Video is Everywhere. Transfer, Edit, Share.

With a little fear and sadness, the last post was a reminder that we all have valuable old movies growing obsolete and inaccessible in our memory archives. Here’s how to have them transferred and, more importantly, what to do then.

This is often the most daunting part because it raises a lot of questions. Where do I take it? Is it safe? What do I get back? How do I play it? Answers: Stay local and start with a small batch of one or two tapes or reels. If we don’t do it, we have a partner who does and we won’t risk (and don’t recommend) possible damage or loss in shipping.

Have it transferred to MP4. It’s a high quality, universal format of digital video. DVD or Bluray might sound simpler, but those formats are nearing obsolescence too so you’ll have to ‘rip’ them to digital video later for further editing and sharing. Having your movies transferred directly to MP4 leapfrogs that step.

2.      Edit

A good transfer service like ours will remove dead space and divide long tapes into shorter clips for you. But since there’s a good chance you won’t have been able to preview the footage first, you may still want to edit the video you get back.

First, copy the full versions to the same hard drive and cloud storage you trust for your photo backups. We’ll use Youtube because it’s great for editing and sharing. That shouldn’t be your only copy though.

If you have a Gmail account, use it to log into Youtube and click upload. Your first channel, like an album, is created by default. Drag your .mp4 into the window and while it uploads and processes, add your title, description, and tags (names, places, events). I begin my titles with the year the movies were filmed, so they’re listed in order later.

Once published, click the edit button to access all sorts of tools. To trim and clip out unwanted pieces, look for the “Enhancements” tab and then the “Trim” button. A timeline appears at the bottom where you subtract the beginning, end or pieces in the middle. When you’re done, save it as the original or as a new version. Done!

3.      Share

Your Youtube channel is public by default so that anyone you share a link with can view it, and it’s searchable on google. You can set your channel or individual videos to private, or even unlisted so that they can only be seen by you and those you allow. This is great for family because, if you give them permission, family members can help edit, title, tag and comment. One person can transfer and upload and you or someone far away can return later to refine them incrementally.

This is just the basics but if you’ve made it this far, you’re ready to tackle your first transfer. Call our experts today to get started!

Video is everywhere.Where's yours?

Video is Everywhere.Where’s Yours?

Video is Everywhere. Where’s Yours?

When a dear friend recently lost her father, she poured her grief into the preparation of the memorial slide show. As the family’s unofficial keeper of memories, she already had access to their photo collections.

Her passion for photography and archiving had equipped her well for the task but she said she was surprised and disappointed to find out that videos of her father were almost impossible to find. She knew he was in old home movies on videotape and likely old movie film as a child. She knew where they were but even if she had the equipment to play them, there was no time to search for the right clips, let alone have them converted into a format she could use in her slideshow.

Knowing that she had precious footage that she wouldn’t be able to share left her feeling an even deeper loss. Unfortunately, this is the part of the story I’m all too familiar with. In our photo stores, many of our video transfer clients come to us to revive memories of a recent family member. It’s not the knowledge that the media is deteriorating or obsolete or cumbersome that brings them in. What calls us to act is the disappointment of not being able to share the immeasurable presence of a loved one during a time of sadness.

This isn’t just a sad story. It’s meant to be a reminder that you might have something very valuable and very inaccessible. You don’t have to rally the family to start the project of converting old movies. One of my favorite customers became a regular by visiting us every few weeks with one videotape or movie reel for transfer. Trickling them in helped her offset the cost and prolong the joy of rediscovery. We’d transfer everything to MP4, just like the videos your phone captures, so she could share them online with her family spread across the globe. If that sounds like another daunting piece of the endeavor that’s holding you back, then stay tuned. In the next post, I’ll explain how this senior citizen mastered video editing and built a digital video library. (hint: it’s youtube and it’s pretty easy).

Printing for young memories

Printing for Young Memories

When you think back to your surroundings growing up; your bedroom, living room, what do you remember? The furniture? The patterns on the walls and floor? I remember photos. Some of them probably still hang in a hallway in my parents’ house. They are my family. Me, grandparents, cousins. I wouldn’t have forgotten about those people had the photos not been there. Well, maybe a couple of them. But the photos helped cement in my mind just how important family was to us. What do your walls say about you now?

My kids are growing up in the screen age. Their photos are on Instagram, Google Drive, hard drives. The ubiquity of glowing pixels and endless streams of content everywhere makes it hard to assign a value to select images. And less likely that you’ll find any adorning the walls in our homes.

For Mother’s Day, I compiled all the photos of my kids with their grandmother in the last year and made a calendar for her. I stopped at 200. With that kind of abundance, is each one still as valuable as the single snapshots that hung in my childhood bedroom? Maybe. I print them anyway.

I hang little galleries in their bedroom and one in the hallway.  Some are recent, others are a decade old or more. I rearrange them when they’re knocked off the wall in epic boy battles. They don’t notice them. But they know they’re there. The people in them are more important than those floating by in Facebook feeds. And they’ll remember them later.

