Film and Video Transfer Log Sheet

We are confident that our Home Movie Depot production team provides the most exact transfer of your film or video home movies. A log sheet follows every film or video order through the duration of the home movie conversion. This sheet contains documentation of you 8mm film, Super8 film, 16mm film, camcorder or VHS transfer process. Here are the most common problems that we see that are inherent to the film or video itself.

The key at the bottom of the page explains the most common problems that we see with home movies.

(S) Scratches: Many things can cause scratches over years of time, travel, and handling. If either the emulsion or the backing of the film is physically damaged, white or black lines will be present in the final footage.

(G) Grainy: Each frame of film is made up of small grains. When these grains are large they become noticeable. Improper lighting or film selection is the number one cause of unwanted grainy appearances in home movie film.

(C) Color variation/Fading: Through different generations, film stock will slowly start to fade. If the film has been exposed to extreme levels of light, heat, or moisture over time, the film will appear to have a certain tint (red, blue, or yellow) due to that being the remaining color in the film.

(M) Mold/Fungus: If there is a star or snowflake shaped spot on the picture, this is the result of mold or fungus that has grown on your film. Emulsion is an organic material. If exposed to the correct environment, mold or fungus can grow on the emulsion.

(E) Emulsion Condition: Any type of damage to the actual emulsion of the film (due to things such as water damage) will result in a poor image. Since the actual “picture” part of the film is damaged, the image may appear flaky, colors may bleed, or images may be distorted.

(SP) Sprocket Damage: Our film projector uses sprockets to pull your film through the transfer. If you film is missing some perforations (those little sprocket holes on the side of your film) the picture may jump. While we would like to be able to repair every damaged perforation, it would be very costly to do! As a rule of thumb, we try to repair any section of film damage that lasts for more than 5 seconds to ensure that you film and video transfers will come out as true as possible.

(F) Filcker/ Camera Gate: Flicker/Camera Gate issues refer to a malfunction with the original camera used to capture the film. Just like a photo camera, a movie camera lens opens and closes when it captures footage. At the same time, mechanics within the camera are responsible for pulling the film through the camera at the same rate the lenses opens and closes. If these two processes are not in sync, some of the resulting captured frames will be black. Thus, black frames will appear in the final film footage. This result will show up looking like the picture is constantly refreshing. More than likely this is not over the entire film, just in a few spots. Low battery power in the camera is usually the culprit for this problem. While this problem can be corrected, it requires much more in depth editing attention than we can provide.

(X+) Overexposed: Overexposure is the result of too much light being let into the film. Most of the time, the film is prematurely exposed to light before it has been professionally developed. When overexposed film is transferred, the footage will appear yellow or washed out.

(X-) Underexposed: Underexposure is the result of too little light reaching the film. Most of the time, the film was shot indoors, with an insufficient light in the room. When underexposed film is transferred, the footage will appear very dark with little contrast. It is similar to taking a still picture inside, without the camera's flash on.

While Home Movie Depot can do some minimal corrections correcting the brightness during the film transfer, we can not do anything to change the state of initial exposure.

Double Exposure: This problem appears when film is used, rewound, and then used again. The resulting footage will appear to have two images at once. Since there is an image present, we do transfer this film with both images.

(H) Hair: This problem appears quite frequently with 8mm and 16mm film. The actual gate of the original camera can catch and retain hairs or fibers. When this happens that hair or fiber is retained in the picture and will be noticeable on the movie’s boarder.

Warp: Over time, film not properly stored can begin to curl, warp, or shrink. This can cause problems during the transfer process with framing and jumping.

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