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The digitization of amateur heritage

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From film to digital!

Do you have small format films, 9.5mm, 16mm, 8mm, Super8? Don't know how to store and digitize them? Contact us,you will finally be able to watch your films again and, by becoming part of the National Family Film Archive, your family memories will contribute to enriching the historical memory of the country.

Before starting, do you know which formats Home Movies deals with and which contents it is interested in?

The archive mainly deals with small formats: 9.5mm, 16mm, 8mm, Super8.

But we don't stop here: if you have other film materials (35mm, 28mm, 17.5mm, 15mm) or analogue video media (U-matic, Beta, DVCam, VHS, betamax, miniDv etc...) However, do not hesitate to contact us. 

9.5mm, 16mm, 8mm, Super8: how to distinguish small formats?  Downloadhere our guide: you will need it!

We are mainly interested in family cinema, therefore in all those films that contain family rituals, such as weddings, birthdays, holidays, and more generally the events of everyday life. Even the most ordinary moments can represent something extraordinary. 

In recent years, the scope of the archive has also expanded to include independent materials created by professional filmmakers. The Home Movies Archive collection also includes artist, experimental, industrial and scientific films.

Let's begin! We collect the first information

If you have small format films and want to digitize them in our archive, you will first have to fill them outthe online request form. We will ask you for some simple information that is essential for us to understand the size of your film stock - how many reels you have - and the duration. Therefore, before proceeding with the compilation, we recommend that you:

- prepare the films in front of you and count them

- get a ruler with which to measure the diameter of the coils

- check whether there is information on the boxes relating to the historical period in which they were filmed or their contents (labels, pieces of paper, handwritten). 

All this information is also reported in detail in the form with instructions and examples to help you step by step.

>> Fill in the form.

How is the physical delivery of the films carried out?

Once you have completed the form, we invite you to send an email to communicating that it has been completed. We will reply by providing you with more details on the timing of taking charge of your request: they are not always immediate, we kindly ask you to have a little patience!

We will then arrange a meeting at the headquarters of our Archive for the delivery of the films. If you live very far away or are unable to reach us you can also send them by post by prior arrangement, although we would prefer to meet you in person!

What happens to the films once delivered?

Once delivered, the films will comeinventoriedand they will constitute a new film fund which will be renamed with the surname and name of the filmmaker, or the man or woman who made the films. Once this process is completed, they will move on to therestorationconservative in the laboratory: the films will be analyzed manually, cleaned and repaired if necessary (over time, some perforations may have broken or some joints may have been broken) in order to also slow down any decay of the film itself. Once the restoration is finished, they will finally be ready to bedigitized. The Home Movies Foundation uses professional scanners that allow the digitization of films in high definition: HD, 2k up to 4k. After being digitally acquired, the film is carefully reviewed. In some cases, an additional step is necessarydigital restoration to remove possible scratches, interference or to balance the color. The entire processing flow will take approximately three months, depending on the size of the film base. 

When will the videos be visible?

We're almost there, your films have been digitized and exported to mp4 files. They will be transferred to a hard disk or USB stick, ready for delivery. You will then be contacted by the Archive for collection, which can take place on site or by shipping.  You will finally be able to watch your family movies as many times as you want!

A tip for viewing: many filmmakers, once their films were developed, organized real home screenings. Family and friends gathered around the projector to share captured moments and comment on the images together. 

And now?

You will be contacted by the Archive to fill out asurveyin which you will be asked for more detailed information on the origins and history of the filmmaker and the films. The information you provide us will be fundamental to reconstruct the historical, geographical and social context of those images. These details will be used not only for the subsequent cataloging phases but also to develop new valorisation and educational projects and provide ever more details to scholars and researchers who turn to Home Movies. 

The original films and their conservation

Bringing your films to the National Family Film Archive means becoming part of a project, which is why we ask for the possibility of preserving  the originals in the archive premises. This has a double advantage: you will not run the risk of losing the original support and you will allow the films to remain in the best condition. The film archives donated to the Home Movies Archive are stored in rooms at a controlled and constant temperature in order to guarantee maximum conservation. 

Costs and economic sustainability

For a long time the Foundation Home Movies has fully covered the total costs of processing and conservation of the film material deposited. We currently ask everyone to participate in the costs, a contribution that partially covers the costs of processing and storing the material.
For films of particular historical and archival interest, we however reserve the right to acquire the films even in the absence of financial contribution, committing ourselves to allocate resources to materials at high risk of dispersion.


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