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Audio & Video

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.

1″ Reel to Reel Video

Audio & Video, Blog0 comments

Once in a blue moon a client calls about this very rare video format known as 1” reel to reel video.

The name kind of describes this format very well. Much like ¼” audio reel to reel, it’s a circular roll of video tape that is not encased in housing like VHS or other tape formats are. Because of that fact, it can be difficult to work with. However, as professionals we take the greatest care with your media and treat it as if it was our own.

The customer here has a choice of transferring to footage to computer files or to DVD. I recommend files if you would like to edit and the DVD is good if you just like to watch. Either are pretty good if you’re looking to archive or store you media and get it off of this now antiquated format.

You wouldn’t believe it but the machine is very large and cumbersome. It’s about the size of a small refrigerator.  The cost is $100/hr for these types of transfers because it is a very specialized format.

Another rare format that is sometimes mistook for 1” is ½” reel to reel video. So get out your measuring tape if you want to know for sure. We do not have a ½” reel to reel machine. This is a notoriously finicky format. For more information on 1” reel to reel transfers to DVD or file, please contact us here.

 

Protecting Your Valuable Memories

Audio & Video, Blog, FILES0 comments

Back up your really important media frequently.

 

Generally, most of us have 2 types of media (files) that need to be protected:

  1. Extremely valuable and often used files (these could be your job contracts, music you made and your art projects) – these files need to be backed up frequently. We recommend that you keep a separate hard drive, where you back up your files every 2-3 weeks, and store it in a safe or a secure location. Could is ok too, but keep in mind that the cloud can be breached and your personal info compromised.
  2. Extremely valuable and rarely used files (these are files that are very important, and are not used often, such as your wedding videos, family history and irreplaceable files) – while we recommend that these files be treated with the same level of care, for many of us it is simply cost prohibitive and impractical. The most practical solution is to store your drives in a safe and secure place.

 

What is important for us to get across is that we have shifted as a society from a tangible (physical) storage media (tapes, discs, paper) to a virtual one (files and the cloud). In the age of virtual media it is very important to remember the two main potential risks:

 

1. Your files can be deleted and your drive can permanently crash. It is far more common than most of us would imagine.

2. Your information can be compromised on the cloud, as well as deleted, stolen or distributed. Just think “WikiLeaks”.

 

Please contact us at Advanced Media when you are ready to address your media protection needs, or call us at (323) 469 0707

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3/4” U-matic Transfers

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One of the most common specialty formats we transfer to DVD or file is 3/4” tape, also known as U-matic or ‘three-quarter-inch’.

It’s a pretty large tape format, much bigger generally than a VHS tape which utilizes ½” tape. It was produced in 1971 for consumer use, this format actually failed here but saw a lot of success on the commercial side of things. In the 1970’s the format was utilized for broadcast television. That’s why most of my customers who still retain these types of tape were either actors or industry professionals seeking to revamp their reel or to backup the tapes which do deteriorate over time

In fact, this type of tape is one of the most problematic formats. Perhaps it’s because of it’s age. It is a higher quality format than say VHS but it does tend to deteriorate. I have seen many many tapes that no longer play or get stuck in the machine. Tapes that may have only been played once. Then again, I also see pristine tapes from the 70’s come through here without a problem.

The main decision you want to make is whether to go to digital file or DVD. That really depends on your use. If you want to store the file, either way is fine. If you want to watch it I recommend the DVD. If you want to edit the footage or incorporate it into your reel or some other compilation, the file is the way to go in which case you’ll require a storage device such as a thumb drive or hard drive depending on running time. I can even help you upload a file to the web to share with friends or colleagues. As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have regarding 3/4” tape or any other formats.

Always Be Learning

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If salesmen should always be closing, then perhaps media types should take on the motto “Always be learning.”

A little over 4 years ago I applied for an internship online. A few months later it turned into a paid gig. I had been out of the film industry for a solid 10 years and everything had changed. I didn’t know much about computers and my technical knowledge was extremely limited. I was faced with the daunting task of learning an incredible amount of strange knowledge and skills. Or I could give up and try my hand at some other line of work.

Around the second week of the internship I was extremely frustrated with some piece of equipment that wasn’t working properly and as I took my lunch break I pondered the idea of simply cutting my losses and going back to the drawing board. I was pretty close to just taking off but a little voice inside me said, “stay.” So I listened and I’m glad that I did.

I haven’t always been the type to soak up knowledge like a sponge. That’s not really who I have ever been. I have to work at it. If someone asks me something my gut reaction has always been, “No,” or “Not interested,” because somehow the idea of participating in life seems unbearable at times. So just like that inspiring Jim Carrey film Yes Man, I’m saying yes to life and to the people in it. I have found there are tremendous benefits to the simple motto, “Always be learning.”

It’s been a crazy road with many trying moments in the work place when I just want to give up. But because I’ve just learned a bit here and a bit there over a decent period, now I’m a professional demo reel editor and all kinds of industry professionals give me compliments on my skills. I feel that the road is narrowing but I’m learning a bit more each day on my journey to who knows where.

