Monday, March 17, 2008

PRO8mm Now Offers 3 Distinct Scanning Systems

Pro8mm Offers 3 Distinctly Different Scanning Systems
* Millennium 2 (HD)
* Y-Front

Beginning in March 2008 Pro8mm will begin offering 3 distinctly different Scan Systems. This will allow customers to choose between maximizing the Quality or the Economy of their transfers of 8 and 16mm film. Clients can custom build their transfers from the base price of each of our three systems by choosing which scanning system is best for them, Rank, Y-Front, or Millennium II HD. Then they can select options such as one light vs. full scene to scene color correction, scheduled vs. unscheduled, and from a variety of mastering formats, including hard drive. Each of these elements determine the per hour price. Additionally, options such as simul master, sync interlock, time code, a frame, and power windows are also part of the menu of choices.

For Maximum value, quality and efficiency, our extremely popular “ALL INCLUSIVE DISCOUNT PACKAGES” bundle together film, processing, prep and clean and transfer at one discounted price. These packages will be offered on The Y-Front and MM II. Purchased this way, scans on our new MM II scanner start at just $82 more for a 4 roll package than from under the old pricing ($278 for SD vs. $360 for HD) an unbelievable value for the quality and technology!

Our three scanning systems represent the progress in scanning technology over the past 30 years. Pro8mm has always been committed to offering state-of-the art products and services for our clients. Each scanning system we offer shows our alignment to the progression of scanning technology. Maintaining these older systems allows us to offer the widest selection of choices amongst all small format scanning companies so that we can accommodate the greatest number of client needs and budgets.

Rank Scan: This system uses a Digital Rank and daVinci Color Correction (4:2:2: Work Platform). This was our main system just 2 years ago and produces great images from Regular 8mm and Super8 mm reversal Film. The discounted base rate for unscheduled and unsupervised transfers will be $150.00 per hour.

Y-Front Scan: This system uses an Ursa Diamond with Y-Front technology and daVinci Color Correction (4:4:4 Work Platform). The Y-Front’s dirt and scratch concealment will improve the look of any film, especially modern negative film stocks that have expanded latitude. The Diamond has expanded gamma color space that is critical for achieving an optimum result with negative film. All present Pro8mm/Pro16mm Packages are done on this system. Base rate $255.00 an hour.

MILLIENNIUM II Scan: Using our Brand New Millennium 2 Scanner and daVinci 2K color corrector (1920 x 1080 HD Work Platform), this new system produces the most premium scan possible. It includes Y-Front technology for dirt and scratch concealment. By working in HD we can more precisely manipulate the information in the scan process even for SD transfer. Base rate $450.00 an hour

*All Systems can handle all film types:
All Systems offer Unscheduled Discounts and the option of doing scene to scene or one light.
Call one of our project coordinators for your custom quote.

PRO8mm NOw Offers 3 Distinct Scanning Systems.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Pro8mm Announces Their Purchase of a MMII HD SCANNER

After years of research and negotiations with several vendors, Pro8mm has just taken delivery on a High Definition Film Scanner. The brand new MILLENNIUM II was manufactured by Cintel International Ltd, in England, and arrived at Pro8mm in Burbank on December 22, 2007. We will be spending the next few weeks waiting for the custom gates to arrive, training the colorists, and doing a variety of tests so that we can optimize our end results. The MMII will scan Super 8, Regular 8, MAX 8, 16mm and Super 16mm. The first jobs are anticipated to be scheduled sometime in March, with several eager clients already in the wings working on notable commercial jobs.
One of the reasons we chose the MMII was that Cintel International was willing to build a custom MAX 8 gate for us. Since introducing the MAX 8 format in 2004, we have seen a tremendous growth in the number of clients who are shooting it to be HD READY. MAX 8 is the perfect Super 8 format for High Definition because it is widescreen. The format was designed to create 16 x 9 images from 8mm film. We will soon be introducing more models of MAX 8 cameras along with inexpensive gate only modifications. This will make shooting in 16 x 9 super8 more affordable to more people.

Another reason we chose the MMII is that a custom Regular 8 gate could be ordered. This option was not available from other HD vendors. Since such a significant amount of important historical and archival 8mm material is Regular 8 (from 1932 to late 1960's) we felt it was critical to have the capability to scan this material to High Definition. The MMII machine has a unique servo system which can be adjusted for individual film reels. This will allow us to scan film that has shrank, been damaged or is in general poor condition.

The MMII uses a tube referred to as CRT (high white) which produces a Classic Film look. Filmmakers who are searching for an aesthetic twist in Super 16mm commercial production will find that edge by scanning on the MMII as opposed to the CCD technology widely used by a majority of post houses.

