Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions posed by our clientele.
Please click on the service topic listed below for further information:

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General FAQs


Why should I transfer my tapes, films, photos and/or slides to DVD? They look fine to me.

Great! That’s means we can preserve a good copy onto DVD now! The fact is, all tapes, films and photographic media fade gradually over time (whether you play/view them or not). The longer you wait, the worse they get. So don’t let your memories fade another day, save them for generations to come on DVD!

What formats can you accept?

We can accept the following formats:

FILM
 
VIDEO
 
AUDIO
 
PHOTO
 
DIGITAL
IMAGES
OTHER
MEDIA
8mm
 
VHS, VHS-C
 
Vinyl records (LP, 45, 78)
Photograph prints
 
Memory Stick®
 
 
 
Super 8
MiniDV
Audio cassettes
35mm slides
Secure Digital™
CD's & DVD's
16mm*
Video8 (8mm)
Micro-cassettes
35mm negatives
MultiMedia Card™
Photo CD's
 
Hi8, Digital8
WAV,MP3,WMA
126mm slides
Compact Flash®
Flash drives
 
 
Beta
 
 
 
110mm slides
 
Smart Media™ Cards
 
External hard drives
 
 
MPEG,AVI
 
 
 
127mm Super
Slides
 
 
Floppy disks
 
*Call for info
 
WMV,RMV,MOV
 
 
 
Medium Format negatives
 
 
 
 
 

How much can fit on a DVD?

We recommend 60-75 minutes as the optimal amount of video per DVD. This insures the maximum quality possible. However, up to 120 minutes can fit on a DVD with a minimal amount of video and audio compression.

Our guidelines:
Video to DVD – 1 hour optimal; up to 2 hours per DVD
Film to DVD – 1 hour is about 800 feet of film. The composition of film transfer options can range from approximately eighteen 3” reels (50 ft. each) to two 7” reels (400 ft. each). Please see our Film Reel Calculator for more information.
Audio to CD – an audio CD can hold 700MB, which equates to approximately 80 minutes of audio.
Photo Montage DVD – the typical photo montage lasts for up to 30 minutes, which equates to several hundreds of pictures, along with accompanying background music.
Photo Archive CD, DVD - A CD can hold 700MB and a DVD can hold 4700 MB (4.7 GB). The number of images will depend on several factors (digital image format [JPG, TIFF, etc.] and resolution [300 dpi, 600 dpi, etc.], but in general terms, a CD can hold hundreds of images and a DVD can hold up to several thousand images.

DVD recorders are commercially available now. Why shouldn't I just do it myself?

Consumer level equipment can’t do the high quality transfer, editing and special effects that our professional video equipment & software is capable of. Additionally, many people have large quantities of photos and videos that they have saved over the years, often in different formats – do you want to undertake the tedious and often technically frustrating task of transferring your media? We do this for a living… our experience enables us to create the best production possible from your video source. It could take you years to get to the same level. You’re creating family heirlooms – get it done by a professional.

How long do DVD's last?

The life span of a recorded disc depends upon such things as the properties of the materials used in the disc's construction, its manufactured quality, how well it is recorded and its physical handling and storage. The disc manufacturer we use carried out an accelerated age testing by subjecting samples of its discs to environments that are beyond those experienced under normal storage conditions. Based on their extensive age testing, they believe their disks will last about 100 years. By comparison, VHS tape deterioration starts on day 1, and becomes very noticeable in 10 years or less.

I heard that DVD copies do not work with all DVD players. How do I know if your DVD's will work with my player?

If you bought your DVD player within the last three years, chances are excellent the DVD we create will work. The DVD format we use (DVD-R) is the most compatible with DVD players. For more information about the compatibility of your DVD player, please check the following web site: http://www.videohelp.com/dvdplayers

If you have an older DVD player, consider a new one, they are very inexpensive and have lots of new capabilities.

I'm overwhelmed with this project; can someone at dac Video Productions help me?

Absolutely! We can provide as much help as you need. We do not charge for an initial consultation to outline project requirements, discuss options, or brainstorm ideas. If you require more extensive, ‘hands-on’ assistance with selecting, organizing, or reviewing your materials, our Project Preparation Consulting service is priced separately – see our Pricing section for details.

What else can be done to enhance my DVD video?

The possibilities are endless! Take a look at our price list packages and custom editing/additional services for some suggestions, or talk to us about ideas you may have - we will be happy to give you a custom quote. This DVD is going to last for 100 years… let’s get it just the way you want it the first time.

Do you offer a guarantee?

dac Video Productions, LLC is committed to building and maintaining long-term relationships by providing courteous, individualized service which exceeds our client's expectations.

Your satisfaction is our number one concern. Our work is a labor of love...we handle each project as if it were our own and provide the utmost attention to detail and quality. If you're not completely satisfied with our service, we will work with you to correct the problem. Requests for re-work must be received within 14 days of shipment or pickup date. Re-work will be done free of charge one time for mistakes made by dac Video Productions, LLC.

What forms of payment do you accept?

Currently we accept cash, check, or money orders.

When is payment expected?

Unless other arrangements are made, we require full payment at the completion of your project.

Film Transfer FAQs


What film formats can you accept?

