WWII 16mm Film Transferred to Digital mp4 Files

1940’s WWII Film Transferred to Digital

WWII 16mm Film Preserved to Digital Files

1940’s Naval Air Transport Service Films Converted and Enhanced to HD mp4 Files


AV recently transferred a customer’s family collection of 16mm Film from WWII. The customer received these reels from his grandfather who was a pilot for NATS during World War II. NATS refers to the Naval Air Transport Service – a division of the U.S. Navy which lasted from 1941 until 1948. NATS was implemented for the purpose of hauling cargo, personnel, and equipment. It was also specifically responsible for supplying 150,000 lbs of gear which was essential in aiding the D-Day invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. AV was happy to assist with transferring these historic films to Digital mp4 Files so they can be preserved and treasured forever.


Our Film Conversion Process: 


1) Restore / Clean / Organize
AV cleaned the film with an anti-static solvent to wipe away dust, dirt, bacteria, and any other debris. This process ensures the film will look as clear as possible and no lingering dirt will scratch the film during scanning. 


Clean and Repair 16mm Film

Film Cleaning Process

Next, we repaired any defective splices and added new leader where necessary. We organized the films by date where possible. Once the films were in order, we labeled each reel by number.


Repair splices for film transfer

Film Splice Repair

2) High Definition Scan

AV scanned each reel in-house using our RetroScan Universal 2K Mach 1 Film Scanners. These scanners capture each frame of your film with a 2k (almost 3K!) camera sensor. The RetroScan Universal scanners have an enlarged gate which allows us to access the entire film frame. They also have a bright and cool LED light source so we can get rich colors with no risk of hotspot or overheating!


Frame-by-frame film scan and color correct

HD Frame-by-Frame Film Scan

3) Enhance / Edit
Once we scanned the film, we analyzed the motion of each reel and matched the frame rate of the original reel. We can match any frame rate from 8fps to 30fps. Then, we imported the files into Adobe Premiere Pro where we digitally attached the reels in the labeled order. Since this was an Enhanced Film Transfer Service, we took it a step further and balanced the color, brightness / contrast, and saturation scene-by scene.


16mm film transfer and color correction

Scene-by-Scene Color Correction

4) Encoding / Output
We exported the digital files in HD (1920 x 1080p, 50 mb/s) and sorted them onto a flash drive. AV labels each file by name and reel numbers so they are easy to keep organized! The files can be played on just about any device including MAC, PC, Smart TVs, etc. They are also compatible with just about any editing software (Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, Sony Vegas, Windows Movie Maker, iMovie, etc…) and can be uploaded to video sharing platforms such as Youtube and Vimeo.
Thus, the customer received their new HD mp4 Files on a single drive, along with their original films freshly cleaned and conditioned.

Check out a few of the highlights from this 16mm film transfer below!



Do you have 8mm, Super 8, or 16mm Film you want to convert to Digital mp4?


Check out our Film Transfer page for options and pricing.


AV Conversion Services