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Super 8 and Long Interviews


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#1 Aaron Martin (TX)

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 02:30 PM

Hi --

I am considering using Super 8 for a documentary on local music. The look and feel of the format are perfect for the type of music in question. My only concern is keeping all those rolls in sync. Has anyone had any luck with using Super 8 for long, sync sound interviews? All ideas/war stories are appreciated.

Thanks,

Aaron

P.S: I can't use a larger 200' or 400' magazine. My camera won't accept one.
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#2 Douglas Hunter

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 02:45 PM

This is a frequent topic of discussion on this board, have you tried doing a search?

A well maintanied, high quality camera will drift but it will do so at a fairly consistent rate so syncing takes a little time but is not a nightmare.

If you want dead on sync. check out the sync conversion offered by The Film Group and also look at getting a Bealieu 6008 or higher, which are crystal controlled cameras, bewarned though they are noisy. The Canons and Nizos are significantly quieter.

Also use head and tail slates when shooting on non-constant speed cameras.
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#3 Chris Burke

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 04:05 PM

Hi --

I am considering using Super 8 for a documentary on local music. The look and feel of the format are perfect for the type of music in question. My only concern is keeping all those rolls in sync. Has anyone had any luck with using Super 8 for long, sync sound interviews? All ideas/war stories are appreciated.

Thanks,

Aaron

P.S: I can't use a larger 200' or 400' magazine. My camera won't accept one.



Yes, a crystal synced Nizo 6080 is the quietest without a barney. Since you can only use the 50 foot carts, then longer interviews are going to be cut short. Maybe someone else has a work around, but you might want to consider regular 16mm. If you are going to use 7217 anyway, the the cost savings is not all that much with Super 8. With regular 16, you can rent a Arri 16 BL really cheap these days. You get crystal sync, 400' mags giving you ten plus minutes of run time, perfect for interviews. Why not shoot your lengthy interviews on 16 and everything else on Super 8. In terms of look, I am 150% on board with you, Super 8 can't be beat. Good luck and keep us posted.

chris
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#4 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 07:48 PM

I did a music doc once where the interviews were on S8. I used a Canon 814XL-S, you could not hear the camera noise. I was running full carts, the sync would start to drift after about a minute. I was able to stretch the audio in my NLE... or you can always use relevant cut away shots and adjust your sync where the subject is back.
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#5 kevin jackman

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 08:02 PM

you could go with a bolex ds8 if you are willing to use the new ektachrome.it would show up in 400ft reels that you can have cut down if you want.that means 20 mins in one run if you want. you can also use a tobin sync motor to keep the camera in sync.
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#6 Aaron Martin (TX)

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Posted 22 June 2007 - 09:50 AM

I did a music doc once where the interviews were on S8. I used a Canon 814XL-S, you could not hear the camera noise. I was running full carts, the sync would start to drift after about a minute. I was able to stretch the audio in my NLE... or you can always use relevant cut away shots and adjust your sync where the subject is back.


-- which is pretty much what I plan on doing. Do you have any tips or tricks on this technique? What did you record your audio on?

Thanks,

Aaron
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#7 Douglas Hunter

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Posted 22 June 2007 - 11:43 AM

Do you have any tips or tricks on this technique? What did you record your audio on?


If you record digital audio, your audio is constantspeed and your picture is what drifts, so by using head and tail slates you can easily see how much drift you have when you pull the footage into your NLE system and then stretch or shrink your picture to match audio. If your camera's drift is fairly consistent, this step alone will give you pretty good sync. The problem is if the camera is speeding up and slowing down, then you have to identify where this is occuring and do some sub cliping.

The principle to follow is to give yourself really good sync points and conform the drifting element to the constant element.

I've used this technique recording audio to DAT, but any digital audio divice will do the job.

