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Super 8 DIY workflow and Sound


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#1 Salvador M. Rodrigues

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 02:57 PM

Hi Everyone,

I've recently got very interested in Super-8 format. But mainly because of the possibility of being able to take part in the whole process, i.e. being able to shoot,develop,edit and project at home.

I have experience with developing b&w negatives in 35mm still, and haven't yet experimented with Super-8. I am however, trying to plan a workflow on how to get a final print for projection.

The plan is to shoot and develop at home. I was then thinking of purchasing one of those cheap home telecine boxes to where I would digitize my footage onto mini dv. Capture it onto FCP and do an offline edit (really useful to experiment different cuts), finish with an edl and then cut and splice the film accordingly and have it projected for friends and family.

My question is, in what part of the process can sound be added and most importantly how ? I have searched the web and the results are targeted to a "Sound Striping" process. I don't really understand the process but I can tell it is nothing to have at home.

So the question remains as, how can I input sound to play sync to my projection ? This could be either double system recorded dialogue,sound effects or just a plain music soundtrack.

Wasn't sure where to post this, so hopefully this would be the correct category.


Many Thanks,

SMR
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#2 Douglas Hunter

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 03:47 PM

Salvador,

Sorry to say but your porposed workflow does not work for Super 8.

1) You can not do an EDL for super 8 as super 8 does not have edge code. Without edge code you can not match your film to time code which is what must happen if you want to use FCP to generate a cut list.

2) To project with sound on film you need to have a print mag striped. As far as I know both S8 prints and mag striping are all but dead. (perhaps someone here knows of people who still do this.)

The most common S8 work flow these days is to do a "television finish" that is image accusition occurs on film, the footaqe is telecined and the projected finished on video. Sound being done after picture is locked.

Edited by Douglas Hunter, 25 June 2007 - 03:48 PM.

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#3 Salvador M. Rodrigues

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 04:38 PM

1) You can not do an EDL for super 8 as super 8 does not have edge code. Without edge code you can not match your film to time code which is what must happen if you want to use FCP to generate a cut list.


Douglas,

thanks for letting me know. Still doing a proof cut on FCP before cutting and splicing the actual footage and messing the hell out of it (beginner talking) can only be useful. I can still cut it accordingly mainly because were not talking about thousands of feet of footage.

Would still like to know more about the sound process though.


SMR
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#4 Douglas Hunter

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 05:10 PM

Still doing a proof cut on FCP before cutting and splicing the actual footage and messing the hell out of it (beginner talking) can only be useful. I can still cut it accordingly mainly because were not talking about thousands of feet of footage.

Would still like to know more about the sound process though.
SMR



O.K. in a rough sense that can work for you, just know that you won't have frame accuate matching between your FCP cut and your super 8 cut. You can get close but it won't be exact.

As far as sound goes do you plan on trying to achieve good sync with hard efx and lip sync or just a fairly close sync of sound efx and music?

I ask because as I think about it you may have some options. For example, if sync is not that important you could cut your sound in FCP or Pro Tools, or Sound Track or any other audio editing softwear. Then you could play the audio portion of your film out of your computer while you project the film. In this case your sound would be at a constant speed and depending on the quality of your projector the picture would drif in relation to your audio as the film was projected.

What I (and others) used to do in the old days was to cut audio by hand on a reel to reel tape recorder and play that back with the projection. If the audio gets ahead of picture you put your finger on the reel to slow it down a little until its back in sync. There also use to be systems where you could use a tape player that accepted a sync pulse from the projector to keep it in sync but I don't know if these exist anymore. In any event these are extremely crude working methods and severly limit what you can do with both sound and picture. Also you will need some super 8 academy leader.

In the end how to work depends on what your goals are, if you want a clean looking image in sync with hard effects or dialogue then you need to finish to video end of story. If you want to do something old school, and funky in which a clean image and sync on any level are not the priority then experiment with working by hand and have some fun with it. Any while you are at it have some fun experiment with hand painting on the film, bleeching and other expirmental techniques.
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#5 Mark Dunn

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 11:07 AM

Sound quality from stripe was always pretty mediocre. Loose sync from cassette or CD is quite possible- work out your own startup procedure; I use start-marks and countdowns, that sort of thing.
But please, just CUT THE FILM. It's not that delicate, just do it with care. Editing on a computer isn't what Super-8 is about. Cut, splice and project.
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#6 Terry Mester

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 06:02 PM

I've recently got very interested in Super-8 format. But mainly because of the possibility of being able to take part in the whole process, i.e. being able to shoot,develop,edit and project at home.

I have experience with developing b&w negatives in 35mm still, and haven't yet experimented with Super-8. I am however, trying to plan a workflow on how to get a final print for projection.

The plan is to shoot and develop at home.


Hi Salvador,
I commend you for your enthusiasm for Super8. The best advice you can get is to not attempt to develop your own films. Developing B&W Photographic Film is easier than developing Colour Negative which is easier than Colour Reversal. Developing Photographic Film is considerably easier than developing Motion Picture Film. You will not save money by developing your own films, and would probably ruin them. There is a high degree of skill involved in film developing, and Motion Picture Film requires special machinery. It should only cost you about 12 to 15 Euros to have a 50 Foot Cartridge developed if you can wait a week or two to get it back. You can get it back faster if you pay more. Patience is a virtue.
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Visual Products

Glidecam

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Wooden Camera

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Rig Wheels Passport

Abel Cine

The Slider

rebotnix Technologies

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineTape