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Double exposure: Filming on one half of the film, rewind, then film on the other half of the film.


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Hello,

While doing research on how to expose just one side of the film I came across this article: https://petapixel.com/2017/03/10/shoot-creative-double-exposures-cutting-half-lens-cap/
The writer outlines that by covering half of the lens one can expose half the 35mm frame.

Is this the way to go if I want to achieve the same effect with 8mm? Or is it also possible to cover half of the cardridge, or the sprocket window (is that the right term?) in the camera?
Does anyone have experience with this?

(in relation to my last thread, the plan is to film half underwater and half above water...)
(and just for reference, here's an older thread on rewinding film from this forum:

 

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Covering half the frontlens is not going to produce clean separated half-images. Mind the graphics of lightbeam through lenses from physics class.  Beams hitting left or right in the frontlens still make it to both sides.

Best were to cover half the filmgate in camera. Mind that when filming the image is left-right swapped on the film.

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Getting at the gate is tricky with Super-8. The masking method can work quite well but as Andries says you don't get a sharp edge. It's sharper the further away you put the matte- I used to have a little box like a lens hood with a slot for the matte. Shoot, rewind, reverse the matte and you have a split-screen of sorts.

Here it is. It only suits a lens with quite a small filter thread.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-Brun-Camera-Photography-Effects-Box-58mm-Screw-Fit-Boxed-Instructions-/183028009576

Edited by Mark Dunn
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I see, yes that makes sense, so the further away the matte, the sharper the edge.
What do you mean with it being tricky to get at the gate? Can't I just use cover half of the film on the opening of the cassette? Or will this scratch the film? In my mind this would produce a very sharp edge as the film itself is covered...
I am actually not sure whether I want a very sharp edge, it feels like the matte option suggested by Mark is a good mid-way solution.

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3 minutes ago, Luuk Schröder said:

I see, yes that makes sense, so the further away the matte, the sharper the edge.
What do you mean with it being tricky to get at the gate? Can't I just use cover half of the film on the opening of the cassette? Or will this scratch the film? In my mind this would produce a very sharp edge as the film itself is covered...
I am actually not sure whether I want a very sharp edge, it feels like the matte option suggested by Mark is a good mid-way solution.

Cover the cartridge is difficult. The cart wil be pressed againt the gate. THere are hubs protruding. On the right-side there will be the claw advacing the film.

 

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4 minutes ago, Luuk Schröder said:

I see, yes that makes sense, so the further away the matte, the sharper the edge.
What do you mean with it being tricky to get at the gate? Can't I just use cover half of the film on the opening of the cassette? Or will this scratch the film? In my mind this would produce a very sharp edge as the film itself is covered...
I am actually not sure whether I want a very sharp edge, it feels like the matte option suggested by Mark is a good mid-way solution.

Anything you put in the cartridge would probably lift the film away from the gate and put it out of focus.

In-camera mattes were used in the silent days, but I think they slid in across the gate, very close to the film plane. You don't have access to it in Super-8.

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Already there have been many useful and articulate replies to help you sort this issue out.  I just want to add some information.  Covering the cartridge, as mentioned, isn't possible....since the claw needs to advance the film on the one side.....and tape would be problematic, so this is not an option at all.      

        To mask the tiny Super 8mm gate, while possible (if you were to use the very thin aluminum metal tape) just isn't practical and even with the greatest care, you might still have some split registration issues.  The tape is thin enough, and if wiped with Silicone and the gate as well, the film will glide over it fine.  Depending on your camera though, it needs to be side loader in order to have such access to the gate.  I don't recommend it, even though I've done it before many years ago.  Trying to carefully tape one side and then the other and having to fiddle with tweezers etc is tricky.  If you're not careful, you'll scratch the film gate. It can be done though, just add the other side of the tape first, prior to removing the first segment, that way you'll have as clean a registration as possible.  But, it's very tiny, still easy to have a small gap or overlap.  

    You didn't exactly state how accurate a split screen effect you would like.  Since you state you'd like to film underwater, I think that you're only real options are either a mask or half lens cap over the lens (easier method and these are available or make your own mask.....mark carefully the top and bottom of the lens filter ring to replace it on the other side accurately for the 2nd exposure).  For what you seem to want to do, this is your easiest and safest option for underwater.  The metal tape masking of the gate can also be done IF you are very careful and have side access to the film chamber, such as with a EUMIG Nautica.

