MOTION PICTURE FILM TRANSFER, ARCHIVAL, RECOVERY AND RESTORATION SPECIALIST

RECOVERY, RESTORATION, PRESERVATION OF WARPED, SHRUNK, BUCKLED, TWISTED, BRITTLE, MOLDY, VINEGAR SYNDROME, SPIDER WEBBED, WATER, SMOKE, FIRE DAMAGED, DETERIORATING OR DEGRADING MOTION PICTURE FILM

CLEANING, LUBRICATION, RESTORATION, PRESERVATION & SINGLE FRAME MOTION PICTURE (MOVIE) FILM SCANNING

 

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TMTV Motion Picture Film Archivists

 

We are listed with KODAK Motion Picture Transfer Facilities

DON'T THROW THAT FILM AWAY - NO MATTER WHAT OTHER FILM COMPANIES SAY...WE CAN RECOVER & SCAN ALMOST ANY TYPE OF DAMAGED 8MM & 16MM MOTION PICTURE FILM!

NEW TECHNOLOGIES, FILM RECOVERY/RESTORATION/PRESERVATION TECHNIQUES, EQUIPMENT AND OUR TECHNICIANS CAN TAKE EVEN THE WORST DAMAGED MOVIE FILM AND RECOVER AND SCAN EACH FRAME OF FILM AND SAVE YOUR MEMORIES. THIS INCLUDES; WARPED, BRITTLE, SHRUNK, TWISTED, SPIDER WEBBED, WATER, SMOKE & FIRE DAMAGED FILM.

Film Scanning (one frame-at-a-time) with success: Our Four custom-built preservation scanners are specifically designed for handling several types of motion picture film from excellent condition to the most damaged film. 

These include a liquid gate Sprocket-less film transport with fully adjustable film tension, adept at handling compromised film with missing or torn perforations, brittleness, highly warped or shrunk film.
 
Full width, large diameter PTR rollers for gentle handling of damaged or torn film.
 
No dancer arms or undersized rollers to damage brittle film.
 
Precision non-contact perforation sensors with archival perforation processor for extremely damaged film. Meaning no sprocket driven assembly to tear the film.
 
Curved gate for damaged vinegar-syndrome film with mild warping or mild shrunk film.

Specialized film recovery equipment including; Pressure, Heat & Drying tanks, several Plasticizer & Lamination applications & Recovery Treatments.

"Your job really touches lives".  Thank you again. Gina, Deerfield Beach FL USA  (Motion Picture Film Recovery and Scanning) - SEE CUSTOMER COMMENTS

PRICING OR ESTIMATES BEFORE SUBMITTING YOUR ORDER:

TO REQUEST PRICING OR AN ESTIMATE FOR FILM RECOVERY AND RESTORATION YOU MUST E-MAIL TMTV AND PROVIDE YOUR NAME, LOCATION, PHONE NUMBER, HOW MANY FILMS YOU HAVE, THE FORMAT AND TYPE OF FILM. ALONG WITH DETAILED INFORMATION ON THE TYPE OF FILM DAMAGE. YOU CAN ALSO SEND PHOTOS ALONG WITH YOUR DETAILS. YOU CAN CALL US TOLL FREE AND WE WILL BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO GUIDE YOU THROUGH THE ESTIMATION PROCESS.

Estimates for film Recovery and Restoration are not provided by phone.

CLICK HERE FOR OUR "FILM RECOVERY" ORDER FORM - IMPORTANT: This must be accompanied by your order. You can either print, fill out and email or place inside your shipment. This form is used for basic submission information and to inform you of our limited liability & guarantees. To receive an estimate with all pricing & detailed information please e-mail us before filling this form out or sending your order. If you are shipping from the USA it is important that you contact us for special shipping instructions.


HOME MOVIE FILM SCANNING: For damaged, deteriorating or degrading motion picture film and digitally transferred in SD OR HD to files on a portable hard drive, SD card, USB thumb drive or mastered onto a 100 year archival DVD, one thousand year Archival M-Disc DVD or Blu Ray DVD master. Film is Scanned Digitally by our exclusive special designed TMTVISION Digital Single Frame Motion Picture Film Scanners Each frame of the film is stopped, scanned and advanced to the next frame. Each frame can take seconds to scan not frames scanned in seconds...this is TRUE frame-by-frame film scanning. Easier on brittle damaged film means more film recovered and transferred!

This sample is from a badly warped and shrunk Regular 8mm film from 1946. Each frame of the film was digitally scanned after the recovery and restoration process. NOTE: VIDEO AND PHOTO SAMPLES ON THIS WEB SITE ARE FOR "INTERNET VIEWING" AND ARE NOT SHOWN IN THEIR ACTUAL HIGH RESOLUTION

TYPES DEGRADING AND DAMAGED FILMS: SEE PICTURES AND VIDEO SAMPLES (BELOW)

CUSTOMER COMMENTS: Thanks again for your help. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks editing these films and building a compilation from this. It is truly magical to see film of my 73 year old father playing as a small child. These films, thought lost forever, will be treasured. Thanks! J Miller, Florida USA (Motion Picture Film Recovery and Scanning)

TMTVISION Digital Film Scanning using our exclusive, special designed motion picture scanners resulting in stunning images and is easier on old warped, shrunk, curled, spider webbed, brittle or damaged movie film.

DETERIORATING OR DEGRADING 8MM & 16MM FILM AND THE TYPES OF PHYSICAL DAMAGE INCLUDE; FILM THAT HAS A STINKY PUNGENT ODOR, MOLDY, SHRUNK, CURLED/CUPPED/TWISTED, BUCKLED, BRITTLE, CRYSTALLIZED, DRIED, SPIDER WEBBED, FREEZE DRIED OR FUSED TOGETHER

Film that shows mild to extreme warping, shrinking or spider webbing, that can not be projected much less transferred by conventional means may be recovered at least long enough to be scanned (transferred). "Long enough to be transferred" is the key - some films MAY no longer be usable (either for future transfer or for projector use after the recovery and scanning is complete). This depends on the original condition and the processed required to recover the film. These processes is not restoring the film for future use in a conventional projector or later transfer (unless it is mild to moderate warping), but is a recovery of badly deteriorating motion picture film for immediate transfer to a digital archival format. If your film has Vinegar Syndrome it begins in earnest, the remaining life of the film is very short because the process speeds up as it goes along. Early diagnosis, film recovery and scanning to an archival video format is the best option for preserving your memories. Cold, moderately dry locations for your film are the most effective defenses for temporary storage.

