Can you transfer and edit my reel to reel film?
No, we are not currently set up to handle that type of format. We will accept VHS, VHS-C, Hi 8, Digital 8 and miniDV formats.
How long will it take? What will the packaging look like?
All projects are on a "first in, first out basis", so busy times will cause delays, however, generally speaking you should expect one to two weeks plus shipping time. All work is custom and attention to detail is key, so any less time spent on your video editing project would reflect in quality and creativity. If the video is a gift, or for a special occasion, such as a wedding, please allow plenty of time for us to complete the work and deliver it to you. Under certain circumstances a "rush" can be placed on the order, particularly if it's a memorial video for a funeral. A 30% fee would apply on any "rush" order.
All packaging is custom made to your home movie. We'll add your photos and/or stills from your movie, as well as a custom title. We have lots of creative and fun ideas to make the outside look just as great as the movie. Visit the Packaging Samples page for some ideas. DVDs are in a standard DVD clamshell case (just like a movie from the store) with a custom printed insert, and the actual disks have the title of your movie printed with a thermal DVD printer (we recommend against labels on DVDs.
Can still photos be part of my home movie as well?
Yes, adding your photos is no problem. It's a great way to accent your home movies. We can mix them in, group them together or do an entire DVD with your photos to create a photo slide show right on your television. The photo slide show, or montage is particularly nice on DVD because you can easily jump from one grouping of pictures to another. All the photos from your vacation last summer would be one chapter, while the photos from your wedding would be another, etc. It's a great way to share your photos with family and friends. Visit our Photo Slide Show page for some ideas.
How involved will I be in the editing process?
You can be as involved as you'd like or as uninvolved as you'd like. If you already know what you want, we'll do our best to make it happen, and if you don't know, we'll help you decide. If you would rather leave it all to us, that's fine too, we've got lots of ideas. Your home movie is reviewed and edited minute by minute, so "no stone is left unturned". Our creativity and experience allow us to work with minimal direction. In any case your finished project will be something you'll be proud to share, guaranteed.
How many people will be working on my home movie or photo slide show?
From start to finish all work and correspondence is handled by one person. This assures a sense of creative continuity as well as comfort for the client.
Will there be any loss in quality during the process?
If your video is in a digital format, such as miniDV or Digital 8, there will be no loss in quality. With analog formats there is always a slight loss when you duplicate it in any way, even to digital, however the loss is minimal and should not be noticeable. Once the video has been digitized there is no loss in quality during the editing process.
Will my original photos and videos be returned to me?
Absolutely! Everything you send us will be returned in its original condition. Once we receive your photos and videos we will take an inventory of what you've sent and secure it in its own labeled container. When the work is completed, we will ship it all back to you along with your final masterpiece. It is, however, a good idea to make copies when possible, just in case of shipping issues. When it's an analog tape, you should always send us the original to ensure the best quality picture.
Are there any ways you can improve on the quality of the picture
Yes, we can use digital image enhancements to adjust color balance, brightness, and contrast, dramatically improving the look of your home movie; however we cannot turn night into day :), so realistic expectations are important.
Couldn't I edit my own home movies on my computer?
Sure, if you have a fast computer, the appropriate equipment, good software, and plenty of time, then we encourage it. Video editing is our passion and has brought us much joy throughout the years. We would encourage anyone to take it up, however the equipment and editing software we use is professional grade, not to mention our experience. You simply cannot achieve the same results with consumer grade equipment and software.
Will the chapter points of my DVD be appropriate to the content or will they be at regular intervals?
The chapter points of your DVD will always be at appropriate places within your movie, for example, at the beginning of each separate event, or if it's a particularly long event there will be additional chapter points placed accordingly. Other editing and transfer companies often place chapter points at specific intervals (every 5-10 minutes). Most DVD authoring software will do this for them automatically, saving them time and effort, however one of the benefits of DVD is to be able to jump directly to what you want to watch without having to search for it, so it makes more sense to have custom chapter points.
Will the DVD play in my DVD player?
Most likely yes, we use DVD-R disks which are compatible with almost all newer DVD players, even if the manual says otherwise. If you are concerned about the compatibility of your player, we will happily mail you a sample disk so that you can be certain. Also, DVD players have become very inexpensive and a new one could be purchased for under $100.
What will my DVD menu look like and how will it function?
We use professional DVD authoring software, so your DVD will look and function just like one bought from the store. We have sample menus on our DVD Menu page, for you to get an idea of what they can look like. The background of your DVD menu can be any photograph or video clip you choose, or we can choose something appropriate from our library. The main menu will consist of a background scene, music if you'd like, and custom made "Play" and "Chapters" buttons. The chapter menu(s) will have all your chapters laid out in chronological order as selectable buttons which can be created out of still frames or full motion video clips.
How long will DVDs last vs. VHS tapes? Back to the top
DVDs have an approximate "shelf life" of at least 100 years, and will not deteriorate over time and use the way VHS does. In a matter of a few years, analog tapes (VHS, VHS-C, Hi8 etc...) will show a noticeable loss in quality. The more you watch them, the worse it gets, and the faster it happens. The only way to truly preserve your analog videos is to transfer them to some sort of digital medium (DVD, miniDV, Digital 8), and the sooner the better.