Monday, October 10, 2005

Home movies

Just found my grandad’s ancient 8mm projector and film-splicer up in the loft, along with about 2000ft of home movies from 1962-1980. They’re all in fine working order, so I expect to spend a nostalgic evening soon, watching silent images of myself running bare-assed through the snow.

Hopefully there’ll be more to them than weddings and christenings. Grandad was a captain on the old Athel line, so I’m hoping there’ll be some cool footage of the Pacific in the sixties: New Zealand and China and the Philippines and who knows.        

What I’d really like to do, is convert the film to DV so it can be imported into iMovie, where I can add captions and sound, transfer it to iDVD and make my own disk of the footage. Anyone know if the conversion is easy to do, or expensive? Is it worth paying for the film to DV transfer or will I get decent enough results if I just use a DV camera to capture the film as I project it onto a wall?

Any suggestions?

Category: Meatspace


  1. Sorry Lee, no suggestions but am very envious of your find. Not that I have a perverse interest in your personal life, just the fact that you've found such a nostalgic piece of technology that I always longed for...

  2. They are fantastic machines - at the time probably a crowning glory of miniaturisation, now great, grey, lumbering, rattling monsters.

    They're from another generaton entirely. I'm developing a bit of a fetish for them, actually. And, Danny, there's no shame in wanting to watch me, my sister and cousin dressed as cowboys or nurses, playing with The Big Yellow Teapot. I'll make you a copy.

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  5. Check out an outfit called Videostation. They'll send you a demo DVD of their work at no cost.

    Most transfer houses will simply record the projected image with a camera/projector setup and give you dog-rough results.

    For a proper job you need a flying-spot telecine machine, which scans the film itself without projecting it. It's far from cheap but you end up with an archive-quality DV master.

  6. Thanks, Stephen. I've asked them to send the DVD, so I'll have to wait and see if I can afford it.

  7. Btw, those 'comments deleted' were me - I screwed up the html link in spectacular fashion.

  8. Don't you worry, even deleted comments get e-mailed to me by Blogger.

    I was hoping they were spammers having second thoughts; bit disappointed when I got home to check. Very conscientious of you to own up though!

  9. Well, as a reader you see 'comment deleted' and immediately assume that something scurrilous has been yanked.


    So that's just me, then?

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