FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS





We love answering your questions! If you can't find the answer to the question you're looking for - or don't feel like searching through - just give a call to our direct number at 1-800-865-7172





Our process


What makes your scanning process different from other companies?

In film scanning, most companies have to make a choice: produce high quality film transfers for professional filmmakers at a price point that locks out the average consumer, or create a method of transfer to scan film cheaply by sacrificing quality. Not us. We have developed our scanning technology in-house. This has allowed us to use the same machines and optics on home movies that we use on the feature films and historical footage that filmmakers, archives, and museums have entrusted with us for decades - all at a reasonable price.


How long does it take?

Our usual turnaround time is two weeks in studio plus return shipping.


How do I pay?

Orders can be paid via check or credit card. We prefer checks. If you're looking to pay via check based upon your project's estimate, please make payable to: DMG. If you're estimate turns out to be off, that's no problem. We will send a check back for the difference in the project's balance if you overestimate your total. If it looks like you underestimated, we'll let you know right away when we receive the project. If you are paying by credit card, we accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. You can include your card information on your order form, or we can give you a call whenever your transfer wraps and take the info over the phone. Credit cards are not charged until the film transfer is finished and ready to ship.


We do not require a down-payment to get started on a project.


Can I just send my film to you and have you take a look at it and give me an estimate?

Absolutely! If you want to send in your film for an estimate, just check of the box on the order form that says "Please provide estimate." Indicate your recording media on the form, and we'll do the rest. We will email you a detailed cost breakdown based on our estimate, and once you confirm the estimate, we'll get started.


Do you offer rush service?

Yes, rush service is available upon request. The turnaround time for a rush project is within four business days, in studio. Please call us at 1-800-865-7172 to check availability.







Film and Media Questions


How much film do I have?

Many reels have length indicators printed or etched directly on them. If not, you can still determine a rough estimate for your footage by measuring the reel's diameter.


Typically, 8mm film comes on four different sized reels:

3.5-inch: 50-feet

5-inch: 200 feet

6-inch: 300 feet

7-inch: 400 feet


For 16mm film, you can generally count on reels with these diameters:

3.5-inch: 50-feet

4-inch: 100-feet

7-inch: 400-feet


Do I have 16mm or 8mm/Super 8?

The difference in 16mm and 8mm lies in the formats' widths. As the name indicates, 16mm film will be twice as wide as 8mm and Super 8. The best way to tell - besides measuring - is taking a look at the film. A 16mm film will be about as wide as a nickel. It will usually have two sets of sprocket holes on opposite sides, though some formats of 16mm only have a single set of sprocket holes on one side. An 8mm or Super 8 film will have the width that's about the same as a pencil, and they will only have sprocket holes along one side. Super 8 and 8mm film will have the same width, and we price them the same way.


What's the best recording media for me?

When choosing media, it's best to thing about what you're looking to do with the film once it's transferred. If you're looking to edit, you will need to record to a USB Hard Drive or Flash drive. The Hard Drive will be your best option for long-term storage (as flash drives are not recommended for long term archiving), as it will be the highest quality version, and you'll have the most options in terms of how you can view it.


We recommend DVDs and Blu-rays for simple viewing. Do not attempt to edit films from a DVD or Blu-ray. They, by nature, are not designed for this purpose. They're a good option if you need something that can be played on a TV easily.


Can I receive my transfer via cloud service or digital download?

We only record to physical media, and we do not upload client projects to any cloud service once complete. We do this for a few reasons, including fact that most projects would exceed or strain the available storage capacity in most peoples' cloud accounts. But the main reason is privacy. The security of your data is extremely important, so we only store our client's files on computers not connected to the internet to keep them completely secure.


How do I know if I have sound film?

Most home movies were shot on silent film. To check to see if your film has sound, check out this quick guide. If your film does have sound, we will be able to transfer it. Among companies digitizing home movies, we are one of the few with the capacity to transfer any format of sound film.







Mailing and Shipping Questions


How do I know my films will arrive safely?

Your film is irreplaceable, and we understand how daunting it can be sending such priceless items off in the mail. We've received thousands and thousands and shipments of film, so we can unsure that there is nothing to fear. The best way to ensure that the film arrives safely is simple - pack it well. Get a sturdy box, fill it with packing material (paper, peanuts, bubble wrap), and however your ship, make sure you keep the tracking number. We will promptly send you an email to let you know everything has arrived safely and soundly.


Which carrier should I use for sending my film?

We see UPS, FedEx, and USPS every day, so choose the one that you feel most comfortable with, or whichever is the most convenient for you. We know the drivers, and they know our hours, so they'll never leave a package unattended at our door.


How will you ship my order back to me?

We ship the film back via FedEx (or USPS Priority where FedEx exceptions pop up, such as PO Boxes). Whenever we wrap up your project, we will email you to let you know that is completed. We will also include you in all of the FedEx tracking emails, so you will be looped in and receive notifications regarding estimated delivery date, delivery exceptions, etc.


Will X-rays damage my film?

No. X-rays pose no risk to processed film.


Do you ship back my original film?

Yes. We will always send back your original films, wound onto an archive reel. Anything that you send to us (empty reels, notes, film boxes, etc), we will send back unless we were specifically told not to.