TMTV's lab performs many levels of film recovery by a gradual, condition-specific, multi-step process that can recondition and stabilize, dehydrated, dried out 8mm & 16mm motion picture film allowing it for immediate transfer to many of our digital formats. The process can be applied to both colour and B&W safety films, either positive or negative.

We can handle even the most damaged and even "brittle" & some "crumbling" film and get an image. It may be that only film of your grandma you have and our job is to make sure the film is not gone forever.

TMTV'S PROCESS UNLIKE ANY OTHER: Our years of experience with film has allowed us to manufacture some custom made equipment and treatments for the recovery process including: Film scanning equipment (single frame film scanner). Recovery Tanks; to immerse the film in a several special liquids and processes to soften the film, uncurl and separate the film if bound together and help preserve the emulsion and film base. Pressure Recovery; for providing pressure on the film to make the film as flat as possible and to squeeze any solution used into and in between the film while on the reel during soaking. Drying tanks; to dry the film after applying soaking liquids. Preservatives;  Apply film cleaners, lubricants and preservatives. Specialty Plasticizer Treatment (elasticizing coating); to soften and allow elasticity that actually prevents the film and emulsion from falling apart during handling and scanning. Film Base Lamination (hot & cold lamination) to flatten the film, prevent further film breakage and emulsion deterioration. New process for Film Restoration of water damaged, moldy, heat or fire damaged or very dirty film; Some of our latest techniques involves the power of electrolyzed liquids that use negative ions to adhere to soiled film surfaces. Dirt is pulled away from the film by repellent forces with no chemicals required and no loss to the film's image. This is used on water damaged, moldy or dirty and heat damaged film.

Damaged film can require one or all of the processes listed above.

RECOVERY & SCANNING SUCCESS WITH YEARS OF EXPERIENCE:

TMTV'S FILM LABORATORY IN NELSON BC

We can scan (transfer) more film than ANY other company that uses conventional film transfer machines that are used for warped or shrunk film. Those companies that use sprockets, pinch rollers and several roller guides to drive the film through their system either in real-time or at several frames per second, resulting in damaged/binding/broken and ruined film. Their equipment can only transfer mild warped film and results in less transferred films or not transferring any films. There lies the problem, you would get much less film transferred by any other company! We can recover and scan (transfer) extremely damaged film as long as the film emulsion (images) are in tacked and the film is not freeze dried (hard like a brick) to the point of crumbling or fused together (like glue) and can not be separated. We scan each frame of film and string those images back together to create motion, meaning we are very gentle on the film. Our success rate is like no other...we can usually save up to 90% more damaged film using our recovery treatments and application process than any other film lab.


CHECK AND TEST THE CONDITION OF YOUR FILM WHEN REQUIRING AN ESTIMATE BY E-MAIL You may also e-mail us photos of the film for a visual inspection, or send the film to TMTV for a complete hands-on inspection and no obligation and "quote".

1) Will the film come off the reel easily or is it one solid mass? If it's solid, like a brick, or brittle to the point were it flakes and falls apart or stuck together and the film will not separate...This is called "freeze-dried" syndrome. Film in this condition is in it's final stages but in some rare cases the outer part of the film that is on the reel may be freeze dried and the film towards the inner core of the reel may be recoverable through several processes. Do not attempt to remove the film in this case. Don't throw away the film! Send it to us for a NO obligation, inspection and quote. WE ARE YOUR LAST HOPE...if we can't Recover, Restore and Scan your film, no one can.

2) Can you bend the film backwards with out it breaking? We don't mean fold it backwards, but just bend it backwards slightly. If it breaks very easy or has become too dehydrated or brittle, it means the film base... the acetate backing that holds the image brittle and will require one or many of our processes to hold the film together for scanning. If the film is "freeze dried' (hard like a brick and stuck or fused together) do not attempt to remove or handle the film any further. There are options for dried, brittle film for a successful Recovery for scanning. We can deal with some of the most extremely damaged film. It is very important that you not attempt to unwind an entire roll of film that has been damaged by dehydration as this can crack the emulsion or break the film base beyond repair. It is ok to remove a portion of the film from the reel to perform the test as mentioned above. Again do not remove or unwind any major portion of the film.

3) Is the film in pieces, or off the reel? If it is...there would be intensive labour cost in recovering and restoring the film. In this situation the film must be somewhat pliable were it can Plasticized or Laminated so it can be replaced back on the reel for scanning. Once the film is removed from the film reel there is usually nothing we can do with film that is extremely curled, shrunk and or extremely brittle. If the film was removed from the reel and wound back onto the reel without breaking both the film or emulsion and if the film is not too curled, buckled or twisted then it MAY be possible to save this film. However, the film needs to be fairly tight on the reel to help perform the best recovery process.

TYPES OF FILM DAMAGE

Below you will find photos and video samples of films in various conditions of decay caused by vinegar syndrome, poor storage, flooding or fire.

SEVERELY DAMAGED FILM FROM VINEGAR SYNDROME

DO NOT REMOVE THE FILM FROM THE FILM REELS: SEE PHOTOS 

The film should remain on the reel in order for the recovery process to be the most successful. Minimal amount of film is recoverable from these types of films that have been removed from their original film reel.

VINEGAR SYNDROME

The symptoms of vinegar syndrome are a pungent vinegar smell (hence the name), followed eventually by shrinkage, embrittlement, and buckling, twisting, "spider webbing" of the gelatin emulsion and film base.

Safety motion picture film (so called because it is not flammable like nitrate base film) was almost always made of cellulose acetate plastic. A key issue in preserving this type of film is controlling the form of decay known as "vinegar syndrome." More properly referred to as acetate film base degradation, vinegar syndrome is a very similar problem to nitrate base deterioration. Its causes are inherent in the chemical nature of the plastic and its progress very much depends on storage conditions.