  The other split screen methods using a Matt Box or Compendium etc are fine, but not practical for underwater filming.

   The biggest hurdle here with Super 8mm will be to Remove the film from the cartridge, Rewind it properly, and Reload it into the cartridge and seal it back up.  Unless you have one of the Russian Kaccema reloadable cartridges or those reloadable ones that ADOX sold film in, you'll have to carefull open up a Super 8mm cartridge (have a reusable spare available that is all prepped for reloading), and remove the film, rewind it in a jig setup so the Supply Load will fit easily and rotate on the stationary Supply Side Hub in the Super 8mm cartridge, load the film, attach it to the take-up core, close the shell over the chassis and seal it up with high quality thin black electrical tape.

UNLESS you are able to reload a Super 8mm cartridge or have it done, you won't be able to fully create a split screen effect, except in short segments of not more than 100 to 300 frames backwound.....using a backwind device such as the CRAVEN Film Backwinder or the EWA Film Backwinder.   Another option would be to use the FUJI P-2 Single-8 camera with the Marine Case.  The Single-8 cartridges are easier to reload, and/or buy one with the filmstock you need from RETRO-8 etc, mask off the lens, shoot your film, remove the Single-8 cartridge, and then rewind the film in a darkroom or film changing bag, by hand, similar to rewinding an audio cassette tape with a pencil or small spoon handle or small butter knife to rotate the core.  Then reload it into the camera and go film the 2nd exposure....after moving the mask to the other half.

Hope this helps shed some more light on what you'd like to achieve.

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I thought I'd add something else.   I recommend doing just a short test using the lens cap method.  If you don't have either a Craven Film Rewinder or the EWA Film Rewinder, no problem.  Use this method:

First film anything for at least the first 5 feet of the cartridge.  This is to avoid a jam or pulling the film off the take up core when pushing it back into the supply side.

Tape over the cartridge take up core, this will prevent it rotating and taking up the film slack.  Set your lens cap half over the First Side, shoot your scene of not more than 100 - 300 frames.  Remove the cartridge in a film changing bag or darkroom, gently lift the film upward in the cartridge gate to get a small loop, depress the cartridge pressure plate inward and hold it there with a finger, the using your other hand push the film upward into the cartridge, and keep pushing it until all the film slack is gone.....then you will have pushed/reversed all the film you just exposed, back to the beginning of the shoot.   Remove the tape over the film core, replace film cartridge into the camera.  Now move the lens cap half to the Second Side, and film the other sequence, above or below water as you desire. 

The purpose of this experiment is to see if you like the results, without having to waste an entire cartridge of film just on this experiment.  Use the remaining film to make titles, film other things or do some other type of experiment.  Just remember, film the first 5 feet of anything, BEFORE you conduct this test to make it easier to not pull the film off the take-up core or jam the cartridge when doing this Double Exposure Split Screen test.   If you like the results, move on to the next stage of whatever you will need to fully rewind the film cartridge.

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Thank you very much for your concise and elaborate reply Martin, and thanks to other member's advice as well!
It is a good idea to start with a testing-method as you outlined above. In reading I don't fully understand everything you write, but that is because I need to just start doing it. I will take some time as I need to get hold of some more supplies, but I am happy I have a good methodology to start working with.
I'll share my first results when I get them!

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I don’t know how wedded you are to the Super 8 format, or your budget limitations, but a Bolex is much better suited to this sort of in-camera effect. Many experimental filmmakers have used Bolexes to shoot split-screen films. I remember seeing one at a Melbourne Artist Film Workshop event where the filmmaker had used multiple overlays, each one a shard within the frame - really amazing. A simple double split screen is very simple by comparison.

The techniques involved can vary, some filmmakers use a mask in front of the lens - a cut lens cap or mattes in a matte box, but in reflex models there is also a filter holder behind the lens where you can accurately and easily fit different masks to achieve cleaner mattes.

There are 16mm, double 8 and double super 8 Bolexes, and depending where you are you can rent underwater housings for Bolexes (lots of surfing films have used them). It’s very easy to rewind the film in a Bolex and do double exposures, and the frame counter allows you to rewind very accurately down to the frame.

 

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