Film To Digital File and DVD
It's well known cine film is made of images called frames. When played in succession these images give the illusion of movement - movies!
Traditional transfer methods vary, many involve filming a projection. Some methods are better than others but none can compare to scanning each individual frame into a digital system.
Our custom built film scanners are the same used in the USA television industry as well as film societies and archival libraries. The Royal New Zealand Navy Museum used Bring It On Studios to digitise their large film library and we've scanned film for The Auckland Museum, Maritime Museum and for use in national television programs.
Why Scan, Not Video a Projection?
Film and video frame rates differ, video of projected film will contain partial frames and parts of shutters, resulting in visible flicker. Scanning is frame accurate and flicker free.
Sharp focus is hard to achieve with projectors. Projection machines work off the softer base side of film. When scanning we work off the sharper emulsion side, so sharp you can see the film grain.
Projectors emit circular light but film images are rectangular, the eye does a great job of equalising this light but video cameras do not do so well, the result can be shadowed corners and edges. When scanning, the image is evenly backlit which also enhances contrast and colour.
Frame edges are rough looking, projectors are designed to mask these rough edges with a "gate". If filming a projection this cropping can occur again in the camera resulting in some intended to be viewed film being cropped. Our scanners have larger gates than most projectors, scanning captures right to the frame's edge.
Projectors advance film with sprockets, metal teeth pulling at the film's sprocket holes. Obviously film is designed to do this but old film can be brittle and sprocket holes can tear causing jams; a projector can quickly chew through many important memories. Our scanners are sprocket-less, film is passed through a series of gentle rollers, at a very sedate speed
Working with record labels and media companies, we are often required to reinstate projects months after completion. To this end we have the capacity to store large volumes of work on our servers.
We extend this storage service to our transfer customers. If your DVD becomes damaged in a way that prevents it from being played, return the damaged disc and we will replace it free of charge. If disaster strikes and you lose your digital copies, let us know, we keep MP4 files indefinitely.
If you would prefer we didn't keep your material on file, just let us know.
Attention To Detail
Great film transfers are more than accurate scanning; care, patience, and experience is required to obtain best results.
Films are cleaned with electrostatic brushes to remove dust, then wet cleaned by hand with fine cotton swabs to remove mould or other surface contaminants. At this point degraded film joins are also repaired.
Each frame is scanned creating a series of images per film. These images are sequenced together into a digital film. These digital films are transferred to our video suite for grading and cosmetic edits, removing redundant sections and fixing colour and exposure issues.
In the final stage we prepare your files for delivery. You receive both full archival-quality ProRes master files, as well as high resolution MP4 files which you will be able to watch on your computer, smart TV, or device of your choice. If you would also like a DVD we encode your footage with a CIMEMA CRAFT® encoder, the benchmark for Hollywood releases, and we will craft a DVD with personalised menus and chapter points for each reel.
Restoration is carried out in our video suite. Built around powerful commercial systems, this is the same equipment we use for broadcast video and retail DVD productions.
Sepia tones can be signs of ageing in black and white film, corrected back to black and white, the difference is stunning.
When colour film ages one or more colours may fade leaving the colour "unbalanced". One of our main tasks in colour grading is to re-balance these effects, removing colour casts and rendering more natural looking footage.
Colour grading may also be required to adjust content filmed on a faulty or poorly white balanced camera. Grading in this case can result in an image better than may have been ever viewed from these films.
Along with re-balancing colour our editors can restore faded detail by adding saturation, contrast and even digital sharpening where needed.
Varying exposure can be a problem with home cine film, these variations are equalised to create a more even exposure throughout the film.
Redundant sections of over or under exposed film (all black or all white) are edited from the final footage for seamless action.
Films are returned shrink sealed for safe keeping.