Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Developing 8mm Film Over 60 Years Old

Many years ago, I sorted through lots of things from my mom's home and started a process to transfer 170+  8mm and Super 8mm films over to DVD. Here is a link to a post about that.

I spent lots of time watching them all and writing down who was in each video and putting them in order of date and then had them transferred. 

In the midst of family bringing over the films they had and finding some from my mom's and dads, I found about four boxes of unopened film that wasn't developed. 

I also found four boxes that had been opened but there is no way to tell if they have been used or not. At the time, we looked online to try and find a place to transfer them over. 

When we called and found out it was going to cost about $50 for each one to be developed, we held off sending them in. 

The place we contacted said it could be up to two years to get them developed as they have to do them in groups. 

They have bounced around my house for nearly 8 years now. I keep pulling them out thinking I am going to send them in and then never do it. 

Yesterday, I was cleaning out my emails a bit and found one with the contact information for the place that develops the film and thought that since I am working on cleaning out my moms stuff and getting more 8mm films transferred to DVD that I should get these done. 
I called the place from 8 years ago and they charge just under $50 for each video if it has stuff on it or not. It can sit on the shelf for up to two years and they can't develop any color in color anymore as Kodak doesn't make the chemicals to develop them anymore. 
I was frustrated that I don't want to wait for two years to get them developed as I really just want to get it done. I decided to search again and see if any new places had shown up in the past 8 years. 
I called several places and most just send them out to another place but charge you $75. They keep the difference and send them in to the same few places that develop them. 

I found another place that develops them but they are located in Canada. However, they have an office in Montana just over the boarder and then the take the package over the boarder every 8-10 weeks and develop them in groups. 

The Colorado place gives you a DVD with the movies on them. The Montana place gives you the option of putting them on a zip drive in either mp4 format or a format that works better with Mac products. You can also choose a DVD format as well. They sell zip drives so you can just charge it or they will allow you to send one in but if you do that, they wipe everything on it to put your movies on it. 

If you want both, you can pay $4 for each DVD and they will mail all your canisters back as well for about $15. 
Neither place gives the option to have it online but you are saving a step as I don't have to take the film to get transferred to DVD so I would have to subtract $5-$8 per video knowing that would have been a cost. 

The Montana Place charges $35 minimum even if nothing is on the film and then $62 per film if something is on the film. So, it is cheaper if nothing is on the film than the CO place but a bit more if something is on the film but they are faster doing batches every 2-3 months. 

Truly, it is just a choice of how you want to get the film, and how quickly you need it etc. 

I am just glad to have it out of my house but it did cost $7 or so to mail it. In the end, if there is anything on the film, even a light or faint picture, they transfer it and you pay full price so at the cheapest, I am out $160 with everything and if there is something on it, it will be $250ish. 
It is probably not worth it to anyone else but the years I am looking at are right around the year of my mother winning her national beauty title and her marriage so I feel like getting any video of those would be priceless. 
Also, I can know for sure and they are out of my house! That in itself is worth something. I truly am working hard to get things finished. I know it will take time but just checking thing off the list every day makes me feel like I am still moving forward.

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