Monday, December 02, 2013

Converting Old 8 mm Films to iMovie

Yesterday my sister-in-law Barbara sent me an e-mail requesting a clip of an old 8 mm movie that I had transferred from VHS format to a DVD.  I would be glad to do this for her but there was one BIG problem.  How do I convert the DVD to an iMac compatible video?  Oh woe is me.  My brain was going to get exercised again.

Hey folks, I'm no tech guru, far from it.  I'm a 72 year old man with a brain that is cluttered with the debris of over 40 years of office work.  I don't have the clear (empty) head of my boss's five year old daughter who probably knows more about computers than I do.  And to be quite frank, I'm sometimes just plain afraid to mess around with my computer lest I cause it to explode.

But folks, I've been putting off this latest challenge, converting my old VHS tapes to DVD then to iMac.  Thy name is procrastination.

Well folks, I could put it off no longer.  I jumped right in today and figured it all out.  Yes, I DOOD it.  And yes, my head is hurting right now but I finally got that short black and white film of me departing from the family home in April of 1960 for Ft. Devens, Massachusetts, after I finished Army basic training at Ft. Dix, New Jersey.  Wow, was I EVER that young?  

So here it is folks, Chapter One of the Old Family Films.  Some of you may not find it interesting but hey, this is my blog and I find these old films fascinating.  Plus, I'm leaving a history behind which is my goal now that I am entering my Twilight Years.  It's all good folks.  Enjoy!


21 comments:

  1. What a good looking family, Ron! It is very moving to watch this film, so I can only imagine how you must feel. Your mother was stunning! You must feel so good to have succeeded in this task.

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  2. Thank you Nadege! It was quite a job transferring first from the old 8 mm film to the VHS then to DVD then to make it compatible with iMac. That last step had me hung up for a couple of years. I finally decided to tackle it. I hope I can remember what I did. Yes, my Mother was a very beautiful woman. She didn't think so though. She rarely wore makeup or dressed up fancy. She had a natural beauty. My brothers and I and my father all worshiped her. We could truly say we "had the best Mom in the world."

    Ron

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  3. Glad you figured it out! I was going to suggest some ripping programs, but you GOT IT!
    Cool movie, what a great memory!

    Peace <3
    Jay

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    1. Jay,
      I surprised myself and found FREE software that converted the DVD to be compatible with my iMac. YES! Now I have a big job on my hands converting all my old VHS movies to DVD then iMac. Should last me until the grave.

      Ron

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  4. The film may be boring to some folks, but having had an 8mm and a super 8mm camera, I THOROUGHLY ENJOYED IT!!!

    I have often thought about transferring those old films (if I can find them) to updated media, but never tried it. I had one sequence in Coral Gables Florida, when they were taking up the Florida East Coast train tracks in preparation for elevated high speed rail. Another film covered by cross country train trip from Miami to Philadelphia to Chicago to San Francisco to Portland Oregon to Chicago to Albany to Washington DC and back to Miami. I'll bet everyone of the splices in those old films have come apart!

    My question is how did you get the 8mm films to VHS and then to DVD? Did you have it professionally done?

    You were a very good looking young army man!

    David

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    1. David,

      Converting these old movies to a DVD then to my iMac computer is something I've been procrastinating for a LONG TIME. Now that I did one, I'm over the hump. I have a big job ahead of me now to do the rest and I have LOADS of old VHS tapes. I hope I can finish this project before I kick the bucket of my iMac runs out of room.

      Ron

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  5. Your mother is beautiful. Love old movies! The curtains! The furniture! The hairstyles! Wow. And I love your background music. Thank you for sharing, and good for you for figuring it out.

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    1. Karen,

      You noticed all the 60's style curtains and furniture. That's why I like watching "Madmen", brings back memories. Fond memories. I'm glad you enjoyed the movie. This will be a regular feature on my blog in the future.

