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Digital Conversion: 8mm/Super 8 Film Reels

wolverine moviemaker pro

This equipment is available free for use at Idea Exchange, Old Post Office, Creative Studios.
Valid Idea Exchange membership required.

Use the MovieMaker Pro to convert your film reels to digital MP4 movie files (no sound).  Every 100 ft is about 1 hour of conversion time. A USB Flash Drive or SD/SDHC Card (no larger than 32GB) is required to save your video files.  

The following is a step-by-step guide that will show you how to convert your film reels to digital.

How to Guide

1. Determine the type of film you have

Use the sprocket holes as a guide to determine the type of film you have. 8mm film has rectangular sprocket holes while Super 8 film has square sprocket holes:

Image showing the difference between 8mm and Super 8 film

 

2. Select the appropriate film type

Move the tab at the front of the MovieMaker to mark the appropriate film type:

Image showing the tab at the front of the MovieMaker

 

3. Turn on the MovieMaker

Plug in the power cable and press the Power Button to turn the MovieMaker on.

Image of the power port at the back

 

4. Clean the light table

Push the film door tab to the left to flip open the door. Use the supplied brush to clean the light
table very gently.

film door tab 

 

5. Mount the reels and film

Mount your reel of film on the LEFT shaft. Place the reel so that the sprocket holes are facing upwards (away from you).

mounted reels 

If your film reel has an 8mm mounting hole, mount the reel directly onto the left shaft. If adapters are needed, use the provided RED coloured reel adapter. Always place the RED coloured adapter on the LEFT side and the GREY coloured adapter on the RIGHT.

Mount the empty reel directly onto the RIGHT shaft.

Left and right reel adapters

Left and right reel adapters, in colour

 

6. Route the film

Follow the film routing diagram printed on the face of the MovieMaker Pro to route the film (follow the solid line).

 Mounting guide. Follow the solid line

 

7. Place the film on the light table

Slide open the flap door and position the film sprocket holes at the top. Place film under the three white tabs.

Steps to place the film on table 
place film under the three white tabs

Note: If the film is not placed under all three of the white tabs, the final video will be unstable.

 

8. Menu Selections

Press the MENU button and use the UP or DOWN arrow to highlight your desired menu selection and then press ENTER.

Menu button

Tip: Use Frame ADJ from the Menu selections to make sure your film is positioned correctly on the light table. You can also use this selection to zoom in or zoom out.  Use the UP and DOWN arrow buttons to shift the frame. Use the ENTER button to cycle between moving the frame left and right, up and down, or zoom in or out. Select the MENU button to exit when you are done.

Menu selection options 

 

9. Record

When you are ready to start recording, press MENU and find the RECORD selection. Press the Enter/Start/Stop button. Verify that you have selected the appropriate film type and press the Enter/Start/Stop button again to begin recording. A red dot will blink in the top left corner while recording is in progress.

Press the Enter/Start/Stop button again to stop recording.     

Note: Every time you start then stop a transfer, you are creating a new video file.

The film needs to be wound properly onto the reel. If the film sticks, stop the recording and manually advance the film. Make sure the film leader is past the film route and on the RIGHT reel, otherwise the film may not advance.

If the film is wound too tight or too loose, the machine will not feed the film properly. To ensure proper winding onto the reel, it might be a good idea to REWIND the film off of the reel then back onto it.

 

10. Rewind

Remove the film from the light table and place the empty reel on the RIGHT shaft (use the GREY adapter if needed). Place the full reel on the LEFT shaft. Leave the flap of the light table door open. Make sure the sprocket holes are on the outside and route the film following the dotted line.

sprocket holes on the outside 

Select the MENU button and use the UP and DOWN arrows to find REWIND. Press ENTER to start.

 

11. Transfer your video files onto your device

Turn off the MovieMaker and remove the SD Card from the back.

SD slot in the back

Locate the provided USB Adapter. Insert the SD Card into the Adapter.

adapter

Insert the Adapter into a USB port on the computer.

Insert your personal USB Flash Drive into another USB port on the computer.

Locate your file on the SD card Adapter in the directory of  FilmScanner > MOVIE. Left click on the file and hold down to drag the file onto your USB Flash Drive. Release to transfer the file.

file transfer to personal device

Safely eject both USB devices.

safely ejectsafely eject

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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