FAQ

f. Digital to Film (4)

What is it?

This service takes digital video files and outputs them to a matched negative film master.

Why would I want that?

There are several reasons one might perform this service, a lot of customers originate their film on video, edit their work and output their final piece to film negatives for archiving, show printing, or simply to gain some interesting effects or textures before going back to digital again. There are countless ways this process can be utilized.

How does it work?

We use a modified Oxberry animation stand to record a video image to film, frame by frame from a 2K HD Monitor.

What do I need to send you?

A USB key, or HDD containing your project file, and a filled out Order Form detailing what kind of service you would need along with any other particular details.

c. Payment (6)

How can I pay for my order?

We accept cash, personal cheques, PayPal, Interac e-Transfers, and most major credit cards. In-store pickups can also pay by debit.

How can I pay for my order if I can’t pick up in person?

Clients can pay by credit card online or by phone. We can  accept personal cheques, Canada Post Money Orders, Bank Drafts, or any other type of Money Order. Paypal is also accepted but a 3% Service Charge will be applied to all PayPal transactions. You can also use INTERAC e-mail money transfers. If paying via Paypal or INTERACT e-mail transfer please send them and the required password to our E-Mail</b>. Any orders mailed with personal cheques will take longer to process and will not ship until full payment is received.

Can I wire payments to your bank account?

While this payment option is available in some circumstances, please speak to us about making arrangements prior to sending your order out. You can Contact Us anytime to discuss alternative payment options.

Can I send cash when I mail my order?

While it is possible if you are shipping within Canada, we highly recommend you do not send cash through the mail. We cannot guarantee that it will get here as parcels can become damaged and it can become very difficult to guarantee that the cash stays in the parcel during shipping, for a multitude of reasons.

What if I bounce a cheque?

All bounced cheques will incur all applicable bank fees charged to our account and will immediately be placed in arrears on our system. Until the balance owing is payed no new orders on these accounts will be processed. Failure to promptly submit payment may be subject to additional fees and in some cases alternative methods of collection.

Can I pay in installments/defer my payment?

3h. Whilst we can offer deferred payment options to some of our account holders, It is completely under our discretion whether or not clients qualify for deferred payments and no orders will be shipped until full payment has been received.

d. Pricing (5)

Do you offer discounts to Students/Co-Op Members?

Yes, Please see our price lists in the Services section.

How can I submit proof that I am a student/Co-Op Member?

Simply bring a Valid student ID when dropping off your order, if you are mailing an order, please include a photocopy of your Student ID, if no ID is provided by your institution or you do not have one available at the time of shipmen, please include a student document (transcript/schedule with your full name and student number as well as a copy of any Photo ID. For Co-Op members if your institution does not mail out your order on your behalf please include a letter from the Co-Op validating your membership with the current date and include a photocopy of your Photo ID, and contact details for the Co-Op you belong to.

How come not all services have a student discounts?

All basic lab services are offered at a discounted rate for students and Co-Ops, however specialty services are not covered due to the nature of the work involved.

Do you offer volume discounts?

Yes, however these orders have to be of substantial quantity. The size of the discount will vary on how much film will be processed. The lab and the individual or organization will enter in to an agreement that will stipulate the amount of film and the rate at which the lab will provide the services.

Do you offer sponsorships?

Yes, we are always glad to support events, festivals, charities, and any other avenues where the use of Motion Picture film will be promoted. If you would like more information please Contact Us.

d. Processing and Services (8)

How fast can you turn my project around?

This depends on the type of work involved, as well as demand, most orders will take between 5-10 Business days to be completed, but this an average. We treat each project equally and work on them according to the order in which they arrive. We do not have a rush service but try our best to accommodate all of our customer’s deadlines.

Can I pay for a rush?

No, we treat everyone’s projects equally. We do not believe that paying slightly more makes anyone’s project more important than the rest.

Why is my project taking so long/Where is my project?

There could be a variety of reasons. First please make sure you check the tracking of your package regularly to see if any problems have occurred during shipping. Delays may have also occurred whilst working on your project. Please Contact Us” so that we can look into any delays or problems on your order.

How will I know when my project will be ready?