As a population, we take more pictures than ever before in history. It’s easier and less expensive to print them than it’s ever been. But we make fewer. I think that makes each one more valuable.


print refinery, licensing model

The Print Refinery inspires the next photo specialty retail concept – The Dead Pixels Society

At the IPI Member Network Conference last summer, we had the chance to talk to IPI’s Ron Mohney, executive director, and Brenda DiVincenzo, director of member success, about The Print Refinery.As regular readers know, the Print Refinery is a licensed branded retail solution for the photo specialty channel. IPI has monthly webinars to discuss the opportunity with potential members. Click here to read more.


print marketing consultant

Consult. Create. Repeat.

Why? Because it’s not just a piece of paper, or canvas, or metal, or wood. It’s not just a photo or a graphic. It’s a conversation starter, the spark that ignites stories and creates emotional connections. It’s a mnemonic expression of the experiences that bring together families and friends, colleagues and clients. At The Print Refinery, this human connection drives the unique experiential elements that make up a winning formula – for the consumer and the retailer.

EXPERIENCE a Consultative Creative Partnership – Today’s specialty retail and service markets are no longer transactional, employing order takers. For both retail guests and commercial clients, you must develop relationships that position your team as the local expert. It’s time to get out from behind the counter and consult with each customer side-by-side. Understanding their needs and matching them with your vast capabilities will guarantee the desired end result – that emotional connection with the story behind the project.

The Print Refinery store design incorporates several multi-functional areas: a casual conversation area, a consultation counter, various styles of workstations and multiple collaboration tables. Guests and team members spontaneously engage with each other in a variety of ways, without the barrier of the traditional sales counter. The incorporation of the collaboration tables has proven to successfully increase sales tickets.

CURATE Unique Product + Service Offerings – Offering exclusive products and services with a, “We print ANYTHING on EVERYTHING,” mantra is essential, highlighted by beautiful, clean displays that thoughtfully represent the best of what you can do. Design these vignettes to feel like a home or office environment. When paired with conversation, your team will utilize the free flow environment to walk guests through a hands-on experience of examples, materials and inspiration that meets their specific needs. Embracing the latest marketing techniques (web design, online advertising, digital signage, emotional messaging and video), as well as adding celebratory packaging, emphasizes the perception of your work being professionally crafted, custom masterpieces.

The Gather Box (shoebox scanning reinvented) is one of the more multi-faceted “Signature” services offered in-store at The Print Refinery, as it encourages add-ons, upselling and derivative creative products, and can be paired with classes, events and one-on-one consultations. Ongoing development of new Signature Products and services is inspired by home and commercial décor trends and top selling items on creative sites like Etsy.

ENGAGE through Community-Building Classes + Events – Focus on building a local culture through interactive education and social events. Collaboration tables can be moved together and placed in front of a wall-mounted monitor to create an in-store classroom space. All classes and events should conclude with the creation of a printed creative product and an introduction to the endless future project possibilities. Maximize your opportunities to support, train, educate, coach and entertain your customers. Events and education inspire creativity, collaboration and connection, teaching skills that add value and lead to purchases. Capitalize upon the current popularity of group activities like paint night, plant night, trivia night, etc. that allow guests to socialize with like-minded individuals in a fun and nurturing environment.

UNCOVER High Profit Margins with Commercial Concentration – The Print Refinery is a hybrid model of equal B2C and B2B sales, using the Creative Partner Program method to attract lucrative commercial projects that carry an 80% margin on average. Developing creative partnerships with local businesses happens mostly outside of the store, however, the store is well-equipped with interactive displays and collaboration areas for in-store appointments, as well as spontaneous experiences. This new focus has brought one location over $20,000 in additional sales in January of this year.

CULTIVATE Team Culture – Your brand = your culture = your team. These three elements must be well developed, communicated and integrated. Start by clearly defining your brand culture through your vision, mission, guiding principles (core values) and brand promise. All business decisions are tested against these, including cultivating the right team. Engaged team members are attracted to your culture and perform better as a result. Engagement starts during the recruiting process and continues through interviewing, hiring and training. Most importantly, it never ends with growth opportunities presented by coaching, mentoring and education. State your vision, mission, guiding principles and brand promise and clearly define the attributes of your ideal team member in your job descriptions and training materials.

The Print Refinery Vision:

Building a passionate local community by inspiring people and businesses to creatively use photographs, imagery and video.

DEVELOP a New Mindset – Training is integral in making the culture shift of taking your team members from order takers to collaborators, from producers to artisans, from service representatives to educators, and from retail salespeople to commercial partners. The Print Refinery developed an online training program in which all team members from all stores participate. It can be modified for use during in-person individual or group training. Training modules are added regularly to introduce new concepts and train on the brand, the culture, sales techniques, display methods and new products and services.

The Print Refinery Brand Promise:

Our passion is bringing your stories to life through artistic collaboration. Our obsession is delivering share-worthy excitement with each experience and project.

Because at the end of the day, when you present your hand-crafted masterpieces to your in-store guests and unveil your stunning on-location installations to your creative partners, you’ve become an irreplaceable part of their storytelling process. You are now part of their conversation. You’ve forged a lasting connection. Consult. Create. Repeat.