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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.

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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 save 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 Grown-Ups

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. Online 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 together."

 

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.
 

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