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Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Movie Adventure

8mm films.

I have one small voice.  I am raising it!  I AM MAD.  
In an effort to protect the twenty-two years of video footage that I have filmed of my family, I purchased  -- with discount coupons called Groupons-- film transfer services from a company called Scan Digital.  Believe me, I read the fine print, I read it again, then I called the company to ask further questions.  I knew I was going to entrust this company to transfer hours and hours of birthday parties, school plays, soccer, basketball and field hockey games onto DVDs. This was serious business.  I carefully marked my calendar so I would get the videos into Scan Digital before my coupons expired.
I knew the deadline was fast approaching.  Two weeks ago, I went to the basement and pulled out the storage box containing many of the VHS tapes I filmed.  I tried to set up our aged VHS video player -- with no success.  The project is abandoned on the floor next to a Sony television (circa 1985).  Still, I knew it was vital to mail in those tapes., even if it was going to be sight unseen.  I would have to trust my twenty-year old labels.  I called Scan Digital to clarify how to fill out the order form since I had multiple coupons.  It was over the course of three conversations I had with the customer service department (with my filmmaking son playing Cyrano in these communications) that I discovered that, in order to receive an editable product, I had to upgrade my options for a mere $150. Then, I was informed that I would probably prefer to use an external hard drive (which they could sell me for $120) rather than using the advertised DVDs if I had any intentions of editing the footage.  Oh, my gosh!  I thought I had asked every question before I made the purchase.  Turns out, I didn’t know what to ask!  Now I have chosen to ship only ten videos, in my own box, with an external hard drive that I will purchase.  They will, however, charge me a fee of $10 to receive my shipment. So, there you have it.  The company is doing exceedingly well at finding income streams. I am keeping both my fingers and toes crossed that they deliver a product as amazing as their carefully structured pricing guidelines.  After all, Scan Digital was recommended in such publications as Real Simple magazine, Inc., Popular Photography and Redbook!  
Meanwhile, I am going to look into other options for preserving my family’s heritage.
I am particularly invested in finding a thrifty alternative because I just inherited over 250 8mm films that my father shot between 1953 and 1995. My personal box of 45 VHS tapes seems paltry compared to that extensive collection of his film history.
When I get these projects wrapped up, I might just host a film premier and serve popcorn and Coca-cola.  Bring your own 
M & M's!

Assorted family videos. 

1 comment:

  1. Would love to see some of the films Uncle Ken has! Hopefully u can get them digitally saved, too. Dave & I , alomg w/ my boyrfirend Chris and Dave's wife Ann went to a wedding today in Rutgers Gardens. Our youngest cousin, Suzie Wood married a great young man in the gardens there. They are both going to be Dr.s - met in school. Was sooo great to see my cousins & their little ones - my nephews & neices! We all danced together & caught up a bit, with promises to get together more often. I will make every effort - family is everything!!
    Love you, Bev