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Author Topic: Recycling old Film
Alan Taplow
Junior
Posts: 29
From: Plainfield VT, USA
Registered: Feb 2015


 - posted January 02, 2017 01:05 PM      Profile for Alan Taplow   Author's Homepage   Email Alan Taplow   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I just inherited 4500 feet of 8mm on metal reels from a customer who didn't want the film returned after getting a DVD of it's contents.

Now, I can use the old metal reels but any ideas on a simple way to get the film off the reels and then is there any useful way to recycle or dispose of the film itself? There must be some way of doing something creative with the old film, but I just don't know what.

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Alan Taplow
ataplow@gmail.com

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Adam Deierling
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 717
From: OH
Registered: Nov 2010


 - posted January 02, 2017 02:18 PM      Profile for Adam Deierling   Email Adam Deierling   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I am sure you know this but your client may not... DVDs have a shelf life of about 10-15 years maybe longer if you have good disks. I know this because of past experience. Its a shame your client did not want to hold on to the original film as its archival quality will outlast the DVD if stored properly. But i guess thats a discussion for another thread lol.

If all you want is the reels maybe you can find some cheap plastic ones and sell the film on eBay. Or you can do what I did with some old leader and make christmas tree decorations... The creative possibilities are endless...

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Adrian Winchester
Film God

Posts: 2941
From: Croydon, London, UK
Registered: Aug 2004


 - posted January 02, 2017 09:29 PM      Profile for Adrian Winchester   Email Adrian Winchester   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As Adam has stated, it's a bit sad when people are so misguided when it comes to unique family footage. However, if the quality is reasonably good and the content has any merit, you could consider putting them on eBay. People do buy home movie footage - I know one or two of them! You probably won't make a fortune but at least the films won't be destroyed.

Alternatively, at least in some places there are archives eager to accept such footage if it has any historical value.

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Adrian Winchester

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Jason Smith
Master Film Handler

Posts: 358
From: Tohoku, Japan
Registered: Oct 2015


 - posted January 02, 2017 11:01 PM      Profile for Jason Smith     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You could use the extra film as tails to help protect your films.Donating it to an archive(with the owners permission), would be even better.

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Tom Spielman
Master Film Handler

Posts: 339
From: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Registered: Apr 2016


 - posted January 03, 2017 12:04 AM      Profile for Tom Spielman   Email Tom Spielman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes, I think that ethically at least the client's permission should be obtained before selling or donating their family films.

Would be nice to know if there's a way that the base materials in film can be re-used in some way. Eventually for many films, the picture degrades beyond the point where most people would enjoy watching it. And in the case of home movies where the contents have been transferred, the owner's may not feel a need to save the film anymore.

We can argue about the archival challenges with digital copies, but as I've said before, if people care enough, those challenges can be managed.

There are 3 reasons I think people transfer film to digital:

1. Convenience of viewing and sharing

2. Fear that the film may degrade and the memories will be lost (fears often stoked by transfer services).

3. Not wanting to store the films anymore.

My wife is one who wouldn't keep the originals unless someone told her she should. She is pretty ruthless about getting things out of the house that aren't needed or being frequently used.

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Maurice Leakey
Film God

Posts: 5895
From: Bristol. United Kingdom
Registered: Oct 2007


 - posted January 03, 2017 02:42 AM      Profile for Maurice Leakey   Email Maurice Leakey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Alan
I suggest you remind the owner that DVDs, however well made, may not last forever, and ask if the films should be returned. If the answer is a definite "no" and you don't want the films, but want to keep the (22?) spools you should take the removed films to a local recycling centre.
As mentioned above, there are those on eBay who will buy old amateur films, but, of course, they will need to be sold on their spools.
If you wish to take the films off of their spools, please say, and I will offer my further comments. If this is the case, have you got a 16mm rewinder?

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Maurice

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Tom Spielman
Master Film Handler

Posts: 339
From: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Registered: Apr 2016


 - posted January 03, 2017 12:10 PM      Profile for Tom Spielman   Email Tom Spielman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
After a little digging I discovered that there are places willing to take B&W and undeveloped film to recover the silver, - and pay you back a small amount. Doesn't apply to color film that's been developed though.

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Joseph Gerard
unregistered
Posts: 339
From: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Registered: Apr 2016


 - posted January 03, 2017 02:13 PM            Edit/Delete Post 
You might find a local history film archive that would be willing to have them, or indeed a footage library depending on the content. Alternatively, if you are in destructive mood you could use the used film as leader for your other films.

