Author Archives: steven

About steven

The creative talent behind the company, and creator of our groundbreaking Phoenix scanning system, Steven is a highly skilled film editor and works in Final Cut Pro, Motion and Episode.

Do You Have Cine Film Footage of Butlins?

Then We Want To Talk To You! Los Angeles based PalmDoorFilms have asked if any of our customers might be able to help them find some good Cine Film footage of Butlins Holiday Camps between 1950-1965.The film-makers are working on an independent documentary chronicling the rise, fall and resurrection of Joe Meek – the extraordinary record producer and songwriter from the South West of England.

The two filmmakers have already traveled across the UK and the US to interview over 70 friends, family members, colleagues, employees, enthusiasts, critics and biographers of Meek – and with the project almost complete are looking for some final archive film to illustrate life in England during the 19050s to mid-60s.

If you have good footage of Butlins during this period – especially Clacton or Skegness, do get in touch with Alive Studios, and if suitable we’ll put you in touch with the producers to see if your film is any use to the project.

Get in touch with Alive Studios here: Contact Us
You can read more about the documentary here: www.joemeekdoc.com

Many Thanks!
Jennie Flowers (Director)
Alive Studios, Devon

Joe Meek

Karishma Cloud arrives on Apple TV!

Hopefully you already know about the incredible Karishma Cloud APP which is free to all our customers. It’s an amazing cloud service for accessing all your home movies Anytime, Anywhere.

If you’ve not read about it yet, please click here to read.

On the back of the highly acclaimed Karishma Cloud service, Alive Studios have just launched the worlds first home movie streaming TV APP on Apple TV for accessing your treasured old home movies directly on your Television!

1. Go to the App store on your Apple TV.
2. Search “karishma cloud” and download the free APP.

Its as simple as that – it’s like Netflix, only this time, the star of every movie is YOU!

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The Next Step in Home Movie Viewing?

Ok, have a good laugh – that’s what the team here at Alive Studios did when I first donned this headset. But after the initial giggles wear off, consider what it is we’re doing here…

My team and I have been exploring the possibility of creating fully-immersive home movies. That is, your old home movies, transferred to a digital format that works with the latest line of VR equipment like the Rift, Playstation VR and the Vive (as modelled by me!).

Virtual Reality is a common theme in Sci-fi movies, where it is used to turn the fantastical into reality. Think of movies like Tron, Matrix and Vanilla Sky. We’re going slightly sideways in that we are taking a reality that has already happened in the past, and making it seem like it’s happening now. A kind of virtual time-travel if you like. We don’t want to create anything that is virtual. We want to make actual reality from the past, real in present day.

With capital investment in VR amounting to some $700m in 2015, and Digi-Capital’s claims that VR will be a 150 billion dollar industry by 2020, the technology will just keep getting better and better.

After the disastrous attempt at VR in the 1990s, I was unsure what to expect this time around. I am however, completely taken and a little bit obsessed with this new platform. The feeling of actually being in the virtual environment is incredibly real, and where you enter situations with an element of fear or risk, I’ve never felt anything so real.

It’s early days yet, but our R&D team are coming up with ideas all the time, and working hard to achieve the dream of being able to immerse yourself in the past as though you were truly there… Sci-fi may soon become Sci-fact.

VR

Karishma Cloud now on Android TV App

Hopefully you already know about the incredible Karishma Cloud APP which is free to all our customers. It’s an amazing cloud service for accessing all your home movies Anytime, Anywhere.

If you’ve not read about it yet, please click here to read.

On the back of the highly acclaimed Karishma Cloud service, Alive Studios have just launched the worlds first TV APP for accessing your treasured old home movies directly on your Television! If you have an Android TV, then it’s so simple…

1. Go to the Google Play store on your TV.
2. Search “karishma cloud” and download the free APP.
3. Go to your TV, load the APP and start watching!

Its as simple as that – it’s like Netflix, only this time, the star of every movies is YOU!

Available on Google Play Store for Android phones, tablets and TV

Karishma Cloud will also be coming to Apple TV very soon.

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The new Karishma Cloud

Welcome to the future of home movie viewing! Alive Studios are the only company offering the amazing Karishma Cloud – where all your home movies are waiting for you and your family to access and enjoy Anytime, Anywhere…

Log on via your computer, or download the free APP to your phone or tablet so you can take your memories with you wherever you go.

We also have the Android TV APP making all your home movies available onDemand from the comfort of your living room. It’s as easy as calling up Netflix – only with Karishma Cloud, you are the star of every episode!

Log in to Karishma Cloud on your computer and access your account in detail; make changes to the running order and titles of your movies, send invitations to friends and family so they can share the experience. Chat directly with your dedicated editor to ensure your films are created just the way you want them.