There could be a variety of reasons. First please make sure you check the tracking of your package regularly to see if any problems have occurred during shipping. Delays may have also occurred whilst working on your project. Please Contact Us so that we can look into any delays or problems on your order.

Can you push/pull/split-run process?

Yes, we can but these requests will take longer to accommodate, however no extra cost is attached with these requests.

Do you do Registration Tests/Fog Tests?

Yes, we provide these tests free of charge, however if same day service is required for these tests, charges will apply and we require ample notice in order to accommodate these requests. Please Contact Us for more details.

Do you offer overnight/weekend services?

Yes, we require ample notice in order to accommodate these requests. Please Contact Us for more details.

Do you sell stock?

Yes, please contact us for more details.

b. Shipping Internationally (7)

How do I get my film to you?

You can post them to our address using your local post office or any other for of International Express Courier (FED-EX, DHL, UPS, ETC). Please include a printed Order Form.

Remember to state clearly on the invoice & bill of lading  that these goods are being imported for further processing & returning to the country of origin: No sale, No Charge, declared cost for Customs purposes only, terms of sale DDP (Deliver Duty Paid). Niagara Custom Lab may bill you for any import costs incurred.

Please note that international shipping can take several weeks to get here depending on the location and service you choose. Track your shipment regularly as delays can happen when it arrives in Canada.

How do I get it back?

We prefer arrange shipping to any Express Courier account that you provide (Express Courier (FED-EX, DHL, UPS, ETC). Please include the company and account number to be used on the “Order Information” section on our Order Form.

How do I track my package?

If you included a completed return express courier waybill, please ensure you make note of the tracking number on the return waybill. If you have sent postage or we are billing you for shipping we can forward that information along once your film has shipped provided that you have included an e-mail address on our Order Form.

What if I don’t have an express courier account set-up?

You can provide an international express courier waybill (shipping slip) with your return address and credit card information filled out so that the service provider can bill the shipping and customs charges to your credit card. Just include it with your package when you send it. Please include a note stating “Credit card info on attached waybill” on the “Order Information” section of our Order Form/b>. Alternatively you could simply ask we bill your credit card for shipping, and add your credit card information (CC Number & Expiry Date) on the order form, as well as type of service required (Next Day, Next Day AM, Saturday Delivery, Economy) unless other wise stated we will use Fed-Ex courier services. Some couriers will not accept credit card and service level, price and custom charges will vary from courier to courier.

Can I purchase postage and mail it to you?

Yes, we can accept some forms of international postage stamps. Estimates will change depending on shipping weight and size of return parcel, this can cause major delays if not enough postage is included with your shipment. Please mention stamps will be included in the “Order Information” section on our Order Form. This method requires us to ship using Canadian Postal services which can take several weeks to arrive and can offer very limited tracking which is why we do not often recommend it.

Can you bill me for shipping?

Yes. We would require setting up an account with you. Please see the “Setting Up an Account” (if possible hyperlink to that FAQ section) section for more information. Please mention that an account will be billed, and what type of service you require in the “Order Information” section on our Order Form (hyperlink). For 1-5 day international delivery we use Fed Ex expedited services. We can also use Fed-Ex International Economy. We can use international shipping with Local Postage services. This service level can take several weeks to arrive and tracking can be very limited unless shipped via Air Mail, which has strict size and weight limitations, and lacks appropriate tracking options, which is why we do not often recommend it. Fed-Ex Economy international is usually comparable in price.

How much will it cost to ship back?

This really depends on the type of service provided, and is entirely dependent on size and weight. There is no effective way to provide an accurate estimate, while using the cost of shipping to us as a reference can be helpful, it is not recommended as it can often lead to underestimating the cost of return shipping and again will cause major delays. Customs charges and taxes can also become a problem depending on where and how packages are sent. Again we recommend using express couriers as this guarantees that your film will not get lost or delayed at customs.

a. Shipping within Canada (9)

How do I get my film to you?

You can post them to our address using Canada post or any other for of National Express Courier (FED-EX, PUROLATOR, CANPAR, ETC). Please include a printed Order Form or send us an E-Mail with an attached PDF of the completed order form. Most people ship using Canada Post Prepaid Envelopes.