Storage in warm and humid conditions greatly accelerates the onset of decay. Once it begins in earnest, the remaining life of the film is short because the process speeds up as it goes along. Early diagnosis and cold, moderately dry storage are the most effective defenses.


SPIDER WEBBING, BUCKLING, TWISTED, VERY SHRUNK, VERY BRITTLE, CRYSTALLIZED, MOLDY, SMELLY FILM

The above films; very brittle, extremely shrunk, twisted, buckled, crystallized, spider webbed, smelly and moldy but is still on it's original reel. The film has become very hard and brittle (freeze dried). A small portion of this film may be recoverable long enough for scanning, perhaps 10 - 30% if 8mm, and perhaps 40% of this film can be saved if 16mm. Usually the emulsion is cracking or falling off and handling the film results in the film just falling apart. Spider Webbing and buckling along with the film that may be very hard (like a brick) or very brittle is the most difficult film to work with and requires the most labour intensive recovery process. Extreme caution should be used when handling this type of film to avoid any further damage.

VIDEO SAMPLE: SPIDER WEBBING, BUCKLING, TWISTED, VERY SHRUNK, VERY BRITTLE, CRYSTALLIZED, MOLDY, SMELLY FILM

 

NOTE: VIDEO SAMPLES ON THIS WEB SITE ARE FOR "INTERNET VIEWING" AND ARE NOT SHOWN IN THEIR ACTUAL HIGH RESOLUTION

The quality of the final scanned images after recovery of this type of very brittle, extremely shrunk, twisted, buckled and spider webbed film can be very poor to poor. This depends on how flat we can make the film for scanning and how shrunk the film is and if the emulsion is cracking or become unstable and falling off. Final images can show warping, shrinkage, cracked emulsion, in-out of focus, missing frames and faded images or washed-out colour. Film in this condition is a last resort to being able to provide the customer anything usable from the film. Individual scanned images (photos) in Jpeg or Tiff can be saved if "full motion" of the film or a movie of the film can not be created because of the severity of the damage. At the very least you could have still images you can e-mail or print.


DRIED, BRITTLE FILM

Dried and brittle film can be caused by a couple of things...previous water damage and then letting the film dry or poor storage condition in hot and humid climates. The quality of the final scanned images after recovery of this type of very brittle, dried, curled and shrunk film can be poor to good. This depends on if the emulsion is cracking or has become unstable and falling off. Final images can show warping, shrinkage, cracked, broken, in-out of focus, missing frames and faded images.16mm has the best chance of recovery overall because of it's larger size and has more strength than 8mm. Dried, brittle film that is stuck or fused together is one of the worst-case scenarios of damaged movie film and can be one of the most labour extensive to recover, restore and scan.


FREEZE DRIED AND FUSED TOGETHER

ONE OF THE WORST CASE SCENARIOS...

Film that is severely damaged by dehydration ("freeze-dried" syndrome), hard like a brick and fused together (one mass) is usually beyond repair, however, the film towards the inner core may be recoverable or sections through-out the film may be Recoverable by our experts.

Film that is broken into small pieces or extremely brittle, falls apart during handling or crumbles into little pieces and off the reel, is not Recoverable. It is important that you let the professionals help in making the determination on the condition of your film. It may look bad to you but we can handle almost any type of film damage and get results!


SPIDER WEBBING, BUCKLING, TWISTED, WARPED, SHRUNK

The photo above is of  an 8mm film showing "SPIDER WEBBING AND BUCKLING" very shrunk with a strong vinegar odor. Film can either show no signs of white powder or have major white powder. The very outer (lead) & inner parts (tail) of the film have not started to be buckled from Spider Webbing. Portions of the film may also be freeze dried and brittle. Perhaps 40 to 60% of this type of film if 8mm and 50 to 90% if 16mm is likely recoverable long enough for scanning.

FILM SAMPLE: SPIDER WEBBING, BUCKLING, TWISTED, WARPED, SHRUNK

 

NOTE: VIDEO SAMPLES ON THIS WEB SITE ARE FOR "INTERNET VIEWING" AND ARE NOT SHOWN IN THEIR ACTUAL HIGH RESOLUTION

The quality of the final scanned images after recovery of this type of Spider Webbed & buckled film can be very poor to good. This depends on how flat we can make the film for scanning and how shrunk the film is and if the emulsion is cracking or become unstable. Final images can show warping, shrinkage, cracked emulsion, in-out of focus, missing frames and faded images.


MILD SPIDER WEBBING, BUCKLING, TWISTED, WARPED, SHRUNK

8mm film showing the start of "SPIDER WEBBING" and buckling. The film is very shrunk, curled, the outer part of the film is twisted and the entire film has a strong vinegar odor but no signs of white powder and is not too brittle. Perhaps 20 to 70% if 8mm and 60 to 90% if 16mm of this film is likely recoverable long enough for scanning.

VIDEO SAMPLE: MILD SPIDER WEBBING, BUCKLING, TWISTED, WARPED, SHRUNK

 

NOTE: VIDEO SAMPLES ON THIS WEB SITE ARE FOR "INTERNET VIEWING" AND ARE NOT SHOWN IN THEIR ACTUAL HIGH RESOLUTION

 

Quality of the final scanned images of this type of Spider Webbed film after recovery can be poor to very good but, this depends on how flat we can make the film for scanning. Final images can show warping, shrinkage, cracked emulsion, in-out of focus and faded images.


CURLED AND SHRUNK FILM

Curled and shrunk 8mm film with signs of white powder and a very strong vinegar odor. This film is not hard or too brittle. 80 to 100% of either 8mm or 16mm film is likely recoverable long enough for scanning.

VIDEO SAMPLE: CURLED AND SHRUNK

 

NOTE: VIDEO SAMPLES ON THIS WEB SITE ARE FOR "INTERNET VIEWING" AND ARE NOT SHOWN IN THEIR ACTUAL HIGH RESOLUTION

Quality of the final scanned images after recovery can be good to excellent.


