There are a number of ways to convert your movies into a digital format -- some are more effective than others, of course. Videotape might be easiest: You can buy a VHS-to-PC converter that plugs directly into your computer (it should also work with old camcorders). Film-to-digital is more problematic. You can go old-school and use a camcorder to record the action from the movie screen, but the resolution will obviously be pretty bad. There are other methods, but most of them are fairly complicated and involve outdated and hard-to-find equipment. We say pony up the dough and get it done right by a professional -- but do your research and make sure you get that digital backup (and your originals returned, of course). Be sure to keep the originals! As we've learned, film can outlast any other format -- it would be a shame to throw it out.
For more information on home movie preservation, go to the next page.
- Baguley, Richard. "Making Movies: Copying Old Home Movies to DVD." PC World, Sep. 1, 2005. (Accessed Aug. 18, 2010)http://www.pcworld.com/article/122276/making_movies_copying_old_home_movies_to_dvd.html
- Cawley, Christian. "Converting Old Home Movies to DVD." July 29, 2010. (Accessed Aug. 18. 2010) http://manofthehouse.com/gadgets/theater/converting-old-home-movies-to-dvd
- Council on Library and Information Resources. "Magnetic Tape Storage and Handling." (Accessed Aug. 19, 2010) http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub54/5premature_degrade.html
- FilmForever.org. "The Home Film Preservation Guide." http://www.filmforever.org
- Film-to-video.com. "8mm, Super 8mm, and 16mm film to digital video tutorial. (Accessed Aug. 18, 2010) http://www.film-to-video.com/tutorial_page01.html
- Kodak.com. "Super 8mm Film General Tips." (Accessed Aug. 18, 2010) http://motion.kodak.com/US/en/motion/Products/Production/ Spotlight_on_Super_8/Super_8mm_Resources/tip.htm
- National Archives. "Frequently Asked Questions about Optical Storage Media: Storing Temporary Records on CDs and DVDs." (Accessed Aug. 19. 2010) http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/initiatives/temp-opmedia-faq.html
- Sunray Productions. "8mm, Super8 and 16mm Movie Film Transfer to DVD & Video." (Accessed Aug. 19, 2010) http://www.sunrayvideo.com/film_transfer.htm