Super-8 Film Processing, From Professional to Do it Yourself.
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Kodak quick link to worldwide Super-8, 16mm and 35mm Film Labs. After Clicking on the link just fill in the box choices for the film formats you are interested in, no registration required.
In the San Fernando Valley, a suburb of Los Angeles, California, Super-8 filmmakers are triply blessed. Three Film Labs that also offer both film to video transfers and super-8 camera rentals can be found! Spectra Film and Video , Yale Labs and Pro 8mm Film, all offer Weekly and sometimes SAME DAY BW & Ektachrome film processing!
Each Lab has it's strengths. Spectra is proficient at transferring film to video, while Yale Labs does a fine job of processing both Black and White Reversal Film and Color Reversal Film in all formats.
For the BEST WEST COAST NEGATIVE SUPER-8 FILM PROCESSING, I suggest ALPHA CINE LAB. You may want to call in first to set up an account, or you can download their lab order form after you click on the link I have provided above. If you plan on having your processed color negative super-8 film transferred by either Yale Labs or Spectra Film and Video, you can bring the unprocessed color negative super-8 film into either Yale Labs or Spectra Film and Video and work out the shipping details (to Alpha Cine) with them. Since these two film labs will be getting the film back so they can get it ready for transfer to video, it's still one stop shopping for the Los Angeles area super-8 filmmaker. ALPHA CINE LAB works with other super-8 to video transfer facilities but since they are located in Washington that would mean the LA filmmaker could not supervise the film to video transfer session as easily as if it were in Los Angeles.
Additionally, there is also Flying Spot Film Transfer (also known as FSFT) on the West coast (located near Alpha Cine in Washington) that also offers a wide range of Super-8 to Video Transfer Services. FSFT also offers Session Link which allows the filmmaker to supervise the video transfer session from anywhere in the world via the internet. I have not ever used session link and I think it involves an extra charge so I assume this is for those who have a schedule to keep and have a budget to spend, still a very cool way to know what one is getting without having to be at the actual film transfer session.
Flying Spot Film Transfer doesn't use a flying spot filmscanner, they actually have a Thomson Shadow film scanner and are one of the few places in the United States that can transfer S8mm to HD using high end transfer equipment, and they have been doing so for several years now.
Just as Kodachrome film was being discontinued in 2005, Spectra Film and Video announced they would be offering Fuji Velvia in Super-8. Not to be outdone, Kodak now offers Vision 200T, Vision 500T, Ektachrome 64 and Plus X and Tri-X black and white film stocks. Spectra Film and Video now also loads Kodak Ektachrome 100 D. The bottom line is the Super-8 palette is so rich in choices right now that someone can shoot either a feature film in Super-8 or a music video.
Although Kodachrome 40 film was discontinued in 2005, there are still tens of thousands of Kodachrome cartridges that eventually will get processed. Those who still have Kodachrome 40 Super-8 cartridges may still be able to get forty hour processing turnaround times by fedexing their film priority 10:30 am to Dwaynes Movie Film PDF for next morning delivery. Dwaynes is located in Parsons, Kansas. WARNING, DWAYNES WILL CEASE KODACHROME 40 PROCESSING NEAR THE END OF 2010! Dwaynes is now processing Kodachrome and Ektachrome film at least twice a week to as many as four times a week until near the end of 2010.
Dwaynes generously passes on their special Fed Ex Discount shipping pricing to their customers. Your return Fed-EX delivery costs should be significantly less than what it cost you to ship Fed-Ex to Dwaynes because Dwaynes gets a special high volume discount that they pass on to their customers on the return shipping.
Warning, as time goes on, it is possible that Dwaynes may wait an extra day so they have enough kodachrome super-8 processing orders to run their kodachrome 40 processing machine. Please check with Dwaynes before assuming that the very fast processing turnaround is actually available on the day you need it. As of March 19, 2010, Dwaynes was still receiving enough kodachrome super-8 film to do at least 2-4 processing runs every week.
It may be possible to ship your Kodachrome Super-8 film off at Fed-Ex at 5:30pm on Monday, have the Super-8 film processed on Tuesday, and then shipped back to you for a Wednesday Morning or Early Wednesday afternoon return! Super-8 cameras typically cost TEN TIMES LESS than 3-chip digital cameras, so paying for Fed-Ex when you process your kodachrome should not be looked at as a dealbreaker.
Dwaynes Movie Film PDF Dwaynes also processes Ektachrome film as well. To find more Super-8 labs in the United States that process BW, Ektachrome, or Negative Super-8, simply do a "google.com" search by typing in "Super-8 film processing."
You can also ask your super-8 film processing questions on the Super-8 Filmmaking in the Digital Age Forum.
You will find a wide range of laboratories that offer Super-8 film processing around the world. If you already have a Super-8 film processing lab that you have used, please feel free to tell us about them on the Super-8 Filmmaking in the Digital Age Forum which is located in the Hostboard family of forums. (you can also learn more about the Super-8 forum by checking out the final page of this website).
Yes, you can process Super-8 film yourself! I prefer giving my Super-8 film to a lab and in the process (pardon the pun), being part of a film bigger community. I believe it's important to get film back quickly while a previous Super-8 shoot is still fresh in ones mind. Keep that aspect in mind when choosing your lab and shipping method. Go to On Super8 Process Page to learn more about Do It Yourself Super-8 processing options.
Some of you adventurous types may want to learn how to process the film yourself! Black and White, Ektachrome and Negative Super-8 can be processed yourself if you have the right information, chemicals, and tools. The best advice I can give you is to do a google search and just type in "Super-8" "Do it yourself". I personally don't recommend developing film yourself for environmental reasons and because I'd rather spend that time filming, but it is a personal preference and we are all different.