In addition to the MMII, we have purchased a daVinci 2K color corrector. We can color correct in HD even if you want to have a standard definition output. A variety of outputs will be offered, including HD Cam (NTSC and PAL), various HD formats transferred to hard drive, and dual sync transfers to both standard definition and high definition simultaneously.

The Emmy Award winning 2K is a real-time, multi-standard, multi-resolution image processor, used by top video post production facilities worldwide. It can color enhance in standard definition, HDTV, and data up to 4000 x 4000 (data images greater than 2k are processed providing the colorist with real-time interactivity). Designed for the television and motion picture industries, and is perfect for film-to-tape, tape-to-tape and disk-to-disk.

Our investment in the preservation of shooting on small format film, and the crucial archiving of historical material will set the standard once again in keeping film viable in the HD digital domain. We continue to strive to create a hybrid of products and services in super 8 and 16mm, as we did with the introduction of Super 8 negative film in 1992. Our goal is to set a new standard for shooting super 8 in widescreen and scanning to high definition in order to move the technology forward, as we have for the past 35 years.

Everyone is welcome join us here in Burbank for our big MMII debut party this spring. Details coming soon!

Why and What Is Max 8...The Super 8 Widescreen Format


by Philip Vigeant, President of Pro8mm (written ’06)

My first serious project in wide-screen super8 was with cinematographer Jan De Bont in 1989. He came into the shop and wanted to explore his options for a new feature film he was to be the DP on called Flatliner (1990). The director, Joel Schumacher, wanted to explore a different aesthetic for a flash back/ dream sequence where the characters in the movie would momentarily kill themselves. During their suspended state, different images were to be used to show the thought process of the character. In addition, the procedure was to be video taped and the point of view of the video camera, also be shown.
The technical challenge was that the only way at that time to get Super8 to 35mm was to use an optical printer. If the film was shot at a conventional Super8 aspect 1.33, it would have to be squeezed during the optical print process to create the 35mm anamorphic negative. At that time, no one had a squeeze lens for an optical super8 printer. The solution was to squeeze the original super8 footage using an anamorphic lens. This would give an anamorphic super8 original that could then be blown up 1 to 1 in the conventional Super8 to a 35mm optical process. I had a friend, Galen Burke, of In-House Pictures that did some amateur experimenting with some lenses that were originally produced for the airplane industry to show Super8 reduction prints of theatrical movies. Anamorphic lenses can be used in both applications for showing and for taking images. The anamorphic lens was fitted on a bracket to hold it in the correct position and rotation on a super8 camera - the Beaulieu 5008. The resulting images were a 2.35 aspect ratio, and used as both the video cameras point of view and in some of the suspended state sequences in the final film.
Although this does work and it was successful for the film Flatliner (1990) and many other super8 sequences in major movies, it is a very difficult way to work. Some of the many technical problems shooting this way include the fact that using this type of anamorphic lens changes the way focus is achieved. You can no longer zoom in and focus and then pull back and keep focus. Focus in this arrangement changes with the zoom position. So every time you change focal length, you need to change focus. You can set the lenses to what is called hyper focus. This is the maximum depth of field position, but this is limited particularly in shots that are close. Then there are the problems of holding the lens so that the rotation is not disturbed when you focus and the fact that you must keep the focus of both lenses; the anamorphic and the back element in focus. Over the years we have created different brackets to hold the lenses, and made a prime lens version so that we could avoid all the problems with focus.