WARPED AND MILD SHRUNK FILM

Shrunk film, no odor or slight odor, not brittle, slight curl on the outer part (lead) of the film and signs of slight buckling on the inner part of the film. 100% of this film is likely recoverable for scanning and perhaps future projection. Film in this condition should not be projected or run through a transfer machine with pinch rollers, film gates or sprockets. It will damage or destroy the film. It may look good but shrunk or even slightly curled film requires recovery before transfer.

Quality of the final scanned images after recovery can be good to excellent.

VIDEO SAMPLE OF FILM AFTER RECOVERY: WARPED/TWISTED AND MILD SHRUNK FILM

   NOTE: VIDEO SAMPLES ON THIS WEB SITE ARE FOR "INTERNET VIEWING" AND ARE NOT SHOWN IN THEIR ACTUAL HIGH RESOLUTION - Film scanning sample in standard definition (SD) of an 8mm home movie that had mild warping and was recovered/restored and then scanned one frame at-a-time in numbered image sequence (NIS) files and then placed into our editing program to create a speed change of 18 frames per second for viewing.

  NOTE: VIDEO SAMPLES ON THIS WEB SITE ARE FOR "INTERNET VIEWING" AND ARE NOT SHOWN IN THEIR ACTUAL HIGH RESOLUTION - Video was restored for Selkirk College Film Library and Archives in Castlegar BC Canada. Film scanning sample in standard definition (SD) of a 16mm home movie that had mild warping and was recovered/restored and then scanned one frame at-a-time in numbered image sequence (NIS) files and then placed into our editing program to create a speed change for viewing.


WATER DAMAGED FILM

Flooding. If your film gets caught in a flood, remove the film from the water, let any excess water drain from the reel, place in sealed Ziplock or equivalent bags and contact us as quickly as possible for further advice or ship to us immediately. It is especially urgent to have us treat films that have been exposes to salt water. Handle films gently, especially if they are wet. Wet films are very fragile. Do not attempt to unroll a film to look at it. If you're not sure what the film is about, make a guess, but don't unroll it. Unrolling a film at this point will almost certainly cause further damage or a complete loss to the films images. Film that is on metal reels should be dealt with immediately, the film reels can rust and penetrate the film causing further damage (photos below). When sending your films, keep the film in airtight baggies and ship to our film laboratory as soon as possible. There are many variables that affect the stability of film materials, and each circumstance is different.

Photos & video of the actual film of 8mm film that was damaged in a flood and then left to dry on their original metal reels and cans. As you can see, mold developed and the film reels have rusted and the rust has penetrated into the film's emulsion. Images from film in this condition can range from very poor to good, however 50% of this film had no images at all. The emulsion had simply washed away from sitting in or being exposed to water for a long period of time. If the film is Freeze Dried and Fused together in some rare cases we may be able to separate or un-fuse the film as long as the film is not too brittle were it crumbles and falls apart while handling.

We have saved and recovered many clients films from floods in Hurricane Katrina back in 2005 and most recent floods from clients in Southern New England, Tennessee, New York, Texas-Oklahoma flood, Louisiana, Missouri, Florida, Maryland.

CUSTOMER COMMENTS: "Thank you so much TMTV - my parents lost their entire home during the recent flood in Texas. We are going to give them to my mother as a birthday gift. As they are from her childhood. She is going to be so surprised. We thank you so much for recovering these.  It is one of the few things we have left after the flood and it means so very much that you were able to recover and scan these movie films".

 God Bless Christy, Austin Texas USA  (Motion Picture Film Recovery and Scanning of water damaged 8mm film)

VIDEO SAMPLE OF ACTUAL FILM: WATER DAMAGED FILM

 

NOTE: VIDEO SAMPLES ON THIS WEB SITE ARE FOR "INTERNET VIEWING" AND ARE NOT SHOWN IN THEIR ACTUAL HIGH RESOLUTION

Recovered images can be poor to excellent. The biggest issue with water damaged film is usually the damage to, or complete removal of the emulsion (images) resulting in poor image quality and mold that can build up over time after the film has been exposed to water then left to dry. We treat and recover the film to prevent any further loss to the emulsion. The film itself is usually not too warped or shrunk unless it has been emerged in water for a lengthy time and then dried. Wiping the film clean with a cloth will certainly damage or remove the emulsion so it is advised not to dry the film in this manner...let the pros handle the film.


MOLD ON FILM & REELS (White powder spots or "Snow Flaking" forming on the emulsion side of the film) Film & film reels that are extremely moldy (white powder on the film & or film reels) & may have a pungent odor can be saved as long as the film is not too brittle. Mold on film is usually the first signs of vinegar syndrome, however we have seen films that have not been moldy prior to getting vinegar syndrome. Mold can also be caused from film that has been exposed to water or a damp storage area, or the type of original film used. This type of film requires all steps of the recovery process including one of the most important steps...the correct pressure applied in a pressure tank to squeeze out the mold rather than using a cleaning cloths to wipe the film clean, which can scratch or cause damage to, or removal of the films emulsion.

Photos showing mold on the film and reel. In extreme cases the film and reels are covered in a white powder.

Photos showing mold (Snow Flaking) - This can be cleaned, removed and treated with various solutions. This can be a vary pain staking process because extreme caution must be used to make sure the emulsion is not scratched or removed during the restoration process.

Depending on how bad the film is infected with the mold, specs (Snow Flaking) and how far the mold has penetrated the emulsion would determine the overall varying results of recovery. Quality of the images after removing mold during our recovery process can be good to excellent, unless the mold was originally caused by water damage and the film was left to dry. In this case, images can be extremely poor to good. No not wipe the film and try and remove the snowflakes. You may remove the emulsion, let the pros handle it.


HEAT DAMAGE: Smoke, fire or heat damaged film can be saved. There are no special instructions for handling the films other than: Do not unroll the film, if they smell from smoke or fire, place in sealed Ziplock or equivalent bags. Even film that is melted it can possibly be saved. There are various methods for restoring and recovering this type of damaged film. Contact us for further advice or ship to us for a complete hands-on inspection and no obligation quote.

Recovered images caused by heavy smoke or heat damage can range from poor to good.


WHAT CAN I EXPECT AFTER RECOVERY AND TRANSFER. SUMMERY: All film recovers differently so it is hard to provide you with guaranteed perfect image results from your film, however if there is an image and it can be recovered and scanned (transferred) we will do our best to make the image as clear as possible.

