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Super 8mm Crystal Sync Transfering


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#1 Derek Van Gorder

Derek Van Gorder
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Posted 16 April 2009 - 05:17 PM

Hello, I'm trying to figure out the best approach for dialogue on Super 8 film. So I know that in order to shoot sync sound with Super 8, you'll need a camera with crystal sync in order to guarantee a constant 24 fps. But while looking into that, I've been told that the developed film then also needs to be transferred specially in order to maintain that frame rate into a digital post workflow, and this process is somewhat pricey.

I am wondering: if I shoot crystal sync but transfer normally as I have in the past, is the sync drift less than if I shot on a camera without sync? Would it be worth renting a crystal sync camera if I then transfer normally, or is that pointless? And does anyone have any experience with how bad the drift is and how long it takes before it is noticeable? If I shot dialogue in 30 second takes or less, will it be possible to match up the audio in post?

Thanks!
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#2 Bruce Taylor

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 05:52 PM

Hi Derek,

I'm not a Super8 guru, but I think it would be worthwhile to search through the archives as this subject has been covered in the past. There are a number of workable solutions depending on how much money you want to spend. One of the ones I like is head and tail slating and then manipulating the sound clip to the length of the picture.

Speed vaiations on a crystal controlled camera will be minimal, and the transfer will be rock solid at 23.98fps. If a camera is not crystal controlled, each camera will be a little bit different in the speed department, so drift will vary. Run some tests and see what you come up with.

I don't mean to be a heretic, but you might also think about shooting in 16mm with a silent crystal camera that's made for the job of shooting sync sound. The costs are about the same for filmstock and processing these days as S8. And many 16mm cameras cost no more than S8's these days!

Bruce Taylor
www.indi35.com
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