Kodachrome 40 can ONLY be processed in Parson's Kansas by Dwaynes Movie Film PDF "> Dwaynes Kodachrome 40 Processing lab. The other Kodachrome 40 lab was in Switzerland and was run by Kodak. Unfortunately, real estate values had skyrocketed from 50 years ago and it is tempting to sell a property for a LOT MORE MONEY then could be made from continuing to run their business.
If you decide to shoot a test film cartridge to see how your super-8 camera works, don't forget to do a single frame test if your camera has a single frame function on it.
Film Transfer Facilities Versus Do it Yourself.
Some equate the arrival of the The Digital Age with the end of the "horse and buggy" analog age. If digital menus are superior to the "antiquated" style of knobs and buttons that preceded it, how come your car isn't completely menu driven? Some scorn the users of film because they rely on others to assist in the creation of their art. However once film is converted to digital it can then be edited in the same identical manner that digital video can be edited.
Filmmaking with real film is an incredible form of artistic expression. Don't think that just because digital is an instant format that it is somehow a "better" format. digital just has a more utilitarian aspect to it than film does. It may be easier to market Digital "One-Stop" artistry to the masses, but filming with a Super-8 camera is the closest you will ever come to feeling creative in the way art has been created for the last 1,000 years. Film should always be considered a companion format to digital, rather than viewed as horse and buggy technology. Some Digi-Heads revel when it comes to talking about film as being a format that has seen its better days.
Film continues to improve because of Kodak's research and development AND because of HD. As Digital Video Transfer methods improve, so does the look of film transferred to these new and improved High Definition digital video formats.
Because we are now in the Digital Age, Super-8mm Film Transfered to Digital looks Exquisite. I find the look of Super-8mm Film Transfered to Digital Video looks vastly different than actually shooting on Mini-DV, Digital 8, or any other Digital Format. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of Super-8 to Video transfer facilities located throughout the United States. Some have been in business for a decade or longer, while others pop up overnight and have very little experience and may be gone tomorrow.
I recommend finding a Super-8 film transfer place that is within driving distance. If you were to ship your film and lose it, you could never replace it. One way to help ensure that your film is not lost should you decide to ship it elsewhere is to put your name and address on each and every film can and the accompanying film reel inside the film can. Rubber band the film can shut and put each film can inside of a ziplock plastic bag.
Your home movies are precious family heirlooms, don't rule out the possibility of supervising your Super-8 film transfer even if you have to travel by plane, train or automobile to do it! If the facility allows you to be present when they transfer your super-8 or regular 8 film to video, consider the supervision option seriously. Another thing to consider is only sending in one or two small film reels first to see how good of a job the film transfer facility does.
Many People mistakenly throw away their precious home movies after having them transfered to video.This is a BIG MISTAKE. As video technology improves, the look of film transferred to video improves! Don't believe me? Notice how 35mm feature films made in the 60's and 70's look incredible when you watch them on cable TV? That's because the 35mm film masters have been retransferred to video using newer and superior film to video transfer technology that did not exist 10, 20, or 30 years ago.
The same technology that improves the look of film on video for 35mm motion pictures also applies to your Regular 8 and Super-8 home movies. The day may come when you will be able to scan your home movies on your own table top scanner at the highest possible quality, but in the meantime, Quality Super-8 to Video Transfer facilities are available virtually all over the world.
Spectra Film and Video , Yale Labs and Pro 8mm Film, All offer Super-8 Rank Cintel Transfers.
A fourth place also exists in the San Fernando Valley called Film and Video Transfers. Film and Video Transfers is not a lab but has a terrific rank cintel transfer service with wetgate, and all kinds of tape to tape duplicating as well including the high end formats such as Digital Betacam.
Going directly to disk and avoiding a video format first is another option as well. Direct to Disk film transfers may level the playing field in terms of allowing the filmmaker more choices as to what format they ultimately want to go to without having to commit to one video format first. In the Age of multiple HD options, direct to disk may be a logical first step as it should allow the filmmaker more format transfer options later on.
For super-8 transfers to Standard Definition Video, recording to Mini-DV, Betacam SP, and Digital Betacam are all still solid choices. An excellent source for more information about World Wide Professional Transfer services plus Do It Yourself home movie and super-8 transfer optios, please check out On Super8 Process Page
WARNING ABOUT TRANSFERRING TO DVD. DVD technology is not an archival format! Desktop burnable DVD's are easily scratchable AND the compression scheme used is NOT ACCEPTABLE for purposes of editing your home movies at a later date!
No matter what you transfer your home movies to, the film itself is actually more durable then the consumer digital formats currently on the market. When this changes, I will update this site to let you all know.
Super-8mm.net - The Many Advantages of Super-8mm Filmmaking are Revealed.
Page-1 Super-8mm Overview.
Page-2 Super-8mm Film Advantages Explored
Page-3 Super-8mm Film Production News
Page-4 Music Video Techniques.
Page-5 Labs & Transfers.
Page-6 8mm Film Subscription Magazines.
Page-7 Flicker Super-8 Shooting Strategies
Page-8 Using Polaroids.
Page-9 Super-8 Cameras.
Page-10 Super-8 Forums.
Super-8mm.com - Super-8mm Low Budget Feature Filmmaking Techniques.
Page-1 Super-8 Links, Overview & Methods.
Page-2 Super-8 Guerilla Filmmaking.
Page-3 Indoor & Outdoor Locations.
Page-4 Super-8mm Film Stock Strategies.
Page-5 Super-8 Production News & Notes.
Page-6 A Good SoundTrack Can Make Your Film.
Page-7 Using Quiet Super-8 Cameras.
Page-8 Best Script Concepts for Super-8mm.
Page-9 Acquiring Same Model Super-8 Cameras.
Page-10 One Stop Super-8 Film Labs.