You also see the image in the viewfinder in anamorphic or squeezed. This is very disorientating for the filmmaker, because you have to imagine how this will look when it all looks so tall and squeezed. in the viewfinder. Only when you see the footage unsqueezed do you see how fantastic wide-screen super8 can look!!! When working on the film The Point Of No Return (1993), I got a panic call from the staff. They were going to cancel the super8 footage in the opening because they just could not tell if it actually worked. I had to bring a projector down to their office, and using the anamorphic lens as the projection lens, we screened the footage unsqueezed to let them see what it was they had achieved. They got very excited once again about the look, and it’s in the final film, making up a good proportion of the opening sequence.
To solve some of these problem we decided to start from scratch and invent a more user friendly way of working in Super8 Wide Screen. We call it Max8. Max8 as a way to achieve wide-screen by solving a lot of the problems of working with an anamorphic lens. First, because it is an expansion of the gate aperture, the lens focuses like a normal lens. You don't have to deal with all the focus issues of the anamorphic lens. There are no brackets or rotation problems, so these issues are eliminated. The lens does have to be in the center in the new Max8 frame, and you have to concern yourself with the potential of vignetting. The limits of these optics are being pushed to their max, and are just capable of filling the Max8 frame. We use the 8-64mm Angenieux lens, which if there are no filters, will not vignette in Max 8. So Max8 solves these focus problems. The other major issue of seeing how this will look when you are working is achieved through marking in the viewfinder lines that clearly frame out a 16x9 frame. We did our first modification of this kind for John Toll, ASC, during the filming of the flashbacks in the movie Simpatico (1999). This is a great model for seeing the correct framing when using super8 in a wide screen application.
Now you can see what you’re aiming for in the camera. without guess work. When we combine this viewfinder modification with the wider aspect ratio of Max 8 (1.58), it becomes very easy to see and achieve an accurate framing. Last but not least, because the negative is actually expanded, not just squeezed, you pick up more resolution. If you do the math between Max8 and Super8 cropped to achieve 16x9, it’s a 20 % increase in the negative size. Max8 is also a less expensive alternative than a typical anamorphic set up. We charge just under $2000.00 for the 2.35 anamorphic Kiowa Lens with using a 4 x 4 matte box as the bracket. The Max8 modification to a Classic 8 Camera or Beaulieu 4008ZM4 is $750.00. To the Beaulieu ZM, ZM II or ZM3 its $1000.00 because the internal filter in the camera must be removed and the body recollimated so the lens will be in correct collimation. We do this to the body so that the resulting camera is now in standard with all C-Mount lens technology. It's also a good idea to remove the internal filter in these cameras because it increases resolution, and you never have to worry any more about the internal getting dirty, becoming mis-aligned and messing up some footage.
The only obstacle we have found so far to Max8 is that because you are pushing the image to the Super8 limits, there is no margin for error. Because we never look at this area of a piece of Super8 film, and it’s blocked on many devices, you typically don't experience any of these issues. Film can have dirt, scratches or edge fog in this area. You would never see these problems in Super 8, but in Max8 it is now part of your picture. The lens center and alignment in the camera and telecine is critical if you want the full Max8 effect. You have to work without a filter or even a lens shade attached to the lens. You also have to customize the telecine process if you want the full Max8 resolution, and you have to pay particular attention to the alignment of the optics in it. The saving grace is that because everything is being done digitally these days, it is very easy to zoom in and fix if there is a problem, or even use the film in a conventional telecine. You would just loose some of the resolution and frame of the full Max8. Is has now been nearly two years since we introducing the Max8 system. It was used extensively in the new feature film called "Factory Girl" (2006) a 35mm major motion picture being released in theatres this December. Schools are starting to modify their Classic Professional Cameras for Max 8 and are purchasing cameras to enhance their curriculums. I can not see a reason why we would ever go back to using an anamorphic lens. I could tell just by the dailies in Factory Girl that the new easy way to achieve super 8 wide-screen has made using it in production so comfortable that it will continue to be used with more and more frequency.

List of Pro16mm Film Stocks

List of Available Super 16mm Film Stocks ...$45 for stock and processing.
All Pro16mm film are 100 foot daylight loads. Call us at 818-848-5522 to inquire about our all inclusive discounted pacakes of film, processing, prep and clean and scanning on one of our 3 scanning systems, Rank, Y Front or MMII HD!

– ASA 64 Daylight Negative:
Latitude 5 -stops of saturated grain and color. Super F-64D repackaged to include Pro8mm award winning processing.

Pro16/53 – ASA 250 Tungsten Negative Film:
Latitude 7-stops of fine grain and saturated colors for full chrominance. Eterna 53 stock repackaged to include Pro8mm award winning processing.

Pro16/63 – ASA 250 Daylight Negative Film:
Latitude 7-stops of fine grain and saturated colors for full chrominance. Eterna 63 stock repackaged to include Pro8mm award winning processing.

Pro16/73 ASA 500 Tungsten Negative:
Latitude 7-stops of fine grain. Can easily achieve saturated colors while maintaining the subtle contrasts of skin tone. Eterna 73 stock repackaged to include Pro8mm award winning processing.

Pro16/92 ASA 500 Daylight Negative Film:
Latitude 5-stops of moderate grain. Very forgiving to mixed lighting situations. It is the perfect film for behind the scenes with uncontrolled light. Fuji Reala stock repackaged to include Pro8mm award winning processing.

Super16/65 – ASA 100 B&W Reversal Film:
Latitude 3-stops of fine grain structure. Repackaged from Plus-X reversal film to include Pro8mm award winning processing.

