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What is Frame by Frame Film Scanning?

Many Frames | One Reel

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that every video or movie we’ve watched is actually a series of images that are flashed before us at high speeds. It takes over a thousand frames each minute to create the illusion of movement and make these still images appear as a video. When digitizing a reel of film the only way to truly capture all the quality of this analog media is to scan each and every frame. This is the process of Frame by Frame scanning.

Improper Film Scanning

The inferior way of scanning film is to use an old projector to display the video on a wall and film the wall with a digital camera. The resulting video is likely to have improper exposure, unwanted cropping and a number of other imperfections. This wall filming method is called Telecine and it is the cheapest way to digitize film but will never recreate the quality and liveliness that a film reel has.

Capturing Every Single Frame

Frame by frame scanning requires a state of the art machine that can locate and capture a photo of every frame on a reel of film. This ensures no detail will be lost between frames and all the detail of every image will be the highest possible quality. Taking separate images of every frame requires more time for the film to be scanned but eliminates focusing and cropping errors that occur with other methods. The series of images that is created when a reel is scanned is then imported into a video editing program where it is made into a video.

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