Film Digitizing Process

To get your film transferred to video, bring it to the DFL in the Ansin building, room 606. There, the lab assistant on duty will ask you a few questions, and you'll leave your film in the appropriate bin. The following are the steps you should take to ensure your transfer is as quick and seamless as possible.

**Please allow one to two days for us to scan your film**

Step 1: Double Check Your Film

In order to be scanned, your film should...

  • be on a 2" or 3" core (3" preferred)
  • have at least 6" of leader on the head and tail
  • be wound with the head coming out on the right when the sprocket holes are facing you
  • be labeled with your name, email address, course number, and any other relevant information

If you need a little more help making sure all of the above requirements are met, see our video guide on how to prepare film for a transfer.

Step 2: Drop Off Your Film

When you arrive at the DFL, the lab assistants will ask you a few questions, as well as which machine you'd like your film transferred on. 

The Cintel by Blackmagic Design is the choice for film that is fresh back from the lab and will be edited digitally in an NLE like Adobe Premiere Pro, AVID Media Composer, or Final Cut Pro X. By default, we export a ProRes 422 HQ file, however other codecs are available upon request. The color information from the Cintel also lends itself better to correction and grading in post. It will transfer 16mm, super 16 and 35mm film, negative and positive.

The RetroScan is designed to handle film that has been edited extensively with multiple splices and/or direct animation. This is a 2K transfer, however the camera on the RetroScan is not as advanced as the Cintel and does not capture as much color information. This machine will provide an MOV file ideal for sharing online and uploading to platforms like Vimeo and YouTube. It will transfer 8mm, super 8, 16mm, super 16 and 35mm film, negative and positive.

After we get all your information, you'll be directed to place your film one of two blue bins toward the back of the room, either by the Cintel or by the RetroScan. This is where it will remain until we scan it.

Step 3: Wait for the Pickup Email

When your film has been transferred, you'll receive an email from us saying that it's ready to be picked up.

**Come to the DFL and pick up your physical film as soon as possible once you're notified that it's ready. We put left-behind transfers in found footage after the following semester**

Your file will be uploaded to the server. There will be a link in the email taking you to a guide on how to access the folder that it's in. Once you are connected, move the file to a secure location off the server before you start working, as access is cut off at the end of the semester.

For BA and BFA projects, or for classes that are not by default given access to film post facilities, please bring a physical drive to the DFL when you come to pick up your film. 

Reply to the email if there are any problems, or if you're unable to access your file using one of the above methods!

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