 

8mm Film Transfers: Framing

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One very interesting fact about 8mm and Super8 transfers that most people don’t realize is that when the transfer process happens, the framing of the picture actually cuts off some of the picture on the left and right hand side.

 

Part of the transfer tech’s job is to position the 16×9 box within the film to create an effect that leaves clean edges. That’s why the cutting occurs. The top is intact.

 

The HD footage is 16×9 so the aspect ratio dictates the shape of the box that is visible. Everyone I’ve spoken to about this says that people don’t want to see the messy edge-work with the sprocket holes but I think I might be inclined to get my own film done that way. I had my Super8 footage transferred professionally a few years back and I’m considering re-doing it myself here to get the entire picture. Then I can make the final decision if I want to in editing. That way I have more control.

 

I realize of course that most people don’t have access to editing equipment or have the interest to even take on such a task and that over half of my customers prefer a DVD to the HD files. And to these customers, I’m sure that they just want a nice, clean finished product with no ragged edges. I understand that.

 

For more information on 8mm film transfers, please contact us at here.

Frame Rates Simplified

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You may be aware that different media types such as video and film have different frame rates. But did you know that even within video, there are several “native” frame rates and the same is true for film.

For instance, 8mm film is generally 16FPS (frames per second) and Super8 tends to be 18FPS. These slower frame rates give a very cool, old time look that some people really like. Of course now days, these frame rates have all but disappeared. Old school cameras that shoot on VHS and Hi8 formats tend to be 29.97FPS and motion pictures shot on film tend to be 24FPS. Some other video formats have a frame rate of 23.98 to approximate the film look. Of course the recent addition of the Hobbit to the Peter Jackson cannon of work has now shown us 48FPS. Anybody notice?

European formats known as PAL have a frame rate of 25FPS. To the trained eye, film has it’s own look and video does as well. We’re also seeing 50FPS and 60FPS which tend to be interlaced formats. But what does this all mean to you? It’s really just a little background info for the curious customer. The human eye is actually able to perceive 10 to 12 separate images per second. For more information, please feel free to contact us.

Production Company for Hire

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VHS to DVD Transfer

A good number of people are aware that we edit demo reels but did you know that we also produce them?

We have worked with several actors as well as large companies who need video production services. We handle everything from shooting to editing to DVD duplication and file uploads to the web. You could say we’re a one stop media shop with a highly qualified production team.

Recently we completed wrapped production on a job for Mastros Steak House. We’ve also worked with a few actors on smaller projects, helping people get their scripts to tape. We also have all the equipment such as lighting packages as well as cameras for rent. So if you have an idea, no job is too small, we’re here to help you get the job done on time and under budget. For more information, please contact us here. (323) 469-0707

Print Label Templates

Audio & Video, Blog0 comments

What is a Print Label Template? It’s the graphic or text design that we can print directly onto your CD, DVD or Blu ray disc.

Many of my customers have asked if we print a label and then stick it in. This is actually not the process we use. We purchase high quality inkjet printable discs. That means that we print right onto the white surface like it was paper. This allows us to streamline the duplication process. Could you image how tedious it might be to try and stick these stickers onto each an every disc with precision so that it’s right there in the middle? Also, I have heard from many people that these types of discs which become heavier with the stick coating will not play or will get stuck in their player. That sounds less than ideal.

We can pretty much print anything onto this surface. That means any image or text that you like. If you want a really pro look, I recommend designing something in Photoshop. You can look online for a DVD template so you get the circular shape right. If you decide to go this route, do not create the center hole or hub because it’s just easier for me to do with precision without the hole because you may get the diameter wrong and have to redo it.

That beings said, you have the option for very high quality color prints or even thermal prints which are a bit shinier and more durable where water is concerned. Ink does have that Achilles heal. Also, the thermal prints are only available for 50 + copies because creating the template is a little more involved and time consuming. Feel free to contact us with any questions you might have here. Thanks for reading.

Precious Cargo

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Why Us?

Why Us?

I wanted to address a question that comes up quite often at Advanced Media. This is the questions of how we care for your tapes when they are not in your hands.

We know that your tapes are precious, one of a kind family heirlooms and we treat them as such. Every tape is given the utmost care. I treat them as I would treat my own media. So rest assured, your footage is in good hands. Clients can also request that we store their media in a temperature controlled vault if it’s extra sensitive. Normally everything is stored on our shelves in the order that the job came in so I can keep track of exactly what job is expected to be done at what time.

I do try to meet all deadlines. From time to time, I can be a little off if I am overwhelmed but generally I really do make most deadlines. So let me know if it’s really time sensitive. We’ll try to accommodate your special needs because we believe in service with a personal touch. We’re here to provide a service as well as to educate you about any of the processes that we go through so don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t worry if you think you’re not tech savvy.

We will never laugh at you if you don’t understand something because we are patient and understanding. Just remember, we were all just like you at some point. Nobody is born with a knowledge of computers and technology. It has to be taught and each battle is hard fought. Some learn more easily than others but everybody deserves to be treated with respect and understanding. Thanks for reading and click here for contact info.

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