Cine Film Digitisation

Cine Film Digitisation

Cine Film Digitisation

Max provide a full range of cine film digitisation services for many different types of formats including:

  • Standard 8mm
  • Super 8
  • 9.5mm
  • S-16mm
  • Prints
  • Negatives
  • Variable optical soundtracks
  • Magnetic soundtracks.

Cine Film Digitisation Services

Our main film digitisation unit is the Filmfabriek HDS+ scanner. This scanner has been specifically designed and manufactured for the sensitive digitisation of archive material, successfully capturing highly fragile and shrunken footage.

All cine film was manufactured with small sprocket holes which are used to feed the film through the projector. As cine film ages and deteriorates it tends to shrink. This can be problematic for many scanners as the film sprocket holes do not then line-up and new holes can be punctured into the archive film. Our scanner has a sprocketless film path ensuring that every film passes through without the risk of damage. To achieve the best results when digitising archive film we use advanced ‘Wetgate’ scanning. This technique cleverly treats any scratches or vertical lines on the film with isoprophyl alcohol fluid. The fluid has an exceptionally fast evaporation rate which ensures that no residue is left on the film. Using this technique means that even a very damaged film can be optimised and restored to a sharp and authentic copy. Unlike ageing ‘Telecine’ film scanners which generate video output, our Filmfabriek HDS+ scanner delivers impressive high-resolution frame-by-frame scans. Creating true 4K Cinema+ (4096px x3000px) resolution frame by frame digitisation is of paramount importance for generating an authentic preservation copy of your archival film footage.

Output Formats

For the majority of our archive clients we provide two output format; one for preservation purposes and the other for access and easier dissemination. These are typically: Preservation specification & format:

  • 2K or 4K uncompressed 12-bit
  • ProRes422-HQ format or DPX sequence
Access specification & format:
  • H.264 High Quality
  • MP4 format
We are always happy to go through these options and help you to select the best fit for your requirements.

Project Management

Project management services include:

  • Initial conservation review, proposal and the undertaking of any remedial work e.g. mould removal, repair of dry splices and cleaning
  • Where required, colour grading and enhancements to improve the output quality
  • Access to a secure online compressed version of the recording for the client’s review and assessment prior to delivery
  • A sampling service whereby we can capture a short segment of the footage to help clients identify and assess the value of the content before committing it to full digitisation
  • A fully searchable and viewable transcription of the content of the film
  • To enhance the digitised recording we are sometimes asked to produce a searchable transcription. Furthermore, using AI we can recognise and record objects and scenes from the film. This improves the discoverability of the content, providing direct access to words or phrases within the digitised content, either to read the transcribed text or to listen to or watch the recording at the point where the words or phrases appear
  • The film stock is of course fully insured both while at our premises and in transit.


We are privileged to have undertaken cine film digitisation for numerous clients, some listed here:

  • Sir Quentin Blake
  • News UK
  • Historic England
  • King’s College London
  • HSBC
  • All England Lawn Tennis Club
  • Mulberry Bush Archive
  • Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability
  • National Army Museum
  • National Theatre
  • King's College School
  • Scout Association
  • IET (Institution of Engineering & Technology)
  • MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club)
  • Royal Aeronautical Society

Samples and Next Steps

Please do contact us to discuss your video collection. We would be delighted to digitise samples from your collection (without charge) so that you can see the benefits of opening up access to your film collection by digitisation.

If you'd like to get in touch to find out more about our services please use the buttons below or call us on 020 8309 5445


I have worked with Max Communications and the team for some years. In recent work with their Archivematica iteration in the College Archives and Corporate Records Unit, and other digital work required by varying cohorts in Imperial, Max Communications have been responsive, innovative and demonstrated great problem-solving abilities. The Max Communications team, from the top down, is approachable, friendly and keen to help.

An example is in their engagement for some major confidential scanning projects. The projects were discussed, scoped and agreed to a high standard of hand scanning. Benchmarking was agreed to our satisfaction when the project started, with a fast progress time for the work. They provided rapid access to files, including digitising out of sequence, e.g. one such turn around for hand scanning, editing and proofing a large file was within 3 hours. The digital delivery was by secure online transfer, and the hard disks and hard copy delivered securely by courier.

On a lighter note, digitisation of 1960s academic cine film was carried out promptly and to a high standard, such that it can be reshown at a major conference

--Anne Barrett | College Archivist & Corporate Records Manager | Imperial College London
Cine Film Digitisation