      Ron

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  6. I'm so glad that you were able to figure out the converting process to iMac. I know how to transfer VHS to DVD, but that's the full extent of my ablilties. I'm fifty years behind the times (at least).
    The film is fantastic and you're fortunate to have movies taken that far back. I don't have any early home movies at all. I didn't even have a camcorder until I was around 40. You had a great-looking family! (and I agree with Karen - - I love the background music, too).

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    1. Jon,
      My head hurts now but I did figure it out. I just hope I don't forget what I figured out. Now to start this big new project. I have TONS of old VHS tapes to transfer to DVD's then my iMac computer. Should be fun….I think. No really, it will be fun. I love this kind of stuff. Many of the VHS tapes I've never viewed so this will be a first for me. That background music was supplied by the company who transferred the old 8 mm films to VHS tapes. I had nothing to do with it but I liked their choice. Only one commenter didn't, he said it was "too loud." Can't do anything about that.

      Ron

      Ron

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  7. I liked it too, Ron. At first when I saw that it was 8+ mins long I thought I might ship it, but it turns out to be quite compelling. (Couldn't help but notice the prominent presence of sundry cats!) Now I'm awaiting Part II, which I shall view also with, no doubt, some pleasure,

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    1. Ray,
      I'm fascinated by old films. I am so glad I rescued my father's old 8mm films and had them transferred to a VHS tape. That was about 25 years ago. Then a couple of years ago I transferred that VHS tape to a DVD but was stuck how to transfer that to my computer. Finally figured it out yesterday. I just hope I don't forget now but I have a lot more to go. You noticed the cats. My Mom loved cats. I miss her and her cats. I wish I could have a cat or cats but Bill doesn't like them. I think they are so comforting. Not as much trouble as a dog, just soothing and comforting. Glad you liked the film.

      Ron

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    2. Yes, I'm fully aware of your (our) love of pussy-cats and how much you'd give to have one, but that it's only because of a certain person's refusal that you go without. It would be a torture of omission if I had to undergo their absence daily. My own mum was a great cat-lover too - as was all the rest of my family, to varying degrees. But I'll tell my furry co-residents of your plight next time I have one of them purring in my lap. Maybe that way they'll express their appreciation more for all I give them, rather than their taking me for granted to do their bidding.

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    3. Ray,

      Someday I will have a pussy…..or two.

      Ron

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  8. Ron

    What a great surprise watching your video. Loved the intro and extra as well. I swear you could be a news anchor. I'm going to take more time later on to check out some of the details. One of the first ones that blew me away was the 1960 Plymouth station wagon. Plymouth's last year with the great fins. You and your brothers look So Cooool!! Your Mom is a movie star!! Loved it Ron - simply loved it - and will watch it again!!

    Pat

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    1. Pat,

      My father had some great old cars. He had a yellow Oldsmobile convertible. I wish he had it longer. He also had a two tone (red and white) Chevy. I think it was a '55. So cool. Today's cars are nothing like those of the Fifties and early Sixties. It's a shame. Those were really the days.

      ron

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  9. It seems every time there is an advancement of technology all the old photos and movies have to be translated , like Dr. Who.

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    1. Dr. Spo,

      I can't imagine what the next incarnation will be that I will have to transfer my dad's old 8mm films to. So far I've transferred them to VHS, then DVD, then to my computer now. What's next? A ring on my finger with a flash drive and a screen in my hat visor?

      Ron

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  10. Anonymous12:14 AM

    thank u very much, ron for that very personal tour of your younger life. . .im from manila philippines & have been an avid visitor for almost a year now. .i vacationed in new jersey for 2 months this year and was really tempted to pay you a & bill a visit but since we are not acquainted, to say the least, i didntpush thru. . .i wish you & bill all the best and a merry Christmas and a joyful new year! just call me anonymous tony

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    1. Tony,

      Good to hear from you! I'm glad you enjoy my blog. I enjoy writing it. I wish you and your family a very merry Christmas and a wonderful new year!

      Ron

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  11. Very sweet footage of your family from many years ago. I have been searching how to transfer all my old VHS to DVD, and/or to my iMac. My iMac computer is already four years old so I hope I have enough storage. I have a lot to learn yet!

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