Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I choose Aarchive Films for my transfer?
Aarchive Film Productions is a small family run business with over 30 years experience with all formats of cine film. At one time, it was the 3rd largest company (known then as Movie Memories) in the UK dealing with 8mm movies and sold them all over the world. The managing director, Phil Lilley, was showing Super 8mm movies to his friends from the age of five years old and has been dealing with cine film all his life. He undertakes all the cine film transfers personally, so, as you have your transfer done, the greatest care is taken to not only get the best picture and sound quality, but also have it fully monitored by someone with a lifetime of experience! Also, Aarchive Films is no longer producing any more historical documentaries, so they can fully concentrate all their efforts into cine to DVD transfers. For more of a history of Aarchive please visit the About Aarchive page
How do Aarchive Films transfer the cine film?
There are two ways to transfer cine film to video or DVD. A Telecine System (Flying Spot) or filming a projected image. The Telecine System is the professional choice—it is what the BBC and other TV companies use, but since it is the professional choice it is expensive and can cost in the £1000s. The filming of a projected image is the more amateur, but cheaper option. Here at Aarchive Films we film the projected image through a 'Mirror Imaging' transfer system. The secret to the quality is in the projector and lens. Because we have over 33 years experience in cine film projectors we know how to get the best quality from your cine film, so the final video or DVD is as good as your original footage. We have spent the last 15 years (since the cine transfer division was set up) making sure the quality is as close to perfect as our knowledge will allow. If you want to check the quality before you go ahead, we offer a Tester Reel Video; please read the section I have a lot of cine film, but I want to check the quality, what can I do? Some companies will edit the film once it is in a computer, and play with quality and colours, at Aarchive Films, since we have been using cine film for so long, we do not need to do this as we get the best out of your cine film right from the start!
Do I get flicker, or strobing, on the final transfer?
No! Some companies will tell you they use a computer to cut down on the flicker, or strobing; this means they are getting the flicker in the first place. Because we have a life time of experience we know how to project the cine film, so we do not get flicker to start with.
Do you use a Wet or Dry Gate system?
We use a Dry Gate system. Cleaning the cine films, if it is not done correctly, can damage it. Think of it this way: a photograph image is printed on to photographic paper; well, your cine film is many images printed on to cine film. Now think what happens when a photograph gets wet! With a Wet Gate System, if the cleaning solution is not set correctly, you could lose the images forever! The transfer my look fantastic, but what if anything happened to the DVD and no digital master was made? You may well lose your family memories for generations to come! I have personally used both Wet and Dry Gate systems, and I only use the Dry Gate, for the safety of your films.
My cine film is damaged and broken, can it be repaired?
Yes, and it will cost you nothing. All repairing of the cine film is included in the price and professionally undertaken.
Do you cut out blank sequences?
Yes. Front and end leader is edited out, and also the black sections that sometimes happened with Standard 8mm is cut out. Also, since the entire transfer is fully monitored, if there are other sections of blank, i.e. like if the lens cap was left on, we can remove that too.
Do you transfer directly to DVD?
No. We make a Digital Master of your cine film, then transfer to DVD. There are 2 reasons for this, (1) Cine films can break or have bad splices (or joins) that need repair. You cannot stop and rewind a DVD, like you can with a video, so we make a Digital Master first of all, then transfer that to DVD so the quality is up held. (2) We keep a Digital Master for a period of about 30 days. This way, if you require additional copies of the DVD, we can create them, without you have to post anything back to us at your expense.
Does the DVD have a menu or chapter listings?
Yes. We put on a basic menu with thumbnail images and a basic title for each reel. The menu is an easy way to find the reel you want. You can highlight any reel and just watch that one reel, or click the first one and watch the whole thing. This is all included in the price.
Can I play back the DVD on my computer or DVD player?
You will have to check the manual for your DVD player, whether in your computer or your player. The DVDs we burn will work on about 99% of DVD players. But please check first if your player will play DVD-Rs as we cannot offer a refund on any DVDs that do not work with your player.
Can I edit and copy the DVDs you create?
Yes. The discs we burn are non-copyrighted and protection free. Even with a basic home editing package, you will be able to copy and edit them yourself, but please check the computer or software manual to make sure it will accept DVD-Rs.
