FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

This page is designed to provided answers to a number of questions that are commonly asked about Far Q Productions and the services offered. These questions are organized by topic. Please use the "quick links" below to navigate to the topic you are interested in. As always, if you don't find the information you are seeking here please contact me directly. I'll be glad to help!

GENERAL

AUDIO RECORDING & ARCHIVING

FILM/VIDEO TRANSFERS & ARCHIVING

 

GENERAL

"What does the name 'Far Q Productions' mean?" Simply put, the term "Far Q" refers to an element used in audio production. One of the most common pieces of equipment used for shaping sound is an equalizer- known familiarly as an "EQ". EQs use sliders or knobs to either boost (increase) or cut (decrease) the volume level of a given frequency within a recorded sound. They are often used to eliminate frequencies that carry noise or unwanted tonal characteristics. EQs are also used to enhance qualities that are desirable.

EQs are designed in configurations that offer alteration of a varied number of frequencies- often denoted in "bands'. Therefore, a "10- band EQ" provides for boost or cut of ten frequencies simultaneously; a "31- band EQ" does the same for 31 frequencies, etc. On better EQ units, the user can not only define the boost or cut of a frequency but can also define the shape of the curve that results from the alteration. This curve is commonly referred to as the "Q" of the frequency. A "wide Q" means that a greater number of frequencies surrounding a boost will be effected- a "narrow Q" means that only the boosted frequency will be affected. "Wide" and "narrow" are qualifiers that are commonly used by American production folks.

In Great Britain, the words "near" and "far" are sometimes used to describe a frequency response curve instead of "wide" and "narrow". To be honest, I always just preferred those terms because they are a little more interesting and a lot less formal. With the name "Far Q Productions", I hoped to impart to prospective clients that I am not "narrow" in my approach to audio recording- offering audio recording, mixing, mastering, and archiving services. With the addition of film and video transfer offerings, the scope of services has broadened to include a "Farther Q" than ever before.

"Does Far Q Productions archive my media after the transfer is complete?" Far Q Productions does not archive customers' media after the transfer process. The constraints of storage space and certain legal liabilities make this impossible.

"What is the 'Request For Service' agreement?" The Request For Service agreement is a simple contract that defines the terms of service between Far Q Productions and our customers. Although it employs somes very "legal" sounding language, there are really only three subjects that it covers:

1. Compensation for loss of or damage to submitted materials. This clause assigns compensation to the customer for loss or damage to media that is submitted to Far Q Productions.

2. Intellectual Property rights. This clause assigns ownership of the intellectual property contained on the media to the customer alone, to exclude Far Q Productions or any other entity.

3. Media compatibility. This clause defines the types of media That Far Q Productions provides to customers, and outlines the remedies available for compatibility issues.

The following is the complete text of the Request For Service agreement. Its terms and conditions apply to all service orders submitted to Far Q Productons, and all customers agree to its terms by submitting their media for transfer or any other service.

Request For Service

By signing below you, the Customer, request that the services indicated on this Film Transfer Order Sheet be performed by Far Q Productions LLC. Materials related to these services that are submitted to Far Q Productions LLC or any of its owners or representatives, are done so with the understanding and full agreement that our liability for any loss or damage to materials you submit while in our possession, whether due to negligence or not, will be limited to a maximum of $25 per item or the price of the services that were to have been provided by Far Q Productions LLC, whichever is less. "Per item" is defined as each media carrying device and its contents including individual film reels, audio reels, video cassettes, audio cassettes, and vinyl or shellac audio records. Except for such compensation Far Q Productions LLC shall not be liable for any other loss or damage arising from the Customer's use of our services. Recovery for any incidental or consequential damages or claims is specifically excluded. Far Q Productions LLC, its owners and representatives will not be responsible for any accidental erasure of recorded material. No other warranty is expressed or implied. The Customer further warrants that the materials being presented to Far Q Productions for copying or transfer are not protected by copyright, that the intellectual property contained on the media is not owned by anyone other than the Customer, or if so the permission for copying has been granted by the owner of said material. The Customer agrees to hold Far Q Productions LLC harmless and to fully indemnify Far Q Productions LLC and its owners and representatives against any and all complaints arising from any services provided to the Customer by Far Q Productions LLC. Since the DVDs and CDs Far Q Productions LLC creates are not encrypted and can be copied, the Customer agrees that there are no refunds for services performed for the Customer by Far Q Productions LLC and that all sales are final. Our guarantee to you, the Customer, is that Far Q Productions LLC will supply a replacement +R DVD for each -R DVD that has been returned to Far Q Productions LLC as incompatible with the Customer's playback equipment. A replacement -R DVD will be supplied for each -R DVD that has been returned and found to be defective. All such returns must be made within 30 days of receipt by Customer. By engaging the services of Far Q Productions LLC you are hereby deemed to have accepted this agreement without exception or qualification. Thank you for choosing Far Q Productions LLC.

