Thanks for the Online Video Memories
HomeMovie.com helps broadband users turn old
home movies into professional-looking videos –
and share video online with friends and family.
Terry Ostrowiak’s father was a 16mm
movie buff. “He had a camera that was this massive piece
of iron,” Ostrowiak says. “He used to take it wherever
he went. We ended up with hundreds of feet of celluloid
film in a metal box.”
Setting up the projector and
watching home movies was prime-time entertainment for Ostrowiak’s family, who lived in South Africa and had no
access to television until the mid-1970s. But as the
family moved apart, showing the 16mm film became
increasingly cumbersome. Ostrowiak transferred film
to VHS tapes, but found that the image was less clear
and the tapes quickly began to deteriorate.
He was back in the market looking
for a better solution when he stumbled upon
HomeMovie.com. A small company located in Winthrop,
Washington, HomeMovie.com was started in 1999 when
founders John Larsen and Lars Krumme were trying to
and organize their own families’ vast collections of
videotapes and were unable find a good, user-friendly
solution. They decided to invent their own.
Video Sharing for
Their company, which bills itself as “Video
Sharing for Grown-Ups,” accepts old 8mm
film, Super 8mm film, and
16mm film and VHS tapes by mail and digitizes them. (You
can also upload digital video uploaded via the Internet
straight from a digital camcorder.) Users can edit their
videos online and then share video with friends and
family via streaming video. The company also delivers
video to DVD or convert video
to iPod format.
Prices for these services are
relatively modest. HomeMove.com charges $5 per tape or a
sliding scale based on the number of feet of film to
transfer video, encode video and upload videos.
editing, video storage, and
video sharing – are free for
the first five hours of video, and then range from $3.99
to $14.99 depending on the number of hours hosted.
Burning video to DVD costs between $15 and $19 a disc,
depending on packaging.
Video Sharing in Bite-Sized Chunks
Ostrowiak mailed HomeMovie.com the
master tapes that had been made from the original
home-movie films. After the video uploaded, he
edited it using HomeMovie.com’s Afiniti online video editor.
The Afiniti player is where the
magic happens. One of the first things Ostrowiak did was
to make it easier for family members to find the footage
they wanted. With the original movies, "there might be
five hundred feet of film," he explains. "Even if there
was only a little piece of them in the middle they had
to go through this whole process. You could hardly even
stop it in the middle or rewind it."
"What HomeMovie.com enabled us to do was take little
clips and watch them individually," Ostrowiak continues.
"I divided up the clips for each family and put them
Editing the video into bite-sized
pieces created a more enjoyable viewing experience. Now Ostrowiak
can sit with his four- and five-year-old grandchildren
and share videos of himself at their
age, playing in the garden or falling off his childhood
Great Dane. “We can do it in small clips, one at a time,
rather than wading through a long video,” he says.