I want to send the DVD to a friend in the US; will it work?
Yes, but the person in the US will have to check their DVD player will play back a PAL FORMAT DISC. The discs we burn are region 0 (there are different regions for all over the world, e.g. Region 1 USA and Canada, Region 2 Europe.) Region 0 means it can be played anywhere in the world, with a PAL output DVD player.
How much are DVD copies?
The first DVD copy is free and included in the final price. Additional DVDs are £10 per disc for up to 5 discs, more than 5 discs, the price is just £8.00 per copy.
How much footage can you get on one DVD?
We can fit up to about 2 hours on 1 DVD disc. If you transfer a lot of cine film they will be split up at no extra cost to the amount of discs you have. They are clearly labelled, so you know which reels are on which disc.
I'm not sure of the order of my cine film, what can I do?
We offer an Editing Service.
How long will the transfer take?
A smaller transfer (maybe only a few reels) can be done the same day, and if payment is sent with it, sent straight back to you, however, this is not guaranteed; the average time taken is about 2-3 days. On larger jobs you will be quoted, but it is not usually more than about 2 weeks.
How much footage do I have?
Please bear in mind that the sizes in inches are approximate. On the side of some reels there is a footage and/or metre gauge. Please remember that we charge by the foot, NOT the metre. The small reels you would get back from the processors are about 3 inches in diameter and are 50ft, a 5-inch reel is a 200ft and a 7-inch reel is 400ft; some may have a 10-inch reel that is 600ft. Your 16mm film may be on a 12-inch reel, which is 800ft or a 20-inch reel, which is 1200ft. Reel Size Approx. Length
  • 3-inch 50ft
  • 5-inch 200ft
  • 7-inch 400ft
  • 10-inch 600ft
  • 12-inch 800ft
  • 20-inch 1200ft
All transfers are fully quoted before the job is under taken, so you will know exactly how much it is before we start. For more information, please visit the Cine Film Format page.
Some of the reels I have aren't full of film; do I have to pay for that?
No. We only charge you for the footage of film you have, not the size of the reels. For example, you may have a 400ft reel with only 150ft of film on it; you will be charged for the 150ft of film, NOT the 400ft reel.
I have a lot of cine film, but I want to check the quality, what can I do?
You can have a Tester Reel DVD. For just £20.00, which is refundable off the final total of your transfer, you can have one reel of your cine film put on to a tester DVD and sent to you, so you can check the quality, before the full transfer is undertaken. The £20.00 includes tape and postage.
I have sound on my film, can you transfer that at the same time?
Yes. All sound is transferred free of charge. If you know your film has a sound track on it, a thin brown strip down one side (Magnetic Sound on 8mm and 16mm) or a clear strip down one side, with what looks like a black squiggly line (Optical Sound, 16mm only), then please mention this BEFORE your transfer is undertaken. We can transfer sound for both 8mm and 16mm.
Do I get my cine films back?
Yes, and since Aarchive Films can clean and repair your films, you could get them back in a better condition than you sent them.
How can I pay for the transfer?
You can pay with cash (in person), by major credit or debit card, cheque or PayPal. All transfers are quoted before the job is undertaken and payment needs to be received before the transfer is sent back to you or on collection. If you know how much footage you have, a cheque can be included (made payable to Aarchive Film). For credit card or PayPal payments, please call us.
How do I get my cine films to you?
If you are local to the Plymouth area you can call and arrange to drop them in, otherwise by post. We strongly suggest sending the films using Royal Mail's Special Delivery service as it guarantees a signature before 1:00pm the next day. It costs a little more, but how much value do you put on your family memories! Just a note, some companies suggest and will only use Recorded Delivery. Recorded goes in with the normal post, and items can easily be lost or damaged, with compensation of only £32.00! We will only use Special Delivery, it is sent via a different courier, has full tracking, it insured up to £500 and guarantees the films are signed for. In addition, we will always call and speak to someone, to make sure there is some one there to be able to sign for the package.
I have a projector or other cine equipment that I don't need any more, what can I do with it?
We do not take in old cine film equipment any more. We suggest Ebay or trying to sell them locally.