We specialize in transferring 8mm and Super 8 films! We can also help with Super 8 Sound and 16mm films. Both of these formats require extra steps, so please contact us to discuss your specific needs.

How can I tell how much film I have?

Please see our the Helpful Planning Tools page of our Film Transfer section for specific information to help you identify the type of film you have, the size of the film reel(s), and guides for determining the amount of running time your reels contain and how many reels of film will fit within a one hour time frame.

How much film footage can fit on a DVD?

The Helpful Planning Tools page of our Film Transfer section provides specific guidelines for determining how many reels of film (based on format and reel size) will fit on a one hour DVD. We recommend 60 minutes as the optimal amount of video per DVD. This insures the maximum quality possible. However, up to 120 minutes can fit on a DVD with a minimal amount of video and audio compression.

Can I combine multiple film reels to create a single DVD?

Yes! This is one of the benefits of going to DVD. You don’t need to stop every five minutes to change reels on the projector. There is no extra charge for combining multiple reels of film.

Please describe your film transfer process in more detail.

At dac Video Productions, we offer a digital, frame by frame transfer process to capture and convert your regular 8 and Super 8 home movie films to digital video. We utilize specialized equipment to generate film transfers that are crisp, clear and flickerless!

We capture your films one frame at a time using a special projector and high end video processing system. The main features of the projector are an enlarged gate, no shutter and a low power light source. The enlarged gate offers 25% more image size (out to the sprockets). No shutter essentially means no annoying flicker. The low power light source guarantees that no film is burned or damaged, ’hotspots’ are eliminated, and that even light distribution occurs over the entire film frame. Premium optics in the film path and a high resolution 3CCD digital camera with complete manual control of the captured images, rounds out our method for film transfer to DVD.

How do you care for my films during the transfer processing?

Upon receipt of your films, we perform the following steps:

  • Inventory and catalog each film
  • Inspect your film for any obvious damage
  • Re-spool film that has been rewound incorrectly
  • Replace worn or missing film leader*
  • Repair and/or re-splice any damaged film**
  • Clean and lubricate your film

* additional charges apply for multiple film leader replacements
** additional charges apply for film(s) that require extensive splicing, cleaning and/or significant repair

Some film transfer companies require your smaller reels to be spliced together onto a larger reel (to make their transfer process more efficient and time effective). This step is not one of our requirements, so we will return the films as you provided them to us (unless you request us to splice them together).

What is the difference between your regular film transfer and a ‘restorative’ film transfer?

We offer two levels of film transfer services:

  • Direct transfer—a digital, frame by frame transfer (best if your films have been well-cared for and are in good condition)
  • Restorative transfer—a digital, frame by frame transfer AND manual, scene by scene corrections (color, brightness, contrast) by our technicians. Best for films which have exposure problems and/or have darkened or deteriorated over time.

Consumer-based film like, 8mm, Super 8 and even 16mm film may exhibit color loss or casts just due to age or more commonly, by using the film under the wrong conditions when it was first shot.

Older formats like 8mm and earlier 16mm film came in either "Outdoor (Daylight)" or "Indoor" forms. This was a simple way to describe the color temperature differences of the film. The film emulsion layers were specially treated to accommodate the differences in recording in either sunlight or under incandescent light. Being expensive in its day and of short length (50ft 8mm and 100ft 16mm, both about 3 minutes in play length), the camera person was tempted and did use the same film in the camera for both indoor and outside shooting. Of course, part of the film used correctly will usually look very good (whites are white, reds are reds etc), where the other part of the same film reel would exhibit a color cast in either blue or red (the underlying colors are still there but the film frames are awash in a red or blue overlay). Shooting indoor film outdoors will yield a blue cast and shooting outdoor film indoors would show a red cast.

  • Two other variables greatly affect the quality of your film transfer:
    • How well the film was originally processed in the film lab?
    • Is the film underexposed (too dark)?
    • Is the film overexposed (too bright)?
    • Is the film grainy? Scratched?
    • We may be able to improve the quality of the image during the transfer process through the application of software filters
    • We cannot correct film that is blurry (out of focus), shot out of frame, or double exposed.
  • How were the films stored and cared for over the years?
    • Film can be prone to color fading and darkening through improper storage
    • Film can shrink with age and deterioration
    • Film emulsion can erode or wear away, and the image is lost forever
    • Colors lost due to prolonged exposure to warm and humid conditions may never be correctable. Sometimes making those sections of film just plain old black and white is a very good compromise
    • Improperly stored film can also develop a white powder. This is called film acetate decomposition, and the presence of this powder will require a specialized cleaning before the film(s) can be processed. Additional charges will apply if this condition exists on your films
    • Severely deteriorated film may be beyond the reach of even the most sophisticated restoration efforts.

With our restorative transfer process, our technicians perform manual, scene by scene corrections (for color, brightness, and contrast). The costs are a bit higher for this labor intensive process, but the improvements to your darkened or faded films are well worth it!

How do I prepare and organize my films?

Most clients opt to organize their films in chronological order. Generally, there are a couple of ways to do this. The first is to try to arrange them by the info that (hopefully) somebody has written on the box. The descriptions found on the boxes or film cans will be used to title the chapter selections on your DVD.

