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For more than 100 years, 35mm movie film was considered the very best medium for shooting motion pictures, even after the introduction of 16mm film in 1923. Of course, technological progress changes the course of history and movies are no exception. In December 2013, The Wolf of Wall Street was the first major movie delivered to theaters solely in digital. In 2014, Paramount Pictures was the first big studio to announce it would no longer release 35mm prints of movies in the U.S. Many 35mm films created in the early part of the 20th century have been lost to history, so if you own any, these are true treasures worthy of converting to digital!
When you choose ScanCafe’s 35mm film to digital conversion service, our highly skilled technicians handle your precious celluloid memories with the utmost care. Unlike other digital conversion services, ScanCafe has the capabilities of capturing audio when transferring your film into a digital format. We digitize your 35mm film reels at our award-winning Indianapolis lab and deliver them back to you in 3 to 4 weeks.
When our highly skilled technicians convert 35mm to digital, they use cutting-edge tools to transform faded celluloid memories into forever digital formats. These include a German-made MWA machine, Swiss Agiscan software, and a Mac computer to convert analog to digital. An autocolor feature is utilized for frame-by-frame color correction and Adobe Premiere Pro is used for cropping and in/out edits. Whether your film has magnetic or optical sound, our sophisticated technology enables capturing and digitizing the audio.
All you need to do is ship your 35mm film to us and we’ll take care of the rest for you.
Clean, repair, splice, and add a leader by hand before mounting the 35mm reel onto our state-of-the-art machines to create raw MOV files. If magnetic sound is present on the film, this process captures the audio. Then our technicians take the raw file and apply crop in/out edits, sync it back with the audio, and add titling.
The end result is memories safely transferred from 35mm film to a MP4 file and your choice of cloud storage or USB drive.
If you asked a professional filmmaker, they could likely expound for hours on the differences between these two film formats. In a nutshell, 35mm film offers better resolution, depth of field, and angle views than 16mm film. 35mm movie film has 16 frames per foot whereas 16mm has 40. At less than half the width of 35mm film, 16mm film is more economical for home moviemaking. It was also the format of choice in educational films and lower budget entertainment films made in the mid-20th century.
Accessing and saving your files via the cloud ensures they’re safe forever and accessible from anywhere and on any device. If you select standard digital download when checking out, the link stays active for 30 days. If you wish to continue downloading content after 30 days, you must contact our customer service team prior to this date at [email protected] or call us at (866) 234-3909. Otherwise, our servers will automatically delete content after 30 days. Please note that the reactivated link is only valid for 7 days.
Additional options include:
We do clean your movie film, both physically and electronically. This is an important quality step, because old movie film can often be amazingly dirty. Each speck of dirt will show up on your final image, and it can make watching your old home movies less enjoyable. Your film will be spot cleaned and simple repairs like bad splices will be handled for you at no additional charge.
When you place your order, we will make available a film calculator that helps you estimate the footage that you have.(This is just a ballpark calculation.)
The actual length of the film is calculated using this formula: Total Run Time (in minutes) x 16.67. So if you know the total run time please use this calculation.
Please leave film in the original packaging. If you group and label your originals inside your box, we will scan your order accordingly and your USB if opted will be organized as such. If you choose to label film, we ask that you keep the copy relatively short (20 characters or so). You can also fill out a titles worksheet we have available online when you place your order. Make sure this worksheet corresponds to how you label the reels, because we’ll use your information to make chapter titles on your USB.
For example, if you send in five 8mm reels, you could label them 1,2,3,4 and 5. Then on the titles worksheet, where it indicates reel #1, you could write "Christmas 1954", and so on. Or you could simply write "Christmas 1954" on both the reel and the titles worksheet. For additional packing tips, click here.
The best answer is, it doesn't matter! For nearly any conceivable movie film format that you have, chances are it's either 8mm, 35mm, Super 8mm, or 16mm. And our price for all of those is exactly the same.
A quick way to check: if your movie film is on a reel, and it has sprocket holes, then chances are excellent we can scan it.