Jump to content

Todd Ruel

Basic Member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Profile Information

  • Occupation
  • Location
    Dayton, OH

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. Frank, your input is why I come to this forum! I didn't know about diacetate or triacetate prints. (Most of my films are from the 1950s forward.) I also did not know that tinted stocks were used as a form of copy protection! Thank you for the wise words.
  2. This is a good point, Mark. I'm sure you're right about this. When I receive the print in the mail, I'll check the edge codes to see if I can determine when the print was struck. Thanks for the input!
  3. Film transfer experts and film print collectors: I just bought off of eBay a 1924 industrial film about General Motors constructing their proving grounds in Milford Michigan. Black and white. Silent (of course). I have not yet received the film print in the mail. From the eBay vendor's screen grabs, the print appears tinted yellow. I know that film tinting was done for some major Hollywood productions back in those days. (The silent 1925 version of Ben Hur comes to mind.) But I didn't think industrial films would be tinted. Question: has the film print simply faded to yellow? (I have very little experience with how very old movie film ages.) Or do you think it might actually be tinted?
  4. Robino, For anyone else also reading this, HS-Art based in Austria makes Diamant (a full suite of film restoration tools) and DustBuster+, a stripped down set of film restoration tools based on Diamant. I went back into my records and discovered that they billed me $1440 back in 2015 for the USB dongle and a year's worth of service and support. If you wanted any software updates past your one year, you would have to pay them for another year's service contract. At the time, I was furious about this price. I couldn't understand why they charged outrageous sums of money like this. But gradually, I came to understand that this business model is similar to a specialized equipment manufacturer like LaserGraphics charging a service contract to maintain and improve the product that you bought. The nearest comparison I can think of (in consumer terms) is Topaz Labs. They make software that improves photography and video resolution. Once your yearly subscription has expired, you get to keep the software you already have. But unless you renew your service contract, you won't get any additional software updates. I have two DustBuster+ USB dongles. The license is on that dongle. I plug the dongle into my Mac in order to validate my license for the software. If I lose that dongle, I have to buy a new dongle for whatever their current price is. HS-Art's service contract is a different price. It's slightly lower. When I renew, they send me a new script that I have to run in Terminal on my Mac Studio to update the license on the dongle. It's almost 2023, so I imagine their DustBuster+ price is higher. If you want to contact them, try Walter Plaschzug at plaschzug@hs-art.com. Walter will give you a quote and answer any sales questions that you have. Good luck!
  5. I have visited that archive and met their staff and saw their gear. It was a MASSIVE effort. I can't believe they did it. I have an HDS+ and a personal 600+ film archive whose clips I am uploading to Getty Images in order to make passive income. I have one friend who has my machine in his house, and he digitizes select films from my collection. He uses Resolve to grade or re-colorize them and Diamant to clean them up (to an extent). Then he sends those digitized prints to me, and I do further cleanup with Dustbuster+. It's an extraordinarily labor intensive effort. I would never undertake it just to share the content with the world. I do it to make passive income. (And the only thing that makes it worth all that effort is knowing that I can literally license these clips forever.) In between, my partner and I transfer film and digitize videos for the consumer market. And I will probably never finish digitizing all of my films. I will certainly never get all of them in an acceptably remastered condition. The HDS+ is perfectly fine for all of these endeavors (although, Perry, I would feel more comfortable sending vintage negative 16mm to you after hearing Tyler's comments about the HDS+ scratching negative prints!) All of this is to say that my experience with the HDS+ has been a positive one. Tyler, if you ever get to a place where you would sell your modified gates, please let me know. I would love to be able to deal with warped film better, and I would appreciate a price quote if you consider selling your mods to others.
  6. Or you could just get Roger's new 4K RetroScan MK II with new camera and new light source: https://www.moviestuff.tv/moviestuff_universal_mark_ii_series.html
  7. Just a quick follow up here: I got the license for $10,000. Here's how: I helped them make their product better. I provided a lot of feedback to them. I bought two Dustbuster+ licenses. Dustbuster+ is their starter product. Kinda like Diamant Jr. I rewrote the English copy for their Dustbuster+ web page. They immediately published it. I helped them make a better product, and they returned the favor by reducing the price of a Diamant license by 50%. Maybe you could do the same thing for them. On the topic of HS-Art software, I just bought a Mac Studio Ultra, and rendering Dustbuster+ timelines on it is blistering fast! It takes 1/3 the time it used to take on our PC workstation and about 50% less time than on my old iMac Pro. If time equal money to you, then using these film restoration tools on a Mac Studio will save you even more time/make you even more money. I can't wait to move our film restoration efforts off of the PC and onto a Mac. Speed: so much better. Maintenance: almost nonexistent.
  8. Tyler, do you mean the actual film transfer machine doing post stabilization during the scanning process? Because I have an HDS+, and I will admit that the scans can be a little wobbly, but they are not crazy. I bought a license for the Diamant Film Restoration Suite, and I'm here to testify under oath that their film stabilization software tools are superior. Fast and simple. And the stabilize tools just work. They work the way you would expect them to. And just in case someone wants to argue that you have to spend $10K-$20K for stabilization, I'd like to add that the full suite includes all the tools you need to clean up and restore damaged films, too. There are also valuable tools for restoring videotape media as well. I have a 600+ vintage film collection. Purchasing Diamant was one of the best decisions I've made to unlock the money-making potential of that collection. What? We overscan 16mm all the time with the 4.7K imager in our HDS+. We don't need 5K at all to scan, see the perfs, and use Diamant to stabilize the scans. Maybe I'm misunderstanding how you use your scanner. We also use the overscanned image to extract an audio soundtrack using AEO Light. I will be happy to implement the 5K+ upgrade, but so far the images we've produced with the existing equipment in our HDS+ have been great! I concede that you have to do a fair amount of post-production work in DaVinci Resolve to do good color correction, but you have to do that work anyway even with high-end scanners. I would love to have a ScanStation Archivist, but even if I had one, I would still have to use post-production software to get a great-looking image. Am I missing your point?
