If you browse the internet in search of a laboratory that digitizes 8mm and Super 8 films, the first thing you understand is that there are highly variable prices.

Quality is the reason for this variability.

The following Super 8 film was shot in 1980 by a tourist on vacation in Egypt:

The author, who authorized me to publish the video, had turned to a low-cost laboratory, obtaining the footage on the left.

Not satisfied with the response that the studio had given him, saying that the images were:

  1. Blurred
  2. Cropped
  3. Shaky
  4. With distorted colors

because the film was old, he sent me the reel. Even though he lost the money spent on the first processing, he was satisfied as he eventually received the footage on the right.

Achieving such a professional result requires:

  1. An investment of tens of thousands of euros in buying the right scanners and computers.
  2. More than a decade of experience with restoration software.
  3. A lot of work on the specific film.

Many labs have cheaper prices than mine. However, their problem, and the problem of those who send their reels to them, is that those companies can't afford professional equipment.

A physical store does not have enough clients to purchase a state-of-the-art scanner like mine, the FilmFabriek HDS+. However, I have it because I have clients from all over the world, thanks to the internet.

The thousands of films I have worked on have allowed me to accumulate proper experience with restoration software, as I explain in my in-depth guide.

As evidence of what I'm saying, I publish dozens of films on this site. They have all passed through my laboratory and are always distributed thanks to a signed release from the filmmaker or their heirs.

The two videos below were shot in 8mm in 1968 in Amsterdam and in Super 8 in 1970 in Mexico City, during the Soccer World Cup:

Both of them are part of my archive that I use to provide historical footage to documentary productions worldwide.

Without the existence of that project, I would never have been able to offer such a professional telecine service to clients who send me their home movies. Along with this, many bytes of history, just like those above, would have been lost forever.

I created these projects not only out of passion for history and cinema but also out of respect for those who entrust their memories to my laboratory. I understand that with those films, they have the only chance to see people who are no longer with us or events from a world that has now disappeared.

To anyone who wants to use low-cost services, I advise them to:

  1. Ask the service to watch some previously made films to test the quality of their systems.
  2. Ensure that the digitization is not carried out with those telecine based on old projectors, as these are very dangerous for the films, which can jam inside, damaging under gears or burning due to incandescent lamps.

The costs of digitizing and restoring home movies

The price I apply for digitizing and restoring films:

  • 8mm standard
  • Super 8
  • 9.5mm
  • 16mm

is 5 euros for each minute of final footage delivered by me, regardless of whether the film is silent or sound, or in good or poor condition.

The return of the reels is free in all European Union countries and is done through insured express courier.

There are no additional costs related to, for example:

  • Broken splices
  • Use of the wet gate (a feature of the scanner that improves the quality of digitization)
  • Delivery of Full HD (1920×1080) videos, rather than standard definition ones
  • VAT

Technical specifications of the footage

The standard processing involves creating a video:

  • Resolution: 1920×1080 - Full HD, with black vertical bars on the sides like in the original aspect ratio.
  • Frame rate: 25 frames per second.
  • Format: .mp4 (or .mov)
  • Compression: H.264 or H.265

Unless there are different requests from the clients.

As mentioned, I am able to process both silent and sound films. Most home movies were mute. If there is a gold-colored strip on the edge of the film:

your film is sound.

The restored video file will be delivered:

  • With a link to a cloud service like OpenDrive or GDrive, before the physical return of the reels.
  • Alternatively, on a hard disk or a USB drive.

I haven't exported to DVDs for years because DVDs have low resolution and therefore low quality compared to what modern technology allows, as I explain in this guide.

How long is your home movie?

To understand the duration of your reels, simply refer to the table below:

Reel

film 8 mm (16 fps)

film super 8 (18 fps)

50 feet (15 meters) - diameter 7,5 cm

4'

3'20"

100 feet (30 meters) - diameter 10 cm

8'

6'40"

200 feet (60 meters) - diameter 13 cm

15'

13'

300 feet (90 meters) - diameter 15 cm

22'30"

19'30"

400 feet (120 meters) - diameter 18 cm

30'

26'

600 feet (180 meters) - diameter 20 cm

45'

39'

Regarding payment, this will be requested only after the digital delivery of the videos, through PayPal, or services like Payoneer, Revolut, or Wise.

The laboratory is located in Italy. If you want to know the address to send the films to, or for any other inquiries regarding the digitization and restoration of films, please use the form below. You can contact me every day, at any time: I always respond within 24 hours (if my response is delayed, it may have ended up in your spam folder).

Daniele Carrer

    I always respond to messages by the next working day. If you don't hear from me after contacting me, my email probably went to your spam folder. You can also reach me on Skype (live:dcarre77) or Telegram (@DnlCrr).