correct running speed.

Just to be clear, our process is NOT telecine similar to that of some of our competitors. Telecine methods are susceptible to flicker and will not have the clarity of a frame-by-frame transfer.

Your film is white-balance color corrected at this step.

Editing Your Film

A technician will then edit your film to remove all of the bad footage.

Bad footage is defined as:

  • Film leader
  • Completely overexposed or unexposed film - if it's more than a few seconds long
  • We will never remove any footage that has images on it!

The film borders will then be cropped slightly so that only the picture will appear on your screen. This is necessary because the borders of the film and sprocket holes are visible because of our enlarged gates.

The resulting files from this step are digital files that contain a picture of each frame of your film.

Setting the speed of your film

After editing, we run computer processes on the files to produce video files of your film running at the correct speed.

Film Type Frames per Second
Regular 8mm15
Super 8mm18
16mm15 or 24
Sound Film18 or 24

These master files are then compressed to MPEG-2, for the TV DVDs, and to h264, for computer viewing.

Burning of AVIs, h264s, and DVD-Video discs

AVIs

These are the highest quality masters we will provide you.

They are speed corrected to the originally exposed speed of the film by a lossless a digital process, basically frames are repeated when compared to the master file.

There is no flicker.

The files can be imported into iMovie or Final Cut Pro (Apple OS X) or Windows Movie Maker or Adobe Premier (Windows XP/Vista/7/8).

These are the files that you should try the most to preserve. Please see our section on preservation.

h264s

These are compressed versions of your master files, but retain high-quality.

They are best used when imported into your iTunes library and played on your TV with an AppleTV. Or on your iPad. See more below.

This is the future of digital video. Great quality, easily preservable, easily viewable on many devices.

DVD-Video Discs

These are the familiar DVDs that you play in a DVD player. We use only highest quality Taiyo Yuiden DVD-Rs. Their DVD player compatability is excellent.

We use the MPEG-2 files we encoded earlier, as required by the DVD-Video spec.

We try to limit the amount of film on each DVD to 1h 30mins to keep the video quality high.

Each reel is it's own chapter on the DVDs. Each chapter contains chapter breaks to facilited finding scenes within reels.

The DVD's menu contins a link to each chapter and the titles for that chapter. When played straight through, titles for the next reel will appear for 5 seconds, then the reel will play. This will repeat until all the chapters have been played.

General Notes

We burn and verify all DVDs to ensure that the data is not corrupted.

Project Backup

We attempt to keep a backup of all files that would be required to reconstruct your project for at least 30 days.

This includes the non-speed corrected masters of your film, titles, and labels.

We do not guarantee how long we will have this backup, but you determine something is wrong with your project that is our fault, we can probably fix it with what we have.

Payment and Returning Material

After payment we will ship all of your materials back to you.

Advanced Viewing

YouTube

If you want to share you family videos with the world, create a YouTube channel an upload your films.

iTunes® Library

Import the files from the h264 we provide into your iTunes library.

Go to the File Menu and select Add to Library

You can transfer them to your iDevice this way

Airplay

If you have a computer with iTunes, an iPad, or an iPhone and an Apple TV, you can stream files directly to your TV.

FireTV

Chromecast

Plex Media Server

Additional Copies

DVD-Video discs

Labeled DVD in a standard DVD case with label

These are the DVDs for the movies for film and the TV DVD slideshows (SD - standard definition) for slides.

Quantity Range Price Per
1-10$12.50
11-30$10.00
30+$8

Data DVD discs

Labeled DVD in a paper sleeve.

Typically additional AVI or h264 files for film and JPEGs or HD Slideshows for slides.

Quantity Range Price Per
Any$8.00

USB Memory Sticks and External Hard Drives

We recommend this option. Please see the preservation section below.

Sold at our cost. They will be purchased on amazon.com

No service fee to copy finished materials to them.

Please do not send drives containing data that you want to keep.

Payment Methods

Accepted Payment Methods

We accept VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.

We also accept PayPal payments, money orders, personal, corporate and cashier checks.

