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Analog editing workflow (splicer/editor)


Luuk Schröder

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Hi There,

I am currently editing a super8 film with a Minette S5 editor and a CIR 8mm splicer. With this particular setup the film is loaded into the Minette editor with the sprockets facing away form me, while splicing the film should be done with the sprockets towards me... This turned my workflow into a bit of a scramble. I decided to first mark the whole film that needs to be cut and then make the actual splices.

As I don't have that much experience editing, I was wondering if some of you would like to share your analog super8 editing workflow?

Thank you!

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If you are doing the traditional "Left to Right" editing flow, I would just place my splicing block far enough before the viewer (left) to be able to twist the film over and place it in the splicer without causing undue strain on the film.

Pull enough slack back to the left to avoid putting strain on the editor gate and damaging the frames in the gate.

Pre-marking is not a bad thing either, regardless of how you wind up cutting the actual film.

Be sure your splicing tape is the proper width; it should go frameline to frameline across the film splice, otherwise splice lines will show-up and be distracting.

Also, make sure you have several layers of tape down on the actual metal bed of the splicer to form a cushion or pad to make a better splice.  Peel off any existing tape, clean the bed with alcohol to remove all traces of adhesive and then pull across and cleanly punch at least 3 layers of tape onto the bed.

Keeping the splicer clean and the cutting blades sharp will also help make much better splices. The blades and perforation punches do tend to get gummy with adhesive and this will transfer to your film and smear on the splices, causing jumps at splices and eventual damage.

Start with a clean splicer and you'll be much more happy with the results.

Use the butt-end of an art knife to smooth out the tape splice, starting from one side and burnishing to the other, but keep it off the actual film itself.  Try to get all the bubbles out of the splice; with some practice, you can make a crystal clear splice with no ragged edges.

Edited by Frank Wylie
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Frank,

Thank you very much for the tips!

Is the reason that you have the splicer on the left of the editor so that you can pull the spliced piece of film onto a reel without reversing it?

Good to hear the splicing tips, I never really thought of it like that so thats really helpful.

Best,
Luuk

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2 hours ago, Luuk Schröder said:

Is the reason that you have the splicer on the left of the editor so that you can pull the spliced piece of film onto a reel without reversing it?

Luuk,

One advantage of having the splicer before the editor/viewer is to immediately check the splice for proper timing and quality of the splice through the viewer.  Any discrepancies can be instantly addressed before winding the film to the left-most reel. 

With reversal film (assuming that is what you are cutting), the less you handle it, the less damage occurs to wind up on the screen.

Good luck,

Frank

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Assuming it's the model of splicer with the wrap-around tape, I find (well, found, I haven't cut S8 for 20 years) that taping only one side of the film is sufficient. This reduces the visibility of the splice. You then trim off the excess tape flush with the film edge with sharp scissors.

I can't remember which side to tape but it's the side that doesn't face the projector gate, so that the splice doesn't lift the film from the gate and put it out of focus. On a reversal original IIRC you would usually tape the emulsion side.

The splice is weaker than one on both sides, sure, and the tape may eventually dry out, but I've never had one break and some of mine are over 40 years old.

There was a professional Super-8 CIR which taped each side separately, as you would in 16mm., but they're rare and expensive.

Edited by Mark Dunn
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Hi Mark,

I assume you mean the 'Catozzo C.I.R. M.3 Super8-2T Special' as listed on the super8reversal website. I haven't seen them online yet, but I can imagine its durable and easy to use...

Personally I use the smaller CIR super8 splicer, which is pretty ok but can leave a small gap in the splice if you are not careful. I find the fuji single 8 splicer with perforated tape the easiest to use.

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1 hour ago, Luuk Schröder said:

Hi Mark,

I assume you mean the 'Catozzo C.I.R. M.3 Super8-2T Special' as listed on the super8reversal website. I haven't seen them online yet, but I can imagine its durable and easy to use...

Personally I use the smaller CIR super8 splicer, which is pretty ok but can leave a small gap in the splice if you are not careful. I find the fuji single 8 splicer with perforated tape the easiest to use.

Yes, that's the Rolls-Royce version at about €600? which is why most people (and we) have the cheaper version. Unfortunately the pins are fixed so as you say you can get a gap, but you may be able to adjust the frameline on the projector so it doesn't show.

I believe the 2T may have adjustable pins, but it's no longer listed on the CIR site. I've never seen one on eBay.

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I hate Super-8. One point about the format, however, is outstanding and I acknowledge it, the image is vertically centered to the perforation hole. Therefore splices are full-area, no hole is bisected, same as with 35-mm. or 65-mm. film.

You may want to take advantage of that fact by making cement splices. A good wet splicer is worth its money, take care of it, have perfectly running film which you can also have thoroughly cleaned by ultrasonic equipment.

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My way of editing, and splicing film is a bit unorthodox to say the least! So I've been shooting and editing Super 8 for about 18 years now. My go to film is Ektachrome (7294) color reversal for home movies. I mainly use it to shoot vacations, my 3 year old son, and various family outings. I am also a purist when it comes to projecting Super 8 only! 

OK so my way of editing, and splicing Super 8 is not using an editing machine. Nope watch the film first, then make mental notes as to what I will keep, and what gets cut out. I then place the film on my editing rewinds. Film is placed on the right reel, this puts the film in the same direction as you would on a projector. The splicing block is placed in the middle of the left and right rewinds. Take-up reel is placed on the left spindle. I run the film from right to left, and while doing so I use the flashlight from my phone to illuminate the film as it passes by. I also have a spare projector lens so I can look at the images close up as needed. Once I get to the part of the film I want to cut I do so with the splicer. I then flip the film coming from the right so I can remove the emulsion. Once the emulsion is removed the film is re-positioned in the splicer, sprockets facing me. I then do the same for the film on the left side of the editor. After both pieces of film have been scraped and cleaned I make sure they are secure in the splicer and ready for some glue. Now I also use another unorthodox way of gluing the film together. I simply use some Gorilla Super Glue. Yep that's right good old fashion super glue, and it works! I first squeeze out a small drop onto a piece of cardboard. I then use a toothpick to get a dab of glue on the end. I apply the super glue to the film piece on the left, and then bring down the other section of film on the right, and clamp both pieces together. I wait about 2 minutes, and then un-clamp the film and allow another minute or two for it to air dry. I then check the splice for durability, and if all is OK I move on to the next section of film to be edited. I've been doing this method for many years as I mentioned earlier, and it works well! The film is free to move and it's easy to edit this way. This method might seem strange  but it's never failed me after 18 years. And I'm happy to report splices I've made after all these years are still holding. 

Edited by Shane C Collins
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I cement spliced at first but dropped it like a hot brick when I was recommended the CIR. Cement splices cannot fail to be more visible as you literally cut a frame in half. If you want to make a new splice you have to cut out two frames, which on an original are gone forever. Even if my Super-8 days were not long over I would certainly never go back.

Edited by Mark Dunn
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Luuk,

As you can see, there are many ways of cutting your film;  just use what works best for your end result.

I have worked with many film cutters over the years and I don't think any two of them do it exactly the same way, but all have produced excellent work.

Good luck!

 

 

 

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