All film is inspected visually for image after recovery. It is not always possible, even with magnification, to determine if what we see on the film will have enough detail to be captured in scanning (transfer). Our policy is to scan a film if we deem the image is discernible on some part of the film. The final scanned (transferred) image quality may still be extremely poor; we err on the side of providing the customer with all possible salvaged image. If we can recover and detect any image on your film it will be scanned (transferred) regardless of quality or quantity.

The old saying; "something is better than nothing" and if there is anything we can do to recover and scan your film we can do it! Don't throw away the film, send the film to us and we will provide a complete hands-on free inspection and no obligation quote.


8MM VS 16MM RECOVERY:

First, 8mm film being half the width of 16mm has way less tensile strength. When it starts to dry out it does so with a vengeance. It  becomes very brittle, very quickly and when that happens you get the "freeze-dried" syndrome.  If we can make the freeze dried film pliable again through our recovery process... which we can in rare cases (by laminating the film). In most cases however, "freeze dried" film will simply tear, crumble or fall apart and become unusable.

If you suspect your film has any of the conditions mentioned, it is best to seek our professional help. You may ship the film to us for a COMPLETE ,NO OBLIGATION HANDS-ON INSPECTION AND QUOTE.

Film recovery process: Recovery process of the movie film which includes a gradual, condition-specific, multi-step process to recondition and stabilize dehydrated, dried out 8mm & 16mm motion picture film and the transfer with our exclusive TMTVISION Digital Single Frame Scanning unit which is very gentle on old, brittle, shrunk or damaged film. We uses several processes including; Pressure tanks, several wet and dry solutions, heat & drying processes as well as Replasticizer Treatment and new film base through Lamination.

Recovery success: It is very hard to give an accurate percentage for the recovery of your films but based on passed recovery or warped or shrunk film due to age or poor storage conditions. We can provide the following estimate: For Super 8mm format, the overall success rate is around 75%; for regular 8, double 8, single 8 (which is most often older film) the success rate is around 50%. 16mm success rate is around 80% but this all depends on the film overall condition.

Quality of images after recovery: The image quality can range from excellent to extremely poor. This can include; warping, shrunk frames/images, cracking, colour shifts, washed out colour, out-of-focus frames. If there is absolutely no image on your film, it will not be scanned and a partial refund from your deposit will be made. If we are able to make out any kind of image at all on your film, regardless of quality or quantity, it will be transferred and the usual price quoted will be charged. We only charge for what can be recovered and actually scanned (transferred).

Film Transfer success: Our Five custom-built preservation scanners are specifically designed for handling damaged or brittle films. These are liquid gate (if required) sprocket-less scanners adept at handling compromised film with missing or torn perfs, brittleness, highly warped & shrunk damaged film.

TMTVISION Digital Single Frame Scanning film scanning allows better quality transfer results, along with being able to transfer more film then in the past. Our film scanner has no sprockets, no advance claw, no capstan, no pinch roller, no belts, means no film damage. The films original condition is still the key to the films overall recovery and transfer success, but with our film scanner that scans one frame at-a-time and from our experience has increased the transfer success rate of recovered film by an additional 50% or more and the transfer of more film than any telecine machine than uses several rollers to carry the film into a "gate" and that has either sprocket or roller driven capstans to "pull" the film through. This is an old method that can only transfer mildly warped film.

Films physical condition after recovery: Due to the process required in recovering poor quality warped, brittle and shrunk film, most, if not all the film will be discarded after the recovery process, however this does depend on the original condition. If the film can be used again in the future for projector use, we will return the film on new reels and cans upon customer request. NOTE: Most films that have been through the recovery process are usually NOT returned, however, if you wish to have any of the original boxes or cans returned please let us know in advance or before the start of the recovery process.

CHARGES FOR WARPED, SHRUNK, FIRE, SMOKE, MOLD OR HEAT DAMAGED FILM FOR RECOVERY & RESTORATION: Charges for recovery, restoration and transfer can vary depending on the amount and condition of the film and the time, equipment, and procedures required to perform the type of recovery, restoration, cleaning and transfer. We will gladly supply a no obligation hands-on inspection and quote.

Deposit required: Once your film has been inspected and we supply a quote, a deposit may be required for the recovery process of any motion picture film and must be payable before the recovery begins. If none of the film can be recovered there will be a small service charge and the remainder of the deposit will be refunded. The deposit (IF required) is a minimum of 10% of the quote or estimate provided and the "small service charge" can be as little as 5% of the overall quote or estimated cost of the project, plus any shipping costs if the order is under $500.00.

Minimum charges: There are minimum charges for labour, materials and environmental fees for discarding of the film and chemicals after recovery or attempted recovery. We would inform you of the minimum cost involved (if applicable) when providing a FREE quote after a visual, hands-on inspection at our lab.

IMPORTANT PLEASE READ! RECOVERY TIME

FILM RECOVERY PROCESSING TIME: (Movie film that is warped or shrunk). Processing time depends on the films overall condition and the amount of film to be recovered for transfer. NOTE: No rush services available because of the type of process used to recover warped and shrunk movie film we can not give specific dates for completion. Due to the condition-specific, multi-step process for film recovery, please allow a minimum of 4 weeks, but it can take several months to complete the "recovery" process depending on the type of damage and recovery processes required. If you require your warped or shrunk movie films by a specific date, please do not send us your films, due to the reasons explained above. Obviously less work results is shorter recovery or restoration times. We will do everything possible to recover the films as quickly as possible, but the customer must be patient. There are no guarantees that any or all of the film will be recoverable. Please contact us at anytime and we can provide and update on the progress of your order.


CLEANING FILM AND FILM CLEANERS: DO-IT-YOURSELF IMPORTANT FACTS AND INFORMATION YOU MUST READ BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO USE CHEMICALS ON YOUR WARPED, SHRUNK, MOLDY, VINEGAR SYNDROME, DRIED OR BRITTLE FILM

READ THE LABEL OF ANY FILM TREATMENT PRODUCT BEFORE CONSIDERING PURCHASE OR USE - THESE ARE DANGEROUS CHEMICALS AND SHOULD BE HANDLED WITH EXTREME CARE

You can't "unshrink" motion picture film with chemicals to make it transfer better and using chemicals is not the only solution to helping with film recovery and restoration. If you think by soaking the film your damaged film problems are going away...think again...read the facts on film chemical use...

