35mm Nitrate Transfers

The Fox Movietone News collection consists primarily of 35mm nitrate film, which can only be handled by labs with a nitrate license.  Our relationship with the stewards of this collection at the Library of Congress, with whom we initiated a joint preservation program in 1976, allows us to produce new HD or 4K scans from the 35mm nitrate film elements. Clients interested in pursuing new film transfers from 35mm can expect lead times of approximately 6-8 weeks.  All transfer costs are assumed by the client (transfers costs are separate from licensing rights, which must be obtained in order to use the material in a commercial manner). New scans will be delivered directly to Fox Movietone in New York and we will issue a new screener based off the resulting master.  Costs vary depending on the amount of material being transferred.  Please call or write to us for quotes.



A discreet portion of 16mm safety film from 1952-1963 is available for HD scans upon request.  When searching the archive, you will notice that certain shot lists for story numbers after 1952 make reference to 16mm description. 

Transfer Details

The vast majority of content from the Fox Movietone News collection was filmed and presented on 35mm nitrate film stock. However, in the early 1950s Fox Movietone joined forces with United Press (later United Press International/UPI) to provide coverage to the nascent television market, producing some 15million feet of 16mm film - much of it original camera negatives.  These outtakes or b-roll from this subset (1952-1963) for the most part remain unpublished and new HD transfers can be made available upon request.  In order to view this material it must first be scanned and transposed into a file based video asset.  Those costs are borne directly by the client thru an outside lab of our choosing.  Movietone will arrange the transfer and manage the file delivery in a process described in further detail below:
The 16mm film is stored at Iron Mountain in New Jersey.  Because we are charged a delivery fee to access this material we can only pull material for clients interested in performing transfers, we cannot entertain pure research requests for the 16mm film assets.  However, Movietone does absorb the cost of delivery as part of the transfer exchange.


Typical turnaround on a film transfer is 10 days.  Movietone has procured discounted rates for our clients on transfers of our material, which are billed in half hour blocks.  This rate reflects the actual time the lab needs to transfer the footage so 30 minutes of lab time does not equate to 30minutes of content.  However clients should take into consideration that once the calibration and setup is performed, the cost of transfer per linear foot of film falls as more film is transferred.  We strongly recommend optimizing your lab fee by choosing at least 3-6 rolls of film as this will generally cost the same as a single reel.  We also urge clients to perform all transfers at once as this also will greatly reduce your overall costs.  Film transfer fees for 16mm is as follows:

  • $250 / 30min of lab time

  • Minimum of 30 min per project

  • $150 File Mastering fee


Because the length of each reel is not known until it is brought in-house we cannot provide accurate estimates of the transfer until all elements are inspected.  As a very broad rule of thumb, an average reel is about 100-200ft.  At those lengths, a client may be able to transfer up to 4 short reels in within the first half hour block.  If reels are excessively long, or are significantly damaged, we give the client the option of backing out of the transfer.  A deposit of $300 is taken in advance of every transfer.

Vintage Cloud /Dansk Filmdigitization performing corrections on their 4K Steenbeck transfer station

Vintage Cloud /Dansk Filmdigitization performing corrections on their 4K Steenbeck transfer station