Family Film and Video Digitizing

by Peter Poggi
(Gaithersburg, MD)

For film cleaning

For film cleaning

I found what I think is a great indoor hobby, especially for cold winters and pandemic restrictions.

I decided to go through all the family 8mm films and VHS tapes and transfer them to a more time-durable, digital format.

Rather than use a service I did some (several hours) online research and decided that I would "DIY" it! Several advantages to doing it myself:

I wanted to...

.. clean the films of mold and dirt prior to converting. The services won't do this.

.. sequence them by date.

.. add written text like names, dates, places to the videos

.. I really needed something to do between my volunteer EMT shifts!

I've only invested less than $450 in equipment, borrowed a VHS player, and learned to use several different free video editing and formatting products.

Doing it myself has put me in touch with old friends and relatives, and in my opinion has yielded much better results for a lot less expense.

Comments for Family Film and Video Digitizing

Click here to add your own comments

by: Sandy

Thanks for the tips, Peter. Looking forward to more digitizing until spring hits here in the Northeast!!

Reply to Sandy
by: Peter / Maryland,USA

I definitely recommend you look into the Wolverine Pro film digitizer. I was able to obtain excellent quality results using this $300 device.

Just be sure to gently clean your 8mm films using 91% alcohol prior to scanning because the amount of mold and dirt on them astonished me for how few times they were ever taken out of their boxes.

Most of my research and learning was from others on YouTube. After scanning, I import the files into the Shotcut video editor where I can correct the playback speed, delete bad (overexposed, out of focus) sections, and also annotate the film with names of people that I know my descendants will not recognize.

A shared experience
by: Sandy

Peter - during this time of staying home, I have done a similar thing as you.

I took all our VHS tapes and converted them with a little gizmo tio MP4. The gizmo only cost $49 so I am not thrilled with the quality, but can't tell if that is because those tapes are from the 80s. It has been fun reliving those experiences.

I do have a few 8mm but have not tried that yet. Nor have I tried video editing. Any suggestions?


Profitable Hobby
by: Wendy, Retirement Enthusiast/Coach

This could really be a profitable hobby after you are done with family work.

If you really enjoy it enough, it could work as a service to others who don't want to do the work!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Hobbies.