Cine Film – What to do with it

By June 4, 2015Filmmaking

We were sitting on a gold mine and never knew.

We found on old projector and some cine reels in the attic. We couldn’t believe the wonderful footage that we found from the 60s and 70s – birthday parties, skiing trips, and images of long lost family members and friends. So if you’ve got an old box of film, here are the key questions to ask yourself.

reels-1

What Exactly is Cine Film?

Cine film is the generic term to describe the main types of film formats used for home movies from the 1950s to early 80s. They usually came in old cardboard boxes like this.

What Kind of Cine Film Do I Have?

There are three main types:

1. Super/Standard (or Regular) 8mm 

2. 9.5mm 

3. 16mm 

8mm_and_super8_2

16mm_and_super16_2

If you unroll a little of the leader of the film (the first few inches) you can measure what size the film is. If your film has a thin brown strip down one side, it also has sound.

How Much Footage is on There?

You can work this out based on the size of the reel. There are three main sizes:

·      50ft – about 3 inches in diameter – roughly 4 mins of footage

·      200ft – about 5 inches in diameter – roughly 15 mins of footage

·      400ft – about 7 inches in diameter – roughly 30 mins of footage

cine-film-reel-size-guide_2

Is There Anything Worth Watching on There?

There’s a good chance you’ve got some great footage. Cine film was the first opportunity for amateur filmmakers to record their home movies.  Due to the costs of filming and effort involved, the only people using it were the true enthusiasts.

Can I Still Watch It?

Cine film was better quality than many of the formats that followed (VHS, DVD). Despite not being a popular mass-market format for over 30 years, it is possible to get cine transferred into a modern digital format at Full HD quality.

So take five minutes to look through that old box of films collecting dust in the corner, then take a look here. You will be surprised to find what you have. 

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