I hate being the bearer of bad news but it sometimes falls upon me. I received an inquiry from a client who said he had cartridges of film he wanted to transfer to DVD. Recognizing that some people use different (and sometimes incorrect) terms to describe what they have, I requested more information.
Film is stored on reels and is priced out by the amount of footage tendered. On the other hand, videotape is stored on cassettes or cartridges and is priced by the number of cassettes tendered. I could not give him a quote until I was sure what he had. He sent me a photo of his project which can be seen above.
He was right with his initial description. This is a film cartridge. Unfortunately, it was never developed. This is what we used to put into our Super 8 cameras to take our home movies. We would then have to send them to a lab for processing and we would receive back small 3” reels of developed film for each cartridge we sent. Those reels could be loaded onto a projector and viewed.
These labs no longer exist. To the best of my knowledge, there is only one company left in the US that can process undeveloped film (Film Rescue International) and even they cannot process in Kodak color. The formulas and inks simply no longer exist. They can only process in black and white.
It is a harsh reality. Time waits for no one. We no longer have the ability to develop color movies from old undeveloped film. And, as time continues to march forward, we may lose the ability to do other things to preserve our old memories. Procrastination is a common ailment among people. We are all guilty of it from time to time. We need to recognize that by not acting to preserve our past we may be threatening our ability to revisit it. If we wish to once again see the images of our youth, we should act now before time catches up to us.
Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit www.homevideostudio.com/mtd.