This method is not practical if you don't have good sync points and or if the camera changes speed a good deal. In these situations its better to just use a true constant speed camera.
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#8 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 22 June 2007 - 11:35 PM

If you record digital audio, your audio is constantspeed and your picture is what drifts, so by using head and tail slates you can easily see how much drift you have when you pull the footage into your NLE system and then stretch or shrink your picture to match audio. If your camera's drift is fairly consistent, this step alone will give you pretty good sync. The problem is if the camera is speeding up and slowing down, then you have to identify where this is occuring and do some sub cliping.

The principle to follow is to give yourself really good sync points and conform the drifting element to the constant element.

I've used this technique recording audio to DAT, but any digital audio divice will do the job.

This method is not practical if you don't have good sync points and or if the camera changes speed a good deal. In these situations its better to just use a true constant speed camera.

Yes, a head and tail clapper is a must. Like Douglas mentioned, you can measure your drift in NLE down to a # of frames, and tweak accordigly. If you plan to use a cut away shot, sever you video track before the drift occurs and mix in the cut away video track. Nudge your right video cut back to the tail snap, cut back in somewhere after regained sync is established.
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#9 Terry Mester

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Posted 23 June 2007 - 06:52 PM

If you record digital audio, your audio is constantspeed and your picture is what drifts, so by using head and tail slates you can easily see how much drift you have when you pull the footage into your NLE system and then stretch or shrink your picture to match audio. If your camera's drift is fairly consistent, this step alone will give you pretty good sync. The problem is if the camera is speeding up and slowing down, then you have to identify where this is occuring and do some sub cliping.
...
This method is not practical if you don't have good sync points and or if the camera changes speed a good deal. In these situations its better to just use a true constant speed camera.


Douglas, did you by any chance use the Electric Zoom when filming? If so, then this will slow down the Cartridge Motor immediately screwing up the Film timing. Those AA Batteries do not have enough Amperage output to power both the Cartridge and Zoom Motors. Only if a Camera had a separate Battery to power the Zoom Motor would it not affect the Cartridge Motor. Otherwise, when filming to record sound you must manually control the Zoom. You can visibly see this problem when there's no Cartridge loaded. Open the Cart Door and turn it on. Then watch the Cartridge Clutch slow down as you turn on the Electric Zoom.

Aaron, if you're going to use Batteries, then use DURACELL. Don't even consider using another brand when you want to record synchronous sound. For a fixed setting like an interview, I would recommend that you use a Line Current Transformer. If your Camera doesn't have a Transformer Jack, you can convert the Pause Jack into a Transformer Jack. Click the Weblink in my Signature below to find an Information Sheet on Recording Sound which will tell you how to convert the Pause Jack for a Transformer.
For recording Digital Sound, any Computer -- including a Laptop -- can record Stereo Digital Sound. You don't need to buy an expensive Digital Recorder.
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#10 Douglas Hunter

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 11:37 AM

Douglas, did you by any chance use the Electric Zoom when filming? If so, then this will slow down the Cartridge Motor immediately screwing up the Film timing. Those AA Batteries do not have enough Amperage output to power both the Cartridge and Zoom Motors. Only if a Camera had a separate Battery to power the Zoom Motor would it not affect the Cartridge Motor. Otherwise, when filming to record sound you must manually control the Zoom.


While I can see how this might be the case for some cameras is it certainly is not the case for all cameras. I shot using a 5008s and did a lot of zooming. The amount of drift was consistent despite doing a number of zoom ins and zoom outs on very long takes. Not all super 8 cameras utilize store bought AA batteries. Also considering the age and service records of many super 8 cameras I would allow for the possibility that such a problem as you describe has other causes beyond the power supply.

Edited by Douglas Hunter, 25 June 2007 - 11:39 AM.

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#11 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 10:36 PM

While I can see how this might be the case for some cameras is it certainly is not the case for all cameras. I shot using a 5008s and did a lot of zooming. The amount of drift was consistent despite doing a number of zoom ins and zoom outs on very long takes. Not all super 8 cameras utilize store bought AA batteries. Also considering the age and service records of many super 8 cameras I would allow for the possibility that such a problem as you describe has other causes beyond the power supply.


Beaulieu actually has different voltages assigned to each zoom motor which might help keep everything more constant no matter what motors are being used.
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