We collect payment upon shipment of your project.

If you are a corporate, university, or government customer, we can send you an invoice at shipment but we will retain possession of your original materials until we receive payment.

2% Cash Equivalent Discount

If you would like to receive a 2% discount we accept payments by check or other cash equivalent.

We'd rather give your the discount instead of paying the credit card company!

Rush Service

Rush Service Charges

Occasionally a customer needs their project rushed. It could be a last-minute gift, open-house, historical event, or a sick relative.

We can usually accomodate this within a 5 business day window for a 50% premium of the project cost or $300 fee, whichever is greater.

Please contact us before sending your project and we will determine if we can fit it in.

Preservation

Discussion

For most people, the main reason for digitizing your old home movies is so they will be around for future generations.

The best way to preserve digital files is to have multiple copies in diverse mediums.

We suggest keeping your hard copies on DVDs in a bank safe deposit box, and keeping a digital copy in the cloud.

As far as this discussion is concerned, the cloud is a synchronized copy of everything that you place in a location that the cloud is set to backup.

It doesn't matter where the servers, referred to as the cloud, are or how they work, all that matters is they just do.

This website is hosted in the cloud, not on a traditional web server


Cloud Benefits

Redundantly stored, your files will be stored in multiple data centers, so any problem in one wont wipe out all the data. It's part of the cloud just working point.

Sharable but secure. Most cloud servies allow you to share certain files or folders with people or groups of people.

Nearly all services work on Windows and Macs, and both at the same time!


Cloud Drive Services

These differ from Internet backup solutions because they are more like regular folders on your computer.

Just install the app on your computer, copy your film files to the folder for the app, and they will be synched with the cloud.

You can get lots of free cloud storage with these providers.

The benefit is that anytime you have Internet access, you'll have access to your files.

It is as simple as it gets!

Service Name URL
Dropboxwww.dropbox.com
Microsoft OneDriveonedrive.live.com
Google Drivewww.google.com/drive
Amazon Cloud Drivehttp://amzn.com/B00P31G9PQ

Internet Backup Services

There are tons of these out there. And if you're not backing up your computer with one of these you are flirting with disaster.

Usually there is a yearly fee, but it's worth it.

Service Name URL
iDrivewww.idrive.com

Start Your Project

How to start a project

All you have to do is to send your materials to us at the address below with this order form. In place of the order form you can write your information (Name, phone numbers, address, email) and a letter of what you would like us to do. We will email you your project estimage upon receiving your materials. If you would rather contact us before you send your materials for a project quote or with questions, you can call or email us (see below). There is always someone in our office to receive UPS, FedEx, or US Mail packages, so they won't be left outside.

Our Shipping Address:

CJS Technologies

3201 S 6th St

Marshalltown, IA 50158

Phone Numbers:

Toll-free 877.345.6383

Local 641.753.4098

Email:

Preparing Your Materials:

We recommend packing your items with newspaper or kraft paper in sturdy cardboard boxes.

Don't use packing peanunts unless it's your only option. They are annoying, messy, and aren't as appropriate for shipping film as newspaper.

Choose a carrier that provides a tracking number. The major ones are FedEx and UPS (we prefer UPS). If you're intimidated by this process go to a UPS Store, Staples, or FedEx/Kinkos, or some other shipping outlet in your area. They are very good at packaging materials and helping you safely ship your materials to us.

We will contact you when we receive your materials with an estimate for your project so that you will know they arrived safely.

See the film or slide page for specific instructions on organizing and shipping your project. Slides and Film can be sent in the same project, but they cannot be intermingled.

Shipping

UPS is our preferred carrier; UPS Ground is our preferred method. Both to us and from us.

Due to our central location in the US, UPS ground provides good delivery times and low cost nationwide. Your original materials will be shipped by UPS, unless another carrier is requested or necessitated. Sometimes to minimize cost we will ship replacable items via US Mail. Please see our shipping page for more information.

Other carriers and shipping methods are available upon request.

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