What if my film won’t fit in a prepaid envelope?

You can send more than one envelope at a time, and bundle them together at a local Post office. If you send them as separate packs and drop them off at a Post Box they may not arrive together, or at the same time. You could also pack them as a single large parcel in a box or container at the Post Office.

How do I get it back?

For National return postage we prefer a return, self-addressed Canada Post Prepaid Envelopes. You can purchase these at any Postal Outlet and include them when you mail your film in to us. Make sure when purchasing the return package you leave ample room to fit your materials, as well as making sure you fill out the return address on the return envelope. Alternatively we can arrange shipping to any Express Courier account that you provide (FED-EX, PUROLATOR, CANPAR, ETC). Please include the company and account number to be used on the “Order Information” section on our Order Form.

How do I track my package?

If you included a return pack, or have enclosed a completed return express courier waybill, please ensure you make note of the tracking number on the return envelope/waybill. If you have sent postage or we are billing you for shipping we can forward that information along once your film has shipped provided that you have included an e-mail address on our Order Form.

What if my film won’t fit in the prepaid envelope I provided? How will I know?

Sometimes the materials sent will either not fit or will be too heavy to send through a Canada Post Prepaid Envelope. This can cause major delays. A good rule of thumb is to see if the entirety of your sealed package would fit in to the return mailer you provided. If this does not look to be the case then you will need to provide a larger prepaid pack, or include more than one return pack.

What if I don’t have an express courier account set-up?

You can provide an express courier waybill (shipping slip) with your return address and credit card information filled out so that the service provider can bill the shipping and customs charges to your credit card. Just include it with your package when you send it. Please include a note stating “Credit card info on attached waybill” on the “Order Information” section of our Order Form. Alternatively you could simply ask we bill your credit card for shipping, and add your credit card information (CC Number & Expiry Date) on the order form, as well as type of service required (Next Day, Next Day AM, Saturday Delivery, Economy) unless otherwise stated we will use Fed-Ex courier services. Some couriers will not accept credit card, and service level and price will vary from courier to courier.

Can I purchase postage and mail it to you?

Yes, we can accept postage stamps only. Purchasing an envelope and paying for postage at your local Post Office will often not go through their system, as the tracking of the parcel needs to be generated from our local Post Office, which is why self-addressed Canada Post Express Prepaid Envelopes are preferred. Estimates will change depending on shipping weight and size of return parcel, this can cause major delays if not enough postage is included with your shipment. Please mention stamps will be included in the “Order Information” section on our Order Form.

Can you bill me for shipping?

Yes. We would require setting up an account with you. Please see the “Setting Up an Account” section below under “Billing” for more information. Please mention that an account will be billed, and what type of service you require in the “Order Information” section on our Order Form (hyperlink). For next day delivery we use Fed Ex overnight. 2–4 Day Delivery we use Canada Post XPRESSPOST. We can also use Fed-Ex 3 day economy or Canada Post Expedited Parcel services for 3–7 day delivery.

How much will it cost to ship back?

This really depends on the type of service provided, and is entirely dependent on size and weight. There is no effective way to provide an accurate estimate, while using the cost of shipping to us as a reference can be helpful, it is not recommended as it can often lead to underestimating the cost of return shipping and again will cause major delays.

g. Scanning (6)

What file types do you offer?

We can output to most major file types, including Apple ProRes, DNxHD, TIFF, OpenEXR, DPX, and DCP. Our standard output is Apple ProRes 422.

What film gauges do you scan?

We can scan all small gauge formats, including 8mm, Super 8, 9.5mm, 16mm, and Super 16.

How do I get my files?

Filmmakers should include an adequate hard drive with the footage submitted for any scanning order. This hard drive should be either backed up or empty. Niagara Custom Lab is not responsible for any data loss.

How much storage space will I need?

We suggest a ratio of 16GB per 100′.

What if I forgot to include a hard drive with my order?

Niagara Custom Lab can source a drive with sufficient space and include it in your invoice.

How long will you keep a copy of my files in your system?

Niagara Custom Lab will store your files for two weeks after the order has shipped, though we may hold the files longer by request.

The film lab for artists