Historic Santa Cruz Skateboard / Surf Archives Converted to HD mp4
AV Workshop Preserves 8mm Film and U-Matic Tapes to HD Digital Files
A well-known Santa Cruz skateboard distribution company brought AV Workshop their historic collection of tapes and films for transfer to digital mp4 files. These archives documented some of the top surfers and skateboarders in the Santa Cruz community during the late 80’s and early 90’s. Most of the videotapes were unique in that they were not normal VHS tapes, but rather professional grade 3/4″ U-matic tapes and S-VHS masters. During the 1980’s U-matic tapes were the broadcast industry standard for edit masters. This makes them one of the more rare tape formats to come across. Luckily, AV has all the professional grade equipment needed to convert irreplaceable film and video collections to digital! The skateboard company not only wanted to preserve their film and videotapes at the highest quality possible, but also wanted to make their movies editable for the future. Thus, AV Workshop’s Video to mp4 with HD Upres and HD Film Transfer services were the perfect options!
Converting VHS and U-matic tapes to HD mp4 Digital Files:
1) Professional Equipment / Capture / Stabilization
AV Workshop used industry grade 3/4″ U-matic decks and high quality cables to capture the U-matic tapes directly into our editing suite. Each tape was carefully handled and used one time only as a playback source. To capture the VHS tapes, AV Workshop used our high-end JVC S-VHS VCRs. These have a built in TBC and Video Stabilizer to help steady a weak picture. AV also makes sure to routinely maintenance and clean the heads of the decks to ensure the audio and images are clear and not muddy.
2) Audio Enhancement
AV Workshop captured both left and right audio channels, then raised the gain to approx -6db and applied noise reduction to clean and enhance the audio!
AV analyzed every file and trimmed the beginning and end of each video to remove unwanted dead air / TV Snow. This way, you will only see the recorded portion of your tapes.
4) Output / HD Upres 720 60p
AV output the tapes using the H.264 Codec (max bitrate) and increased the resolution to 1280 x 720 60p. By converting the interlaced odd and even fields to 60 full frames per second, the motion of the video is smooth and the edging detail is sharp without jagged edges. Furthermore, these HD 720 60p mp4 files can be played anywhere and everywhere including MAC, and Smart TVs. They can even be uploaded and played at 720 60p on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, etc…
Check out a still from this 3/4″ U-matic Tape Transfer to Digital HD mp4 below!
Super 8 Film Transfer to HD Digital mp4 Files:
1) Organize / Clean / Repair
AV Workshop started by organizing and labeling the reels in order by date. Next, we cleaned and lubricated the film with an anti-static solvent to eliminate bacteria, dirt, dust, and other contaminants. This procedure helps your film look its best and run smoothly during scanning. In the cleaning process, we repair any faulty splices and add adequate leader to the beginning of each reel to ensure a complete scan.
All AV Workshop Film Transfers are done entirely in-house with our 2K Mach 1 Film Scanners. Every single Super-8 film frame was scanned directly with the Mach-I camera sensor at 2048 x 1536, which is approximately 3K resolution! The enlarged gate allowed us to access 100% of the film frame so none of the picture was cut off. The scanners also have a cool, bright LED light source which creates rich vibrant colors and won’t burn your film.
3) Edit / Enhance
Once the film reels were scanned, we created HD movie files at the correct speed / frame rate. While typically you’ll find that 8mm films are 16fps and Super 8 are 18fps, you never know until you double check the motion within a given reel. We can export any frame rate from 8fps to 30fps. Next, we import the movies into Adobe Premiere Pro where we color graded the films by adjusting brightness / contrast, saturation, shadow detail and color scene by scene. If a customer’s films have sound we scan the sound separately, sync it up, and apply level optimization and noise reduction to it.
4) Encoding / Output
After we enhanced each reel, we output the movies. We exported the films in High Definition (1920 x 1080p, 50 mb/s) and organized them onto a flash drive. Each file was labeled by name and reel numbers so they’re easy to navigate! Now these films are Enhanced and preserved in HD forever! The films can be edited in any video editing software such as Final Cut, iMovie, Adobe Premiere, Sony Vegas, Windows Movie Maker, etc… Furthermore, these HD mp4 files can be played just anywhere including MAC, Windows, Smart TVs, etc… Finally, the HD mp4 files can also be shared on video sharing sites (cloud) such as Vimeo or Youtube!
Check out a clip from this Super 8 Film Transfer to Digital HD mp4 below!
Transfer your old movies today!
Both film and tapes will start to degrade over time so it’s important to know the signs of deterioration. If you’re noticing any of the following symptoms on your film reels or videotapes, it’s best to have them transferred sooner rather than later!
One of the more obvious ways to tell if film is degrading is the by its smell. If you notice a strong vinegar scent, it means the film’s acetate base has started breaking down. This is known as vinegar syndrome and can cause many problems during transfer such as curling, warping, brittleness, desaturation, and loss of detail. Snowflake syndrome is another common form of deterioration found in film. This typically occurs on film that has been stored in hot and humid environments. Often, these reels become moldy and the mold then appears as snowflakes on the images of the film. AV Workshop can often remove mold and mildew with proper cleaning, however occasionally all the mold spores cannot be removed and will be visible on the picture.
If you have tried playing your videotapes and notice they make a screeching sound, it’s possible they’ve developed sticky-shed syndrome. Sticky-shed syndrome occurs when the binders on the magnetic tape have started to break down. Once these binders begin to deteriorate, the tape sticks to itself which prevents playback.
Do you have Film or Videotapes you would like Converted to Digital Files?
Audio Video Workshop
703 Woodside Road, #8
Redwood City, CA 94061