Once the footage is acquired it is sent to a company that treats the film to hault the desintigration. Unfortunately some footage is lost due it the conditions the film was originally stored. But we work with what remains and try to saves as much footage as possible with only a couple frames dropped from the final product. After the film has been treated, we can then start the digitizing process. We have found that some professional restoration places take more care than others with this process. Here is a video link so that you can see for yourself what we will be doing to the 8mm film. http://youtu.be/cm5ePQ5Qxzo
With VHS it is a little more simple. The tapes are loaded into a player that has a video card attached to it. Once the video is loaded into the computer it is run through several programs that sharpen and stabilize the footage. In some cases the footage needs to be run through a special program that has recognition filters that fills in blank spots caused by time and deterioration in the film. This process takes a lot of rendering time and space on a computer.
As you can see from the video there is a lot involved with the video equipment, projectors, computers, specialized programs, and both computer as well as physical space. This is why we do some of the work digitizing the footage ourselves and other more complicated projects we send out to professionals.
If you have more questions about this process, please ask as we would be happy to answer any questions backers might have.