Safeandsoundvideo’s Blog

August 10, 2015

The Joy Of Human Movement

Filed under: Video — Mark McKellar @ 6:12 am
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This video is just plain fun.

It exalts the most expressive form of human movement – dance. You should read the about page on Matt’s website it kind of explains what you’re seeing.

For now, just watch and enjoy. It’s so much fun.

To transfer your home movies, even if they do not include dancing, into a digital format, please let us help –  Safe and Sound Video.

August 8, 2015

Time Flies

Filed under: Home Movies — Mark McKellar @ 7:00 am
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I never know what I’ll find when I’m working on a family’s home movies.

I recently finished a project that, frankly, had me worried. I client brought me a large box of VHS tapes that had been stored in a basement. As a result, many of the tapes had mold growing on the edges. I was concerned about two things: that I would be unable to recover her videos, and; that I’d damage my equipment in the process.

It all turned out well in the end. I saved her home movies and my equipment survived.

One funny coincidence struck me. One of the things my customer had taped was a television broadcast from Hc Media – once called Haverhill Community Television or TV 33. It was a production from the Cogswell School in Bradford, MA in 1989.cogs

“A Salute to Famous Characters in Literature,” it was called and, I believe, the students of the fourth grade that played the roles. One of the kids was my neighbor – and that kid, just had a kid of her own this year.

My, how time flies.

For more information about transferring your home movies to DVD or importing them to your computer, visit www.safeandsoundvideo.com

February 15, 2015

What’s a Datsun?

Filed under: Home Movies — Mark McKellar @ 9:29 am
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One of the things I like is finding old commercials on peoples home movies.  I see this a lot on VHS format tapes. People would tape TV shows, then tape over them with home movies, the result of which is 24 minutes of Billy’s Birthday then four and a half hours of The Brady Bunch,  Wide, Wide World of Sports, Alf and LIttle House on the Prairie.

I routinely scan through the TV sections and save the commercials. It’s interesting and amusing. To be sure, things have changed since the early 1980’s. (Click to see the commercial)

Firenza still

Just to keep everyone on the same page, This commercial was from 1982 or 1983 as best I can figure out.

  • Fiat stopped selling cars in the United States in 1983 and started again in 2009 after acquiring Chrysler.
  • Olds (ie Oldsmobile) was a division of General Motors and closed up in 2004.
  • Datsun changed it’s name to Nissan in the early 1980’s.
  • Firenza was introduced in 1982 and was never a big seller for Oldsmobile.
  • And, you can’t buy a good used car for $7,214 now.

February 7, 2015

On The Way To San Jose

Here are a couple little tips about mailing your irreplaceable home movies and photographs.

First off, they don’t qualify as “media mail.” It sounds counter intuitive but if you check the postal regulations, they make it clear that personal DVDs, videotapes, pictures etc must be sent first class or priority mail.

Second, and this is where people end up wasting money. Do not purchase insurance for your videos, DVDs etc. It is a waste of money. Here’s why:

Suppose your 25th wedding anniversary is coming up and you want to surprise your bride with a nice DVD of your wedding video.

You box it up, address it to Charlie’s Video Transfer Shop in San Jose, California, and take it to the post office. The postal clerk offers you insurance. Priority mail comes with $50 insurance at no additional cost and you buy an additional $500 of insurance for, I think the current cost is $6.40.245348_orig

Something happens on the way to San Jose and your package is lost or destroyed. Well, at least you’ve got $500 to take your wife out for a nice night on the town at a super swanky restaurant, right?

Wrong. The postal service will pay the claim (in about 90 days) but they will pay for the cost of a new blank video tape – or about $5.00. I guess you could use that to take your wife out…to McDonald’s….as long as you can get her to order off the dollar menu.

So, the lesson is: Don’t buy the insurance. In fact, I always suggest using someone local, someone to whom you can hand your irreplaceable memories.

For more information about transferring your home movies to DVD or importing them to your computer, visit www.safeandsoundvideo.com

January 31, 2015

A Juggling Kirk Douglas

In his day, Kirk Douglas was a huge star in Hollywood. Born Issur Danielovitch in 1916. He was nominated for three Academy Awards between 1949 and 1956. He is probably best remembered for his role in Spartacus. He is the father of Michael Douglas and is 98 years old. IMG_0201

I’m not sure if this picture has anything to do with it, but he starred in a movie called The Juggler.

Or..he could be juggling his home movies.

For more information about transferring your home movies to DVD or importing them to your computer, visit www.safeandsoundvideo.com

December 29, 2014

My VHS Notebook Is…..Obsolete

Filed under: Video — Mark McKellar @ 8:14 pm
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Today marks the end of my favorite notebook. I never thought I’d ever have a “favorite” for something like a notebook, but I do and today I used the last page.

