Easter Holidays

Please note that we will be closed for the Easter weekend from 12.00 on Thursday 2nd of April. Back to normal on the Tuesday..

Happy Easter everyone!

Greatest Films of the 21st Century

The past 15 years has seen countless films hit the big screen, and many of these films are considered to be amongst the best that have ever been produced. At Cine2DVD, we love good film, so here is our selection of the greatest films of the 21st century (so far).

The Dark Knight (2008)


The second film in the most recent Batman trilogy was extremely popular, and displayed excellent acting, action and drama that captured the imagination of cinema audiences across the globe.

Christopher Nolan’s film sees Christian Bale reprise the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman, and is set during a period of change and conflict in the city of Gotham. The city’s newly elected District Attorney Harvey Dent, played by Aaron Eckhart, becomes central to the plot of the film, and impacts Wayne’s personal life as well as that of his alter-ego.

The film sees Batman, Dent and Gotham Police combat a rising threat in the city; a criminal who goes by the name of ‘The Joker’, played by the late Heath Ledger. The intensity of this storyline, which combines shocking drama with dark comedy, captures audiences everywhere, and propelled the film to its long-running success.

The film received publicity six months prior to its release when, sadly, it was announced that Heath Ledger had died after taking a lethal combination of prescription drugs on 22nd January 2008. Movie-lovers flocked to cinemas to see Ledger play one of his final roles, which lead him to win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor posthumously.

Frozen (2013)


Disney’s 2013 release has created one of the biggest franchises in film history. Inspired by Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen, the film earned US$1.2 billion at the box office, and continues to sell a variety of merchandise that makes it the most profitable film (in terms of merchandise) in history.

The film tells the tale of princess sisters Anna and Elsa. Elsa possesses powers that allow her to produce massive amounts of snow and ice, which is kept secret until the day of her coronation, when in an outburst Elsa accidentally reveals her powers and causes an eternal winter. She runs away, leaving Anna, alongside iceman Kristoff, his reindeer Sven and the lovable snowman Olaf, with the task of finding her and convincing her to bring back summer.

Frozen has seen widespread success, with the song ‘Let It Go’ winning the Academy Award for Best Original Song. The film continues to be highly successful to this day, with Disney releasing a Frozen short, which has been named Frozen Fever, and will debut in cinemas with Disney’s Cinderella, which will be released on 13th March 2015.

Inception (2010)


An all-star cast featured in Christopher Nolan’s science-fiction film Inception, which received widespread success and lead to it becoming the 41st highest grossing film of all time.

The film sees Dom Cobb, a professional thief played by Leonardo DiCaprio, commit corporate espionage by infiltrating the subconscious of his victims. Alongside Arthur, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, his team is given the task of using military technology to do the impossible. They are to cause ‘inception’, or in other words implant ideas into the subconscious of their target while extracting information and experiencing shared dreaming.

The film confused audiences globally, and won many awards to reflect its critical success.

Kill Bill (2003, 2004)


Quentin Tarantino’s two-part martial arts action film was extremely popular when it was released. Originally, the film was supposed to be one single feature, however when the finished cut lasted over four hours, it was decided that it would be released in two parts.

The Bride, played by Uma Thurman, is seen in a wedding dress lying wounded in a church at the beginning of the film, having been attacked by the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. The film follows the journey of the Bride, who goes on a path of pain, torture and growth, and her travel to Okinawa with the eventual aim of assassinating Bill, her former lover and the man who shot her.

The films were well-received by critics, offering action, emotion and all the elements audiences have come to expect from Tarantino films. Although a third volume has been rumoured, Tarantino has dismissed these rumours.

These films are excellent examples of the greatest film Hollywood has ever produced, but here at Cine2DVD, we treat your home movies just as we would the century’s biggest blockbuster. We offer many film transfer services, including transfer of super8 to DVD. For more information, contact us today by calling 0800 592433.

Remember, Mum’s the Word

March 15th – that’s a date for your calendar. No, it’s not just the ides of March, although if you happen to be Julius Caesar, do take care. It’s also mother’s day, or Mothering Sunday for those who prefer an extra 50% more letters with their events.

But how about, this year, not buying your dear ol’ mum the token box of chocolates and a bottle of Baileys? After all, she’s your mother, so she deserves something a little more special – like a video of all her greatest hits: the time she burnt the turkey at Christmas, that tipsy dance she did at your wedding, the moment she first laid eyes on her first grandchild.

Maybe you’d like to see her face when all the family members speak to the camera about how awesome she is, or gather the grandkids to perform an expertly choreographed rendition of absolutely any scene from Oliver! These are all glorious moments that she’s sure to treasure forever. Also, you’ll be her favourite child for the whole day, so that’s a bonus.

Of course, you’ll want to make sure that whatever your footage, your mum looks great in them. On this blog, we like to offer up ideas for creating great home movies, so here are a few filming tips, to ensure your lovely mum looks a million dollars (which she’s totally worth, of course).

Show Her in Her Best Light

Lighting can be a tricky issue when it comes to camcorders, especially for those shots filmed indoors. If you’re shooting inside, you do, at least, have an element of control over the lighting. Switch on as many lights as you can; don’t simply rely on overhead lights as they can cast ugly shadows over your subjects, and leave their faces in darkness. If you’re shooting by a window, position yourself with your back to it – otherwise you’ll end up with a silhouette of your mum and miss out on her beautiful smile. Likewise, if you’re filming outside, shoot with your back to the sun, to really capture her best side.

