Film Scanning

Motion picture film scanning at CalArts is available for regular 8mm, Super 8mm, 16mm, Super 16mm and 35mm film formats. Two workstations are set up specifically for the transfer of film to digital media.

The Blackmagic Cintel Film Scanner creates digital files from 16mm, Super 16 and 35mm negatives and prints. The Cintel film scanner captures in a high resolution proprietary RAW format (12-bit) for digital mastering and archiving. The film scanner can also capture audio in real time and Keykode information to allow filmmakers the ability to match frames and later cut their negatives.

The Filmfabriek HDS+ Film Scanner creates digital files from regular 8mm, Super 8mm, and 16mm negatives, prints and either optical or magnetic sound. This film scanner captures to an HD 10-bit dpx file format. The resultant files can be opened in most any NLE for further color grading or delivery.

By appointment, trained student Film Scanning Technicians operate the scanner as a service to the students, staff and faculty of the School. To request a Film Scanning Session with a Student Technician, fill out the E39 Film Scanning Request.

Scanning takes place 7 days a week, but is contingent on technician schedules and availability. Priority for film scanning is given to School of Film/Video. Reservations are based on a 1-hour minimum and a 3-hour maximum, per person, per day.

There is a $15/hour fee. Charges will include: Set Up (a 30-minute minimum) and Basic Color Grading (if you want to change each scene with another color grade, time will be charged accordingly). This service does not include solving any problems discovered that might prevent scanning.

A 24-hour notice will be required to cancel a session. If notice is not given, a 1-hour “no show” charge fee ($15) will apply. Your scanning session begins at your reserved time and fees will be charged accordingly.

It is extremely important to have your film prepared for your session. “Prepared” means your film is delivered on a 75mm (3”) film core, not a reel, heads out, with 10  feet of leader head and tails required. The Cintel film scanner will handle 16mm, Super 16, and 35mm film: Positive, Negative, Interpositive, and Internegative. Scanning negatives produces the best results.

It is recommended that you have the developing lab “Prep for Telecine” your film. They will add the required leader and put it on a proper core for you. 

Any spliced film or film prints will be inspected. If your scan cannot be completed within your reservation time period, you will have to reschedule to continue the process.

The following films will not be accepted for film scanning without prior inspection:

  • Hand-processed film that is not cleaned properly
  • Scratch-on film animation
  • Workprints
  • Double spliced film
  • Damaged film
  • Film that has other material adhered to it (paint, particulate matter, etc.)

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