Failing this, some 8mm films, especially those shot in the 30's, 40's and 50's were sent back to the customer through the mail. These boxes will sometimes contain a postmark. Lastly, on the boxes there might be a 'use by' date, which while might not give you an exact date of the film, it is better than nothing. In any case, please clearly mark your film reels in the order you want them transferred to DVD (if you wish to specify an order). We also ask that you provide short descriptions of each film’s content (if different from what’s shown on the film containers) for use on your DVD’s chapter selection menu(s).

One note of caution, however, if you use an old projector to try to put the films in order, be very cautious as old projectors have a tendency to 'eat' the film, so take care with these sometimes fragile films.

We also suggest you determine a title (such as “Smith Family Films”, “Thompson Family Movies”, etc.) for your film transfer project at this time.

My films are silent. Can you add Background Music to the DVD?

We sure can! We have an extensive library of royalty-free background music, with a variety of styles and themes to match the activity shown on the films. Many clients choose to include background music to enhance their film transfers, knowing they always have the option to turn down or mute the sound during playback. We also offer the option of including a sound track of projector noise for those home movie enthusiasts that want to truly relive the “Saturday Movie Night” experience!

You can also provide us with the music of your choice to be transferred. If you choose this option, we’ll ask that you provide a list which matches the music track(s) to your films.

Please refer to our Additional Services section for more information.

Why does transferring sound films cost extra?

Since our film transfer system is non-real time, the audio track cannot be captured at the same time as the film frames. The audio portion of the film is extracted with a second pass using a standard sound projector. The extracted audio track and the frame-by-frame video are then re-synchronized for lip sync on our computers. The fact that we capture twice is why the cost is marginally higher. The final result is high quality video and perfectly produced audio - just the way it should be.

After transfer, can or should I dispose of our old movies?

Absolutely NOT! Your films, especially after we have cleaned, inspected and spliced them, are in perfect shape for extended storage. Keep them in a cool, dry area. More information on long term film storage can be found in our Benefits of Digital Media section. In short, keep your originals, if something happens to the transfer media (or if technologies continue to change), it will always be preferable to use the original film media to create new transfers.

How long does the conversion to DVD take?

It will depend primarily on the size of your order and our current workload. A typical order (a few hundred feet to a few thousand feet) of film to DVD would typically require 3-4 weeks to complete, although on occasion we are able to complete them faster. If you have specific turnaround requirements, check with us regarding rush order availability before placing your order.

NOTE: If you're trying to place your order for the Christmas holiday season, your best bet is to try and get us your order by Thanksgiving! After that, we can only offer our services on a "best-effort" basis.

What are chapter/scene selection buttons?

These buttons appear on DVD menus which allow you to navigate to a particular scene within your video. Chapter selection buttons can be text, a graphic, or a photo (including a still image of one of the scenes from the video clip). We can even create a “video button” that shows a motion video preview of the clip the button points to.

What is an opening menu?

When you first insert your DVD into the player, an opening screen comes up that introduces your video. This is the DVD opening menu and contains the title of the DVD. You click on this screen to begin playing your video. The screen may also have buttons (such as chapter or scene selection buttons) that you could select - in addition to a “play” button. This screen can contain text, photos, background photos and even motion video backgrounds.

I'm overwhelmed with this project; can someone at dac Video Productions help me?

Absolutely! We can provide as much help as you need. We do not charge for an initial consultation to outline project requirements, discuss options, or brainstorm ideas. If you require more extensive, ‘hands-on’ assistance with selecting, organizing, or reviewing your materials, our Project Preparation Consulting service is priced separately – see our Pricing section for details.

What else can be done to enhance my DVD video?

The possibilities are endless! Take a look at our price list packages and custom editing/additional services for some ideas, or talk to us about ideas you may have - we will be happy to give you a custom quote. This DVD is going to last for 100 years… let’s get it just the way you want it the first time.

Video Transfer FAQs


What video formats can you accept?

We accept VHS, VHS-C, MiniDV, Video8 (8mm), Hi8, Digital8, Beta, DVD, VCD and most digital formats (AVI, RM, MOV, etc.).

How much video footage can fit on a DVD?

We recommend 60-75 minutes as the optimal amount of video per DVD. This insures the maximum quality possible. However, up to 120 minutes can fit on a DVD with a minimal amount of video and audio compression.

Our guidelines: Video to DVD – 1 hour optimal; up to 2 hours per DVD max.

Can I combine multiple video tapes to create a single DVD?

Yes, you may combine multiple tapes to create a single DVD. Please note that there is a small fee for each additional source tape (beyond the original tape) that you add to the same DVD. See our Pricing section for details.

How long does the conversion to DVD take?

It will depend on the type of format conversion and the size of your order. A conservative estimate for a small number of VHS, VHS-C, Digital8, Video8, 8mm, Hi8 and MiniDV tapes to DVD would typically require 2 weeks. Conversion of other formats are a bit more involved and will typically require 3-4 weeks. If you have a large number of videotapes to convert, this could also impact the amount of time required. If you have specific turnaround requirements, please check with us regarding rush order availability before sending us your order.

Will the DVD be better video quality than the original tape?

No. The DVD will match the video quality of your tape as it is today. While the video quality is not improved, it will not degrade over time like a tape will.

Can you convert PAL or SECAM (tapes made overseas) videotapes into DVD?

Sorry, the short answer is no. We do not currently offer this ability.

