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Old 35mm Hand Crank camera


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#1 Chris Saul

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 11:59 PM

I'm shooting a spec commercial at my school and we are using an old 35mm hand crank camera from the 20's. It's been serviced and it works. I wanted to know what speed I need to crank and what techniques I can do to make it look like it was shot in the 20's. Can I crank to a metronome?
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#2 John Sprung

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 05:28 PM

First you need to count how many frames it shoots per turn of the crank. The standard was eight, which meant two turns per second for silent movies, but three to get up to 24 fps. It's kinda difficult to crank that fast, or at least it is for me. I have an Ensign Cinematograph, circa 1895 - 1910.

The best cranking technique is to position your elbow on the axis of the crank shaft. Then you can turn quite uniformly, without moving your elbow at all. You want a moderately light grip on the knob, and don't flex your wrist. That way the weight of your forearm sort of works as a flywheel. A metronome wouldn't hurt, but typically wasn't used. You can get plenty close enough just by humming a tune. "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" was used a lot, or so I've heard. You might try some Paul Whiteman music:

http://en.wikipedia....i/Paul_Whiteman





-- J.S.
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#3 Patrick Neary

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 07:16 AM

Hi-

I just finished shooting a 35mm short for a friend with an old hand-cranked Mitchell and Eyemo- One thing I found shooting some earlier tests is that you can get very smooth running speeds out of either camera, negating the hand-cranked effect you are probably going for.

What I ended up doing was pulling the big brass flywheel out of the mitchell, and setting the speed dial on the Eyemo at its highest setting (48fps). This allowed for more rapid and abrupt changes in cranking speeds, and more pronounced exposure fluctuations, which is what we were going for in the first place. And if my hand slipped during the shot, or I felt like cranking faster or slower during a take, so much the better.

Have fun with it, I wish I could hand crank everything I shoot!

Oh, and I used the old Alfred Hitchcock show theme- I can't remember the name of the actual classical piece- as my internal speed regulator :)
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#4 Charlie Peich

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 07:43 AM

Hi-


Oh, and I used the old Alfred Hitchcock show theme- I can't remember the name of the actual classical piece- as my internal speed regulator :)



That would be "Funeral March for a Marionette" by
Charles (Fran├žois) Gounod
(b Paris, 17 June 1818; d St Cloud, 18 Oct 1893)


Here's the video

The Hitchcock show version

This small piano piece is a light-hearted piece of musical grotesquerie, a mock funeral procession with a jaunty beat and a carefree tune over a humorously not-slow-enough funeral march rhythm. Gounod himself, recognizing its popularity, set it for orchestra in 1879. Other composers have arranged it for various combinations, and the piece gained international fame beginning in the 1950s when it was selected as the sardonic theme music introducing appearances by film director Alfred Hitchcock at the beginnings and ends of his television anthology series on suspense and the grotesque, Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Gounod's dead marionette is now as unseverably linked in most people's minds with the portly British filmmaker as Rossini's William Tell Overture has been with the Lone Ranger.

The piece has a little program: the marionette has died in a duel, and the funeral procession enters. A contrasting central section depicts the "mourners" stopping off for refreshments at an inn on the funeral route. At the end, though, Gounod lets a little more solemnity show. ~ All Music Guide
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#5 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 27 September 2009 - 02:37 AM

I couldn't remember "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" so I went to Youtube and found it:
hhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=886Z6zKXmG4&feature=fvwttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDcPFxKhz14
and realized, the reason I couldn't remember it was because I had never heard it before. it is a period peice, which couldn't hurt

My Konvas-1 has a hand crank capability and I have both the hand crank and the animation crank.. I wanted to try both of these out some time down the road as well, although the hand crank on the little Konvas is exactly that. little, unlike the longer Mitchell GC, which seems to make it a bit difficult to crank (I don't know how big the Eyemo crank handle is). I did try and crank the little Konvas at 24 FPS which was damn near impossible to do smoothly.
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#6 Patrick Neary

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Posted 27 September 2009 - 01:15 PM

(I don't know how big the Eyemo crank handle is). I did try and crank the little Konvas at 24 FPS which was damn near impossible to do smoothly.


The Eyemo crank is tiny, it's the same one as the filmo. It makes it harder to crank smoothly, but again, if you're hand-cranking these days, you generally want it to look hand-cranked!
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