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First get the heads cleaned professionally and possibly re-aligned. They appear, from what you tell, to be seriously clogged. And buy yourself a cleaning tape.
Then re-export your projects to tape.
For the future, stay with one brand of tapes and do not use other brands. If you can't avoid using another brand, run the cleaning tape first and then use the other brand. Same with switching back to your regular brand.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for the response Harm it was very helpful.
I am definatly going to proceed with getting our cameras professionally cleaned and re-aligned.
What do you mean when you say re-export my projects to tape? I believe, as you said, cleaning and re-aligning the cameras should prevent the problem from re-occuring, but how do i get the footage off these tapes!!! All I am getting is the blue screen but I know the footage is on there.
Thanks for the advice on tape use as well. We stick to using Sony HD tapes, they are dry I believe so shouldn't be a problem with Canon camera.
Sorry, I misunderstood you. I thought you had finalized your project and exported them to tape and gotten into these problems. Not that you needed to capture them for editing the source material.
The only suggestion I have is to try with a different camera or deck to see if you can salvage these tapes, but if the heads were really clogged, this is a very long shot and if it partly works, you will still have quite a lot of drop-outs. Given the trouble you had to shoot this material it does not make much sense to go through all this trouble again for a reshoot, but it may be your only chance.
Sh*t happens as you noticed.
OK thanks, I will try that. What is the problem, is it just that the dirty tape has been made unreadable? I was talking to a couple companies that specialize in data recovery and said they could probably recover footage it but it sounded pretty costly.
Would that be my only choice? And is that even guarnateed to work?
Two years ago I made an island hopping trip in the Caribbean on a sailing vessel, which was a unique tour. When I came back I discovered that one tape had many drop-outs and was one in a bunch of tapes that was just plain bad quality. No way I could go back to reshoot. Luckily it was only 1 out of 9 tapes and part of the faulty tape could still be used, but I accepted it and made no further effort to regain that particular footage. Look here: http://vimeo.com/1122531
If you can borrow or even rent a HDV camera or deck for a day, you can try to salvage some material, but I guess your chances are slim. If the heads in your camera were clogged, the signal can not be recorded intact. There are always drop-outs and now the deficiency of long GOP formats is a distinct drawback. What is wise? Try to recover precious material at the cost of $$$ or reshoot or forget it? That is a question only you can answer.