Leaving a Legacy


I remember my grandfather, who emigrated here from Slovakia in the early 1900s, trying to tell his grandchildren a story. He never did learn the English language all that well. Still, he delighted in teaching us teens how to order a beer in his language.

As he tried to communicate with us, we gleaned that at some point in his early life he was a stable boy responsible for the Lippizaner Stallions who had been brought to his area prior to WWI. The story, as he told it, became more and more intriguing. Maybe it was because our imagination had to fill in the gaps caused by his limited English.

He’s gone now. And so is his story. And what a missed opportunity because we never thought to record him telling it.

We like to say that everyone has a story. And everyone’s story deserves to be heard… especially by the generations to come. Today’s technology makes that available. We should all consider putting our stories on tape (video or audio) so we might pass our perspectives, wisdom, and life experiences onto our progeny. The most precious legacy we leave behind are the memories we’ve collected along the way.


Michael Ondrasik – http://www.homevideostudio.com/mtd

The Vinegar Syndrome

The Vinegar Syndrome

Sounds like a spy novel, I know. And it could have to do with a little mystery… as in, what is on these 8mm films I just found in this box and are they still any good?

Believe it or not, giving the films a good sniff will oftentimes tell you everything you need to know. When film, whether it is 8mm, Super 8, or 16mm, begins to break down or deteriorate, there is no mistaking the pungent odor it emits – a very acrid smell that indicates the chemical decomposition taking place.

Once that telltale odor is detected, the clock is ticking. As more time goes by, the film will become more and more degraded. It will start to buckle; the emulsion will begin lifting off the celluloid; the film will become brittle and it will not be able to go through the process of digital capture.

If the decomposition is in the early stages, though the vinegar aroma is present, it may still be possible to lift the images from the film and transfer them to a digital media, thus preserving them for future generations. The key is catching it early on before the film becomes unworkable.

So if you’re wondering whether your old family movies can still be transferred to a DVD or DVA, trust your nose. It knows.

Michael Ondrasik

Face to Face video portraits

Looking for a unique way to celebrate a milestone event? Home Video Studio of Mount Dora has just the thing. A one of a kind video portrait we’re calling Face to Face will track someone’s journey through the years. Perfect for a sweet sixteen, graduating senior, engaged couple or anyone else traveling through life.