Retro-8 for the Academy Film Archives!

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MovieStuff
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Retro-8 for the Academy Film Archives!

Post by MovieStuff » Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:41 am

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About three years ago, the Academy asked me to design an HD/SD unit with a specific set of operating principles. It had to be continuous feed, handle most existing splices easily, have no sprockets, no claw and no image area contact, which meant no capstan or pinch roller! It had to output both SD and HD and had to work with off the shelf PCs like a laptop or standard desk top with nothing more than a USB connection. And, of course, it had to be super simple to use with practically no maintenance. This was a pretty long list of requirements and the Retro-8 was the end result, built expressly for the Academy of Motion Picture Film Archives in Hollywood. Last week I finally traveled to L.A. to install a Retro-8 scanner for the Academy. They've worked it for the better part of a week and here is what the Academy had to say:

"For years we’ve used Moviestuff film scanners to make high quality standard definition transfers of our small gauge film materials. Now that we want to create HD files of our films, we are excited to employ the new Retro-8 HD scanner. This new unit is especially impressive for its for compact size, elegant design and simplicity of use. More importantly to those of us in the archival field, it produces excellent image quality, and carefully handles our precious and fragile film with zero image contact. We are extremely happy with the new Retro-8 scanner, and we eagerly anticipate the arrival of a Retro-16 model in the near future. Highly recommended!"

Daniel Brantley
Video Transfer Coordinator
Academy Film Archive

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Re: Retro-8 for the Academy Film Archives!

Post by milesandjules » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:18 am

Nice one Roger :D

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Re: Retro-8 for the Academy Film Archives!

Post by MovieStuff » Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:05 pm

Thanks! It's been a whirlwind, bumpy road leading up to this point. The original design was pretty much a fat-fingered approach with limited options. The unexpected interest in the units by businesses meant adding features to the software and changes to the unit, even while we were already in production. That created delays and some minor QC problems that had to be addressed retroactively but, at this point, the units seem to be working out well. I also installed a unit for the USC Hugh Hefner Archives while I was in LA and they also seem to be liking it. We're working on a 9.5 and a special 28mm version for some obscure 28mm film they have on the shelves. Very exciting.

Roger

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Re: Retro-8 for the Academy Film Archives!

Post by Will2 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:32 pm

MovieStuff wrote:We're working on a 9.5 and a special 28mm version for some obscure 28mm film they have on the shelves. Very exciting.
Fascinating, never heard of a 28mm stock or camera.

When you get a chance Roger, give us an update on the 16mm version. Thanks!

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Re: Retro-8 for the Academy Film Archives!

Post by super8man » Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:07 am

Nicely done. In time I will upgrade to this unit. Looks fantastic!!
My website - check it out...
http://super8man.filmshooting.com/

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Re: Retro-8 for the Academy Film Archives!

Post by Tommy » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:41 am

I am sure that NASA has alot of 3mm they liked to have transfered from the 60's.

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Re: Retro-8 for the Academy Film Archives!

Post by super8mm » Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:45 pm

Job well done Roger,

a lot of this is about perserving history. it is a special feeling when you can give folks back their stuff and they watch it and come to tears. :)

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Re: Retro-8 for the Academy Film Archives!

Post by Davideo » Sat Nov 02, 2013 5:07 am

Roger... I have some 28mm film that I need transferred so hopefully I'll be able to send it to you when you have the equipment done.

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Re: Retro-8 for the Academy Film Archives!

Post by MovieStuff » Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:00 pm

Yeah, 28mm film is an odd beast. The image area is almost the same as 35mm but there are two different types of sprocket holes. One edge has 4 holes per frame and the other has only one. Weird. This should be a fun build.

Roger

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Re: Retro-8 for the Academy Film Archives!

Post by Will2 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:52 pm

I didn't know that Bradley Cooper was working at the Academy Film Archives now…guess they want members to volunteer!

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