 

______________________________ ________

Customer Signature Date

Top

 

AUDIO RECORDING & ARCHIVING

In Progress- Coming Soon!

Top

 

FILM/VIDEO TRANSFERS & ARCHIVING

"Do you accept international orders for film transfer services?" At this time I do not accept international orders for film transfers. This is because of two reasons. First, I currently only offer NTSC video of transferred film. NTSC is the North American standard for video protocol, and is different than the PAL format that is used in other parts of the world. The second reason has to do with complications in shipping protocols- which are minor but would still need to be addressed.

"What should I know about off- brand and/or damaged film?" People who tried to save money by purchasing film by lesser- known manufacturers are likely to regret doing so, even if the color turned out well. Kodak Kodachrome was simply the best film available. 3M made Dynachrome film, which had excessive contrast and very poor color. Agfa made film branded with their own name and others, and much of it was never properly lubricated during processing giving it a jittery picture and damaged perforations.

Some newly- processed Ektachrome film was also not lubricated due to environmental impact concerns. Damaged perforations can make film difficult to transfer, creating a need to run the reels backwards or upside down. This method requires computer- based post production processing that Far Q Productions does not currently offer.

"Why do DVDs sometimes "freeze" when I'm watching them?" This is a common problem when playing a DVD+/-R disc in an older or bargain- priced DVD player. These machines are optimized for mass- production manufactured discs. DVD+/-R discs are not as reflective as "pressed" discs, creating a situation where lower- quality players are just barely able to read them. The ideal remedy is to upgrade to a newer, multiformat machine that is designed to play DVD-Recordable discs. All DVD Recorders will also recognize these types of discs.

"How many splice repairs will be needed on my films?" This depends very much upon any previous repairs or reel consolidations that the filmmaker in your family decided to undertake, but in general there will likely be one splice per 50 feet on a large reel. For regular 8mm film, there will be a splice at 25 feet- the midway point of a 50 foot reel. Consumer- film processing labs generally did not make good splices. If a film has been extensively edited or has required repairs due to a faulty projector, there are likely to be many repairs needed. In some cases, there may be no repairs needed thanks to a skilled editor who used proper techniques.

"What are those things in the lighter areas of the film that look like giant gray snowflakes?" Fungus. Infestations of fungus can occur if the film has been stored in a warm and damp location. Fungus grows in the "gelatin" emulsion layer of the film. Fungus is impossible to remove from film, since it has "eaten" the emulsion and replaced it with waste material.

"Can I save money by splicing and repairing films myself?" The short answer is "no." In most cases, homemade splices tend to be poor quality which can lead to projector jams and damaged film. I use professional grade equipment to facilitate splicing, and have the experience required to make repairs more quickly and effectively than the average film owner. When you consider the low setup fees involved in the process, it is barely worth your time to do it.

"Why does the film smell like vinegar?" As mentioned on the "Film Transfer Info" page of this website, this odor is a symptom of the onset of "vinegar syndrome". The smell is caused by decomposition of the cellulose acetate film base which releases acetic acid. Eventually all of the film base will be affected, and the outcome will be the loss of the film. Store the reels in ventilated film cans- or no cans at all- and have them transferred as soon as possible.

"The local drugstore offers film- to video transfers- sometimes at a lower price. Why should I use Far Q Productions services?" There are a number of reasons to choose Far Q Productions for your transfer projects. "Drugstore" services often do not include the inspection, repair, and cleaning elements that are included in my service packages. This can lead to damaged film or- at very least- lowered picture quality. Another very good reason is the "non- automated" nature of my process, which requires me to be on- hand at all stages of the transfer. This gives me the opportunity to check for correct focus, dropped frames, dust or hairs in the film gate, lost film loops, and other "hiccups" immediately. Other processes are automated, and lack of attentiveness on the part of the operator can lead to anything from poor- quality picture to severely damaged film. Let the pharmacist handle your prescriptions- let Far Q Productions handle your film.

"My rolls of 8mm film said on the box that they were 25 feet, but I was charged for 60 feet. Why is that?" Regular 8mm film, sometimes called "Double- 8", was sold in 25 foot lengths with a 16mm width- and with an extra four feet of film at each end for subdued light loading conditions. This protocol leads to a final total of 33 feet of film. These spools were actually run through the camera twice- once as "forward", and then flipped over and run "backwards", thus exposing both sides of the 16mm width. After it is developed, the lab splices the film down the middle to create two 8mm film strips, which are then spliced together into one 8mm film. Common final lengths are from 55 to 60 feet. 8mm metal- magazine cameras, and all Super8 cameras, can only yield 50 or so actual feet of film.

