Now, What Did I Come In Here For?

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When you reach a certain age, you have probably have had this experience: You’re sitting in one room of your house when you suddenly get up and walk into another room for a reason… but when you get to that room, you find you can’t remember why you went there.

Memory is sometimes fickle like that. One moment you can recall with absolute clarity the finest details of your past and other times the memory you are searching for seems just out of reach like it is hidden behind a veil. You know it’s there but you are unable to reach out and pull back the curtain to reveal it. It is frustrating.

Having your memories stored on devices that can no longer be played is just as frustrating. All the events, occasions, and family times that were important enough to record for future reference were supposed to be available to us when we reached the future. But technology had other plans.

Fortunately, there is a way to retrieve those memories and bring them with us to our current day and time. If you have a 8mm or Super 8 film but no projector to play them on; or a VHS, hi-8, or mini-dv videotape but no working tape player; if you have boxes of 35mm slides but the irreplaceable bulb in your projector is dead; or you have photos so faded you can’t see the people in them clearly; or if you found an old audiotape that you don’t recognize or a vinyl album you vaguely remember but lack the equipment that can play them… there is a solution.

My company, Home Video Studio specializes in the preservation of family memories through the digitalization of old analog media. Bring us a 8mm film, we’ll give you back that footage on a DVD or a computer file that you can play today. We can even offer you the ability to stream that home movie to your smart phone or tablet. Same with all those videotapes you haven’t seen in decades. And as far as the slides, photos and audio recordings go, not only do we give you the access once again to view or listen to those memories, our digital products take up much less space than their bulky analog counterparts.

Your memories deserve to be preserved and protected. More importantly, they ought to be remembered. At Home Video Studio, we make sure they can.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio stand ready to help you protect your memories. And right now, we are in the midst of our Christmas in July sale, offering up to 40% off many of our transfer services. Call 352-735-8550 for more info or visit our website.

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Sliding Into History

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I met with a prospective client today who seemed a little overwhelmed with a project she is beginning to undertake. She has discovered boxes of 35mm slides that contain the photographic memories of her family and her youth.

She wants to preserve them by moving them to a digital medium but is aware of the potential costs and wants to select only those images that will have meaning to her and her family.

It is a natural and understandable feeling. I told her that I’ll be happy to scan anything she brings me to create a digital file that will preserve and protect the memories they invoke but I quite understand that she may not want to bring her entire slide collection to my studio.

I always encourage my customers to cull their collection. Here are the tips I provide:

  • Look for people. One of the biggest mistakes people made back in the day when taking photos was to capture the scenery without placing a family member in the foreground. Getting a nice shot of the Eiffel Tower is great. But you can find better pictures of the Eiffel Tower online or in a book. When preserving memories, focus on the people in your past. Those are the pictures/memories that cannot be duplicated or found anywhere else.
  • Don’t worry so much about photo quality. If the colors have faded or bled a bit, digital restoration can often bring the picture back to its original quality. Our pricing includes color restoration and image enhancement. Don’t reject a slide or picture just because its dulled a bit over time.
  • Know how you want to enjoy and use these memories when the job is completed. We can provide you with .jpg files that will give you individual access to each image. We can also use those .jpgs to assemble a presentation DVD that will play your slides like a movie with motion, transitions and a musical soundtrack. Or you may choose to receive both.
  • The slides will be scanned in the order in which they are presented to me. So if having the slides appear in chronological order is important to you, take the time to sort them chronologically.
  • And for an extra special touch, we can have you add a narrative soundtrack or commentary along with captions so future generations can hear, from your own voice, exactly what they are looking at and why.

Those are just some of the considerations that come to mind. But always remember that our services are completely customizable. We will adapt our services to meet your needs and desires. You just have to tell us what they are.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studios specialize in the preservation of family memories through the digitalization of film, videotapes, audio recordings, photos and slides. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit our website.

How Many Balls Can You Juggle?

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I hate to break the news to all you alpha-type overachievers but there is no such thing as multi-tasking. I know many of us would like to lay claim to that ability but the sad reality is… it doesn’t exist.

It is impossible for the human mind to think two thoughts at the same time. Look it up. Scientific fact. What we think of as multi-tasking is not doing two or more different things at the same time. It is doing two or more different things in quick and ever changing succession. it is the ability to juggle tasks… oftentimes extremely rapidly.

Such is the case during a normal day in my studio.  I go from station to station, checking on works in progress, adding input, correcting errors, and moving on.  At any given time, I can be working on three video transfers, an audio transfer, a slide transfer, a video editing job, answering phone calls, greeting customers who drop in, responding to email requests and so much more… but I have to handle them one task at a time. 

To be effective in what I do, I have to juggle them, giving priority to the task which requires the most immediate attention. If I am working on a video transfer and the front door opens, I leave one task to respond to the more immediate need.

If an audio transfer still has another 15 minutes to go before completion but a slide transfer is ready to move to the next stage, I’ll address the needs of the slide transfer.

Juggling tasks is the proper way to describe what many call multi-tasking. Fortunately for me and my clients, I am an excellent juggler. I learned the skill in high school and once learned, it is never forgotten. Ask me next time you come by. I’ll be happy to demonstrate.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio of Mount Dora specialize in the preservation of family memories. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit www.homevideostudio.com/mtd.

There is no such thing as a small job

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Yesterday was one for the books. We broke a record. Smallest order ever written. Total: 95 cents.

Why is this something to celebrate? Because I learned a long time ago not to focus on the size of the sale. My focus will always be on the depth of the relationship I can build with those who choose to trust me with their most precious possessions – their memories – be it one or a thousand.

People who come to my studio can be assured that regardless of what you’re bringing in, you will receive the very best I have to offer. My goal is not to sell you more than you want but rather to be flexible enough to meet your expectations.

We have a wide range of service levels. If you want the most cost-effective pricing possible, I can provide that by stripping away some of the special additives that we can provide. But if you want all the bells and whistles, we are happy to comply. It is always going to be your choice.

The job yesterday entailed a single slide that a customer found in a drawer. And he wanted it digitalized so he could see more clearly what the image was.  I could tell it had import for him. That one image is going to be much more valuable to him than the 95 cents I’m charging. And that’s what I keep in mind and why I’ll make sure I generate the best possible image I can. Who knows… he may have other items at home that I can help him with. And even if he doesn’t, he probably knows someone who does. 

Bottom line – it is never about the size of the job. It is about the connection I can form between my studio and my customers. There will always be larger jobs coming… hopefully many of them from the people who started out giving me small jobs.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories. They can be reached at 352-735-8550. www.homevideostudio.com/mtd