Will the DVD be in stereo?

If the audio of your original tape was in stereo, the DVD will also be in stereo.

How do I prepare and organize my videotapes?

Most clients opt to organize their videotapes in chronological order. Generally, there are a couple of ways to do this. The first is to try to arrange them by the info that (hopefully) somebody has written on the label or box. The descriptions found with the videotapes may be used to title the chapter selections on your DVD.

The next alternative would be to watch and review the tapes on your VCR or camcorder prior to sharing them with dac Video Productions. Note the contents of each video, and identify the tapes with labels or sticky notes. We would also ask you to clearly mark your videotapes in the order you want them transferred to DVD (if you wish to specify an order).

We also suggest you determine a title (such as “Smith Family Videos”, “Thompson Family Memories”, etc.) for your video transfer project at this time.

Is video editing included in the price?

No - not really. For our straight transfer, Archival DVD, we will do simple trimming of any blank or blue static screens at the start and end points of the video. For our Authored DVD option, we will remove the same blank or blues static screen footage throughout the video. More extensive video editing is not included in either video transfer option.

We do offer custom video editing services- such as editing out sections or shuffling the order of the video. This type of editing is handled on a case-by-case basis; we basically charge per hour with a one hour minimum. If desired, we can provide a quote before sending us your order. Simply contact us if you have a special request or need a quote

How do I specify what I want to capture from the video tape? (Edit Decision List Form)

We will need you to clearly indicate (in written form) the ‘start’ and ‘end’ points of the video in question This is most easily done by using the time code (hh:mm:ss) when playing the tape in your VCR. If this method is not possible, we’ll ask you to describe the beginning and end points based on the video’s content and approximate location of the segment on the videotape (i.e. ‘about halfway into the tape”). Please contact us to discuss the particulars of your situation.

Can I customize my DVD case and label with a still photo or video still capture?

Yes, absolutely. One of the biggest advantages of choosing dac Video Productions is the lengths we will go to customize the DVD for you. We work very hard to try and meet the requests and needs of our clients. Please be sure to discuss what you had in mind with us.

Can I order several copies of the DVD to send to friends and family?

Yes. Additional copies of the DVD may be requested when the initial DVD order is placed, or anytime within 12 months after the order is completed.

What are chapter/scene selection buttons?

These buttons appear on DVD menus which allow you to navigate to a particular scene within your video. Chapter selection buttons can be text, a graphic, or a photo (including a still image of one of the scenes from the video clip). We can even create a “video button” that shows a motion video preview of the clip the button points to.

What is an opening menu?

When you first insert your DVD into the player, an opening screen comes up that introduces your video. This is the DVD opening menu and contains the title of the DVD. You click on this screen to begin playing your video. The screen may also have buttons (such as chapter or scene selection buttons) that you could select - in addition to a “play” button. This screen can contain text, photos, background photos and even motion video backgrounds.

What is a closing screen?

This screen signals the end of the video, or the end of a section of the video. Closing screens can be as simple as “The End”, or could be just like the end of a Hollywood feature film… with music and scrolling credits – with you as the star! Ask us about including this option with your production.

I'm overwhelmed with this project; can someone at dac Video Productions help me?

Absolutely! We can provide as much help as you need. We do not charge for an initial consultation to outline project requirements, discuss options, or brainstorm ideas. If you require more extensive, ‘hands-on’ assistance with selecting, organizing, or reviewing your materials, our Project Preparation Consulting service is priced separately – see our Pricing section for details.

What else can be done to enhance my DVD video?

The possibilities are endless! Take a look at our price list packages and custom editing/additional services for some ideas, or talk to us about ideas you may have - we will be happy to give you a custom quote. This DVD is going to last for 100 years… let’s get it just the way you want it the first time.

Photo Montage FAQs


I see photo montage packages on your price list, am I locked into that or can I customize?

We pride ourselves on personalized service… You can customize any part of your project. Take a look at our price list packages and custom editing/additional services for some ideas, or talk to us about ideas you may have - we will be happy to give you a custom quote. Remember, you are only going to create a DVD of these photos one time. When it’s done, we can make as many copies as you need to share with family and friends, and these DVDs should last for generations to come – so get it done the way you will enjoy it the most!

Which photos should I choose to include in my project?

You may already know the exact pictures you'd like to include in your Photo Montage, but here are some additional guidelines that may help:

  • Choose pictures that are candid and show character.
  • Choose a mix between close-ups and group photos. Choose photos that show the most important stages in someone’s life.
  • Choose more horizontal shots than vertical shots. The reason for this is that TV screens are wider than they are high, so horizontal shots fill the screen and look much better. Vertical shots will appear on the TV screen with black borders on each side (or will need dramatic cropping). There's not a problem with the borders, but too many vertical shots one after the other won't be as pleasing to look at as horizontal ones. It's usually best to space your vertical photos throughout the show if possible.
  • Stay away from photos that are too small or out of focus.

What are special effect transitions?

Special effect transitions are the way the montage video moves from one picture to the next. The song you choose typically dictates which transition effect we'll use. With a slower song, a simple fade in/fade out usually looks the best. For an up-tempo song, a ‘livelier’ transition may go well...or using no transitions at all can be effective, too. If you have a specific ‘look’ or ‘feel’ in mind for your project, please let us know.

