Old Movie Film Processing

We process any and all outdated 8 & 16mm movie film.

At Film Rescue, we process vintage film in the manner most likely to give us the best results. In many cases, this means that we are processing color positive film into a black and white negative which is then converted to a viewable B&W positive as a SD Mpeg 4, HD Mpeg 4, DNx HD or an old fashion DVD. This conversion to video allows us further options to improve the condition of the images on the film.

With the exception of Kodachrome type film (which can only be processed into black and white), we do have the ability to run color films in color processes. However, this often is highly inadvisable as you risk losing any kind of image at all or having a much lower quality image than would in B&W.

Our FAQ lists what you might expect from your film and how we will process it unless otherwise specifically requested in the “Additional Information/Instructions” area of our order form.

Please Note: Films processed into black and white negative will not project properly i.e. what is light will be dark and what is dark will be light. This is corrected during transfer as a positive image. Keep in mind that the film that we process is generally long past its “process before” date. We do the very best job we are able to. Results range from good to extremely poor to no image at all.


Prices and billing are in US dollars, with two exceptions:  1) Film Rescue Europe* orders are billed in euros;  2) Canadian orders are billed the Canadian prices posted in brackets, in Canadian dollars.

When applicable, VAT, GST and/or PST  will apply appropriately to European and Canadian orders.  Sorry -These taxes can not be avoided by sending outside of your jurisdiction.  *Film Rescue Europe orders must be sent to and returned through the Netherlands location.

Minimum charge may be billed before processing, especially on orders with multiple films to process.

Process With Transfer to Choice of Digital Video

Choice of DVD for home player, SD Mpeg-4, HD Mpeg 4, SD Mov, HD Mov or DNx HD
8mm 25′ or 50′ or 16mm 50′ Magazine1 – per film $52.00 ($60.65 CAD) if any detectable image at all on film regardless of quality
$25.00 ($29.00 CAD) if the film is blank (up to three blank films)
$15.00 ($17.50 CAD) for each additional blank film over three (per order)
16mm ME-4 or ECO-3 processed to color per foot,  100′ min.2 $1.35 ($1.57 CAD) if any detectable image at all on film regardless of quality
$1.00 ($1.17 CAD) if film is blank
Old 16mm Roll processed safest method (High contrast B&W negative) — charge per foot min. 100′ charge $0.70 ($0.82 CAD) if any detectable image at all on film regardless of quality
$0.35 ($0.42 CAD) if film is blank
Digital files may require a hard drive on multiple reel orders.3
  1. EM-25 Ektachrome 160 Movie Film color processing is at an additional charge of 14.00 (16.30CAD).
  2. 16mm color processing available only for certain stocks – contact us.   B&W negative processing is usually the safest.
  3. A general rule of thumb is if you have more than 100′ of film to transfer to HD or 200′ of film to transfer to SD, you will need an external hard drive or USB flash drive. If you have less than this, the files can be provided to you on spanned data DVDs. To determine how big of a drive you will need please refer to this chart.
  4. Call for charges for 9.5 mm processing or processing with transfer.

Processing Along with Other Previously Developed Films to Transfer

$30.00 ($35.00 CAD) if any detectable image at all on film regardless of quality

Previously developed film that will be transferred must meet or exceed the length of the film to be developed to be eligible for these discounted prices. Once the undeveloped film is processed it is added to the previously developed film and the normal transfer charge will apply.

Process Only

$38.00 ($44.30 CAD)
16mm Roll (ME-4 or ECO-3 Ektachrome into color) — charge per foot, 100 foot minimum $1.10 ($1.28 CAD)
16mm Roll (all other B&W or color film) — charge per foot, 100 foot minimum $0.55 ($0.64 CAD)

Shipping & Handling

Within Europe link
Canada and all other locations Contact Us

Turn Around Time

Film is processed in regular 8-10 week cycles. Film for the next cycle must be in our hands by the cutoff date. The next cycle cutoff date is

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015. 

  Motion film for processing received by this date should be ready to ship back in approximately 8-10 weeks.  Rush processing is available upon request.

Please don’t wait until near the beginning of a cycle to send your film.  This slows down our administrative process at the start of each cycle delaying work for everyone.  When we can, we prioritize work that arrives to us early.

Policies and Exceptions

  1. Shipping & handling charges may be higher for heavy or bulky orders; customer will be contacted beforehand.
  2. If you’d like your metal cans or cartridges to be returned, please request this on your order form under ‘Additional Information’. We do our best to return your original spools but that is not guaranteed.  In this case an identical spool or cartridge would be returned.
  3. All film is inspected visually for image after processing.  It is not always possible, even with magnification, to determine if what we see on the film will have enough detail to be captured in transfer.  Our policy is to transfer a film if we deem the image discernible on some part of the film.  The final transferred image quality may still be extremely poor; we err on the side of providing the customer with all possible salvaged image. If we detect any image on your film it will be transferred regardless of quality or quantity.
  4. If we are unable to salvage any kind of image at all from your 8mm film (any format) or 16mm magazine format film, you will be billed the minimum charge.
  5. If we are unable to salvage any kind of image at all from your 16mm roll format film you will be charged the usual “process only” price.
  6. Please check your scans in a timely manner to make sure everything is playing properly on whatever system you are using. Due to the volume of work we do and the huge files these scans create, we can’t store files indefinitely. We allow a reasonable amount of time to be confident orders are received by customers.  The drives we store backups on are cleared  after 4 months.
  7. Due to the likelihood of breakage in the processor we will no longer process shrunken or extremely damaged film at our Canadian location. If your film smells rancid, appears puckered or the film can is rusted shut, we will contact you to see if you’d like us to forward your film to our office in the Netherlands to be developed. Some additional charges may apply.