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Film to Digital - Why Sooner is Better than Later

By Christian Roemer

For the better part of a century, film reigned supreme. It still does in certain industries (hello, Hollywood!), but for the most part, it’s faded away and been replaced with digital media instead. That doesn’t mean that film doesn’t have its benefits, but there’s a reason that it’s on the way out.

Film as a medium is a tricky one to address. It revolutionized the way that people interact with the world, and it changed literally everything. Film paved the way for television, movie theaters, and it allowed regular folks to document their lives in motion. The technological advancement in film was swift too, taking less than 30 years to go from still images to Nickelodeon theaters.

It seems like film’s downfall was almost as quick as its rise.

Nowadays, film sits in living rooms, closets, and storage, unused and unwatched. Most of us don’t even have the necessary equipment needed to play it back anymore, and it’s slowly falling the victim to time. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

Getting Film Ready for Digitization

Film can be digitized, and getting your home cassettes, tapes, and film reels ready for digitization is easy. Even though most digitization services do mostly everything for you, there are definitely certain things you can do to get your films prepared for bringing into the 21st century.

The first thing you should do when gathering your movies is to organize them. Make sure that you’re assembling and sending off the exact tapes that you want. If you want to be extra awesome, you can rewind them and pair them with a protective sleeve or case.

Another thing you can do is to clean everything up again. While we don’t necessarily recommend deep cleaning the film itself since you can damage it, you can remove dust and debris that will cause the shelf life of your movies to deteriorate. If you feel comfortable about your movies being relatively clean and ready for digitization, send them off!

What to do Once You Have them Back

As we’ve covered in this blog before, film is magnetic, and it has a shelf life. It can fade and even disappear over time. That’s why it’s really important that you store your valuable memories properly. Make sure they’re stored in a dry, cool environment without any magnets sitting around. We’re not sure why you’d have a bunch of magnets about, but hey, everyone has their thing.

Getting your movies digitized is the safest thing you can do to ensure that your home movies don’t fall victim to obsolescence. Even if you’d like to keep them stored perfectly forever, digitizing them will ensure that you’ll be able to watch them when the last VCR repair person in the world kicks the bucket.

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