How many photos do I need to make up a 5, 10 or 20 minute production?

The length of a production can vary primarily because of the length and type of background music you select. Here are some general guidelines:

  • 50 photos will generally result in a 5 to 8 minute production.
  • 100 photos lead to an 8 to 12 minute production.
  • 150 photos can be 12 to 16 minutes long.
  • 200 photos comprise a 16 to 20 minute production

What size pictures can I send?

We can work with any size pictures up to 8x10's.

Can I include more than just photos and slides?

We’ve had clients send us birth announcements, wedding invitations, newspaper clips, diplomas, and other similar documents to include with their montage. You can also include short video or film clips in your production. If it’s important to you and your photo montage, let’s discuss it!

Can I scan the pictures myself and send them to you?

You sure can! In fact, we offer a 15% discount off each package for pictures that are already scanned. You may scan them and burn them to a CD and bring/mail it to us (preferred method), send them by e-mail, or upload them to our web server. Contact us for further instructions.

If you are scanning the photos yourself, please keep the following guidelines in mind: the higher the resolution, the better your photos will look on the screen, so up to 300 dpi (pixels/inch) is great. Unfortunately, less than 100 dpi (pixels/inch) will result in a very grainy picture. You’ll need to save the images as JPEG files, saved with an identifying name or number.

Can I send photos to you still in their frames or scrapbooks?

Please remove photos from the albums, frames or scrapbooks prior to sending to us (unless you will damage the photo by doing so). We can do this for you if you prefer - standard Project Preparation Consulting fees will apply, see our price list for details.

We can still use photos that can’t be removed from albums or frames, but the quality of these pictures on the DVD may not be as good as the others.

Will you digitally crop my photos?

Typically we will not crop any of the photos when scanning them. However, we will certainly look for opportunities to zoom in and frame pictures during the production to elicit more interesting details and emotion whenever possible. This personalized level of care on each project makes for a much better viewing experience!

How should I choose the order for my photos?

We will prepare your project in the exact order that you deliver the photos to us. You can choose to organize them in two different ways.

  1. Chronologically: baby pictures, childhood pictures, high school, college, dating, wedding, family, etc.
  2. By theme: vacations, holidays, children, grandchildren, Mother's side of the family, Father's side of the family, cars he has owned, fancy dresses she has worn, etc For wedding montages, most people will show pictures of the groom growing up, pictures of the bride growing up, and then pictures of them together.

How do I prepare and organize my photos?

We suggest you follow these steps to prepare your materials for your photo montage:

  1. SELECT - First make the tough decision -- which photos to choose and which to lose. We suggest you make a "YES" pile and a "NO" pile. Try to zero in on the photos that will tell your story the best. The number of photos you choose is totally up to you, a DVD can hold thousands of photos with music, so don’t worry about filling up the DVD!
  2. SORT – Gather all of your YES photos together for this photo montage. Group your photos in “sections”. We suggest you put them in either chronological order (early photos and work forward to present) or by theme (vacation, grandchildren, graduation, anniversary). Within a theme you could sort them further by date or whatever looks good to you.
  3. NUMBER - Number your photos on the back with either a pencil or stickers (post-it notes work well – they need to be taped onto the back so they don’t fall off when the pictures are handled). DO NOT USE a pen as the ink may rub off onto the other photos. Place your numbered photos or slides into a folder/envelope. If you are providing digital photos, indicate file names and their order number.

This is also the time to start thinking about music and a title for your photo montage video. You may also want include a personal greeting or message (scrolling text) at the end of your video. For example, if you are making an anniversary video, you could simply put "Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad" at the beginning and "With Love, From All Of Us" at the end. Or put a short message ‘from the heart’ at the end of the production. The choice is yours!

What if I don't organize my materials?

Please try and organize your materials before you send them as it will make for the best production. Only you know the order you'd like the photos shown. However, if you don't organize them, we'll try our best and generally will put them in a chronological order (if possible).

How long will each photo appear on the screen?

Each photo will usually appear for somewhere between 4 and 8 seconds. The length will vary depending on the nature of the photos, the tempo of the music and the style of transitions we're using.

How should I choose my start and end photos?

Make these your very best shots, as often they will appear in the screen the longest, or will have titles/text captions overlaid on them. Please try to label your two best photos as “Start” and “End” with post-it notes.

What about Photo Retouching?

We will do some minor photo retouching of digital images to enhance the DVD Photograph experience. This will include straightening, cropping and basic color correction. More significant corrections and repair can be performed at additional cost. See Pricing section for more information.

Can my old black and white photographs be transferred to DVD?

Certainly! We recommend transferring all of your old photographs to digital images (archived on CD or DVD).

Can you work from negatives or slides as well as photographs?

Yes. We can work from any type of photographic materials such as prints, negatives or slides. We can also use other types of paper media that can be digitized on our flatbed scanners. This would include items such as announcements, newspaper articles, brochures, flyers, ticket stubs, cards and letters, licenses or just about anything you can imagine.

Can I pick my own music?

You can pick your own music for inclusion on the DVD. In fact, we encourage you to do so as we believe the right music will trigger the emotions and stories behind each picture. Seeing your photographs move to a song that touches your soul is like watching poetry in motion. If you need help, we’ll be happy to recommend appropriate song selections based on our work with other clients.

