Futurum Films
                          ... giving your past a future.
Helpful Tips
LIFE SPAN: Video tapes can begin to deteriorate at five years, and while they will continue to deteriorate over time, they can sometimes last up to 30 years. The sooner they are transferred, the more there is to salvage. Video tape images are captured on a thin layer of magnetic particles held together with a binder which breaks down over time causing gradual, and sometimes accelerated, loss of the magnetic particles. There are a great many factors which cause accelerated deterioration. Chief among them are: heat, extreme temperature fluctuation, moisture, improper storage, dust, smoke, excessive use, and exposure to magnetic fields.

TRANSFER: Video tapes converted straight to DVD cannot be edited, and are often over compressed causing loss of detail. Compressing more than 60 to 75 minutes of video onto a standard DVD requires a compression rate which diminishes the quality of your movie.  For best results, video should be downloaded to a hard-drive where it can be edited, produced and then transferred to DVD or Blu-ray discs.

STORAGE:  Video tapes should be stored in archival or polypropylene containers with desiccant. Cardboard sleeves should be removed.  Tapes should be rewound and stood upright like books. Store away from strong light sources, dust, smoke, magnetic fields, in a low humidity environment between 49-70° F. 

LIFE SPAN: While film begins to deteriorate within 10-15 years, film as old as 80 years can be in reasonably good condition. Deterioration occurs as the emulsion becomes brittle and begins to crack, or by the formation of mildew on its surface. A key factor in film longevity is proper storage.

TRANSFER: There are three primary methods available for transferring film to a digital format:
  • ONE, is a very "low end" process in which the film is projected onto a wall or screen and captured with a digital  video  camera. Unfortunately, this method significantly reduces resolution. In addition, because the frame rate of film and video differs, this process also adds lots of "flicker" to final product.
  • TWO, known as "Telecine", is the same process as ONE, with the addition of a mathematical nuance which adjusts for the difference in frame rates, reducing or eliminating flicker.  Unfortunately,  this still leaves you with a low resolution final product.
  • THREE, is the superior method and requires considerable investment in the necessary equipment. Film is digitally scanned frame-by-frame. This method eliminates video capture and allows film to be captured at the highest resolution.
STORAGE: Film should be stored flat, stacked with like sizes no more than six high, in polypropylene containers with desiccant, in a cold, dry, dust and smoke free environment.

*After digitizing, restoring and editing, film should be transferred to either HD-DVD or  Blue-ray discs. 
Transferring film to a standard DVD will result in loss of resolution.

MOVEMENT: Camera movement can distract from or ruin an otherwise wonderful scene. Using a tripod or monopod will greatly enhance the quality of your footage. Pan and zoom slowly,  this way your scene stays in focus and your  viewers won't require Dramamine.

LIGHT: Light plays an important role in capturing good footage.
  • OUTDOOR - If you have control over when you shoot, morning and evening hours provide the best  light. 
  • INDOOR - Window light can work for or against you. If the subject(s) being filmed has  his/her back to a window, unless fill light is added, the camera will adjust for the surrounding light leaving your subject in the dark. Be sure the window light is on, rather than behind, the subject you want to capture. 
SOUND: It's a good idea to put a headset on and capture some sound before you begin filming. We often become accustomed to, and are unaware of, noise in our environment. You may discover noise which can be minimized or eliminated. Consider adding a lapel microphone to your video equipment, as this will help to limit distracting background sounds.
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