There’s so much you can do, just visit this page for more info

ACCESS YOUR MOVIES FROM:
▸ Any iPhone or iPad
▸ Any Android phone or tablet
▸ Any Android TV

Your movies delivered digitally

Jennie Flowers talks about the future of watching home movies, and why Alive Studios has decided to drop DVD and Blu-ray from it’s film transfer service.

We are living in an age of Smart TVs, Digital content and Movies on Demand.
I think we’d all agree that the way we watch TV shows and movies has changed dramatically over the past few years, and it’s apparent that home movie viewing is going the same way. For example, on a recent Wi-Fi-enabled flight, I used my iPad with the Netflix App to revisit previous seasons of Once Upon A Time, and noticed the chap next to me was indulged in viewings of Top Gear on BBC iPlayer.

When I arrived home, I caught up on Game of Thrones by binge-watching 3 episodes I’d set my Sky box to record – but being a busy mum of three, who gets precious little sofa-time, I streamed the episodes to the TV in my bedroom so I could make a dent in the mountain of ironing that had accumulated in my absence.

Meanwhile, my teenage son is claiming to be studying for school, but no doubt really using his laptop to stream endless ‘Hilarious Talking Dog’ videos courtesy of You Tube, and as I type, my 6 year old occupies the desk opposite me and is giggling his way through a Tom & Jerry marathon on my iMac, via the Amazon Prime Video App, proving these Apps are so simple to use, even children, not mention pensioners, love them.

Speaking of which, we bought my in-laws an Apple TV for Christmas, to turn their normal TV into a Smart TV, so they can now stream content from their computer and iPad to the living room TV, and have access to Apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

And so you get the picture… a pretty similar scenario in most households across the country now. Gone are the days of sitting down at 8pm for Prime Time TV, as broadcast schedules no longer dictate our viewing times, or even the viewing place.

It’s all about having control.

The New York consulting firm Open Mind Strategy recently coined the lengthy abbreviation IWWIWWIWI (“I want what I want when I want it”).
Echoing that sentiment, Alive Studios use the line “Your Memories – Anytime, Anywhere” to reflect the fact that we want to dictate what we watch and how we watch it.

With all the this technology, what does it mean for our home movies? What is the best way to store them in these digital times? How can we access them quickly, and be able to use all the different devices we now use?

Being custodian of your family’s legacy on film is a huge responsibility. It’s no longer a case of simply hanging to that box of dusty old photos and cine films. It’s important now to get that history off the old material before it deteriorates completely, and ensure they are in a format that can keep up with the fast-pace of modern technology.

Alive Studios have been following the dramatic u-turn in TV viewing for some time, and one of the first things we noticed was the rapid decline in people using DVDs and Blu-rays. These formats are very much out of date now for a number of reasons.

We can’t edit a disc – we’re stuck with the contents exactly as they are.
Very few computers and laptops are being made with disc drives now.
Wall-mounted TVs are no longer hooked up to DVD players.
We want our content available anytime, anywhere without hunting for a disc.
We want to view our movies on our iPads and tablets, which don’t take discs.
DVDs and Blu-ray discs can easily scratch and become ruined.

So, it’s inevitable that Alive Studios have waved goodbye to discs, and welcome in the digital age of easy-to-copy, easy-to-share, multi-use digital files.

You can store a digital movie file on a huge variety of devices. Alive Studios ship orders to customers on a USB stick or portable hard-drive, depending on the amount of film.
Once in your possession, you can duplicate the stick to make safe backups, transfer the files to numerous computers, then copy them over to iPads, tablets and phones.
As well as having the physical USB stick, the films are also uploaded to Alive Studios very own cloud – the “Karishma Cloud”. An Indian name meaning ‘Miracle’ seems very appropriate for a service that offers to bring images of long-gone loved ones back to life, it is actually named after it’s lead developer – a talented young woman called Karishma. The user-friendly cloud hosts all your home movies in a private, secure environment, which you can access anytime, from any device, no matter where in the world you are.
To support the computer version of the service, there are also APPs you can download for your Android and Apple phones, and even a TV APP made exclusively so you can access your movies directly from your smart TV, in the same way you would load Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.

With over 18,000 customers who’ve used Alive Studios, they report that majority are over retired age, with many in their 80s and 90s, it just proves how willing we are to adopt these exciting new changes in the way we enjoy television – especially when the stars of the shows are ourselves….

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4K ULTRA HD film scanning comes to Alive Studios

After 18months of hard development, the leaders in Cine Film Transfer, Alive Studios are proud to announce the launch of their 4K Film Scanner. Beta-testing has been ongoing since November 2015, and the results have been nothing short of brilliant. Pin-sharp quality, and images so real, you’ll be watching a home movie from the 1960’s and think we’d invented a time-machine!

Our 4K cine film transfers are four times the resolution of full HD, so you get four times the enjoyment and you’ll see clarity in your films like you’ve never seen before.

And the best news is, you don’t have to wait for this incredible service. You can visit our website and order your 4K transfer today!