We also have an extensive library of royalty-free background music, with a variety of styles and themes to fit the theme or mood of your production.

To include copyrighted music you must own the original recording to be used in your production. Use of the track will be covered under your fair use rights of ownership. If you don’t own the music, we can purchase and download the song(s) for you.

Will you return my photographs and music?

Yes, your original source materials (photos & music) will be returned to you with your order.

I'm worried about sending my photos, how do I know you will return my photos in the same condition as you received them?

We can understand why you would be worried, because we know how important and irreplaceable your photos are. We treat your photos as if they are our own. To this day, we have never damaged or lost any photo entrusted to us. We guarantee your photos will be returned to you in the same condition as we received them, unless something catastrophic happens that is out of our control. To put you further at ease, we employ all manner of precautions in our studios to protect your photos (including no liquids or food allowed in the work rooms).

How should I protect my photos while they're in transit?

Package your photos well using hard cardboard on all sides to provide a solid shell for them. We also recommend you use a plastic Ziploc bag to contain each section/grouping of photographs to protect them from any spillage during the delivery process. If mailing your photos, please use proper packaging techniques (bubble-wrap, foam peanuts, etc.) to protect your precious memories.

Can I add voice messages to the video production?

Yes. You will need to provide us with the recording and instructions on how to use the recording. You can provide us this recording in any format that you like (CD, Audio Tape, .MP3, .WAV). Please contact us for additional information if you would like to do this.

Can I order additional copies of my video?

Yes. At the time of purchase you can order additional copies of the DVD We also will keep master copies of each project on file for 1 year and you may reorder any time during that period. The cost for additional DVD's is just $10.00

Do I need to watch the DVD on a computer only?

No, the DVD that we create can be watched on your television with a set-top DVD player or a computer equipped with a DVD drive.

What if my DVD doesn't play?

If you bought your DVD player within the last three years, chances are excellent the DVD we create will work. The DVD format we use (DVD-R) is the most compatible with DVD players. For more information about the compatibility of your DVD player, please check the following web site: http://www.videohelp.com/dvdplayers

If you have an older DVD player, consider a new one, they are very inexpensive and have lots of new capabilities.

How long will it take you to complete my project?

Our typical turn-around time is 10-14 days. We can work with you to complete a project in a shorter time-frame (subject to a Rush Order Fee, see Pricing section for details). Just give us a call…we’re here to help!

I have some specific questions that I want answered. How can I go about it?

You can write to us at , or call us at 440.250.0464...we will be glad to answer all your questions.

Video Biography FAQs


How much does it cost?

We offer three packages of Video Biographies to choose from. Please see our Video Biography section for more details. Additionally, we can work with you to create a custom Video Biography to achieve your goals and desired end results. Please contact us to discuss your project and to set up an initial interview.

How long does it take to produce a Video Biography?

This depends on many factors, including but not limited to how many people you wish to include in the video, any travel necessary, scheduling, availability and accessibility of key ingredients like family members, family photos and home movies. In general, it will take from 1 to 2 months to complete a standard Video Biography. Deluxe and Documentary Video Biographies will take longer to complete. Under some circumstances, this process can be sped up to accommodate an important event. If your deadline is tight, there may be an additional rush fee. It is best to begin the process as far in advance as possible in order to create the maximum value.

What steps are involved?

The steps involved are explained in some detail on Our Process page. All Video Biography projects begin with a free, initial consultation so we can discuss the broad parameters of your intended project. If you have any further questions, you can contact us and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

What will you need from me?

After our initial consultation, you will receive a video biography interview question booklet, which can be reviewed by the person(s) being interviewed to outline the important life milestones and evoke the memories and stories of your life. We encourage you to jot down notes so that all of the important elements are covered during the interview(s). This is also the stage of the project to identify and gather together as much of your archival materials as possible before we begin the process. This can include, but is not limited to, family photos, slides and movies, music, journals or scrapbooks and mementos and heirlooms. Do not limit your thinking…anything that is important to you, your family and the story can be incorporated into the Biography as long as it can be scanned, photographed or videotaped. You can also create a brief family history as well as letting your family know that you are making a Video Biography. We suggest contacting the people that you will be having us interview and let them know the part that they will be playing in your Video Biography.

Where do we conduct the interviews?

Most interviews are conducted in a quiet room in the subject's home. You may choose to fly relatives in from out of town. The best-case scenario is always to conduct the interview where the subject can be relaxed, at ease and as comfortable as possible.

Will you travel to videotape an interview or to do research?

We are open to traveling in order to accommodate a family member that can not do so. This can be covered in the Initial Meeting so that we are aware of what will be involved in creating your Video Biography.

What questions will you ask?

The initial questions, as well as the detailed follow up questions, will vary depending on the type of Video Biography that you select. We will ask about your parents, grandparents and family that preceded you and then create a trail through your life up to this point. From your childhood memories and friends, through all levels of your schooling and relationships there, any romantic relationships and children, travel and work experiences and including life's challenges, significant historical moments as well as your beliefs and morals. We will paint as complete a biographical picture of you as time allows. We like to search for the compelling moments in your life, the events and experiences that have shaped and defined you.

What do you do for the camera shy?

