The time had come to make an attempt to copy the old 8 mm films onto DVD. With some doubt as to the likelihood of success I have actually managed to make something passable – quickly and without any significant cost. Here’s how:
- My parents Eumig 807D projector was used to project the films onto the inside of a cereal box covered with a white piece of paper.
- I used a Samsung F40N video camera (a few years old now) aligned slightly below the projector lens to capture the imagery. I had to play around with the settings to get the best pictures from a variety of scenes, but the following worked:
- Turn off the automatic shake correction etc.
- Use manual focus
- On the iScene menu select “Spotlight”, this seems to cope best with the high dynamic range.
- Under type of lighting use “Daylight”
- I left both shutter and aperture on automatic.
- After copying the resulting mp4 files to my computer (running Windows 8.1) I processed them using “Handbrake“. Starting with “High Profile” I cleared the audio to removed the sound of the projector (leave on if your film has sound), turned Deinterlace to Slower and played around with manually cropping on a film by film basis to neaten things up. I then clicked starter to create a new file.
- Windows 8.1 doesn’t seem to have anything built-in to design DVDs so I downloaded and installed “DVDstyler“. Make sure when you are installing that you take care when clicking “next”, otherwise you will end up with a whole load of extra software that you don’t want. It’s pretty straightforward to design your DVD, then click File -> Burn DVD to get the writing menu up. I chose to create an ISO file as this allows me to quickly burn multiple copies.
- Once you have your ISO file, simply navigate to it in file explorer (in Windows 8.1), then right-click and choose “burn disc image”. Hey presto, assuming there is a disc in your drive then you will shortly have a shiny new DVD (as an aside the amount of coasterising does seem to have diminished nowadays).
Hope that is of some help to you – fine tuning of the technique and patience may still be required!