I spotted it on a rack at the FedEx store a few years ago. Because of my business, it jumped right out at me. It has the image of a VHS tape on the front and rear covers.  IMG_8876It was love at first sight. I scooped it up and have been using it for assorted notes etc for a few years.

But that’s all over now. It’s all used up. Every page, front and back (and the insides of the covers too).

Knowing that this day was inevitable, the last time I was at the FedEx store, I looked to see if they had any more – no luck.

Today, I went to the manufacturer’s website but, alas, they no longer make notebooks. I went to Ebay and Amazon but they didn’t have the exact same thing.

So, I guess I’m out of luck. I’ll have to pick up a regular, boring, run-of-the-mill notebook for myself.

Just like the VHS on its covers, my favorite notebook is obsolete.

##UPDATE##

All is well. I won’t have to resort to a boring notebook from Staples….I’ve found a worthy replacement.il_570xN.697893626_9eod

It’s a Recycled VHS Notebook made from, you guessed it, the sleeves of old VHS tapes. I ordered one and the price was pretty good. It’s hand-made and sold by a woman on Etsy.

Here’s lookin’ at you, new notebook

December 14, 2014

Nothing Lasts Forever

Filed under: Digitize,Film,Home Movies,Video — Mark McKellar @ 8:48 am
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I have a huge capacity for storing video files in my system but I can’t save everything forever.

When I convert someone’s home movies to a digital format, I end up with a huge amount of data – 200 to 300 gigabytes is not uncommon. It doesn’t take long to fill a hard drive with chunks of data that size.

I save stuff for as long as I can but, eventually, it all get deleted.big-data

Invariably, as soon as I delete a client’s files, he or she needs an extra copy of one of the DVDs. It happens all the time.

I try to hang on to stuff for at least 2 weeks, and can often keep it for 30 days or more. But, when someone asks about a project I did six months ago, I’ve probably already deleted it.

Nothing lasts forever, especially data.

For more information about transferring your home movies to DVD or importing them to your computer, visit www.safeandsoundvideo.com

November 28, 2014

Recycling Alternatives For Your Old VCR

Filed under: Digitize,Home Movies,Video — Mark McKellar @ 8:56 am
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So once you have all your old home movies transferred to a digital format, what do you do with your old VCR?

For most people, there are three options: VCR Toaster

  1. Throw it in the trash and hope the pick up guys take it away,
  2. Take it to a recycling center where you may be charged $10 for it to be disposed of properly,
  3. Leave it on the shelf for another ten years and decide what to do with it then.

Some folks have gotten far more creative than the average VCR owner.

How about a VCR toaster? I’m not sure it works but it’s an interesting idea.

Perhaps more practical is the VCR-powered, programable cat feeder. Yes, with a little mechanical know-how you can make sure the cat has fresh food all day long while you’re out earning the bread to pay for it.

Cat FeederThere are lots of creative, interesting things that can be done with the innards of a VCR. Check out this article for more ideas

For more information about transferring your home movies to DVD or importing them to your computer, visit www.safeandsoundvideo.com

November 2, 2014

It’s the Family Season

Welcome to November. While the JC Penney’s, Walmart’s and Macy’s of the world are kicking off their “Holiday Season,” I like to think of this as the Family Season.

It’s the time of year many of us see a lot of our families. Thanksgiving and Christmas are the big draws for family get-togethers but many families have annual parties, Christmas Eve celebrations and more.

For some family, it’s the only time we see them all year. It’s the annual catch-up conversation with Uncle Fred before he has too many martinis and become’s the life of the party for the 47th consecutive year. tumblr_ldxxbbpxGD1qahogbo1_500

It’s time to talk and laugh about the old days. Funny stores that get passed from generation to generation while gathered about the table. It’s also a time to reminisce about family who are no longer with us.

For me, it’s a busy season. All this talk among family members often turns to “What about our home movies?  Most people don’t have a projector or VCR anymore so watching the old home movies is out of the question.

That’s where I come in. I can transfer your old home movies to a digital format. Then you can watch them on your big screen TV.

This Family Season, think about how much fun it would be to see crazy Uncle Fred in that home movie showing the first time he put a lampshade on his head…

For more information about transferring your home movies to DVD or importing them to your computer, visit www.safeandsoundvideo.com

October 18, 2014

The Oldest Home Movie

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mark McKellar @ 1:56 pm
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I’m not sure whether to call this a home movie or just an early movie. The clip below was shot in San Francisco in 1906. An enterprising cameraman attached a 35mm film camera to the front of a trolly car and the rest is history…literally.

It’s fascinating to see what life was really like 108 years ago. I think Boston drivers are crazy, but these early California drivers seem positively reckless.

The tower at the end of the line still stands.

Interestingly, this movie was shot just four days before the great San Francisco earthquake and fire.

The oldest movie I’ve transferred was from the 1920’s. It held up beautifully despite it’s age.

If you have home movies, I can help you transfer them into a modern, digital format.

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