TMTV uses a custom build special vented Film Treatment Laboratory with vented soaking bins, drying, heating racks and pressurized tanks along with airpack respirators, face shield and specific clothing for the safe handling of dangerous chemicals.

There are many types of chemicals for the treatment of movie film and film transparencies. All are "chemicals" that should be handled VERY carefully with proper safety gear including the right respirators (Respiratory protection), safety gloves, goggles along with clothing and WELL ventilated area. The vapor is harmful (may affect the brain or nervous system).  The use of any film treatment product without trained knowledge on how to handle the film would be a mistake. We use several types of treatments for warped, dried, vinegar syndrome film, including chemicals/heat/pressure to achieve the best result for handling and then transfer of the film. We have had several customers treat their film with products such as Vitafilm, Filmrenew, Filmguard and home remedies only to find out it turned into a disaster or did not work at all. IMPORTANT NOTE: One of the most important steps in film recovery is applying the correct pressure in a pressure tank to squeeze out the chemicals, dirt, grime and mold rather than using cleaning cloths to wipe the film clean, which will scratch or cause damage to or removal of the films emulsion. Chemicals soften the film...along with the emulsion and removes film splices. Soaking the film and then drying the film without pressure to squeeze out the chemicals along with any dirt, grime or mold can cause further damage or complete loss. Don't get your hopes up on these particular products if using yourself, your inexperience could result in total loss of your film. You can't "unshrink" motion picture film with chemicals to make it transfer better and using chemicals is not the only solution to helping with film recovery and restoration. It has to be combined with several processes and possibly several applications to be successful.

NOTE: Please let us know if you have used any chemicals or home remedies on your films BEFORE sending them to TMTV. It is possible that we will not accept your films after you or someone else has attempted home or professional restoration of your movie film and was not successful. Although we are your last resort for successful Recovery the film may have received damage that can not be repaired. Reasons for us not accepting film for recovery can include the type of chemicals you may have used, the film has been unwound and replaced onto the reel, the film is off of the reel, the film is in pieces.

IF the film has very mild signs of vinegar syndrome including mold or mild warping then a quick dunk or an easy soak can  help, but again, some of these products are very toxic, smell really bad and are very harmful if not handled properly. Vitafilm themselves says; "make sure your METAL reel does not have a plastic core or it will MELT". So you can see, it is not, too mild of a product and care should be taken when using these products on you own. You can't "unshrink" motion picture film with ANY chemicals to make it transfer better and using chemicals is not the only solution in helping with film recovery and restoration. It has to be combined with several processes to be successful. If the films is dry, brittle and falling apart, then let the pros handle the film. Believe us! If your film is on plastic reels and has mold, dirt, grime or vinegar syndrome...DO NOT USE Vitafilm, Filmrenew or Filmguard, it will melt the reels and MAY melt, soften or remove the film emulsion and will remove all the film splices, melt any plastic cores or plastic film reels.

There are many stages of vinegar syndrome, knowing how to treat it properly should really be done by experienced personal. The companies that markets VITAFILM and other products for curing vinegar syndrome is not going to tell you that! They just want the sale. It is a shame, but improper handling has resulted in many disappointments by people who think they can treat movie film themselves. They usually end up sending the film to us (TMTV) after their treatment, but by then it's usually too late and the film gets thrown out. We have seen this many times.

IF you have used these chemicals and if your film is not in good to excellent condition after treatment, then DO NOT RUN THROUGH A PROJECTOR, any warped or shrunk film will be damaged by using any device with a sprocket, gate, claw or pinch rollers. Again you can not "unshrink" movie film to make it transfer better. All the above chemicals soften the film which makes is very susceptible to scratches, breaking, stretching, shrinking (once dried again), sprocket damage and weakening or removal of splices or the total removal of the films emulsion (the actual image of the film).

PROPER STORAGE OF MOTION PICTURE FILM If you are not ready at this point to send your film for recovery and restoration and if your film is in advanced stages of vinegar syndrome, it needs cold/frozen storage to slow down or even stop further damage. The more advanced the decay of acetate film collections, the colder the storage should be. The best storage for motion picture film includes cold storage and moderate humidity conditions and good-quality storage enclosures. Metal or plastic cans are safe for film, provided that the containers are not rusty or broken. Archival-quality cardboard boxes are also safe. If film is kept at or near room temperature, do not seal film inside tightly closed bags. At all costs, avoid storing film in prolonged dampness. Under damp conditions, the film will stick together and mold may grow, ruining the emulsion. Damp locations such as basements or attic areas are particularly unsuitable for film storage.


DIGITAL & PHYSICAL RESTORATION STEPS

Once a film is inspected, cleaned, lubricated, restored or recovered it is transferred via motion picture film scanner and we scan each frame into a digital file. Digitize the audio (if sound film) and sync to create a new master if required.

The main defects needing restoration or recovery:

  • Dirt/dust
  • Scratches, tears/burned frames
  • Color fade, color change
  • Shrinkage
  • Warping
  • Water
  • Fire
  • Dried/Brittle
  • Mold

Modern, digital and physical film restoration & recovery takes the following steps:

  1. Expertly clean the film and remove dirt, dust, mold if required and start the "RECOVERY" process for warped, shrunk, water or fire damaged film with several chemical solutions, baking, heating, applied pressure processes, Replasticizer Treatment and apply a new film base.
  2. Once the first part of the process is completed we can then repair all film tears, breaks with clear polyester tape or splicing cement.
  3. Scan each frame into a digital file.
  4. Restore the film frame by frame by comparing each frame to adjacent frames. This can be done somewhat by computer algorithms with human checking of the result.
    1. Fix frame alignment ('jitter' and 'weave'), or the misalignment of adjacent film frames due to movement of film within the sprockets. This corrects the issue where the holes on each side of a frame are distorted over time. This causes frames to slightly be off center.
    2. Fix color and lighting changes. This corrects flickering and slight color changes from one frame to another due to aging of the film.
    3. Restore areas blocked by dirt and dust by using parts of images in other frames.
    4. Restore scratches by using parts of images in other frames.