Put the Focus on Her

Your camera comes with all manner of jiggery-pokery, right? So why leave it on auto-focus? It might seem like the easiest choice, but you’ll regret it when you come to view the footage and see that weird zooming blur as the camera attempts to focus on two things at once. Have a play beforehand and figure out how to precisely focus your camcorder manually. That way you can capture exactly what you want, without losing crucial moments because the camera’s got confused by the foreground and background subjects.

She Wants to See You Too

Just because you’re behind the camera, it doesn’t mean your job is done. It’s easy to forget that just because you’re there, it doesn’t mean you’re there. When watching your home movie back, your mum’s going to want to see you too; she’s not going to want to just listen to your ghostly voice monologuing in the background. Hand the camera over to someone you can trust, and make sure you’re in at least a couple of shots. That way your home movie has all the key players taking a starring role. You’re just as important to your mum as everyone else!

Now you’re all set to give your mother a gift to really remember! And if you’ve got footage from way back when, we’ll help you transfer it on to a digital format to be enjoyed by the whole family. We specialise in converting 16mm, Super 8 and 8mm film to DVD – creating memories you’ll want to watch again and again. Want more information about our services and products? It’s easy – simply contact us on 0800 592 433 and our dedicated team will be delighted to assist with all of your queries.

Cut!: How to Edit Home Movies

Last time on our blog, we were discussing how to ensure your home movies have a professional polish. In that, we discussed the importance of varying your shots. The general rule is to open with an establishing shot – that’s the shot that lets your audience know where the action’s taking place. You’ll notice it in movies and TV shows all the time, usually as we cut to an exterior shot of, say, Frasier’s apartment or Gotham City.

Then there’s the long shot, which allows you to capture a group or location in one frame. The medium shot allows a slightly closer look at a subject. If the birthday girl or boy is showing off the new football kit they’ve been given, you’d want a medium shot. It gives your viewers both facial expressions and body language. A close-up puts focus on, say, a subject’s face, or the birthday cake, and nothing else.

So how do you put all of those together to tell a story?

Even before you start shooting your home movie, you’ve got to have one eye on the editing process. Part of this comes with what you film – capturing literally every single moment of little Sarah’s West Ham-themed birthday party isn’t going to hook your audience, which means a little in-camera editing. So, for that birthday party, you’d shoot the action (blowing out the candles, say), stop recording, shoot a close-up of the birthday girl, pause, shoot the reactions of the party-goers.

But that’s just the beginning. So let’s take a look at a few tips and tricks for editing your home movies, and giving your audience something to really look at.

Don’t Go Cut-Crazy

A major danger, especially for first-time editors, is to cut-cut-cut, edit-edit-edit. If you’re editing together some wacky drug-like scene, that’s fine. But it’s no good for your cousin’s wedding. It will produce a dizzying and incoherent mess of a home movie. And it’s just plain tiring.

Don’t Hang on a Long Shot

There’s nothing more boring for viewers than a single long shot. That’s because we’re visual creatures, so we want to be visually stimulated. Another problem with long shots is that they can have too much going on – giving the viewer little clue as to what’s supposed to be the focus. Vary your shots, with an emphasis on medium and close-ups. Let’s see those reactions properly!

Cut on Actions and Words

You may not have noticed, but this is a classic editor’s trick. Say your subject waves – rather than capturing it in one shot, cut mid-wave and follow it through in another shot. This is obviously easier if you have two or more cameras recording, but with a little creativity, it’s not impossible to pull off on a single-camera set-up.

Capture Cutaways

You know when you’re watching an interview with, say, Roger Moore, and we cut to the interviewer nodding? Well, chances are, that nod was filmed at a different time. Grabbing cutaway shots are essential to mask an edit without resorting to a jump cut. It also adds to the movie’s atmosphere. So film anything that might be useful for a cutaway, like party bags and reactions of guests.

Keep It Continuous

Continuity is vital in any type of film. If there’s a really incongruous continuity error, your audience will stop focussing on the film and start worrying about why Grandad Bobby’s hat keeps disappearing and reappearing on his head with every shot change. Remember things like positions of subjects and the type of lighting and when it comes to editing.

Walking Equals Wipe

There’s a scene in Jaws where Brody’s watching the beach for the shark. As people walk past the camera, Spielberg cuts to ever-closer shots of the police chief. And you can do the same. You’re not on a film set, so whether it’s a wedding or birthday, people are likely to be walking past the camera. Use that to your advantage and cut to a new shot.

Be Creative

The beauty of editing is, even if Auntie Marjory arrived at the event after Uncle Roy, you can change all of that – especially if it makes for better story-telling. So long as you keep a master copy of all the footage, you can play around with the back-ups and see what works best for your vision without fear.

You’re Not There

Remember how, in our last blog, we discussed how the movie-maker should capture the action, rather than inserting themselves into it? Well, the same is true of editing. It should be seamless and invisible. Don’t draw attention to your editing, because it takes focus away from what’s really important – the subjects of the film.

Do It Digitally

It is possible to edit old-school style, from VCR to VCR. But if you’re looking to give your home movie a real sheen, you’ll want to look at digital editing software. Of course, that might mean you’ll have to transfer Super8 to DVD to get it onto your computer, but we can help you out with that. You’ll have a lot more control over your film doing it this way.

So, ready to stitch together your masterpiece? Simply contact us on 0800 592 433 and we’ll be delighted to assist with your film format conversions to create memories worth watching.