Film Transfer Process

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Henninger has been a National Archives approved film transfer facility for many years.  Part of the reason we’re a great fit for the National Archives is that our location in the Washington, DC area allows them to simply courier films back and forth to us. While there are a lot of “send away” options for digitizing film, many people are uncomfortable with the idea of shipping precious or rare films very far. Luckily, our film capabilities are available to individuals and other organizations as well. We can transfer 8mm, Super 8mm, 16mm, Super 16mm and 35mm films to HD or 4K.  If you have old home movies on film that you’d like to transfer, let us know.  We can help!

The Process

First, make an appointment to bring your film into our facility.  You’ll be assigned to one of our Senior Project Managers, so you’ll have a consistent point of contact at all times.  One of our film transfer specialists will inspect the film by hand.  If we determine that one or more of the reels need repair or cleaning, we'll send it to a local lab to have that work completed.  The materials will be returned to us when they're ready for transfer.  We’ll also talk with you about how you want to use your films.  Are you hoping to simply share these films with family and friends digitally, or are you thinking of editing them together into a new project someday?  Through this consultation process, we'll be able to provide you with a detailed proposal outlining the costs for the project

We use the Lasergraphics ScanStation to transfer film to digital.  Still or moving images and soundtrack are converted simultaneously to multiple digital formats, all in a single pass.  Our film scanner also handles films with perforation damage, splices and shrinkage very gently, making it a great choice for older film.  You have many options for receiving the digital files.  We can give you files that would be suitable for posting to YouTube or author a DVD that would play in a set-top DVD player.  We can use our secure FTP site to send you video files, or we can put then on a hard drive for you. Ultimately, we can work with you to provide a custom solution based on your goals.

In addition to film, our core services department can transfer most video formats to digital as well.  The process for transferring video is similar.  We’ll talk with you about your goals, inspect your materials and provide you with a detailed estimate for transferring them to your preferred format(s). Please note that we can also retransfer materials to a higher resolution.  Perhaps you transferred film to standard definition video back in the 90s.  If you still have your film assets, we can retransfer and get great results taking your film up to HD or even 4K (for 35mm films). 

If you have home movies or films you’ve been eager to digitize, but have been turned off by the idea of shipping them out of town to be transferred, give us a call.  We are local to the Washington, DC area and offer high-quality solutions for your transfer needs.