Even the most reserved of speakers warms up when asked the right questions in a safe, comfortable environment. Our intention is to have our interviews be more like a conversation with an old friend. Then, before you know it, the camera has all but disappeared and most people find that the memories and stories come to mind almost as quickly as they can say them. In addition, we strive to have our equipment be as unobtrusive as possible, so that even the most camera shy people will focus more on the story that they are relating rather than the equipment filming them.

Can you use our old family slides and 8mm movies?

Absolutely we can! Actually, we insist on it. Treasured family photos, slides and films are often times the unsung stars of the Video Biography.

How do I choose which photos and home movies I would like to have included?

There is no need for you to choose. Simply gather the archival resources that you have and we will determine what will work in your Video Biography based on what applies. There will be a certain amount of personal identification that you will need to give us on all archival materials that you provide. This might include posting sticky notes on pictures to identify people, viewing a particular video or movie while we take notes or providing notes with any film. We will return all archival materials with the finished version of your Video Biography.

Audio Transfer FAQs


Why transfer your treasured audio recordings to CD?

You want your audio collection to last for years to come but most of yesterday’s recording formats have a tendency to "break down" from multiple playings, neglect, or just the passage of time. When this happens the "noise", such as hisses, pops and cracks, can compete with the music or voice and listening to the recording is no longer enjoyable. That’s when sound restoration plays an important role. By removing as much noise as possible, without taking away from the recording, your enjoyment is restored as well.

Another advantage is the technology of the CD itself. Designed to last, CDs will continue to play with the same degree of quality for years and years and won’t break down like other formats. This means your collection will not only be restored, but preserved for generations to come.

What is your process for audio transfers?

Bring or send your original recordings to us on any of the following formats: LP/45 vinyl records, audio cassette tape, micro-cassette tape. Note: we do not support 78 rpm vinyl records, reel-to-reel, 8-track or DAT formats at this time.

Tell us the type of transfer service you desire (such as basic/straight transfer, standard transfer with individual tracks or enhanced transfer with restoration/filtering). We will carefully clean your recordings and then record them onto the computer hard drive.

Enhanced transfers are taken through the restoration process which includes filtering and manually editing to ensure the best possible noise reduction. Some noise may be left on the final transfer because it is not always possible to remove noises without affecting the music or voices that you want to keep. The degree of restoration naturally depends on the quality of the original recording.

Once the transfer and optional restoration process is complete, the recording is then transferred to CD which can be labeled to your specifications.

Each order takes approximately five to ten business days (depending on the size of the order).

Can you remove every single click and pop?

No, we can usually eliminate a high percentage of surface noise (i.e. clicks and pops), but there are limitations depending on how severe the damage is to the original source LP. Even an LP with no apparent damage will still contain thousands of impulse noise signals (i.e. small clicks and pops), it's just the nature of the beast. We do apply custom settings for each recording we transfer to achieve the highest quality results with the absolute least amount of loss to the original source material. The truth is, mildly to moderately damaged LP's that are restored will have a better chance of good quality results than severely damaged LP's.

Can you remove skips that make the needle repeat in one spot or jump up or back?

Chances are that if it skips or jumps on your turntable it will skip or jump on ours, we can apply some gentle persuasion to move a stuck needle along but there will be some lost audio. If the skipping is a result of a warped LP, we can try a limited number of different turntable/tonearm combinations but we cannot guarantee we can make it work.

What if my LP is cracked or missing a piece?

Sorry, at this price point we cannot do restoration of cracked LP's or those with missing pieces or LP's that are severely warped.

How long will this process take?

On average about 5 to 10 business days from the day we receive your LP's and/or audio tapes. We cannot guarantee a specific time frame as there are many variables to consider.

What about creating separate tracks when transferring "live" albums?

For our software to recognize the beginning and end of a track it requires a minimum pause of usually 1 to 2 seconds without any recorded signal, i.e. music or vocals. If there are signals such as crowd noises, applause, etc. we have to manually separate tracks. This is a labor intensive task, so there is an additional charge to separate tracks on any "live" albums. This additional charge only applies to a standard transfer where separate tracks are requested. If you don't want separated tracks, save money and order a basic transfer to receive a CD with one continuous track the length of two sides of one LP combined.

How is the cost of transfers arrived at?

The short answer is, that in order to transfer any LP or tape it has to be done in "real time". Meaning, if an album or tape takes 55 minutes to play, it will take 55 minutes to record. Add to that any additional time to process it for noise removal and finally to burn it to CD. This makes for a very "time intensive" or "computer labor intensive" process.

Scanning and Photo Services FAQs


Why shouldn't I just buy a scanner and scan my photos to CD or DVD myself?

You certainly could, and if you only have a couple of photos you want scanned and optimal quality isn't that important for those photos, it may make sense to just do it yourself. Otherwise there are 3 good reasons to hire dac Video Productions to do it for you; Quality, Time, and Convenience.

Quality: Our technicians will quality review each image and correct scanning, exposure, and color imperfections on an individual photo by photo basis. We've spent considerable money, time and effort to develop the best technologies and techniques for scanning photos at optimal quality so you can be sure your images will be the best they can possibly be.

