Name Droppings

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I am a big fan of talent. And it thrills me when talented people come into our studio to ask for our help in protecting and preserving the artistic creations they’ve made. We have had quite a few stop by our studio over the years.  They usually space themselves out but yesterday in particular it was like celebrity central around Home Video Studio.

It started out to be a relatively uneventful day when into our studio walks Key West artist/muralist/sculptor, Dick Moody, who also happens to blow a mean saxophone. We always enjoy talking with Dick who is never short on stories about his time on and off the stage with familiar names in the music and art world. Dick came in to get a live jam session he was a part of at the Green Parrot in Key West transferred over to a usb drive.

No sooner did he leave than we got a surprise visit from our old friend Colin MacLeod, the Celtic Fiddle Guru, who stopped in on his way to Singapore and Australia to regale audiences there with his unique style and inspirational message. He needed to get a number of his CDs duplicated so he would have something to sell after his appearances.

And to top the day off on a high note, we had an enjoyable visit from Canadian Country Music Juno Award winner, Glory-Anne Prophet who found some “lost” recordings of her late husband Ronnie Prophet who was a world-class, hall of fame entertainer. She presented us with a number of his 45’s and a mixture of his audio recordings to make a compilation CD for future enjoyment.

It was a red-letter day all around for us but, to be quite honest, most days here are. Because whether you are an international star or just a celebrity among your own family, your memories are special and you will always receive special treatment from us. You can rest assured that we’ll always give you the star treatment you deserve.

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

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What’s Important

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It is sad to say but sometimes it takes a tragedy to get us to recognize the true value of things.  We often take things for granted until faced with the real possibility that we just might lose them.

I’m working with a woman whose parents own two homes just outside of Paradise, CA which has been devastated by the wildfires that are ravaging that part of the country. Thankfully, their parents heeded the evacuation orders and they are safe but they have not been able to return to check on their properties. They are preparing themselves for the possibility that everything they own may have been lost to the fire.

The one saving grace is that a few years ago, the parents shipped to my client a box filled with Betamax tapes. They are old, unlabeled and nobody seemed to know what’s on them or what to do with them. My client has just been storing the box for her parents all this time. Suddenly, due to the recent events, she has realized exactly what she had been sitting on. That box potentially contains the only evidence that exists of the long life her family has shared together. It has gone from just one more piece of clutter under foot to the most precious possession in her house.

I feel privileged to unlock the memories that may be stored on these tapes and deliver them back to the family. I hope it provides some solace or comfort for the family as they prepare to face whatever they find awaits them.

Here’s a link to a site that describes how people can best help victims of the California wildfires.

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

Up In Smoke

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One of our clients told us the saddest story yesterday. A friend of theirs was taking a family vacation aboard a cruise ship and while gone, they received a message from a neighbor saying that their home had burnt to the ground overnight. There was a problem with the home’s electrical wiring.

I can certainly relate on multiple levels. Bad news seems inevitably to follow me on vacations. I’ve had two companies sold out from under me while I was off sightseeing other lands. I returned home only to find I’d been downsized by the new management. And still my wife wonders why I don’t much care for vacations…

But my experiences can’t compare to hearing the news that everything you once owned is now in ashes. While it was a blessing that everyone, including their pets, were away when the fire broke out, and so no lives were at risk, it is heartbreaking to face the reality that all of one’s possessions – including the recorded memories taken over a lifetime – were now gone… just like that.

It is one reason we are passionate about the business we are in. By updating family memories to a digital form, it is easier to make a back up copy of all your family memories (film, videotape, photos, slides, audio recordings, etc) and store that copy in an off-site safe deposit box in the case that, should a tragedy occur, the memories will not be irretrievably lost.

Our prayer is that no one ever face the devastating loss that fire, flood, hurricanes, etc can bring. But while we continue to believe for the best, it is wise to prepare for the worst. Insurance can help you replace things. Memories cannot be insured – but they can be protected. Call us and ask us how.

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

Natural Enemies

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Oil vs Water.

Captain Kirk vs Khan.

Your videotapes or film vs a flood or hurricane.

Some things will never go together.

With hurricane season upon us, we should ask ourselves what, among our possessions, do we want to prioritize should evacuation become necessary? We accumulate a lot of things over a lifetime. What among them could not be replaced should they be damaged by natural forces?

We can build or buy another house, We can buy or lease another car. We can replace most things. We cannot replace two things: The lives of the ones we love; and the memories we have recorded over time. Those two things, which for most of us represent all that is of primary importance in our lives, are irreplaceable.

Most will put the preservation of life as paramount on the “what to save” list. Most of us will also put photo albums, videotape collections, home movies, etc. as a close second. But the reality is… when disaster strikes, there won’t be time to drag 200 pounds of photos, slides, videos, film, etc out of the house. We’d be risking our primary goal (the saving of life) to try to save our secondary goal (the saving of our recorded memories.) As I told my wife, who pointed to a 6 foot cedar chest filled to the brim with slides and photos when I asked her what I should save in case of a fire, “You do realize that this means I’ll be going up with the house…”

There is a better way. We have been blessed to have grown up in an age that allowed us to capture key moments on film or video and to be able to play them back in years to come in order to bring those memories into focus. But the media that was used when we were growing up had limitations – among them the amount of space they took up.

A 1 terabyte hard drive can hold a family’s entire picture history, film history, AND videotape history. And it can fit into someone’s back pocket, allowing the family to save other items in an emergency, like Aunt Sally’s tri-colored comforter or Grandma Betty’s collection of handmade tea cozies.

The reality is this. We don’t know when or if a disaster will strike. But the time to take action is before it arrives. Home Video Studio has a Savers of the Family Archives service that will scan or transfer your precious memories and deliver them back to you on a digital device that can be stored in a safe deposit box or up in the cloud. Should anything ever happen to your original memories, you can rest assured that your digital backup can replicate those memories – sometimes in a better condition than when we first got them.

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

History Erased… Just Like That

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We had a charming couple from Brazil in the studio yesterday and, as we were chatting, discussion eventually turned to the current events from their homeland. I don’t know if you heard but recently Brazil’s National Museum had a fire and the potential loss of historical artifacts is heartbreaking.

Among the artifacts thought to have been lost include Eygptian mummies, frescoes from Pompeii, and an 11,500 year old skeleton of “Luzia” which was said to have been the oldest human remains in existence from the Americas.

It is hard to capsulate the enormity of the loss of such history except to personalize it. What if it was your house that was on fire? What if there were no time to recover your photo albums, your videotapes or your home movies? What if they were lost in that fire? How much emotional pain would that cause you and your family?

Unfortunately, such things do happen. Which is why we offer the services we do. We make digital copies of the family archives – photos, negatives, slides, videos, film, audio recordings, etc… all can be scanned or transferred to a digital form and stored on a flash drive, a hard drive, a disk, or even a cloud server. So no matter what happens to the original source, there remains a digital back up that can replicate what was lost so future generations can continue to look at, study, and enjoy the images of the past.

What happened to Brazil’s historical past does not have to happen to you or your family. I urge you to consider taking steps that will help you preserve the memories you worked so hard to build.

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