DO IT YOURSELF? -- If you want to do this process yourself, you will need an 8mm film projector and a video camera. There are 'converter boxes' available, like I have pictured, which makes this process easier and a little better quality than just projecting onto a screen and videotaping it with a camcorder. However, if you want top quality (these are your memories, remember?), I suggest using a professional service. They have much better and very expensive equipment, and can also do some minor restoration of your film for an additional fee.
CHOOSE PIXEL-BY-PIXEL TRANSFER -- What I wanted was frame-by-frame (or pixel-by-pixel nowadays) conversion, not simply projecting the running movie film into a camera lens. This process is much more accurate and there is no film flicker in the resulting video. If a company does not offer at least frame-by-frame transfer, find another one. If you are going to send out your film, you want it done right the first time.
CHOOSE A MEDIUM -- Your film will be digitized, but you will need to select a medium (DVD, MiniDV, hard drive, Digital8, etc) for your digital master. I wanted to produce my own DVDs so that I could add a background sound track, titles, do color-correction, and choose my own DVD menu and chapters, so I chose
Digital8 because I have a Digital8 camcorder I can use to copy the video to my PC. However, if that's not important to you, you can have the company create a DVD for you, ready to play with simple chapters.
- Photo Credit movies-to-dvd.com, www.mymovietransfer.com, oaktreevintage.com
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