FILM RECOVERY INCLUDES:

- Full inspection and quote showing minimum charges and charges for complete recovery if successful (no hidden charges).

- Recondition and stabilize dehydrated, dried out 8mm or 16mm motion picture film at least, long enough for transfer to our digital formats by the use of our TMTVISION Digital Film Scanner. Some film may be recovered in its entirety and preserved for future use (this depends on the films current and final recoverable condition).

- The Transfer system for film recovery: TMTVISION Digital Film Scanning - Single frame scanning (one frame at a time)  The absolute best transfer available today for your damaged home movies. Our TMTVISION Digital Film Scanner features zero image area contact at the gate and a rubber guide that handles the film only by the edges for maximum film safety. No sprockets, no advance claw, no capstan, no pinch roller, no belts, means no film damage.

- We include your choice of; SD or HD format .MOV or NIS files or DVD or Blu Ray discs, with options for any or all formats and file types at additional cost. INFO ON FILE FORMATS

- We replace old reels with new film reels/cans or boxes and new leader & splices as required or needed for scanning. If you require your film to be returned all film reels may need to be replaced at additional cost. However no film will be returned if it was exposed to any of our chemical recovery processes or if the film can not be used for projection use (meaning to shrunk or twisted) to be projected in a film projector.

- Small film reels are spliced together and placed onto larger reels after recovery and scanning - Note: Films may not be placed on the larger film reels in the order we receive them. They are placed in accordance with the condition that is required for recovery. It is also a good idea to right down any of the information that may be on the original film reels or containers or take photos before sending us your order as these may be discarded after our process unless specified by the client that you want the original boxes or cans returned and if they are in any condition to be returned..

UPDATES DURING THE RECOVERY PROCESS: - E-mail updates on the progress of your films. Monthly or quarterly updates providing you info on the recovery process. You can e-mail us at anytime during the recovery process for an update.

RETURN SHIPPING:- Free return shipping on any orders over $500.00. Expedited Parcel or Express Post (Canada & USA) which includes tracking number and delivery confirmation. 5 to 10 business days to most locations in Canada and the USA. Customer requested return shipping by courier such as Fed-Ex, DHL or UPS is additional cost.

KEEPING YOUR MASTERS, ORIGINAL FILES AND FILM ON FILE AT OUR LAB: For safety purposes (In the unlikely case of loss or damage during return shipping after your order has been completed) we will retain and keep on file a copy of your transferred mastered archive files at our lab and return ship your masters along with your original movie film. (we can also ship your files on the media in one shipment and your originals in another - additional shipping charges would apply) Once your films and masters arrive safely, you have inspected and given us the ok (within 30 days), we will delete the mastered archived files. We will keep the customers "original" files we create during scanning for an industry standard of 90 days. Customers original material "films" we would hold for a maximum of 30 days if not shipped back with your new masters and media. Arrangements must be made for us to return your original films within 30 days or they will be discarded. Obviously films that were put the through the major recovery process will not be returned due to chemicals used during recovery unless they could be used for later projection or scanning in the future.

CUSTOMER COMMENTS: See all customer comments click here


FILM RESTORATION & PRESERVATION (Not recovery for warped or shrunk motion picture film)

COMPLETE RESTORATION OF MOVIE FILM INCLUDES: Having your film cleaned, lubricated, restored & preserved which removes surface dust, grime, minor mold and minor scratches on the film which helps restore and preserve the movie film for future use or transfer. We will also repair bad splices, broken or damaged film or film reels and replace missing film leader as required.

NOTE: This process is used for film that is not warped, shrunk or extremely moldy but is in poor condition from minor mold, dust, dirt, scratches, broken or damaged splices. Film that is warped, shrunk or  extremely moldy requires our film recovery and restoration process. See "Film recovery and restoration" above.

Film cleaning with Kodak Particle Transfer Rollers: We use Kodak Particle Transfer Rollers, informally referred to as "sticky rollers".

Each Reel receives a fresh set of four rollers that gently clean your film by pulling dust and small debris directly from the film, without damage.

Kodak Particle Transfer Rollers will typically remove about 50-70% of surface dust and dirt in a single pass.

The second pass film cleaning using Kodak Particle Transfer Rollers which removes another 10-15% more dust

Some dirt may remain because it is embedded in the film's emulsion. Cleaning solution MAY remove this dirt but not in all cases.

  • The first pass; using an air jet/vacuum to remove any large particles such as hair.
  • Second pass; using Kodak Particle Transfer Rollers(PTR).
  • Third pass; using a second set of Kodak Particle Transfer Rollers.
  • Forth pass; film is cleaned using anti-static micro-fibre cloth and Kodak™ film Restorer and Anti-static cleaner with SILICONE which Cleans, Polishes, Lubricates and removes fine scratches.
  • Revitalizes film
  • Reduces projector wear
  • Reduces film wear
  • Removes static
  • Eliminates "grime distortion"
  • Reduces film squeal and chatter
  • Cleans, lubricates and protects by depositing a micro-scopic film of SILICONE on the film

FILM CONDITION: If you know the condition of the film that helps to determine if complete restoration or repairs are required. Most Super 8mm film is found to be in good condition, some regular 8mm film & 16mm film can be in poorer condition depending on its age and stored condition and may only require cleaning using the Kodak Particle Transfer Rollers only and no cleaning solutions or lubricates.

FILM CLEANING & REPAIR REQUIREMENTS: If the film is in poor condition, has a white powder or smells like vinegar (vinegar syndrome), then your film will need to be cleaned, lubricated, restored & preserved before transferring your films to ANY format. Film that is warped or shrunk may require our recovery process.

REPAIRS/SPLICING/EDITING: If your film is broken or the splices have come unglued or separated then splicing/editing will have to be performed. If you wish to repair your films before shipping to TMTV, DO NOT USE HOUSEHOLD TAPE TO REPAIR OR SPLICE YOUR FILMS, use only the recommended film splicing tape or glue.

