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Super 8 Resources (Beaulieu 6008)

William von Tagen

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Hi Everyone,


My name is Will and I am a director DP. Before I get redirection comments, I want to say I am starting this thread because after a few weeks of combing through past forum posts, many of the topics/resources I am searching for are extremely dated an the websites I get directed to no longer exist. So I am now interested in finding links back to some of the outlets, or finding the individuals who can help me find where the Super 8 outlets I am looking for have gone.


I am not looking for low budget tips, workarounds or DIY (unless that is a last resort).


I am a fairly experienced commercial and feature director/DP. I have produced 2 features films, countless shorts (some good, some not) and am currently working in Berlin as a Table Top and music video director. I started with s8mm 12 years ago. I know its limitations, and I know this stuff all takes a lot of time and money.


Phew, not that that is out of the way--on to the beef:


I am getting back into S8. Mostly because my latest feature calls for it--the first 5 minutes play out in 1980s East Germany--where the rest of the film plays out contemporary. I have decided to shoot these first 5 min on 8 to add an aesthetic and to separate the time. Sure, I could fake it, but I don't want to and I have the budget not to. Also, I have tracked down some 8mm footage from the time and region I am shooting in--if I can get away with it, I want to try and integrate the historic footage for establishing shots. It might not work--I'm not worried about that right now.


I recently won a Beaulieu 6008 PRO on Ebay. I have already sent it off to Björn to be rebuilt and modified. I am having him widen the gate and modify the Quartz unit to run at 24fps instead of 25fps (I work in a US market). He is also modifying the front mount (machining it down) to accept my set of Veydra Mini Prime lenses (the bases are too broad, and don't sit flush because of the LCU mount). This is new, modern glass that I use with my Blackmagic rig, but Veydra has provided me with new mounts to let them work on C mount systems. I also have the Schneider 6-66 1.8 for a second option.


I am clearly putting some money into this rig, and I plan to use this for many future projects (music videos, short films, possibly a feature).


I am looking for the following resources as the websites/companies no longer exist:


1. A good sound Barney and/or Blimp to make dialog recording more of a possibility.

2. Ways to add on a rail system for follow focus/matte box, and also keep the camera level on the tripod.

3. Any leads on how to build/integrate a 200ft/60m cartridge/magazine. Björn tells me parts for the Ritters aren't available any more. I know these were built out of the R16 mags. Is there a former Ritter employee with build plans? Part Leads? Is there a way to take the old Kodak 60m cartridges and make them reloadable? Any lead on where to find them? I am willing to get very customized on this and invest some money to make it work.

4. Thankfully, batteries on the 6008 are easy to swap, but does anyone have any knowledge on integrating a v-mount type system?


And again, I have searched the forums for these topics but they are all dated and lead to dead ends. Also, I know I could do 16 with what I am putting into this. I don't want to though. I want to make this work.


That's it for now. Thanks so much guys!


I appreciate the help!


~ Will

Edited by William von Tagen
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The best would be to buy one or two barneys for 16mm or 35mm cameras, such as Eclairs, and have it re-dressed around a Beaulieu. Dedo Weigert in Munich offered them until a few years ago, but I am unclear if that's still the case.


Have you actually contacted Ritter in Mannheim, info@ritterfilm.de ? While this is not the original Ritter Film + Videotechnik firm, its a legacy company set up after Ritter's bankruptcy. Its staff are the original Ritter workshop crew that rejected offers from both Bavaria Film in Munich and Wittner Cinetech to move over to their respective companies back in 2003 to take over either Beaulieu service or Beaulieu spare parts supplies. Maybe they could be enticed into sharing the blueprints or technical drawings?


The Beaulieu SD8/60 still pops up occasionally on eBay, every few years. This may be the only economically reasonable way to get this magazine. To build one from scratch, using the 16mm-magazine from the R16/2016-series will bring with it a considerable cost for design and engineering. This isn't about will, it's about capability. Ritter developed this accessory for almost 3 years, and the result was not sterling. Unless you have actual experience of how the Beaulieu 6/7/9008-series handles with this magazine mounted, I think you should also consider if the investment time and money would be well spent. The set-up is very heavy, cantankerous, and the motorisation was woefully insufficient. Frame stability was also sub-par, even though it had a dedicated pressure plate, back then the holy grail of S8 filmmaking and those silly one-upmanship battlefront discussions with Single 8 shooters.


Another option at your disposal could be to contact the BCFI, Deutschland's Beaulieu Markenclub, sozusagen. Some of my former fellow members have crossed the edge of madness and actually purchased that magazine when new. You could ask if a member wants to part with it for a reasonable price. As members are dying off, legacies often include old Beaulieu sets in excellent conditions. That could be another source to obtain one. I advise to raise this aspect with the necessary tact, though -_- ^_^ .


Now, bear in mind: I am not making a point about 16mm vs S8 in formulating this reality check about your plans. I am the first to highlight the distinct material aesthetic of S8 over 16, and rubbishing cost-based comparisons between the two formats. My point is to what extent you are pushing S8 into a territory where its key technical (!) advantage of an "easy-to-handle" format start to disappear, without any benefits coming to the fore from shooting with 60m mags. I have actually done this, both with 60m cartridges and the SD8/60, and never looked back returning to shooting with 15m cartridges only, Sepmag and Commag. It was a great bucket list experience, for sure, but ultimately did not add anything to shooting with Super 8, either short experimental, documentaries, or short features.


Great to read what Björn is doing for you. Awesome stuff!

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Hi Michael,


Thanks for the insight. I just wrote both Dedo and Ritter--I'll post what I find out for future reference. Tomorrow I will reach out to some of the contacts on BCFI.


"custom upholstery products" is a website I saw mentioned here a lot for barneys, but is no longer around. Any idea where they went?--or if they have any existing reps? Lee was a name someone once mentioned in a forum post about it.


I agree with you on trying to reinvent the wheel re: the Magazine.. I guess my hopes were: if it was built from the R16 it might not be as "custom" of a process, but that is probably wishful thinking.


Even if there was a way to get 30m through the gate I would see it as a win. My fight with the 15m is primarily the added pressure on the actors--rushing slates and not giving anyone time to breath. Usually, when I roll digitally--not counting pre-roll--I burn about 10 seconds slating/setting frame before calling. Add maybe another 5 for the actors to start. 15 seconds/take leaves me the option of maybe 2 takes per cartridge--( and save short ends for inserts).


Yes, I could rush that and speed it up--but then everyone just feels flustered; and there's no point in even rolling if the performers and crew are stiff and tense. I know actors well enough to anticipate how self conscious they'll get when they see film being changed every 2 takes--or their fear of the film running out mid-take, forcing them to rush and get sloppy. I don't care about the cost of the stock--it's just the mental burden I'm worried about in set operation. (obviously this will be unavoidable if I can't get a Mag--but that's why I'm trying).


~ Will

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