This innovative leap in technology means our customers can now take full advantage of their shiny new 4K televisions, and enjoy their cine film transfers in amazing Ultra HD 4K on even the largest TVs.

4k-comparison

What exactly is 4K or Ultra HD?
4K—now known officially as Ultra HD, is the next big step in HDTV resolution. An Ultra HD television as one that displays at least 8 million active pixels, with a lower resolution boundary of at least 3,840 by 2,160. It’s a nice, even number, doubling the horizontal and vertical pixels offered by 1080p, which itself became the standard for high definition. Alive’s 4K Scanner produces film with a resolution of 3840 x 2160.
Collectively, the format was originally known as 4K, and while the CEA officially changed its designation to Ultra HD, the 4K label appears to be sticking.

How is 4K cine film transfer different than HD 1080p cine film transfer?
Alive’s Ultra HD film scanner offers four times the resolution of standard 1080p (1,920-by-1,080-pixel).

The extra resolution of 4K images adds more detail, more depth and more colour resolution to the picture, resulting in images that look incredibly life-like – more like looking through a window than watching TV.

4K is especially effective on very large screens – so ideally you’ll go for a 55-inch set or even bigger. That said, we’d argue that 4K resolution clearly improves picture quality at pretty much any screen size.

An interesting point about having your cine film in 4K, that may help you appreciate its importance to image quality is the fact that 4K is considered by the film-making community as being able to reproduce in pixel form the sort of resolution and ‘finish’ you get with 35mm film. So, although you may have shot in 8mm, 9.5mm or 16mm, this new technology brings us closer to giving you that cinematic 35mm look and feel.

Interestingly, did you know that 16mm cine film has between 1800-2000 horizontal lines.
Our 2K film scanner scans at 1556 lines, which are then output in HD which is just 1080 lines, so you’re not getting everything out of your 16mm film. Our 4K film scanner scans at 2160 lines, ensuring you get every minute detail out of that amazing 16mm film you shot. So if you’re wondering if 4K is worth it, the numbers don’t lie.

You may have even seen a “4K” logo in movie theatres lately, and if you’ve been to watch any of the major blockbusters like The Hobbit, you’ll have seen the astounding picture quality. But even when watching movies on a home television, the difference is clear. While some regular viewers struggle to see the difference between 1080p and 720p, at least in smaller television sizes, it’s much more obvious on 50-inch and larger TVs, and 4K is another significant jump still in terms of clarity and detail—especially since people are becoming more and more used to seemingly “perfect” resolution with today’s Retina-style HD screens on mobile gadgets.

The Memory Vault

What is the Memory Vault?
It’s a collection of old movie clips, kindly submitted by you – our loyal customers. This is a community site, run for free by Alive Studios to allow our customers to easily share historically interesting films from their home movie collections.

We hope to grow this into a huge database of old films, categorized by year, location and subject matter. Please add as much of your collection as you think people want to see. Simply log in to your private gallery on your Karishma Cloud account and get sharing… Enjoy!

Visit the Memory vault

Stabilizing Super8 Film

A few weeks ago a film-maker contacted us to say he’d shot some film on an old Super 8 camera he’d bought and wanted to know if the footage was any good, so he could decide whether to continue shooting scenes for his film.

The resulting scan showed the film hadn’t been held steady in the camera during shooting – a uncommon problem with old cine cameras – and as a result the film moves around too much creating a distracting, messy look. This was potentially very bad news for the film-maker, but luckily I have a keen interest in image stabilization so offered to try and fix his problem in post-production…

 

A bit of background for you… I work a lot with old ‘Video’ footage. These are recordings made on a VHS camera, or Hi8 tape, etc. ‘Video’ suffers greatly from stabilization problems whereby hand-held footage looks very unpleasant, especially when the cameraman makes fast, erratic movements or panning too fast. I have used image stabilization in the past to appease that problem, but I’ve never felt the need to do this on cine film, as ‘Real Film’ doesn’t have the same problem that ‘Video’ has, and hand-held footage, even 70 years old, looks absolutely fine normally. So this was the first time I’d had chance to play with Image Stabilization on a piece of cine footage. Anyway, after some trial and error and tweaking of settings, I ran the process on a 4min reel and as you can see from the results in this video, the output is excellent. The film-maker was delighted and is continuing to shoot his movie, knowing I will resolve the problem for him. If you have this issue with your film and want a quote for fixing it, give me, Steven, a call on +44(0)1803 873472 or email me at steven@alivestudios.co.uk

Alive Studios convert Super Cyclone

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Alive Studios convert Super Cyclone for Cable TV from video tape to HD broadcast stream

The video team at Alive Studios have just carried out a conversion from the French language master video tape of this fantasy feature film, to a HD stream file provided on a hard-drive, ready for an international cable TV network to broadcast from.

Summary:
When a super cyclone threatens the entire American eastern seaboard, a lone meteorologist and a petroleum engineer must battle theelements to stop the threat