"My films appear to be running backwards, even though they are not. Why?" It is very likely that the camera was held upside down when the film was originally shot. When film orientation is corrected top for bottom, the action on the screen is shown backwards. This can be corrected by transferring the film in its current state, then using your MiniDV cassette to have the video rotated 180° for proper playback. There is really no chance that the telecine process can cause this problem, as films are transferred in real time just as they would be projected onto a screen.

"I sent in a 200 foot reel of film to be transferred, but was charged for 300 feet. I don't understand why." Film reels of given sizes are known to hold certain footages of acetate- based film. If your film is thin- based Fuji or Focal Polyester type, the base is 1/3rd the thickness of acetate- based film, and 50% more film will fit onto the same sized reel. I charge by the actual measured length of the film- not by "theoretical" length or reel diameter, and so this condition was born out in the billing.

"Why does the film go out of focus when the cameraman zooms in?" The cameraman probably had the distance set incorrectly while filming. When zooming in, there is less depth of field and focus of the lens requires correction. This commonly occurs when attempting to focus by judging eyestrain on a camera that is not designed for that use.

"The first half of my 8mm reel is black. What happened?" Someone didn't understand how to use the camera, and ran the film through the camera only once instead of twice. The film was then sent to the lab with the wrong end out, and this results in the first- not second- half of the finished film being black.

"My 8mm film reels are double, triple, or quadruple exposed." Probably the original take- up reel for the camera (which would have been marked "Film when on this spool is only half exposed") was lost and an unmarked spool was substituted. This made it more difficult to keep track of how many passes had been made on each spool, leading to multiple exposures of the film.

"Many of the images on my films are sideways. What caused this?" The film was probably shot by someone with experience in still photography, who was used to turning the camera sideways to take portraits of people. While a still photograph can be easily turned to reorient the image, a film projector or TV can't. This can be corrected by transferring the film in its current state, then using your MiniDV cassette to have the video rotated 90° for proper playback. There is really no chance that the telecine process can cause this problem, as films are transferred in real time just as they would be projected onto a screen.

"The images on my film are very dark, reddish- orange with almost no other color, and appear streaky. Why?" The camera was threaded improperly, with the dark side of the film toward the lens.

"The film on my reels is all biased orange or red, and appears excessively warm. Why is this?" One of two things has occurred. Either daylight balanced film was used under movie lights and without a filter, or the correct tungsten balance film was used indoors with a daylight correction filter accidentally in place.

"The film on my reels is all biased blue and appears excessively cold. Why?" Either tungsten balance film was used outdoors without a daylight correction filter, or the correct daylight balance film was used outdoors with a tungsten correction filter mistakenly in place.

"I've heard of different film "speeds" and types for still photography cameras. Were there different types of movie films for 8mm?" Yes. Color movie film was made in two types- Daylight and Type A. Daylight film gave fine color when when exposed outdoors under sunlight. Type A gave fine color when exposed indoors under photoflood lights. Type A also gave fine color when exposed outdoors through a Type A daylight conversion filter. Any other combination of film, setting, and filter gave lower- quality color reproduction. Common results of film/lighting mismatches include a greenish tint when filming under fluorescent or mercury vapor lights, "true yellow" when exposed under High Pressure Sodium light, bluish when filming on a cloudy day or in shade, and yellowish under incandescent light bulbs.

Projecting "off- color" film directly onto a screen may not look so bad, as compared to transferred video. There are several reasons for this. First, projected movies are viewed in the dark so the human eye is able to somewhat adapt to the effect. Video is often viewed in lighted rooms, where the image- and it's color- are not so isolated from comparison. Second, movie screens do not portray imagery as brightly as video monitors. With a brighter overall response your eyes are given a greater opportunity to sense color problems. Third, video does not have the latitude that film and the human eye have. If color values are too far off, they will saturate the color signal and gradations in color will disappear. The quality of film color can best be judged over a white light box, because the eye is given a reference to where "white" occurs. Projection onto a screen is not a good reference for color quality in film.

"What does the term 'telecine' mean?" In general, the term telecine refers to an apparatus that translates film imagery so that it can be viewed via television technology. It's present form may be a shortened version of the word "telecinema" which is credited as a French term. "Telecine" can also be used to refer to the process of translating film to television or video.

 

Top