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Film Transfer Pricing

Audio & Video, Blog, Film & Photos0 comments

From time to time I will hear from a customer that $3/minute seems like a lot to pay for film transfers even if they are high quality, HD files.

It is then required that I give a brief description of the process which can be very arduous and trying at times. A lot of this depends on the condition of the film as far as the level of difficulty. Sometimes, it all goes off without a hitch. The film has been stored properly and it’s just an easy breezy process from start to finish. More often than not, this is not the case.

Many reels of film do not have a leader. Without that, you may lose the first couple seconds of your film. The process of splicing on leader is not always that easy. Super8 is a little easier. It’s just one of those things that for some reason or other it’s hard to do with the antiquated tools which are still the modern standard for splicing 8mm film. The smaller the film, the harder it is to get the sprockets to line up.

Sometimes the film is on the reel backwards. You may see people walking backwards or it may have just been put back on the reel backwards so the sprockets are on the wrong side and won’t feed through the projector.

The technician, (sometimes I do this work as well) also has to watch the film at as it plays. He cannot step away for any length of time because if the film becomes jammed, it can be ruined if someone’s not there to stop the projector from force feeding the film. Also, film is extremely brittle and it can snap or get caught and break very easily making more splicing necessary.

There is also reel change time which we do not charge for. Each of the smaller 50 foot reels is approximately 3 minutes. So just to get that set up is another few minutes of work.

So trust me when I say that $3/minute is actually a very reasonable price to pay for HD files. And remember we can also offer DVDs if you would like them. Keep in mind, DVD is a Standard Definition format. For more information, please give us a call.

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