Super16/66 – ASA 200 B&W Reversal Film:
Latitude 3-stops of moderate grain structure. Repackaged from Tri-X reversal film to include Pro8mm award winning processing.

Pro16/Fuji 16mm Stocks are also available in 400’ spools. Other stocks can be ordered upon request based on availability. Additional lab services available, including cross processing, push, pull, and skip bleach. Our DVD demo has sample shots sample of many of the new stocks.

List of Pro8mm Film Stocks


All film is $30 a roll inclusive of processing unless noted. For all inclusive discounted packages call 818-848-5522

NEW VISION 3 – Pro8/19 ASA 500 Tungsten Negative
Latitude: 9 – stops of Fine detail in both image and color for very natural reproduction. Excellent choice for low-light filming. Reformatted for the new Vision3 5219. ($35 stock & processing)

Pro8/43 - ASA 160 Tungsten Negative: VIVID 160
Latitude 7-stops of extreme fine grain and much more saturated colors for full chrominance. Fuji recommends as the best replacement for Velvia, the highest contrast in color Negative, *Enhanced Telecine Characteristics. Reformatted from Eterna 43 160 T.

Super8/65 - ASA 100 B&W Reversal Film:
Latitude 3-stops of fine grain structure. Repackaged from Plus-X reversal film to include Pro8mm award winning processing.

Super8/66 – ASA 200 B&W Reversal Film:
Latitude 3-stops of moderate grain structure. Repackaged from Tri-X reversal film to include Pro8mm award winning processing.

Pro8/01 - ASA 50 Daylight Negative:
Latitude 7-stops of extreme fine grain. Sharpest super 8 film available. Shows fine detail in both image and color for very natural reproduction. Great for shooting when there is an abundance of daylight. Reformatted from Vision2 5201.

Pro8/22 - ASA 64 Daylight Negative:
Latitude 5-stops of fine grain. The last of the Super F series of film. Reformatted from Fuji Super F 64-D. (Best substitute for older EXR Pro8/45 or Super F series film)

Super8/80 - ASA 64 Tungsten Reversal E-6:
Latitude 3-stops of fine grain repackaged to include Pro8mm award winning processing. Muted colors more like the old VNF Ektachrome film. This stock needs an 85 B (not 85 A) to convert daylight.

Pro8/12 - ASA 100 Tungsten Negative:
Latitude 7-stops of extreme fine grain. Sharpest super 8 film available shows fine detail in both image and color for very natural reproduction. This is great for shooting with fine detail when there is an abundance of light. Reformatted from Vision2 5212. Special discounts on large orders (Over 100 Rolls) of this stock inquire.

Pro8/17 - ASA 200 Tungsten Negative:
Latitude 7-stops of fine grain. Very sharp super 8 film shows fine grain very natural reproduction. Reformatted from Vision2, 5217.

Pro8/63 - ASA 250 Daylight Negative:
Latitude 7-stops of fine grain. Very sharp super8 film with fine grain detail. Good choice for shooting outdoors with some shadows, such as in a woods. Reformatted from Eterna 63 250 D. *Enhanced Telecine Characteristics.

Pro8/53 - ASA 250 Tungsten Negative:
Latitude 7-stops of fine grain and saturated colors for full chrominance. Reformatted from Eterna 53 250 T Stock. *Enhanced Telecine Characteristics. All New Fuji film (Eterna) have Enhanced Telecine Characteristics which is a lighter orange mask that improves blue performance making the blue less noisy.

Pro8/05 - ASA 250 Daylight Negative:
Latitude 7-stops of fine grain. Extremely sharp super 8 film. Fine detail in both image and color for very natural reproduction. Good choice for shooting outdoors with some shadows, such as in a city or in the woods. Reformatted from Vision2 5205.

Pro8/18 - ASA 500 Tungsten Negative:
Latitude 7-stops of fine grain. Fine detail in both image and color for very natural reproduction. Excellent choice for low-light filming. Reformatted from Vision2 5218.

Pro8/73 - ASA 500 Tungsten Negative:
Latitude 7-stops of fine grain. Can easily achieve saturated colors while maintaining the subtle contrasts of skin tone. Reformatted from Fuji Eterna 500T. *Enhanced Telecine
Characteristics. All New Fuji film (Eterna) have Enhanced Telecine Characteristics which is a lighter orange mask that improves blue performance making the blue less noisy.

Pro8/92 - ASA 500 Daylight Negative:
Latitude 5-stops of moderate grain, but is very forgiving to mixed lighting situations. It is the perfect film for behind the scenes with uncontrolled light. (Example weddings, try this film with concerts lighting its amazing. Reformatted from Fuji Reala 500D.



