Directory of Archival and Manuscript Repositories in the Delaware Valley (password required)
Film transfer vendors in the Delaware Valley
The following listings are for information purposes only. The Delaware Valley Archivists Group does not endorse any particular facility or company and does not assume responsibility for a vendor’s fees, services, or the results of their work.
Telecine facilities and rates for transfer of motion picture film to digital video in the Philadelphia region:
- NFL Films: Da Vinci telecine; 700 per hour of produced material (commercial rate) $250.00 per hour non-profit or student rate. The rate quoted implies tape provided by client. Contact: http://www.nflfilms.com/
- Charles Churchman, Telecine Services: Thomson Shadow telecine and BTS Bosch Quadra telecine. $200.00 per hour of produced material. Tape stock provided by client. Churchman can transfer 16mm film, Super 8 film, 8mm film, and also many semi-obsolete forms of videotape. Please note that this facility does not generally work with invoices. They can provide a simple bill and expect payment at time of service. Contact: Charlie http://www.telecineservice.com
Shooters: Spirit 2K telecine, DaVinci 2K telecine; $600.00 per hour commercial rate negotiable; $250.00 or less per hour non-profit rate. Tape stock provided by client. Contact: http://www.shootersinc.com/
Companies that do not have high-end telecines and are primarily video transfer houses:
- Modern Video Productions: http://www.modernvideoproductions.com/ (great for video-to-video transfer)
- RGB: http://rgbincorporated.com/tapes.html (they are very well known for transferring obsolete video formats).
Notes on telecines and how they differ from film chains:
High-end telecine machines do not put wear and tear on your motion picture film as a projector can; please note that projectors are used in (lower end) film-chains. The home movie transfer services at many photography stores refer to film chain set-ups in which a video camera is pointed toward a film projection via an intermediary screen.
As of 2008, only three facilities in our region have truly high-end telecine machines, as listed above. One way to get a sense of whether the facility is using high-end equipment is to ask if the film can be wet-gate transferred. Wet gating will remove the appearance a certain amount of scratches from the film in the transfer. A less formal film chain arrangement is not capable of doing that work.
There are several large houses in New York City, such as DuArt and Cineric, with comparable high end equipment, and other great labs that deal with archival film including ColorLab in Maryland. We do not endorse any particular facility, it is our intention here to share factual information on technology and film handling expertise.
Lastly, we urgently recommend that while making digital access copies, everyone will embrace the AMIA and NFPF guidelines regarding good storage and maintenance of the original film footage. Aside from film’s intrinsic value and higher quality no matter what new medium arises, it has been determined in studies by the Image Permanence Institute and elsewhere that motion picture film , if properly stored, has the longest life of any motion picture medium yet developed. Please see the Image Permanence Institute’s handy free guide for details on storage and handling.
Compiled by Kate Pourshariati, Film Archivist at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (affiliation listed for information purposes only).