Moving Image Transfers

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Film shrinks over time and can become brittle. Attempting to run old film through a projector may result in irreparable damage to the images. We recommend that you transfer your films to DVD or video files so that you can continue to enjoy your family memories and share them with others without risking damage to the original material. We are always happy to advise you on steps you can take to help preserve your original films for the future.

Northeast Historic Film is a moving image archives and its staff members are trained to handle and care for motion picture film. The technical services department will carefully inspect, assemble, repair and clean your 8mm, Super 8mm or 16mm films and transfer them to the video format of your choice.






The process involves several steps. First there is an initial inspection to determine physical condition and to order the films chronologically. Next, we replace leader for the head and tail and make repairs to splices and perforations. Your films are assembled onto archival grade cores or reels and then placed into archival grade canisters for proper long-term storage. Notes are recorded on inspection sheets regarding the condition of each reel including deterioration (such as shrinkage, vinegar syndrome, water damage or mold), repairs required (such as splices replaced or torn perforations fixed). We clean the films and then perform a supervised transfer.

We can also create, if required, video copies on Betacam SP, Digibeta, Mini-DV or digitize your project and deliver it on an external hard drive or through the internet using an FTP site. Transfers from your old videotapes to DVDs or digital files are also available. We can copy from VHS, VHS-C, Hi-8, Video8, Digital8, Mini-DV, DVCAM, 3/4-inch, 1-inch, Betacam SP, and Digibeta.

Technical Services are billed at a labor rate of $60 per hour plus materials. Film transfers usually take between three and four times the running time of the film depending on format, size of reels, and condition. Video-to-DVD transfers are billed at $15 per tape. The cost for each DVD access copy is $10. We have discounted rates for bulk orders over 10 copies. Free estimates are available and, in the event that your film needs special care that isn't offered in-house, we can refer you to the proper laboratories.

Some Things To Consider

  • If you need to inspect your film, treat it gently. Try not to put fingerprints on it and be aware that it may be brittle or damaged.
  • Don’t throw anything away! Are there notes on the can or in the container?
  • If you cannot come to NHF with your collection and you must ship, we have a couple of recommendations. Be sure to tape the film canisters closed. Pack all canisters, boxes, reels, and documents securely to keep the contents from shifting during shipping. Use a shipping service that tracks and allows you to insure your shipment such as FedEx or UPS.

For additional information and estimates, contact us at 207-469-0924 or email Technical Services.

Click for a printable version of our Film ID Card (PDF file).  This will provide you information on how to handle your film and what to look for when you consider transferring your film to a new format.