Okay, so here's my issue.
A professor of mine was waxing eloquent about a movie he'd seen when he was knee high to a grasshopper, and how it'd really influenced him. He mentioned that he'd been searching for a copy for the longest time but couldn't find one.
I, being filled with pixie mischief, decided that I needed to find a copy for him for Christmas. It proved INCREDIBLY difficult to find (Lumet's "The Appointment" c. 1969), but I eventually was able to find one off of Amazon.fr, for a not insignificant amount of cash.
Of course, I live in the US, and SECAM is distinctly not what the VHS players around here play; aside from that, if at all possible when I get it I'd like to put it into a digital format. So, here's the real issue. I'm reasonably technologically capable, and given a list of general instructions, can usually hack my way through a task. I don't (yet) know much about video conversion, however, so that's where you come in, God willing.
What, approximately, do I need to do to convert something from SECAM format to something which a) could be digitally viewed, or b) could be viewed on most DVD players. (B is far and away preferable, so I can just hand it over to him.) How do-able is it? Should I really just give up and pay lots extra to have it professionally converted, or is it possible for a reasonably intelligent and capable layperson?
Getting equipment isn't too much of an issue -- I'm at Princeton and SECAM players can be rented for relatively cheap. I have a Mac (running OSX tiger) for my computer, but I can get ahold of a PC if necessary. So, assuming I can get equipment that's necessary, can anyone give me a reasonable outline of how to do this? (Preferably NOT "Go and pay $80 at a video kitchen).
EDIT: Maybe looking at using some variety of HackTV Carbon here on OSX to grab the video as a start... this
is giving me some idears.