Includes one roll of Pro8mm film, processing, prep & clean, full scene to scene color corrected scanning to DVD. Best way to test your camera and our products!!!

Pro8mm Company History

Brief Company History of Pro8mm

Founded in 1971 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the company, which was originally called Super8 Sound ™, pioneered the belief that the Super 8mm film format had tremendous potential as a production medium. A small group of inventors and entrepreneurs designed a line of specialty sync-sound fullcoat (audio tape that has sprocket holes) and cassette recorders, editing benches and crystal sync modifications to Super8 Cameras and other production accessories. The idea was that you could replicate 35mm filmmaking using Super 8 equipment. This indeed made the Super 8mm film format and Super8 Sound ™ an integral part of hundreds of university film programs worldwide. Film programs could teach in double system filmmaking on cost efficient super 8. It became widely used by individuals with a desire to make an independent film.

In 1982, Super8 Sound employee and staff accountant Philip Vigeant had the opportunity to buy the company. In the years that followed, Vigeant bought out other small companies in the Boston area including a film lab and a camera repair shop adding their services to Super8 Sound's ™.

A film chain telecine which transferred film to videotape was added that year with the firm belief that the future of small format film lay in the ability to integrate it into the video arena. An in house publication called THE INDEPENDENT PRODUCER was launched which focused on the success of the independent film scene, focusing on people who were shooting on super 8. The magazine highlighted the stories of individuals making low-budget super 8 music videos and film for video distribution.

In 1987 Super8 Sound expanded to open a second office in Hollywood, California. This expansion was driven by the amount of clients the company had on the West Coast who were involved in producing M-TV style Music Videos for their bands. Among the first professional Music Videos to come through Super8 Sound was Paula Abdul’s Straight Up,
Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You , and
Madonna’s Erotica

In 1989, another expansion was implemented to a larger Burbank location, adding the tech room, on-site lab and film to tape transfer services. Now a complete turnkey, one-stop shop, the company redirected its focus to meet the demands of their growing list of studio and industry mainstream clients. The Boston office was eventually closed in 1995. The Rank Cintel telecine suites with daVinci color correction were added, permanently eliminating film chain consumer quality transfers.

One of the biggest innovations for the company came in 1993 with the development of the line of Pro8mm Negative Film. Prior to this, only reversal super 8 film stocks were available from the major film manufactures. The thinking was that a line of professional film stocks in the familiar easy to use 50-foot preloaded cartridges would offer a palette to filmmakers allowing for greater creative options for the cost efficient, highly portable super 8 format.

The company developed a manufacturing operation on-site to cut and reformat professional 35mm film stocks, loading it into super8 cartridges. All inclusive packages were offered so that film, processing and telecine could be prepaid, allowing for better targeting of the production budget. The industry, students and independents embraced this concept with huge enthusiasm. Today we have an expansive line of reformatted film stocks that range from 50-500 ASA and 3 different scanning systems that appeals to almost any one who has an interest in shooting a film on film!!

Over the next 10 years thousands of projects were shot on Pro8mm including dozens of episodes of VH-1 Behind the Music, hundreds of commercials, segways for prime time television shows, and scenes in theatrical releases.

The name of the company was changed to Pro8mm in 1998, which was more in line with the company’s mission statement and goals. Professional Super 8 and
Pro (in favor of) 8mm. The sound on film days and Mag fullcoat recorders were gone and the new direction of the company would be the integration of small format film into the digital world.

In 2003 we expanded the small format product line to include Pro16mm,
loading 16mm film onto 100’ daylight spools, rebuilding classic 16mm cameras and expanding our processing and telecine services.

Aligning ourselves with Prosumer and industry trends, 2005 brought the company into the widescreen era with the introduction of MAX 8, a 16 X 9 widescreen super 8 camera and scanning system. The development of modern aspect ratio products and scanning committed Pro8mm to be on board for the world of high definition and the future.

In late 2007 we began purchasing HD equipment and setting up an HD Scanning Suite. Our Millennium II HD Scanner and 2K daVinci Color corrector will give us the capability to move forward by both preserving archival material in HD or Blu Ray, and accommodating our production clients as all broadcast moves to digital by 2009.

Pro8mm is applauded for being a one-stop shop where cameras, film, processing, digital mastering, and treasured family archival home movies can all be handled by a dedicated staff with decades of experience. The company has enjoyed continuous growth for over 35 years in a niche market that in our opinion exists at all because of the dedicated hard work and entrepreneurial spirit to continuously move forward in alignment with the media industry.