  9. 100% And after buying their optional 16mm sound head, I'm even more convinced that it's primarily a visual scanner. Thank God for AEO Light and iZotope RX (if necessary, often not).
  10. Are we comparing the price points of an Arriscan and an Archivist or the regular ScanStation? If the former, then that's how they can price that machine at $40K. But my understanding is there's still mandatory training that you have to pay for, so the price is still north of $40K. Filmfabriek required no such add-ons to their final price of our HDS+. However, there are trade offs. I believe that the Lasergraphics line of scanners has superior sound capture features which, in the end, saves you more time. We have to use AEO Light to do reliable sound extractions. Bottom line: we spent less on our scanner, but we spend more time on the back end matching the quality of the Archivist with post-production work. Had the Archivist been available when we bought our HDS+, I might have bought it. But I have no regrets about the HDS+. They, too, offer a service contract like Lasergraphics, but I see no need for it. I haven't needed repairs or major support from them so far. Do the Lasergraphics products require constant communication and dialogue with Lasergraphics to keep them in good working order? What's your experience, gentlemen?
  11. Dan, this is good news for people who want an affordable scanner that is capable of 4K/10 bit. Will you/your business release the warped film gate and 4K/10-bit camera and better light source and modified software as separate parts or as a kit? (Or both?) Also, will you include, ahem, an instruction manual on how to install the mods? I have very little interest in DIY, but for an upgrade that adds much value to the Mark II, I would do the work if clear instructions are included.
  12. 100%!! There's nothing wrong with trying to monetize a film archive (as long as it's your own content or it's in the public domain). There's nothing wrong with a profit motive. Without that desire to make some money from one's films or efforts, there won't be any money to buy a better machine to achieve higher volume and better results. It's why I left RetroScan behind and moved up to Film Fabriek. I wanted better results, and I knew that would cost money. And here's one more fact to incentivize you: I have averaged $680/month from Getty since January 2009. I know that's not a lot to all of you who make a living with your film scanning businesses (and I applaud you!), but that's a solid $8,160/year of passive income that I simply collect. My Getty customers still license SD clips that I put up more than 10 years ago. This is a business where you can create once and sell forever. So instead of asking if there's any business in archival scanning, what about going vertical by getting yourself a better scanner and monetizing your own archive? If you don't like the Getty model, how about the Periscope model? Now back to that 1957 Chevrolet commercial that I'm restoring for eventual upload to Getty...
  13. Stock footage can be profitable. Like I said earlier, Getty Images represents me. They take 70% of the profits, and I get 30%. But there’s a few side benefits. They do all the marketing so that I don’t have to. They also deal with people who steal footage or overextend their licensing. They send out cease and desist notices if necessary. If I had to do all of that, I’d be exhausted and would have quit a long time ago. If clients see that you sell your footage on Getty Images, they know that you’re a serious vendor, and they don’t bother you with all of those pestering emails. When I get messages like that, I direct them to my collection of clips on Getty Images. I usually never hear from them again. If they are true professionals, they will license through Getty, or we will make a private deal. But me mentioning Getty filters out a lot of people trying to get something for nothing.
  14. I love it. Our Film Fabriek HDS+ works as advertised. It's built like some piece of over engineered American industrial equipment from the 1950s. Sturdy and dependable. The wet gate feature is nice, but it's not a magic bullet. It can decrease the effect of vertical lines, but it often does not eliminate them. (Yes, I know it's not a submersion bath filled with perc and yada yada, but there's a real world trade off between practicality and affordability.) It transfers 16mm and everything smaller, and it does it to 4K. The software works well, and tech support from Filmfabriek comes within 24 hours if not sooner. Honestly, I don't need spare parts, because the thing is so well built and engineered. My only regret is buying the 16mm optical soundtrack reader. When we used it (once!), our transfer had a lot of wow and flutter. We gave up on it immediately and went back to AEO Light, which produces superior results to any hardware I've used. (Note: you really have to know and understand AEO Light to get the best results from it, but it's free, and it's outstanding software.) Having said that, I would consider buying the 16mm mag stripe reader, because there's no software I can use to capture a magnetically recorded soundtrack. And my partner and I are those people who have a film scanner set up in their spare room. My partner has it, and he simply walks from his bedroom to the spare room to do transfers and restoration via Diamant on a PC workstation. But this stuff isn't cheap. The HDS+ cost me $40K in total and the Diamant license was $10K + a $10K PC workstation to handle it. I work at an Apple Store in Dayton, Ohio. I saved up for a long time to make the purchase, and I did it by selling my Apple stock. So while this film scanning equipment is now much cheaper, I would hardly call it "easily achievable," especially if you don't want to take out a loan to buy it all. Nevertheless, I'm happy with the purchase, and I would do it again.
  • Create New...