REMOUNTING FILMS:

If your films are mounted backwards on their original film reels then they will have to be remounted. Damaged or broken film reels will have to be replaced at additional cost.


FILM CLEANING/LUBRICATING (Not for warped or shrunk motion picture film)

CLEANING OF MOVIE FILM INCLUDES: Having your film cleaned using Kodak Particle Transfer Rollers (PTR) & lubrication which removes surface dust and minor scratches on the film. This process is used for film that is not warped or shrunk but is in good to excellent condition and the film shows minor dust, dirt and small scratches Film that is warped or shrunk requires our film recovery and restoration process. See "Film recovery and restoration".  Film that shows signs of heavy wear, grime, dirt may require "film cleaning, restoration & preservation. See "film restoration & preservation"

We offer an optional second pass film cleaning using Kodak Particle Transfer Rollers which removes another 10-15% more dust. The second pass film cleaning is in addition to our standard Cleaning/Lubrication.

We will also repair bad splices, broken or damaged film or film reels and replace missing film leader if required.

FILM CONDITION: If you know the condition of the film that helps to determine if complete restoration or repairs are required. Most Super 8mm film is found to be in good condition, some regular 8mm film & 16mm film can be in poorer condition depending on its age and stored condition.

FILM CLEANING & REPAIR REQUIREMENTS: If the film is in poor condition, has a white powder or smells like vinegar (vinegar syndrome), then your film will need to be cleaned, lubricated, restored & preserved before transferring your films to ANY format. Film that is warped or shrunk may require our recovery process.

REPAIRS/SPLICING/EDITING: If your film is broken or the splices have come unglued or separated then splicing/editing will have to be performed. If you wish to repair your films before shipping to TMTV, DO NOT USE HOUSEHOLD TAPE TO REPAIR OR SPLICE YOUR FILMS, use only the recommended film splicing tape or glue.

REMOUNTING FILMS: If your films are mounted backwards on their original film reels then they will have to be remounted. Damaged or broken film reels will have to be replaced at additional cost.

If you only want your film cleaned and you feel that your films do not require the complete recovery then contact us for a separate "cleaning/lubrication" or restoration/preservation" quote. Which involves cleaning with either Kodak Particle Transfer Rollers, cleaning solutions and or lubricants. Film that is moldy will require soaking in a special solution first, before cleaning and lubrication.


FREE FILM INSPECTION: You may ship your films to us for a complete inspection and quote with no obligation. If you choose not to have your films restored, cleaned or transferred after inspection by our technicians you would only pay for the shipping to and from our lab.

RECEIVING AN ESTIMATE OR QUOTE

RECEIVING AN ESTIMATE OR QUOTE FOR YOUR FILM CLEANING AND TRANSFERS: Please specify the type of film, film reel sizes in FEET and the number of films you have and what you want it transferred to. For transfer information please go to our main page and select the appropriate type of movie film transfer you require.

Regular 8(R8mm), Super 8mm (S8mm) film reel sizes are as follows:

Length original film speed @ 15 to 24 fps
50' 2:30 to 4 minutes = 3" reel
100' 5 to 8 minutes = 4" reel
200' 10 to 17 minutes = 5" reel
300' 18 to 20 minutes = 6" reel
400' 20 to 34 minutes = 7" reel
*600' * Super 8 only = 8" reel

16mm film reel sizes are as follows:

Length original film speed @ 24 fps
50' 1:23 minutes = 3" reel
100' 2:46 minutes = 4" reel
200' 5:33 minutes = 5" reel
400' 11:07 minutes = 7" reel
600' 16:40 minutes = 8" reel
1000' 27:47 minutes = 11" reel
1200' 33:20 minutes = 12" reel
1600' 44:26 minutes = 13" reel
2000' 55.33 minutes = 14-7/8" reel

Before requesting an estimate by e-mail for your film please prepare a physical description of your film as best you can. You may also send the film to our lab for a complete hands-on inspection and no obligation "quote".

What is the format of your film, Super 8mm, Regular 8mm or 16mm?

What is the film title or collection name?

What is the approximate date?

Approximately how long is each reel, measured in feet?

Is the film colour or black and white?

Do you have positive, a negative, original or A and B Rolls?

Are the films on reels or cores?

Does the film have a sound track? What kind is it?

What decay and damage does the film exhibit: colour fading, shrinkage, warping and curling, image deterioration, tears, broken splices, damaged perforations, vinegar syndrome?

What media or masters and copies are required and what format you need?

Will you want to add titles, credits, menus or other introductory material to the masters and copies?

CONTACT US FOR AN ESTIMATE OR QUOTE


SUBMITTING ORDERS TO THE LAB:

If you choose to send films to our lab for transfer please e-mail or phone us before sending so we can make sure you are fully informed about the process and the options available.

 CONTACT

When submitting film to the lab please number them CLEARLY in order of sequence, Example: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. (do not use POST-IT Notes, they fall off).

MIXING FILM FORMATS: R-8MM, S-8MM, 16MM with or without sound: If you have a mixture of different film formats (a combination of R-8mm, Super8, Super8 with sound or 16mm) we request that you do not mix the formats. Our system requires a complete changeover for each format, and therefore having to switch between formats for every reel adds significantly to the transfer time and could result in an additional service charge. To avoid this simply ensure that the order of your transfer places all reels of a certain format together (R-8mm & Super8, Super8 with sound 16mm or 16mm with sound respectively) R-8mm is the older format and would usually be transferred first then we would transfer Super 8. 16mm would be transferred separately.

SHIPPING

Let us know when and how you shipped them so we can keep track of the shipment for you.

Once the films arrive we will e-mail or phone and issue you an order number and we will perform a complete inspection on your films and schedule in the processing date.

Please fill out the order form and send it with your order

ORDER FORM (Specialty services): PRINT, FILL OUT, SIGN & SEND WITH YOUR ORDER: This form is used for basic submission information and to inform you of our limited liability & guarantees. To receive an estimate with all pricing & detailed information please e-mail us before filling in this form or sending your order.


Call or e-mail for pricing or a complete quote

MOVIE FILM SCANNING IN HD & SD

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