1920s Film Rescued and Restored to HD Digital Files

Transfer 16mm to HD mp4

16mm Film from the 1920s Preserved and Converted to HD mp4


Redwood Film Transfer recently enhanced and converted 100 year old 16mm film to HD mp4 Files. These 1920s film reels were extremely special to the family and needed to be treated with care. Thankfully, Redwood Film Transfer has worked with film like this many times before, so we know how to properly repair and process the film to give you the highest quality result!

Our Entire Film Conversion Process: 


HD Film Scan to Digital


1) Sort / Clean / Repair
Redwood Film Transfer arranges and labels your reels either in the order instructed or by date. We then clean the film with an anti-static solvent to wipe away bacteria, mold, dust, and any other particles. We also restore broken splices and add new leader if necessary. This process not only revives the appearance of the film, but also allows the film to run as smoothly through our scanners as possible.

2) HD RetroScan

Redwood Film Transfer uses HD RetroScan Universal Film Scanners for every Film Conversion. These Film Scanners are capable of scanning 8mm, Super 8mm, and 16mm films frame-by-frame in high definition 1920x1080p and have a 2K (almost 3K!) camera sensor! The wide gate on the scanners allows us to access the entirety of each frame, which means none of the picture will get cut off. These scanners also have a bright cool-toned LED light source so we can get vivid and brilliant colors with no risk of the film burning!

3) Edit and Enhance
Once scanning is completed, we create HD Files for each reel – keeping the exact frame rate of the original film. Usually, 8mm film is 16fps and Super 8 film is 18fps. Nevertheless, we always double check by carefully watching the motion of each reel. Our scanning software has the ability to match any frame rate from 8fps to 30fps! After we verify the frame rate, we import the files into Adobe Premiere Pro. We digitally attach the reels in the correct order and take out any unwanted footage (blank reels, etc.). If a customer purchases our Enhanced Film Transfer Service, we go the extra mile and balance the color of the films scene-by-scene. Throughout this process we improve brightness / contrast, shadow detail, and saturation as well. Finally, if the film has sound we scan it separately and sync it up during editing. We also apply level optimization and noise reduction to further enhance the sound quality!
Redwood Film Transfer has recently introduced a new restoration service in which we sharpen the image and decrease the grain in your films even more! This is done during the final stage of editing and is carried out in multiple passes to make sure the film will look the most optimal it can.


16mm Film Frame


4) Encoding / Output
After the restoration, scanning, and editing are all completed we are ready to export the HD mp4 Files. We output them in High Definition (1920 x 1080p, 50 mb/s) and place them onto a flash drive or hard drive. Each file is labeled by customer name and reel numbers so your films are completely organized! The HD files can be played on almost any device including MAC, PC, and Smart TVs.


The Redwood Film Transfer customers were so thrilled with the results of their hundred year old Film Transfer that they decided to bring in more of their 16mm reels to be converted to digital!

Check out some of the highlights from the project below:



Do you have Film Reels you would like to Convert to Digital?


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