Personal Service

Posted by Bob on Dec 24th, 2008
Dec 24

The other day I handled a transfer for a lady that wanted to give her grown children a special present about their past.  It had several sequences taken with a particular Santa Claus at a local mall, a man who had truly been the embodiment of the real Santa Claus – unfortunately he has since passed away.  It also had several spots of them playing at the beach and on various vacation trips, along with a few Disney trips too. 


What was most notable was that she had previously visited a local store that had a transfer service offered.  She spent quite a bit of money on their conversion of her footage, but it was poor quality and missed several minutes and several scenes that she didn’t know were there but that she really wanted, especially after I mentioned the amount of footage that was missed. 


Like most people she couldn’t understand why they did this.  As I told her, the big companies that deal with such conversions are generally staffed by people that simply know how to load the machines and make the DVDs and covers.  They don’t watch the quality close enough and have no idea whether everything got transferred or not.  It’s just a more mechanical process than personal, in my opinion.


Well, needless to say she was very happy with the finished product we gave her - and, I’m sure her children will be much happier too.

Keeping Your History from Fading

Posted by Bob on Jul 29th, 2008
Jul 29

(Adapted from a article by Stephen Smith – July 2008)

Some of your best memories have been captured on film, video or still pictures.  Remember your favorite vacation, fishing with your grandparents or learning to ride a bike? Vague memories may be all that you have left if the footage that captured those moments is deteriorating. You may be wondering, “What’s the big deal? Why not just leave my home movies and pictures in the state they’re in?” Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns said, “Home movies are, like snapshots, the DNA of our collective memory, the first inkling of history.” And you never know when those mundane memories could take on unexpected importance.

Long before film or video, paintings were the most enduring way to capture images. But even they can fall victim to the ravages of time. The Last Supper, a famous 15th century painting by Leonardo da Vinci started to flake only 19 years after it was completed, and it has suffered from ongoing deterioration, almost fading from history. It took well over 400 years before conservators sealed the almost-unrecognizable painting into a climate-controlled environment. How long are you going to wait until you properly transfer and store your old footage?

There are many different formats and several ways to transfer your old analog tapes and films to a digital format, such as a DVD. This will help keep your memories recognizable for generations to come.

How long your old video tapes will last is anyone’s guess. Depending on your tape format, you can plan on their lasting for approximately 10 to 20 years. That means your oldest tapes are probably nearing their final days. Not only are the tapes on their last legs, but finding a device to play them with can become even more problematic. Film, and the projectors needed to watch them, can be in a lot worse condition today and they need help now. 

So what format should you transfer these memories to? Transferring to a DVD will probably have a life of 20 to 100 years, depending on the quality of the disc and proper storage. Unfortunately, video is compressed in order to squeeze it onto a DVD disc, but the loss of quality is almost unnoticeable to the human eye.

With a simple DVD transfer, your old footage goes unedited directly to the DVD.  You can have different recording-mode options that range from one to six hours per DVD. But for maximum quality, we use the 2 hour recording length.  Even though it’s tempting to cram six hours of footage onto one disc, remember we’re talking about your most precious memories here.

Unfortunately, the simple DVD transfer doesn’t create very attractive DVD menus. Also, the old footage may really need editing. This may leave your video boringly un-watchable for another generation. So in these cases, we offer a fully edited version with custom menus.  This makes your old movies a little shorter and in a more enjoyable version. My personal experience has been that people watch edited home movies multiple times, whereas they leave the unedited ones untouched. What’s the point of preserving them if no one watches them?

When taking the time to gather all of your old content, be sure to organize it so the footage will be easy to find. Be sure to label each so you can easily track down the footage of Cousin Billy showing off on his bike while running into the clothes line. You may want to consider purchasing a fireproof safe or renting a safe deposit box for your most important memoirs. Properly storing your footage isn’t just for old items; be sure to get in the habit of keeping track of your new stuff as well.

No matter how you decide to back up your old content, be sure to store it in a nice cool, dry, dark place. If your footage is not properly stored, all of the hard work you put into transferring it won’t be worth a whole lot.

The Last Supper has undergone several restorations throughout its lifetime, and your old footage probably will as well. Who knows, you may be reading an article in 10 to 20 years on how to preserve your memories from deteriorating DVDs. Your footage may not look like it did the day it was shot, but you will be able to keep it from crumbling to dust, so generations to come can enjoy seeing Aunt Bertha fall into the pool once more.


Posted by Bob on Mar 22nd, 2008
Mar 22

Many people never think about their old home movies.  They never give it a second thought after watching them years ago and putting them on the shelf or in the closet.  Well, things happen while you’re NOT watching them.  Their quality fades, sometimes fading away completely.  And, it doesn’t matter whether it’s film or video tape.


You may think leaving them untouched preserves them but it doesn’t.  They can actually go bad just sitting there.  Of course, hot storage locations can make them go bad much quicker, but in order to keep them in a viewable condition, you must transfer them to newer, more up-to-date media.  Doing this keeps the accessible for your children, and your children’s children.  This may seem like a lot of trouble, constantly updating the media on which these precious memories are stored, but it’s not really.  And, it doesn’t cost that much when you consider that your future offspring will never know anything about their ancestors unless you care for these pieces of their memory for them.


Converting any type of film or video to DVD (our current preservation media) should be done as soon as possible.  Each day you delay only causes more degradation in quality.  Many films and several tapes have already been lost to the ravages of time and temperature.  Should you have any questions about how to go about this process, we are available at

Different Terms of Cost

Posted by Bob on Jan 31st, 2008
Jan 31

“If we make the investment in hiring a professional to produce our wedding video, how much will it cost?”

There are a few times when you can answer your own question.  “How much will it cost us if we don’t?”

Just think if you had a film of your grand parents wedding.  Would you part with it?  For how much?  For myself, I couldn’t even think about  losing such a piece of my family’s history.  Having a professional wedding video produced will provide years of enjoyment to you and your family, for now and for generations to come.  Capture the emotions of this most special day by making the right investment.

The average rate for an experienced videographer with the proper broadcast quality equipment can be estimated at approximately $100 per hour.  When you consider all the hours required to plan, shoot, edit and produce such a high quality wedding video will be anywhere from 14 to 80 hours (depending upon your coverage and other selections), you can calculate what the cost should be for a top quality wedding video.

Can it be done for less?  Sure, but can you take the chance on this once-in-a-lifetime event.  Sometimes it’s better to spend a little more than planned – instead of less than you should.

Video 08 – 4Ever Group

Posted by Bob on Jan 31st, 2008
Jan 31

We just returned from a 4-day training event in Orlando.  Video08 was great!  Just as most other professionals need to update their skills and training, we in the video business need to do the same.  It helps us stay on top of new equipment, technical developments and the latest in creative techniques.  All of this to be able to produce some of the best cutting edge videos for our customers.  Several of our fellow AVA members (Atlanta Videographers Association) attended as well.  I’m sure they came back all “Fired Up” just like we did.