Time: Don't underestimate how much time and effort are involved in scanning a lot of photos. Consumer grade scanners that sell for a few hundred dollars aren't designed for high speed photo scanning so expect to spend considerable time scanning and tweaking each print to get it right. 100 prints would take you 300 minutes to scan if you could scan them at the very quick pace of only 3 minutes each. That's 5 hours! But wait, you still might need to crop, rotate, convert, organize, burn a CD, print the thumbnails so you can find what's what and make a label. By the time you do all of that, you've spent nearly a whole day on just 100 photos. For scanning slides and film the process is even more involved and cumbersome and the right equipment is costly and much more difficult to learn and use.

Convenience: Besides the convenience of having all of your photos scanned for you, we'll create and professionally label all of your disks and we can optionally provide a thumbnail book that indexes those images and discs…making it easy to find just the image you're looking for every time.

What format will my scanned pictures be in?

We scan to the JPEG file format. We can also scan to the lossless TIFF files if you prefer, but your file sizes will be considerably larger and much slower to work with and display. The rule of thumb is this: if you plan to edit your images then get TIFF, if you just plan to view and print them then get JPEG.

At what resolution will my pictures be scanned?

Prints: We scan standard prints at 300 or 600dpi (dots per inch). That means that from a 4x6 print at 300dpi you'll get an image that is 1200 x 1800 pixels or 2400 x 3600 for 600dpi. From our tests, 300 dpi provided the best balance between quality and size using standard photographs for viewing and printing purposes. If you plan to do significant cropping on the images, you may want to consider 600 dpi or higher. We can scan at optical resolutions up to 2400 dpi so if you have special requirements, we can accommodate them. Please indicate when you order that you would like a higher resolution.

Slides and Film: Negatives and Slides are scanned at 2000 dpi by default and up to 3000 dpi or 4000 dpi if requested.

How many photos or slides can you transfer to a CD?

A CD can hold 700MB and a DVD can hold 4700 MB (4.7 GB). The number of photo images will depend on several factors (photo size, digital image format [JPG, TIFF, etc.] and resolution [300 dpi, 600 dpi, etc.]), but in general terms, a CD can hold several hundreds of photo images and a DVD can hold up to several thousand images.

A slide at 2000 dpi in JPEG at 100% quality format is about 3MB in size. You can fit between 2 - 3 hundred slides on a CD. A slide at 4000 dpi will be 4 times larger and only 50 - 75 will fit on one CD. If you want your images in uncompressed TIFF format then each file size will be over 16MB at 2000 dpi or 64MB at 4000 dpi.

Do you rotate and crop the images?

We will manually rotate images to the correct orientation for no additional charge. We also will crop your images to remove any border left by the scanning equipment.

How long will it take for you to scan my photos?

Turn-around time is a function of the number and type of photos, slides, negatives, etc. you wish to have scanned and the level of resolution you desire. Standard film and prints, scanned at standard resolutions, will generally take 15-20 business days to complete. Higher resolutions, Non-Standard Film and additional services will increase the turnaround time. Please call for additional details. We offer a rush service if you need them in a hurry; just contact us to discuss expediting your order.

What is a DVD?

A DVD is an optical disk that can store data. It's just like a CD but with more storage capacity. DVD's have become a staple of the movie industry but they aren't just for movies. When CDs first arrived on the market, they were synonymous with music but quickly migrated to computers and data storage. DVDs are currently experiencing the same migration that CDs went through 10 years ago.

When we refer to storing your images on a DVD, we're talking about just storing the JPEG or TIFF files on the disc. We can also make a Digital Slide Show Movie DVD using your images and your music, but that involves more work and additional charges.

What is a Digital Slide Show Movie DVD?

Now that you’ve digitized your photos or slides, let dac Video Productions turn them into a movie you can see and hear on your television, home theater or personal computer. Enjoy the images with your family and friends!

We’ll present the images (up to 250) in the same sequence you gave them to us, from beginning to end. Our editors will insert smooth transitions between the images so that they gently fade from one picture to the next. We’ll also provide appropriate background music from our dac Video Productions’ music library. We can even insert a simple title at the beginning of the Slide Show if you’d like. The combination of the music and the transitioning photos creates a beautiful effect that has the feel of a real movie. It's much more dramatic than a slide show using just the JPEG files.

Your completed Digital Slide Show Movie DVD will contain a themed, color-printed disc label housed in a slim-line protective case.

If you desire a more customized production for your family and friends to enjoy (or to celebrate a special occasion), please see our Photo Montage DVD packages.

If I have my images scanned and order them on a DVD will I be able to play them on my DVD player?

The answer to this depends on several things but mostly it depends on whether or not you ordered a DVD Movie or just ordered scanning. A Digital Slide Show Movie DVD is an actual movie with music, video effects and transitions between the images. If you didn't order a Slide Show Movie DVD, you may still be able to watch the images on your TV using a JPEG compatible DVD player. Most DVD players that are currently shipping will include this feature but not all players are the same. These players will allow you to insert a CD or DVD and they will cycle through the images one by one much like your computer can do a slide show screen saver.

My DVD player says its JPEG compatible. Will it work with the CDs and DVDs you send me?

Most likely, but not always. Unfortunately, not all DVD players are the same and there are no standards. Every manufacturer has chosen a different way to implement their JPEG compatibility features. While all of them can read a JPEG file, some have implemented the feature with limitations. Some can't display large files or will only recognize a limited number of images per folder or disc.

 

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