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Graham Ritchie
Film God

Posts: 4001
From: New Zealand
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted January 03, 2017 02:56 PM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have of late been approached by people offering to donate home movies to the Heritage Park photographic part that I am now part of.

In every case I have convinced those people not to give there films away after transfer, even though they may no longer have a projector. Most folk have not given things a lot of thought, as to why they need to keep those films in a safe place at home, but once you have had a chat with them, they soon quickly understand the why, and usually say thanks for giving them that advice.

I cant think of anything worse than the "arty farty" crowd on e-bay getting a hold of folks personal films and messing around with them. [Frown]

At present I have a mountain of films, that over the years has been given to the Park I am trying to sort out for them. If there has been some historical footage captured then its worth removing that bit, but the family stuff no, that will be boxed and stored away at the park, unless I can track down the owners, but so far my attempts have been sadly unsuccessful. [Frown]

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Tom Spielman
Master Film Handler

Posts: 339
From: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Registered: Apr 2016


 - posted January 03, 2017 04:49 PM      Profile for Tom Spielman   Email Tom Spielman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Though I don't think we're quite there yet with DVDs, the advice I'd really like to see these transfer services give is how to maintain the digital copies for future generations.

Some of them keep a copy of the digitized content in their own cloud services which is a start but frankly none of these companies are large or storage savvy enough that I'd feel comfortable leaving my memories with them.

What I've done with the DVDs I've made in in the last 10 or 15 years is make ISO images on a hard drive and that gets automatically backed up nightly to a cloud service that specializes in handling backups. It costs $50 a year for unlimited space. It's a nationally known company located near me that I'm familiar with, but it could be Google, Amazon, or Microsoft. All my documents, along with video and pictures go there.

So I have a local copy for quick access and an off-site backup in case my house burns down, my equipment fails, or gets stolen, etc.

The reason I say we're not there yet with DVDs is that the resolution doesn't capture all of what a Super 8 film has to offer. It might be sufficient for most people.

If all you do is tell people to keep the film, that's not enough. It's just as vulnerable to being destroyed in a fire as a DVD is. But if keeping the film is all they're going to do, I'd tell them to keep it at a friend or relatives house.

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Alan Taplow
Junior
Posts: 29
From: Plainfield VT, USA
Registered: Feb 2015


 - posted April 01, 2019 04:33 PM      Profile for Alan Taplow   Author's Homepage   Email Alan Taplow   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A couple of years ago I initiated this thread, and appreciate all the answers, though few really addressed my concern - most just told me to urge the customer to take back his film. Well, I ended up unreeling with an editor rewinder into a large box and tossing in the garbage which ends up in a landfill. It was messy.

Well again I find myself with another batch with the same customer request to dispose rather than return. This time I gave him a thumb drive with his movies as mp4 files, so I couldn't use the deterioration of DVDs as an argument. My plan is to just toss the few 50 foot 8mm reels and for the 400' reels - to make 7 inch cardboard disks to glue to an empty 50 ft reel. I'll rewind to that, remove one of the cardboard sides and lift out the rolled film (much less messy than unrolling loose) and toss it into the trash. Then hot melt the side back and do another 400' reel. Of course then, the empty metal reels and cases go on e-bay.

I can't be the only on with this issue. Before I get started when I have some time next week, any other thoughts of what others have successfully done are most welcome.

--------------------
Alan Taplow
ataplow@gmail.com

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Bill Phelps
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1482
From: USA
Registered: Jan 2009


 - posted April 01, 2019 06:45 PM      Profile for Bill Phelps     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sell the reels on eBay with the film left on it. There are tons of “home movies” for sale on eBay and they sell. [Smile]

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Lee Mannering
Film God

Posts: 3216
From: The Projection Box
Registered: Nov 2006


 - posted April 02, 2019 02:24 AM      Profile for Lee Mannering     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Tell all my customers to put the films in a tin then store in a dry place at the very least. Most do once I remind them what will they do after I have scanned the films to disc and the dog chews up that or something else damages them? [Eek!]

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Bill Brandenstein
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1632
From: California
Registered: Aug 2007


 - posted April 02, 2019 01:45 PM      Profile for Bill Brandenstein   Email Bill Brandenstein   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Alan, so sad that people are so short sighted. A digital file of the highest quality is still second-generation and not a true replacement for the originals. And maybe someone later in the family tree will discover the romance of threading up a projector to watch film, only to find these gone forever.

That said, I'd go the eBay route as an alternative to destroying never-to-be-made-again film.

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